2015 New Campus Ministers
August 17, 2015
At RUF, we are excited that 19 new campus ministers are beginning their first year serving on campus with RUF, and 5 new works are being planted! Please be in prayer for the men below and all of our campus ministers as the begin reaching students for Christ and equipping them to serve this school year.
Wake Forest – John Bourgeois
John Bourgeois is the RUF campus minister at Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Mary Clarke, met in college while serving with FOCUS, a para-church youth ministry for independent school students. After graduating from Tulane University in 2006, John spent the next 9 years in Virginia cutting his teeth in ministry. John served on the staff of FOCUS in Richmond (2007-'09), as the interim RUF Campus Minister at VCU (2009-'10), and on the pastoral staff of City Church of Richmond (2010-'15) After John graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2013, he served as the Associate Pastor of City Church of Richmond for two years. They moved to Winston-Salem in May 2015 and live there with their two children: Leo and Mary Landon. Together, John and Mary Clarke love exploring cities, tending their garden, and filling their home with friends old and new.
University of North Carolina-Wilmington – Jay Denton**
Jay is a North Carolina native. He grew up in the eastern part of the state and went to college at Gardner-Webb University in the foothills. He met his wife while working at a summer camp and they were married in 2006. Jay and Bet moved to Charlotte, NC where he studied at Reformed Theological Seminary and interned at Uptown Church. After finishing seminary in 2010, Jay and Bet moved to Raleigh help plant Midtown Community Church. After 5 wonderful years in Raleigh, Jay, Bet and their girls have moved to Wilmington to start up RUF at UNCW. He can't wait to meet you! Jay enjoys coffee, modern architecture, cooking, flip flops and wearing t-shirts whenever possible. Jay and Bet have two little girls (Laine and Remy) and puppy named Lucy.
University of Arkansas – Mike Ford
Mike is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv) and the University of Missouri. Before that, he played football at Wheaton College for two years, broke his ankle, and transferred to Mizzou where he played (intramural) football for three more years. While at Mizzou, he met and married his sweet wife (who, though being married to Mike, has remained sweet). Mike and Deanna have three children: Luke (3 yrs.), Eleanor (1 yr.), and Peter (3 mo.) – each of whom looks eerily similar to the other. Mike loves reading George MacDonald and Russian authors, trying new things, and secretly enjoys cliché bios. Team Ford enjoys hot coffee (emphasis on "hot" people), eating dinner, going on walks after dinner, doing anything outdoors and writing bios in the third person.
University of Minnesota – Brandon Haan
Brandon is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls in 2006 and Covenant Theological Seminary in 2010. He has ministered to youth in Missouri, Florida and South Dakota over the past several years and is looking forward to serving college students at the University of Minnesota. He has been married to his wife, Erin, for almost 9 years and they are expecting their first child in October.
Christopher Newport University – Jeff Lee
Rev. Jeff Lee graduated from Christopher Newport University and is excited to be ministering at his alma mater!
Jeff was born in Northern Virginia and grew up in Leesburg. He played baseball, football, and basketball at Stone Bridge High School. After high school he went to Christopher Newport University, where he received his bachelors in Business Administration. Feeling the Lord calling him to full-time ministry he enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary (DC Campus) where he received his Masters of Divinity. Formerly, Jeff was a pastor at a local PCA church in Loudoun County.
Jeff, a Northern Virginia native, loves the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, and Washington Bullets. He also skateboards, snowboards, surfs, plays golf, guitar, drums, and tennis from time to time. Jeff is also married to his better half, Alisha.
Alisha grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and graduated from Bloomsburg University. After Bloomsburg, Alisha attended Vanderbilt University and received her Masters in Deaf Education. Jeff and Alisha have a little boy, Jeffrey Jr. and two dogs.
Western Kentucky University – Ross Lockwood
Ross Lockwood was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He attended Mississippi State University where he received a degree in Communication and, more importantly, met his beautiful wife, Anne Todd. Ross and Anne Todd married in December 2010 and they celebrated the birth of their son, Bo, in November 2014. Ross graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in the May 2015. Ross and Anne Todd were both involved with RUF at Mississippi State and are very excited that God has called them to Western Kentucky University where they can share the good news of King Jesus with students and play a small part of his Kingdom advancing.
