Speakers for EMNR’s national conference on August 23–24, 2024 in Jacksonville, Florida. Plenary speakers are listed by date and time of their address. See the Program Schedule for workshop details.

Plenary Speakers

H. Wayne House is Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Law, and Culture at Faith International University. He holds six degrees, including a doctorate in Law from Regent University and a doctorate in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary. He is completing a doctorate in Biblical Archaeology at Veritas International University.  Dr. House has authored or edited over 40 books and directed study tours to Israel, Greece, Turkey, and other biblical sites. He is the founder of Christian Perspectives International, a non-profit organization committed to helping believers grow in their spiritual walk through biblical education. He was founder and first president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and has served as president of the Evangelical Theological Society. The online House Visual Study Bible offers photos, charts, videos, and detailed study helps.

Wayne will speak Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM (plenary #1). His title is “Scripture and Myth: Literal or Allegorical Meaning? Should we understand Biblical texts as myths?” The topic is the proposal by several Christian writers that God allowed nonhistorical myths in the Bible to teach inerrant truths.

Corey Miller is the president and CEO of Ratio Christi, an international campus ministry focusing on Christian apologetics. He grew up in Utah as a seventh-generation Latter-day Saint before coming to Christ in 1988. He has served on pastoral staff at four churches and taught nearly 100 college courses in philosophy, theology, rhetoric, and comparative religions at notable places such as Purdue and Indiana Universities. He has written or co-authored two books on philosophy and three books on Mormonism. He holds masters degrees in philosophy, biblical studies, and in philosophy of religion and ethics. His PhD is in philosophical theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is passionate about defending the truth of the Gospel in winsome and bold ways. 

Corey will speak Friday evening at 7:45 PM (plenary #2). His title is “Transforming Lives, Transforming Institutions, and Transforming Western Civilization.” This is no longer grandma’s America. How did we get into this cultural revolution, and how can we transform it for good? Hint: all eyes on the university! There is something everyone can do to prepare to influence it and to defend against the poison spewing out of it. This is a call to pastors and clergy, professors and educators, parents and grandparents, philanthropists and donors, political allies and prayers, Everyone must pay attention and prepare for our third ideological revolution.

Ex-Cult Panel Discussion. The third plenary session will be an open panel discussion and interview with former members of cults and deep religious error. The panelists will include James Walker (former LDS), Eric Pement (former RLDS), Ivani Greppi (former Umbanda priestess), Chris (former Shincheonji), and Andre Traversa (former Urantia Book devotee).

The moderator will be Mark Roggeman, a former police officer and special trainer to law enforcement on abusive or coercive social groups. Mark is an evangelical Christian counselor with Haven Ministries in Denver, Colorado. There will be an opportunity for public questions.

The open discussion will be Saturday morning at 10:00 AM (plenary #3).

Steve Matthews is a cult researcher who has closely studied the established sects (Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, the Baha’i Faith, etc.) and is strategically focusing on more recent movements which must be dealt with by the next generation (such as the International Churches of Christ, the World Mission Society Church of God, Shincheonji, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism). Having looked at several high demand groups, he is convinced that to understand and respond to these movements, one must evaluate them from both a theological and a behavioral perspective. Steve is involved in several apologetics projects and holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Trinity International University.

Steve will speak Saturday afternoon at 2:15 PM (plenary #4). His topic will be “Burning Man and Transformational Festivals.”

John V. Morgan is an ordained bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). He has been the lead pastor of the Restoration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, since 1998. He is a Bible teacher, camp meeting and crusade speaker, writer, and music recording artist who brings a word of encouragement, healing, and restoration to those who are wounded and hurting.

Pastor Morgan will close the conference on Saturday at 5:00 PM (plenary #5). His title will be “Is Jesus Enough?”

Workshop Leaders

Listings are alphabetical by last name. See the Program Schedule for the times and places.

George Carneal was raised by a Southern Baptist minister. For years he struggled with his Christian faith and a same-sex attraction. George walked a painful journey through a secular world at odds with homosexuality, and a religious world that is hostile to homosexuals. George spent 25 years immersed in the homosexual lifestyle and shares how he was delivered from that bondage in his testimony From Queer to Christ. He is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts.

