Meet Our New Campus Ministers
July 17, 2019
We are thrilled to welcome these new campus ministers to our staff. Please pray for them as they begin their ministries on campus.
Michael Alsup, Auburn University RUF-I
Kelly and I are both Auburn graduates and we are excited to be back in Auburn working with RUF-I. We have a daughter, Katherine, who is a senior at Troy University. Kelly and I both grew up in Fairhope Alabama.
Austin Braasch, Arkansas State University
Austin is from Birmingham, AL and attended the University of Alabama where he graduated in 2014 (Roll Tide!). Austin met his beautiful wife of almost five years, Kristen, at Alabama where they were deeply involved in campus ministry. After graduating, Austin started working with the youth ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Birmingham and attended seminary at Beeson Divinity School. Kristen graduated from Physical Therapy school at UAB, and she has been a practicing PT since 2018. Both Austin and Kristen are very excited about joining the Red Wolves nation at Arkansas State University. They love their pug (Emma), good tacos, exploring new places, hanging out with college students, and talking about their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please email Austin if you would like to know more about RUF at ASU!
John Baber, UNC - Charlotte
John was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and pursued his bachelor's degree in Advertising at the University of Alabama. He met his wife, Mary Ann, working in Colorado the summer after his freshman year and they tied the knot in 2014. Shortly after graduation, John and Mary Ann headed west to Norman, Oklahoma so that he could intern with RUF at the University of Oklahoma while Mary Ann finished her degree in Public Relations and Broadcasting. Two years later John was affirmed in his calling to full-time ministry and the pair packed up again to move to Charlotte, North Carolina where John received his Masters of Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary. Thanks to Mary Ann paying the bills, John was able to complete the program in three years and is thrilled to stay in Charlotte as the Campus Minister at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. John is a man of many interests and loves riding bikes with Mary Ann, cheering for the Crimson Tide, the Oklahoma City Thunder, whatever team Jalen Hurts currently plays for, and he promises he will beat you at Mario Kart.
Will Barbour, ETSU
Will was born and raised in Boone, NC. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill ('13) and Reformed Theological Seminary Charlotte ('19). Before entering seminary, Will served as the RUF Intern at the University of South Carolina for three years. During the internship, Will met his wife Hayley, who was serving as the RUF Intern at Wofford College. Hayley is a graduate of Western Kentucky University ('15) and currently works as a Marketing Specialist for Boosterthon.
Nick Bratcher, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Nick and Maddy are so excited to be serving the students of UW-Milwaukee! Nick first got involved with RUF when he was an undergraduate student at Western Kentucky University. After graduating, he served a two-year internship with RUF at Indiana University, where he fell in love with the Midwest. Then Nick earned his Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and got married to his wife Maddy. The two met at a summer camp in Black Mountain, NC but set their sights on serving the Great Up North with RUF after seminary. Providentially, God called them to UWM in 2019. Nick loves bluegrass concerts, Orangetheory Fitness, and the Minnesota Twins/Vikings. Maddy loves to cook and is a photographer by trade.
Tanner Crum, Auburn University
Tanner and Kelsey (and Cola) Crum come from Greenville, South Carolina. They both went to the University of South Carolina where they were first introduced to RUF as students. After college, they moved to Greenville and Tanner worked as an RUF intern at Furman University. In 2015, Tanner began his seminary career at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte where he received his M.Div. and Kelsey founded a mobile dance outreach non-profit organization called Carolina Dance Collaborative. During his time in seminary, Tanner worked at Downtown Presbyterian Church, Grace and Peace Presbyterian Church and was an Interim Campus Minister at Wofford College. Needless to say, they love RUF and are excited to be a part of the work God is doing at Auburn!
Anthony Forrest, Jackson State University
Anthony is a native of Mississippi. He is widely recognized by his nickname - Paw - which he has had since he was about two-years-old. After high school graduation, he attended the University of Mississippi, also his wife Felicia’s alma mater. They married in 2007 and lived in Oxford, MS, where they saw the impact of campus ministry firsthand and felt a sincere desire to be involved in campus ministry. Anthony and Felicia left Oxford, and he attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson and interned at Redeemer Church, PCA. At the end of his seminary time and internship, the call to be the next campus minister at Jackson State University came. He accepted the call in the spring of 2019, with his wife by his side and their three children: Axayla, Arilyn, and Athan.