Washington & Lee – Lewis Lovett
Lewis Lovett is a native of Knoxville, TN and graduated from Wofford College and Covenant Theological Seminary. Before attending seminary, Lewis worked as a youth director in Charlottesville, VA for 4 years. Maggie was born in Madison, VA and graduated from Washington & Lee in 2007! Lewis and Maggie were married in Lee Chapel at W&L in 2008 and have two wonderful daughters, Ellie Kate (1/30/12) and Ruthie (5/15/13). They are thrilled to be serving with RUF at a university and in a city that they love so much. In their free time, the Lovetts enjoy playing outside as a family and sharing good food with good friends. You’ll find them on their back porch most nights.
University of Utah – Wes Martin
Wes Martin grew up in Oklahoma and has has a Bachelors and Masters of Music from the University of Oklahoma, where he became a Christian through RUF. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theology Seminary in St. Louis, MO and then moved to Salt Lake City, UT with his family. Wes has been married to Kaitlin since May 2010 and they have three kids: Abigail (August 2011), Jerram (February 2013), and Ezri (Halloween 2014). Before seminary Wes was a trumpet player and teacher in the Oklahoma City area (and played on cruise ships). While in seminary, Wes worked for the #1 DJ company in St. Louis, MO, Rockstar DJs, while still playing trumpet. Wes loves hanging out with people, playing complex board games, watching movies, and reading good books. He’s always up for a good conversation over coffee or food, or just hanging out playing games, so feel free to give him a call or email him. He and Kaitlin would love to have you over!
Rice University –Juan Carlos Martinez
Juan Carlos likes to say he is Mexican by birth and blood, American by citizenship, and a Texan by the grace of God. He moved to Houston in 1996 to attend Rice University, where he attained bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering. After working in the semiconductor industry for nine years, sensing a call to ministry, he decided to attend Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, where he attained a Masters of Divinity in 2012. After graduating seminary, JuanCarlos accepted a call as an assistant pastor at Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Houston.
In 2004, Juan Carlos married his high school sweetheart, Samara. Juan Carlos and Samara are incredibly blessed to have a son, Santiago Daniel, and a daughter, Karenina Valeska.
University of Delaware – Nick Owens**
Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Nick began college at DePaul University in Chicago, IL as a jazz performance major (guitar) just 6 weeks after becoming a Christian. Desiring to be a minister of this good news about Jesus that had just turned Nick's world upside down, he left DePaul, soon after met Erin, and attended Moody Bible Institute (Chicago). Nick and Erin, a.k.a. "Team Owens," married in 2007. Nick attended Wheaton College Graduate School, graduating with a M.A. in Biblical Exegesis in 2011. While at Wheaton, Nick and Erin served in youth ministry and began to dream about serving in college ministry with RUF someday. Nick and Erin then moved east to Philadelphia, PA where they both studied and graduated in 2014 from Westminster Theological Seminary. While at Westminster Nick worked with Greek InterVaristy at the University of Pennsylvania. This past year, Erin has been a counseling intern with CCEF and Nick has served as director of college ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA. They are very excited about launching the new RUF ministry at the University of Delaware.
Vanderbilt University – Richie Sessions
Richie is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. He and Laura met in college and were married in 2000. He graduated from Belmont University and attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. In 2004 he graduated from RTS with an Masters of Divinity. He ministered as the Associate Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, MS from 2004-2007 before becoming the Assistant Pastor to Young Adults at Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2009, Richie was called to be the Senior Pastor at IPC where he served until 2015. In 2015 Richie was called to RUF at Vanderbilt. Richie and Laura have three children, Mamie, Griffin, and Margaret.
Pennsylvania State University RUF International – Richard Smith**
Richard Smith is the RUF-I campus minister at Penn State University. He is a graduate of both Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Lynne, his wife of 25 years is a paraprofessional in the Dougherty County School System in Albany, Georgia. They have one son, Rick (22), who is currently at Georgia Southern University, and one daughter, Evelyn (19), who will be moving to State College, Pennsylvania with them. Richard and Lynne are excited to be working with the many international students at Penn State University.