Chris was recruited to join the Shincheonji sect by a former girlfriend. For several years he was a devoted follower of this movement, which teaches that Jesus was a created being who invisibly returned to earth in 1966 in Korea. He now helps expose the false teaching of this movement.

David Clark is a Christian countercult apologist, a professional Thought Reform consultant, and a court-certified expert on cults. He was a member of Church of the Living Word from 1972 to 1974. This pseudo-Christian movement, also known as “The Walk,” was a predecessor to the New Apostolic Reformation. In 1983, Clark was a script writer and associate producer for Vain Glory, a documentary by filmmaker Tony Cox, who joined the Walk after his marriage to Yoko Ono collapsed, remaining for several years. In recent years, he has been an instructor on cults for the Pastor’s Bible College, Hyderabad, India.

Shanda Fulbright is a wife, mom to three boys, and the host of the Her Faith Inspires podcast where she takes cultural issues and tackles them with biblical truth. She is the co-author of Let’s Get Real: Examining the Evidence for God with Dr. Frank Turek, as well as Train Your Brain: An Introduction to Logic. She teaches apologetics to middle schoolers at Online Christian Courses, and she teaches students of all ages the basics of Christian apologetics. Shanda stresses the importance of biblical literacy as the path to a biblical worldview.

Ivani Greppi was introduced to the Umbanda (Yoruba) Religion in Brazil at the age of fourteen. She was considered a medium from birth due to her psychic “gifts” of seeing the spirit world from early childhood. Then she found deliverance through Jesus Christ. Her testimony, From Spirit Guides to the Holy Spirit, is available in English and Portuguese from her website, ivanigreppi.com

Bill Honsberger is a missionary with Haven Ministries and has been sharing the Gospel with New Agers, Buddhists, Hindus, Witches, Mormons, JWs, Scientologists, atheists and anyone else he can talk to! He has reached ABD status at the University of Denver in Theology, Philosophy and Cultural Theory. He has taught for many years at Colorado Christian University, Denver Seminary, Colorado Early Colleges, Colorado Community College, Arapahoe Community College, Calvary Chapel Training Center in the Philippines and other Bible Colleges in the Denver metro area. His wonderful wife Terri and he have eight children and thirteen grandchildren.

Steve Lagoon is the president of Religion Analysis Service, a countercult and Christian apologetics ministry based in Minnesota since 1946 and publisher of the quarterly journal The Discerner since 1947. Steve has a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and is the author of several books, including his most recent Jehovah’s Witnesses Examined: A Biblical, Theological, and Historical Critique of the Watchtower Organization.

James Lopez spent 35 years in a hyper-charismatic, Spanish-speaking Pentecostal church. In 1996, he began the study of Christian doctrine and apologetics with Midwest Christian Outreach, and in 1999 began attending Calvary Chapel, which has a more traditional approach to Christian spirituality and interpretation. He has been involved in bilingual worship music ministry for most of his life. James is the Executive Director of EMNR.

Rafael Martinez is an exhorter with the Church of God (Cleveland) and has been involved in countercult work since 1983. He has a bachelor’s degree from Lee University and double majored in Pastoral Studies and Christian Education. He directs Spiritwatch Ministries and was the main consultant for the HBOMax docuseries “The Way Down” (trailer) on Gwen Shamblin and the Remnant Fellowship cult. He currently assists the pastoral ministry at the Central Church of God in Portage, Indiana, with the devoted aid of his wife Elizabeth, an experienced pastor’s wife and prayer warrior.

Steve Matthews is a cult researcher who has studied the established sects and is strategically focusing on more recent movements which must be dealt with by the next generation of Christian researchers. Having looked at several high demand/high control groups, he is convinced that to understand and respond to these movements, one must evaluate them from both a theological and a behavioral perspective. Steve is involved in several apologetics projects and holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Trinity International University.

