Youth Ministries Leadership

Working with you to raise up Christ-centered Disciples

Purpose: Youth Ministry Team
Purpose: Youth Ministry Team

To discern vision and provide direction for Church of God Youth Ministries in North America

History: Youth Ministry Team
History: Youth Ministry Team

The Youth Ministry Team (YMT) came into existence to help support local Church of God congregations in their ministry with youth. This team gives much-needed representation for youth ministry across the United States and Canada. The leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, IN, leads the team.

Andy Stephenson – IYC Director and YMT Director


Andy holds a bachelor’s degree from Mid-America Christian University, a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Andy came on staff at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, IN in 2001 and is currently the Associate Director for US/Canada ministries. Andy’s desire to raise up Christ-centered disciples led him to write Smooth Hand Offs – passing the baton of faith to the next generation, a challenge to individuals and leaders to pass the baton of faith to the next generations.

Andy and his wife Candace were married in 2005 and had their first daughter in 2007 and their second little princess in 2012.

Andy is passionate about teenagers and seeing God use them to impact their world. He speaks to youth and adults in various settings across the world and is focused on helping to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered disciples.

Contact Andy at



RW Moody


R.W. has been working with students since 1998, when he graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Christian Ministries.  He recently accepted a position as lead pastor at First Church of God in Miamisburg, Ohio.  Previously, he served as the Pastor of Student and Family Ministries at Parkgate Community Church in Pasadena, Texas.  RW, his wife Joy and their three children,  Caleb, Madeline, and Ella, enjoy hockey and camping together.

Contact RW at



Adam Rentas

rentas-adamAdam Rentas is the student ministries pastor at First Church of God in St. Joe, Michigan. He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and later attended Calvary Chapel Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2003, Adam answered the call to full-time ministry and joined the staff at a church in Northern California, where he served for nine years before moving to Florida in 2012. In September of 2016, he moved to Michigan to start a new journey as student ministries pastor at First Church of God. Adam is passionate about introducing students to Jesus and empowering the next generation of Christ-centered disciples. Adam and his wife Rachel were married in 2003 and have four amazing children. He enjoys time with his family, Seattle Seahawks football, offshore fishing, and playing softball.

He can be reached at

Purpose: Youth Network Team
Purpose: Youth Network Team

To build a network of youth leaders in the church of god, together raising up a new generation of christ-centered leaders.

History: Youth Network Team
History: Youth Network Team

The Youth Network Team (YNT) came into existence to help fulfill the vision of the North American Youth Ministries of the Church of God. It consists of qualified, gifted Church of God youth ministry practitioners distributed regionally across the United States and Canada. The leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana heads up the team.

Western States Region



Chris Leon

leon-chrisChris Leon is currently serving in student ministry at Community of Hope Church in Maricopa, Arizona. He was born and raised in Fresno, California. He received his degree in Church Ministries from Patten University. He married his best friend Katie in 2003. They are both proud parents of 3 incredible children. The youngest one is the only girl so their family motto for her is #sidehugstillsheis30. The family has been serving in youth ministry since 2002. Chris is passionate about extending the love of Christ, building authentic, outward relationships with students, so they might experience an inward relationship with Christ.  He is also passionate about mentoring. He coaches youth football and basketball to fulfill the gap of mentorship in the lives of young people. The Leon family time usually includes playing or watching sports and something on the grill. Chris’ hobbies include grilling, sports and collecting and listening to vinyl records.

Contact Chris at


Justin Brown

brown-justiJustin Brown has served in full-time Youth Ministry since 2007, after graduating from Mid-America Christian University with a degree in Youth and Music Ministry.  He is currently serving as the High School Youth Pastor at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, WY.  His passion is to disciple and mentor students to leave the safety of Youth Ministry and go into the “grown up” world.  Seemingly with each day, his desire to mentor the next generation of youth leaders grows deeper.

He and his wife, Sara, were married in 2006 and have welcomed 2 beautiful girls and a boy to their family.  They love getting outside, whether it be impromptu hikes in the mountains wearing flip-flops, or planned summits.  Personally, he loves to run, hike, and read.  But more than these, he loves to chase his kids around as the “daddy monster” and date his wife.

Contact Justin at


David Hughes

David has been serving as Director of Student Ministries at Mountain Park Church in Phoenix, Arizona since 2014. He gets passionate about discipling the next generation for Christ and helping them understand and pursue their unique role in God’s story. He has been married to Brook since May of 2014 and they are both passionate about traveling and family. David also loves house projects, hiking, and wood working.

Contact David at


Northeast Region



Kyle Cooper

cooper-kyleKyle has served as pastor to students at Fairfax Community Church, outside Washington, DC, since 1997. He’s been involved in student ministry for more than twenty years. Kyle believes that students can lead now and that God has uniquely gifted each person to make an impact in the world. Kyle has been married to Loretta since 1991; they have two children. Outside of ministry, you can find Kyle running or on his boat.

