Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Ashley graduated magna cum laude from Erskine College, simultaneously receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She later received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2010, she became an adjunct professor of Biblical Studies at Belhaven University in Jackson.
Ashley served as Director of Women’s Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson from 2005 to 2011. She was the Event Coordinator for Engaging Disability from 2011 to 2013. During that time, her oldest child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two and a half. She soon began writing Christian education materials for children with autism.
Brandon, Mississippi is home to Ashley, her husband, John, and their three sons. They are members of Brandon Presbyterian Church. The family enjoys an expanding hobby farm which has a garden, heritage egg-laying hens, honey bees and a few Dexter cows.
To Contact Ashley: 601.540.8234
Associate Director, Ministry Development
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Joel graduated magna cum laude from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He met his wife, Holly, at Samford where both were business majors, active in Campus Outreach and new members of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
Joel later joined the staff of Campus Outreach where he served 18 years as Administrator, Missionary Team Leader in Japan and Director of the International Network, CO’s overseas mission agency. Recognizing his experiences in career ministry and as a father of a child with a disability, Briarwood called Joel in 2006 to become the first full-time director of the church’s special needs ministry, Special Connections. In 2011, the scope of his work broadened when he joined the staff of Engaging Disability as Associate Director.
Joel, Holly and their young adult daughter and son reside in Hoover, Alabama, part of metro Birmingham, and are members of Briarwood Church. They are self-avowed geeks, avid fans of sci-fi movies, collectible LEGOs, and all things computer.
To Contact Joel: 205.218.9617
Associate Director, Congregational Ministry
Kristen is originally from Anderson, South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Regents University). After moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania she worked as an occupational therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in early intervention. Kristen’s interest in disability ministry began as she served families with young children in the nursery of Tenth Presbyterian. In 2007, she began Tenth’s special needs ministry and served there for nine years.
To Contact Kristen: 610.308.6787
Growing up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Cheryl had an interest in ministry from a young age. Her heart for missions grew through several mission trips as a senior high school youth leader. In 1998, she became a missionary with Mission to the World (MTW) serving as the Administrative Assistant with Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf in Jamaica. In 2006, she transferred to MTW’s Medical Department in Lawrenceville, Georgia where she was responsible for sending short-term medical mission teams to areas in this hemisphere and Africa.
In 2014, Cheryl relocated back to Lancaster and joined the staff of Engaging Disability as the Ministry Assistant. She uses her administrative gifts and international experience to support all the aspects of this ministry. She has a particular burden for serving caregivers and families of those with disabilities.
Cheryl is a member of Wheatland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster where she volunteers by helping a child with special needs. She knows sign language and dabbles in various hobbies. Her most recent endeavors have included cooking and baking, glass fusing, and jewelry making. She denies the accusation of being a foodie. Cheryl has remained a loyal Phillies fan through good years and bad (plus eight years living in Braves country) and also enjoys watching Penn State football.
To Contact Cheryl: 470.294.6229