Barbara Pement, formerly continuity director of ABC in Battle Creek, MI, and senior editor for Cornerstone magazine, is a writer, teacher, married mother of 3, and grandmother of 3. She joined Jesus People USA in her 20s where she met her husband Eric of 42 years. They left Jesus People USA in July 2000. Barbara recently authored Was … Was That Jesus? 23 Years in a Jesus Commune: A Memoir. Barbara has a BA in journalism from Bradley University and studied broadcasting at Columbia College. A children’s leader for Bible Study Fellowship, she also cohosts Three Black Moms on YouTube.

Eric Pement is a chapter director for Ratio Christi at the University of North Florida. A former member of the RLDS Church, he found Christ in college. He has been involved with Christian apologetics since the age of 21, and has served with several ministries. He has two masters degrees (MDiv, MBA) and has been on the board of EMNR for 35 years. He and his wife Barbara are members of Harvest Jacksonville and Restoration Church.

Mark Tabladillo Ph.D. works full-time for Microsoft, where he is a Cloud Solution Architect and internal leader of the AI & ML Connected Community (with 16K members). He provides clients with guidance on building enterprise-ready solutions on AI and Machine Learning. He volunteers as Southeast Regional Director for Ratio Christi, whose ministry is kingdom building through apologetics and evangelism on college campuses. He is from Atlanta, GA and his home local church is Passion City Church. He has presented on the topics of AI and Christianity for the past five years

Keith Tolbert was the founder and director of the American Religions Center in Trenton, Michigan (now closed), publisher of the Directory of Cult Research Organizations and the ARC Cult Resource Guide in the 1990s. He is now doing both commercial and private cross-platform software programming, with special interest in religious studies and databases.

Andre Traversa was born to first-generation immigrants from Italy and Ukraine. Blind from birth, Andre spent much of his childhood reading books, daydreaming, and thinking. As a teenager, Andre received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, he was recruited into a New Age religion and strayed from his faith for a long time. He returned to Christ in 2010 and has never looked back since. Andre manages a small PR firm. He is currently resides in Chicago but his real home is heaven.

L.L. (Don) Veinot Jr is co-founder and president of Midwest Christian Outreach, a national apologetics ministry. He and his wife of 51 years, Joy, have been missionaries to cults and new religious movements since 1987. Don is co-author of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret; A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life; and a contributor to Preserving Evangelical Unity: Welcoming Diversity in Non-Essentials. He co-hosts “The Unknown Webcast” each week on YouTube for Midwest Christian Outreach. Don is a charter member of the International Society of Christian Apologetics and is also the current President of EMNR.

James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, is a former Mormon with over thirty years of experience in the field of Christian evangelism, apologetics, and interfaith evangelism. He has been interviewed as an expert on new religious movements and cults on a variety of network television programs including Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, and PBS NewsHour. He has spoken at hundreds of churches, universities, and seminaries throughout the US and internationally. He teaches at Arlington Baptist University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Concise Guide to Today’s Religions and Spirituality and What The Qur’an Really Teaches about Jesus.

Keith Walker and his wife Becky founded Evidence Ministries in 1995 as a missionary outreach to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Keith has been full-time with Evidence Ministries since 1999. The Walkers were both saved in 1988; Keith at a Billy Graham Crusade in Rochester, New York, and Becky through an independent study of 1st John in Mililani, Hawaii. Keith jokes that he has a bachelor’s degree in Bible from Emmaus Bible College and two black belts in cult evangelism: one in Jehovah-jitsu and another in Mormon-fu. With thousands of hours of experience in witnessing to cult followers, he enjoys training Christians how to witness with gentleness, respect, practical wisdom, and humor.

Donald T. Williams, PhD, is  Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College and a past president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America, he has spent several summers training local pastors in Africa and India for Church Planting International. He is a border dweller, permanently camped out on the borders between serious scholarship and pastoral ministry, theology and literature, Narnia and Middle-earth. He is the author of fourteen books, including Answers from Aslan: The Enduring Apologetics of C. S. Lewis (Tampa: DeWard, 2023).

David Wolcott is a Christian apologist focusing on primary-source research of Progressive Christianity and understanding the Bible in the original cultural contexts. On a four-year plan to learn how to read eight languages, including biblical Hebrew and koine Greek, David is an avid reader of all kinds of books, and is passionate about helping Christians learn to apply the wisdom shared through many excellent books via his Academy at https://thedavidwolcott.com.