Dr. John M. Perkins was born into Mississippi poverty, the son of a sharecropper. He fled to California at 17 after his brother was murdered by a town marshal. In 1960, after becoming a Christian, he returned to his home state to share the good news of God's love. His outspoken support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings, and imprisonment. Together, he and his wife, Dr. Vera Perkins, founded the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation of Jackson, Mississippi. He is also the co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Christian Community Development Association. Despite dropping out of school in third grade, he has authored 14 books, including the upcoming Love is the Final Fight (2017), and he is an international speaker and teacher on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership, and community development. He has been recognized for his work with 13 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across the United States.
Eugene Cho is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington, as well as the founder and executive director of the Q Café, an innovative nonprofit community café and music venue. He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW), a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised more than $3.5 million dollars for projects to empower those living in extreme global poverty. He is the author of Overrated: Are We More in Love With the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?
Dr. Ron Sider is known worldwide for providing leadership to the movement of evangelicals who recognize not just the spiritual, but also the social and political implications, or high view of Scripture. He is the author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, as well as 30 other books, including the recently released Nonviolent Action. He is the founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action, which has provided an organizational outlet for Christians committed to holistic ministry for more than three decades. He is a professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy and director of the Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer Theological Seminary, and he is an ordained minister in the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Churches.
Unfortunately, Steve will no longer be able to be with us at Compassion Conference due to some personal complications. We are pleased to announce that Tim Streett will be taking his place to teach a “Poverty 101” workshop
Bob Lupton, PhD, has lived in and invested more than 40 years of his life in inner-city Atlanta. In response to a call he first felt while serving in Vietnam, he left a budding business career to work with urban youth. He and his wife, Peggy, have devoted their lives to the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods where families can flourish and children can grow into healthy adults. He is a Christian community developer, an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. As founder of FCS Urban Ministries, he has developed two mixed income subdivisions, organized a multi-racial congregation, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families, and initiated a wide range of human services in his community. He is the author of several books including Toxic Charity, Theirs Is the Kingdom, and Charity Detox. He servers as speaker, strategist, and inspirer with those throughout the nation who seek to establish God's Shalom in the city.
Dr. David A. Busic was elected General Superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene in June 2013. At the time of his election, he had been president of Nazarene Theological Seminary since 2011. After serving as an associate pastor in Oklahoma and Kansas, he served as senior pastor for three Churches of the Nazarene: Vineyard Community Church (Livermore, California), Central Church (Lenexa, Kansas), and First Church (Bethany, Oklahoma). During his tenure at Bethany First, he helped initiate and establish the Swaziland Partnership in 2007 to help reduce the HIV/AIDS rate and assist vulnerable children in Swaziland, Africa. He has published numerous articles and books, including Perfectly Imperfect: Character Sketches from the New Testament. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Rev. Celestin Chishibanji is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He has served as NCM field coordinator in the Central Field of the Church of the Nazarene’s Africa Region for more than 12 years. Apart from coordinating compassionate ministries, he also trains leaders and local churches to engage in compassionate ministries, and he educates on HIV/AIDS prevention and management. He has also served as district superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene. Celestin was awarded his master's degree in religion from Africa Nazarene University in 2006.
DEIRDRE BROWER LATZ
Dr. Deirdre Brower Latz serves as principal (president) and senior lecturer in pastoral and social theology at Nazarene Theological College in Manchester, England. She teaches in the area of practical theology and is particularly interested in issues relating to urban mission and ministry, John Wesley, Wesleyan theology, contextual and practical theology, and the area of social justice. She holds a master’s and bachelor’s in pastoral theology from Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, and a PhD from the University of Manchester. She writes regularly for Preachers’ Magazine and has chapters published in a range of books, mostly focused on helping us to understand holiness in the ordinary walks of life (Renovating Holiness, Conversations on Holiness). She has also written for a recent publication looking at the nature of the church (Essential Church: A Wesleyan Ecclesiology).
Dr. Gustavo A. Crocker was elected the 41st General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene in June 2013. Prior to his election, he had served as Eurasia regional director since 2004. Previously, he was senior vice-president for programs at World Relief. He joined World Relief after serving as director of field management for Compassion International. Other ministry included several years as administrative director of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries International in Kansas City, Missouri, and three years as regional coordinator of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries out of Quito, Ecuador. A Guatemalan by birth, he was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene on the Mid-Atlantic District. He holds a master’s degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati, where he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. As a Latin American Leadership Scholar, he earned a PhD in organizational leadership at Regent University.