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Christina and her husband, Dr. Don Allen pastor The Church @ War Hill in Georgia, a church with six campuses spanning from North Georgia to the Florida Panhandle. At War Hill, Christina is an integral part of the Teaching Team, leads the Women's Ministry, and provides mentorship to pastors' wives throughout the southeastern region. Over the years, the Allens have been among the host pastors of the renowned North Georgia Revival, a global event that has seen over 50,000 people baptized and countless documented miracles. In addition to her pastoral responsibilities, Christina continues to work as a Nurse Practitioner at a local pediatric office, caring for the children in their community. We are so thrilled to announce Christina Allen as our Keynote Speaker for EMPOWER 2023!
Rev Emily Leatherbarrow, the President and Founder of Sister's of Grace along with her husband James have created a special home for children at risk of human trafficking. Not only does this home rescue girls but it also provides them with a unique mental health curriculum, healing programs, and a renewed sense of hope. Emily has dedicated over two decades of her life to preventing child labor and sexual slavery, serving in Thailand and West Africa. Now, she confronts the issue of human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. Emily has held her ordination through IMF since 2011. As an author and speaker, Reverend Leatherbarrow is passionate about sharing the gospel and raising awareness about human trafficking and the exploitation of children. She believes that part of her calling is to teach about and pray for the healing power of the Holy Spirit for those who have suffered trauma, oppression, and hopelessness. Over the past two decades, Emily has preached around the world, sharing the love of Christ in various settings, from prisons and churches to recovery centers, homeless shelters, and even grocery stores. She firmly believes that God has called us to protect the vulnerable and bring healing to the brokenhearted, relying on His grace and endless love! We cannot wait to be honored with Emily's presence at the EMPOWER conference for the 2nd year in a row!
Pastor Crystal has been actively involved in the local church for over twenty years with a special focus on community outreach. More recently, She has been serving as the Senior Pastor of Blessed Hope Christian Church since her husband Gary passed away in May of 2023. Blessed Hope is a volunteer-based church that is dedicated to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Lincoln Park, Michigan and the surrounding areas. Before her involvement in the ministry, Crystal worked in Human Resources/Labor Relations at Ford Motor Company and Central Transport Trucking. Additionally, she has been a church organist and choir director for most of her adult life, starting at the age of 13. Crystal reflects on the Scripture verse, 1 Timothy 4:10 NIV, reflecting her belief in the importance of striving and working diligently, placing hope in the living God who is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe. When speaking at events, Crystal often shares stories of God's active presence and intervention in people's lives. She is currently working on a book titled "The Blessed Hope Effect" which focuses on this subject. Once completed, the book will be available for free download from the Blessed Hope website at www.bhope.church.
Pastor Anna serves as the Discipleship Pastor at Freshwater Church in Waconia, Minnesota. Her passion lies in the practical application of God's Word to every day real-life struggles. Anna finds joy in encouraging others to embrace their unique God-given gifts and challenging any obstacles that may hinder them from fulfilling their calling, particularly among women. Anna's path to vocational ministry was unconventional and organic, but she has found fulfillment in serving her church community and has been licensed through IMF since 2021. We are excited to see Anna again for EMPOWER 2023!
Pastor Micah, along with her husband, are the founders of a non-profit organization called Youngadultstoday. She is a licensed Pastor who wears many hats including being a co-host of the Young Adults Today Podcast, an author, speaker, and teacher. Her passion lies in empowering young adults to reach their full potential in every aspect of life. She firmly believes in seeing the dreams and passions of the next generation come to life through the teachings of the Word of God. Throughout her journey, Micah has had the privilege of working with numerous remarkable young adults who are searching for their identity and purpose in life. It brings her immense joy to invest in this generation and guide them towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. One area that particularly ignites Micah's passion is the topic of purity and its alignment with scripture. She finds fulfillment in reading, researching, speaking, and preaching about singleness, dating, engagement, and marriage. In 2017, she published her first book titled Worth the Wait: Because I'm Made for You. This journal is specifically designed for those with a longing for marriage, providing guidance on praying, preparing, and trusting God for a future spouse.
Pam Hulstrand is the founder of On Bended Knee Ministries with a passion to build strong marriages. She has been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years alongside her husband, Eric. Knowing up close and personal the demands and challenges of full- time ministry, Pam has a heart for other ministry marriages. She has been a Prepare-Enrich Trainer for 17 years and a facilitator for over 30 years. As an adjunct professor she has taught the Wedding and Marriage Class at the Master's Institute for 15 years. Pam is currently serving with her husband as the intentional interim pastoral team at Vision of Glory Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN.
Cindy McKittrick has been involved with Hope Harbor since 2009—three years as a teacher, three years as a member of the board of directors and has served as Executive Director for the ministry since January 2016. She shares the Hope Harbor story with anyone who will listen and testifies of God’s amazing work through the ministry. She has been married to Wade for 33 years. Cindy absolutely loves being a wife, a mom, and maybe most of all, being a grandma! She enjoys being with family, playing games, traveling, reading, going for walks, and spending time at their sweet little 500 square foot cabin. Cindy wears many hats and, like many others, has been faced with the challenges of living a priority-based life. Cindy strives to base professional decisions through the lens of balance while maintaining proper alignment which has allowed her to move from classroom teacher to leading a ministry all the while ensuring her priorities of faith and family are never compromised.