Contact Kyle at


Jessica Uitvlugt

uitvlugt-jessica_crJessica has served as Pastor to Students at Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia since 2008. She has a Masters in Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary, and was ordained in 2015. The most energizing part of her job is walking alongside teenagers as they wrestle with making their faith their own. She married Kevin in 2015 and they recently welcomed baby daughter, Ella. When she’s not buying coffee for the nearest teenager she can find, she’s running, reading, or in yoga.

Contact Jessica at


Central States Region



Micah Thurston 


Micah has been in ministry since he graduated from Mid-America Christian University in 2009.  He has served in Wyoming and now is the Student Pastor at Crosspointe Fellowship Church in Kilgore, Texas. He has a passion to train adults to become invested youth leaders and to see students make a difference for Christ in the world around them.

Micah and his wife Jerrica married in 2012. Jerrica is a photographer and also a passionate youth leader.  They have one child, Micah Lyan, who was born in 2013. They have three dogs named Jack, Obi, and Leia.

Micah enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, sports, playing music, and Dallas Cowboys football.

Micah can be reached at


Southeast Region



Mickey Taylor

taylor-mickeyMickey has served in student ministry since 1998.  He graduated from Warner Southern College in 2001 with a degree in Church Ministries.  He grew up in Blacksburg VA, and is a huge Virginia Tech fan. He and Robyn were married in 1999, and they have two beautiful girls.  Together, they serve the students at Bayside Church, in Safety Harbor, Florida.  He also serves on the Florida Student Ministry team.  In his free time, Mickey loves watching college football, hanging out with his family, and going to the beach.

Contact Mickey at


Matt Hale

matt_haleMatt is the Pastor of Student Ministries at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky and has served his community since September of 2016. Before arriving in Kentucky, Matt and his wife Bekah served in Vero Beach, FL, where Matt invested into the student ministries of First Church of God as the Student Ministries Intern. Matt is passionate about seeing students pursue a relationship with Christ.

Originally from the St. Louis area, Matt is a diehard STL Cardinals fan. He enjoys playing and watching sports as well as watching the newest Marvel movie on the big screen.

Matt can be reached via email at


Great Lakes Region



Tyler Williams

williams-tylerTyler has been ministering to teenagers in full-time ministry since January 2013. He is currently the youth pastor at BridgeWater Church in Hamilton, Ohio. He has a passion for investing in next-generation leaders and watching teenagers realize God’s unique call on their life. Tyler continually looks for ways to teach, coach, and mentor students in biblical teaching, desiring to help them grow in their relationship with God. His goal is to help them be successful as they follow the call God has placed on their lives.

Before entering full-time ministry, Tyler earned a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Anderson University. While attending AU, he had the opportunity to serve in youth ministry under the leadership of Mark Shaner, at East Side Church of God; Joshua Weiger, at Park Place Church of God; and Andy Stephenson, at Church of God Ministries.

Last but not least, Tyler is married to the love of his life, Jen. The couple just welcomed their first child, Liam, in September of 2017. He enjoys playing basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and guitar, as well as reading comic books.

Contact Tyler at


Nathanael Lyon

lyon-nathanaelNathanael has been serving as the Student Ministries Pastor at Salem Church of God in Clayton, OH since the spring of 2013. He has an overwhelming passion for investing in the lives of students, parents, and student ministry volunteers. Nathanael is committed to teaching students that they have the capacity in their world right now to make a difference and change their community in the name of Jesus.

Before entering full time ministry, Nathanael received his bachelor’s degrees in Education and History from Anderson University in 2012. He had the privilege of serving at Madison Park Church of God under Gretchen Dedina and Eric Reeder as a volunteer.

Outside of ministry, Nathanael has been married to his amazing wife, Kimmi, since 2013. The couple have one son, Ezra, who was born in 2015. He loves movies, music, Seattle sports (Go Hawks!), and playing basketball, soccer, and softball (even if he doesn’t play them well).

Contact Nathanael at


George Fultz

fultz-georgeGeorge L. Fultz II is the youth pastor at First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, under the leadership of Bishop Timothy J. Clarke. George received a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC, and also has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a concentration in pre-law from North Carolina A & T. His goal and passion is to preach a Real, Relevant, and Radical word that inspires youth and young adults to be souled out for God. Aside from ministry there is one thing that George does love greater and that’s the love for his wife, Cheylaina and his son “Prince” George L. Fultz III.

Contact George at


Abbie Craig


Abbie Craig currently serves as the Pastor of Youth Ministry at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Abbie met her husband, Brock, at church camp in 4th grade, and they were married on the same grounds where they first fell in love with the Lord and one another. The couple recently welcomed their first child, a son named Roman.  Abbie is drawn to seeking and inviting others into sacred spaces, especially those found hiding unexpectedly in the midst of everyday life. She spent time studying and serving in Rome, craves traveling, and thinks Indy is the most underrated city in the world. She loves a good cup of coffee, books that make her think, conversations that matter, and any day spent with family.  Abbie can be reached at

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