John Gordy, Valdosta State University
John grew up in Louisville, GA. In the fall of 2001, he began attending RUF at the University of Georgia where God used this time to reveal to him his need of Christ. He should have met his future wife (Sarah) during this time, however they did not meet until years later. John studied History while at UGA, played lots of ultimate frisbee with RUF friends, and attended many football games cheering on the Dawgs. After graduation, he worked in banking in both Athens and Augusta, GA. It was while in Augusta that John met his wife Sarah, while she working as a nurse, through some common friends that they knew from RUF. They were married in 2009. It was also during this time that John began to sense a call into vocational ministry. In 2011, the Gordys moved to St. Louis, MO where John attended Covenant Theological Seminary; he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from there in 2014. John ministered to students while serving in youth ministry at churches in Decatur, AL and Rochester, MN after seminary. The Gordys have two girls, Grace and Charlotte who are always full of energy. Unexpectedly and much to their surprise, God called the Gordys back south in the spring of 2019 to serve with RUF, which the Gordys have felt called to since before seminary. He is thankful for the opportunity to give back to a ministry that has been so influential on his life. John is humbled and excited to serve the students at Valdosta State as their next campus minister continuing the ministry begun in 2016. In his spare time, John enjoys listening to 80’s music, reading, and watching Georgia football. Although, he is excited to serve at a campus where there is a real football national champion. Go Blazers!
Andrew Goyzueta, Davidson College
Born and raised in New York, Andrew graduated from Davidson in 2010 with a degree in Religion. After a two-year RUF internship at Duke, Andrew moved to St. Louis, MO to attend Covenant Seminary. During seminary, Andrew met Amanda, whom he later married. After seminary, Andrew was ordained and installed as Assistant Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. After three years at Redeemer, he began serving with RUF at Davidson in June of 2019. Andrew and Amanda have two daughters– Emma (1.19.17) and Cora (8.22.18).
Wei Ho, City Campus - Pace/Fordham
Wei is from Atlanta, GA. He graduated from Georgia Tech (BS International Affairs) and Reformed Theological Seminary Atlanta (MDiv). He’s previously worked with college students with Mission to the World sending them on mission trips around the world and as a college student pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Wei’s a foodie, bubble tea connoisseur, Atlanta Braves baseball fan, book worm, drummer, tennis player, and lover of big dogs. While new to NYC, he’s excited to live in this city and explore it with you.
Jonah Hooper, Winston-Salem State University
Jonah grew up in Goldsboro, North Carolina to a family actively engaged in the church. It was in the church that Jonah’s love for music grew as a musician that lead to a scholarship to attend Shaw University where Jonah majored in Music and English. Though Jonah had grown up in church, it was not until studying at Shaw that he received the good news of the gospel. Jonah’s deep desire to tell others about Jesus and what it means to be known by God through him, shaped his call to ministry. Jonah comes to RUF at WSSU from Salem Presbyterian Church and is completing a M.A. Theological Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary. Jonah loves his band, The Prophets, basketball and tattoos. Jonah is Shadeeya’s husband and dad to Neriah and Jonah.
Sam Kennedy, UNC - Wilmington
Sam was born in central New York but his family moved to Wilmington, NC just before his freshman year at Hoggard High School. He first came to faith in Christ through the ministry of Young Life, and he spent his undergraduate years at UNC-Chapel as a volunteer Young Life leader (when he wasn’t studying Spanish or playing frisbee golf). After graduating from UNC in 2005, Sam went to work on the Young Life staff, back at his old high school in Wilmington. Through the counsel of a good friend and mentor, Sam began to pursue a seminary degree at Reformed Theological Seminary, and eventually joined the staff of Christ Community Church in Wilmington. At CCC, Sam worked as the worship direct and college minister, and grew in his love for preaching, teaching, and admiring the beauty of God with students. Starting in June of 2019 Sam became the new Campus Minister at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He loves the Seahawks and has grown to love everything about the UNCW campus-- from the skateboard racks at the dining hall, to the way that flip-flops are considered appropriate attire at the most formal campus events. Sam’s other favorite things are playing guitar, surfing, and sampling the wares of Wilmington’s many coffeeshops. Sam and his wife, the fabulous Shaunna Kennedy, were married in 2009 in a sunny cove outside Asheville, NC. When she is not working as a pre-school teacher at St. John’s church or wrangling the kids, Shaunna loves baking and exercising her gifts of hospitality. She is also totally down for having people drop in to their home when she least expects it. They have two children, Gus and Hattie, who love UNCW students, and count Sammy the Seahawk as a close personal friend and role model. The Kennedys are excited to be serving with RUF at UNCW!