University of Alabama – Stewart Swain
Stewart was born in Ohio but grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL, a small suburb 45 minutes outside of Chicago. After graduating from Glenbard West High School Stewart decided to chase his dreams of one day living in a warmer and more football-saturated climate by moving to Texas. SMU (Southern Methodist University) in Dallas provided this warmer climate but still left a lot to be desired on the football field. Much more importantly he became a Christian at SMU through the ministry of RUF. Upon graduation from SMU in 2010 with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Spanish he moved to Winston-Salem, NC to work for RUF at Wake Forest University. These years at Wake made him consider a more permanent calling towards vocational ministry and so in June of 2012 he moved back to Dallas, TX to begin a Masters in Divinity at Redeemer Seminary. Stewart graduated from Redeemer in May of 2015 and is beyond excited to be the Campus Minister at The University of Alabama.
Florida Gulf Coast University – Lucas Tanner**
Lucas was born and raised in Naples, Florida. He met his wife Bobbilee while studying business at the University of Florida. They got married in November 2004 and have three lovely children: Isaac, Sadie and Molly. Lucas earned a Master of Divinity from Knox Theological Seminary and has served in student ministry for over 12 years.
Covenant College – Scott Wells
Scott grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a graduate of James Madison University and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. He has also studied with the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF) in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
Scott’s diploma from JMU says, “Computer Information Systems,” (and he’s worked as a professional computer geek), yet he invested the majority of his time at James Madison involved in campus ministry. Scott and Jennifer met as students at JMU and married in 1996. Scott and Jennifer have lived in the Chattanooga area, with their children, Karisa and Harrison, since 2005.
Prior to the call to RUF at Covenant College, Scott served in campus ministry in Virginia, was an assistant pastor in the PCA in Tennessee, and most recently was on the staff of Harvest USA in the former Mid-South office in Chattanooga. Scott and Jennifer are delighted to return once again to ministry in the university setting with the students at the “Campus in the Clouds” on Lookout Mountain.
Georgia Tech RUF International – Tracey West
Tracey is originally from Savannah, Georgia. He did his undergraduate studies at Georgia Southern University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. At Georgia Southern, he met his wife, Suzanne, in Reformed University Fellowship. They got married in 2011. After spending a year and a half in Augusta, GA, they moved to Charlotte, NC in 2012 where Tracey attended Reformed Theological Seminary and Suzanne worked with Novant Health as a nurse.
Tennessee Tech – Gavin Breeden
Gavin grew up in Martin, TN and attended college at UT-Martin where he studied Philosophy. While at UT-Martin he was involved with RUF where he met Shalaine, a cross country/track star from Henderson, KY. They married in June 2006 and moved to Charlotte, NC for Gavin to attend seminary. He graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte in 2011 and the Breeden's moved to Mississippi where Gavin was an Assistant Pastor for four years. Gavin and Shalaine have two energetic children -- Addie Pearl (born March 2011) and Miles (born May 2013) -- and two lazy dachshunds. The Breeden's love having people in their home, playing board games, reading, and watching movies.
Tulane University – Josiah Carey
Josiah is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in history. He then moved to New Orleans, where he taught middle school through TeachNOLA and participated in the life of Redeemer Church New Orleans. He returned to Charlottesville for medical school for two years before withdrawing to attend Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. He graduated in 2014 and returned to New Orleans to to work for Redeemer Church. He's excited to continue to serve in New Orleans at Tulane University!
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – John Bennett
John, a born-and-raised Texan from Houston, is a graduate of Houston Baptist University (BA, Business; MA, Theology) and Fuller Seminary (MDIV). He began his MDIV at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he met his wife, Stefanie (University of the Incarnate Word, BA, Interior Design; MA, Christian Education). John has been a teacher and church staff member (Children, Youth, College, Small Groups) and started the college ministry at his church in Pasadena, Texas. John's interests are studying theology, eating Mexican food, and spending time with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier, Bandit.
University of California – Irvine – Chad Brewer**
Chad Brewer is moving from working at the University of Minnesota to plant an RUF at the University of California – Irvine.
I am a man of many loves & likes. I love my girlies, my wife Christie and my three daughters (Charis, Chara, and Caelin). I love to play sports (you don’t want to play me in Ping Pong). I love 70’s music (Queen) and 80’s music (Madonna, Kenny Loggins). I like movies a lot (Dumb & Dumber, No Country for Old Men). I like to read history. I used to be able to dance. I was a History major at Shippensburg University in PA and a Theology major at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. I like to hang out with people. My dream growing up was to play Centerfield for the Baltimore Orioles. My secondary dream was to be the RUF campus minister at UCI.