Robert Knuth, University of Michigan
Robert grew up along the coast of Virginia Beach, VA where he developed such a love for his native state that he decided to attend Washington and Lee University. He graduated from W&L in May of 2014 with a BA in Religion and German. Most importantly though (thanks to RUF), he carried with him a new-found love for the person and work of Jesus Christ. Robert has spent the past three years earning his Masters of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary at Charlotte. Before then, he served for two years as a RUF intern at the University of Georgia. It was during the internship that he met his wife, Katherine, who also served as a RUF intern. Even though she attended Wake Forest University during her undergraduate years, Katherine originally hails from Leland, MI. After many visits to the Leelanau Peninsula, Robert developed an affection for all things Michigan. From the cold, snowy winters to the abundant access of fresh water lakes in the summertime, the Knuths are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to move to Ann Arbor and be a part of how God grows His Kingdom up in the “Mitten.” When Robert is not on campus, you’ll most likely find him taking his son, Peter (July 2018), for a walk in the park. He will find any excuse to play the board game "Settlers of Catan" with friends, or especially on nice days, explore downtown Ann Arbor with Katherine. Go Blue!
Peter Lyon, Virginia Commonwealth University
Peter grew up in the city of Philadelphia, and attended Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in History. At Penn State he met his wife (and best friend) Sarah, who graduated with a degree in Photography in 2008. They were married quickly after school, and moved back to the Philadelphia area. After a number of years working in many and various fields, Peter felt the call to ministry and from 2014-2019 he worked at Covenant Church in Doylestown, PA while simultaneously completing a Masters of Divinity at Missio Seminary. Peter and Sarah have two wonderful children, Wesley and Mina, and a golden retriever named Mac. They love cooking, and exploring new places, Sarah loves running marathons, and taking pictures and Peter enjoys walking, disc golf, and gardening.
Derek Rishmawy, Univ of California - Irvine
Derek is an Orange County native and UC Irvine Alumnus. He has been married to his wife McKenna since 2011 and started dating her back in 2007, his last year at UCI. Before coming back, he spent four years in Chicagoland working on his Ph.D. in systematic theology (still in process) at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Before that worked as a college ministry director in Santa Ana, CA. In his free time he mostly likes spending time with his wife, reading, grilling in the backyard with friends, watching old Batman cartoons, and doing a little bit of writing on the side.
Chandler Rowlen, Carson Newman University
We are so excited to be with RUF at Carson-Newman! My name is Chandler, my wife's name is Leah, and we have one son named Judson. I'm originally from Brandon, Mississippi, went to Ole Miss, and met Leah while I was in seminary at RTS in Jackson. She's originally from Laurel and went to Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. We got married June 1, 2013, and Judson was born May 14, 2018. We've lived in Brookhaven, Mississippi; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and are excited to now be in Jefferson City.
Jeff White, University of Texas - El Paso
I was born in Northwest Washington State but grew up in Central America in Guatemala City. It wasn't until High School that I gained an appreciation for the scripture and understood the Gospel. After moving several times, I graduated from High School in North Carolina and went to Appalachian State University where I met my wife Matheson. We quickly connect over our love for Latin America and Spanish. We got married my last semester of college (only semester I made a 4.0). After that, we moved to Boston where I attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and I earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology. After seminary I spent three years as the Assistant Pastor of Leadership Development at Las Tierras Community Church in El Paso. We have one girl and two little boys. Poppie Marie was born in 2015, Hebron in 2017, and Pisgah in 2019. I'd love to get lunch or grab coffee one day to get to know you better. You can reach me at 915-258-5213, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook. Matheson would also love to get to know you. She can be reached at 915-474-9054