Plenary Speaker


Dr. Austin Channing Brown

Austin Channing Brown began her journey as a racial reconciler in college
with an experience called Sankofa–a three-day bus trip exploring black
history sites throughout the South. On this pilgrimage that she came face-
to-face with her own history, shared the experience with others, and–for
the first time in her life–watched friends become transformed by learning
about African American history and racism.

Austin earned a master’s degree in social justice from Marygrove College in
Detroit, Michigan. Building on her Sankofa experience and the foundation
of her graduate work, she has directed a short-term missions site on the
west side of Chicago, creating interactive opportunities for youth to engage
issues of poverty, injustice. She also served on staff with Willow Creek Community Church, developing strategies and programming around
multiculturalism. Currently she serves as resident director and multicultural liaison for Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Austin travels the country through out the year sharing her message at colleges, universities, conferences, and churches. She has been featured at
the Justice Conference, Why Christian? Conference, Christians for Biblical Equality International Conference, the University of Northwestern, the CCDA National Conference, the Salvation Army ONE Conference and Focus on the Family: Focus Leadership Institute, to name just a few. Racial justice, reconciliation, and womanhood have continued to be the core of her message. She writes about these topics on her popular blog austinchanning.com and as regular contributor to Today’s Christian Woman. She has also contributed to Her.maneutics, Relevant, and A Higher Calling.

She is married to her best friend, Tommie, an attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and adores her little puppy, Mowgli.-- 

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Seminar Speakers


Jamal Morris

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Jamal Nashid Morris was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1979. He is the son of the late George Morris and Linda Avila. He is married to April Christine Morris, who is an elementary school teacher at East Brainerd Elementary. They have twin six year-old  daughters Kristine and Kayla Morris. Jamal is a Lee University Alumi and currently works as a campus staff worker for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at UTC and Youth director for New Monumental Baptist Church. This fall he will be pursing his master’s in counseling from Richmont Graduate School.  As a youth pastor, Jamal Morris is helping disengaged youth understand Jesus and the Bible in a relevant way. He has created the Bridge Outreach in which he trains UTC students to build relationships with Title 1 middle school students with low morale.  At the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Jamal Morris has effectively increased student involvement in Bible studies, Intervarsity conferences, and Christian-related  events. Jamal Morris has also improved intellectual engagement and academic rigor in students. Jamal Morris primary focus is reaching the "Unchurched and Unchurchable" students. Jamal Morris has develop a Hip-Hop proxy station, which will be used as an evangelistic outreach tool on over 2,000 college campuses. The Hip-Hop proxy station was designed to address the core concerns the Hip-Hop generation.  Jamal’s overall objective is to confirm and challenge elements within the Hip-Hop culture and design bible studies around Hip-Hop’s main issues. Jamal Morris is a beacon of light and cultural warrior for this generation.

 

 

Reverend Joe Ella Darby

The Reverend Joe Ella Darby is a native of Mason, Tennessee, and the fourth of ten children born to The Rev. Dr. Joseph Darby Sr. and The Rev. Bertha Darby. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology with a concentration in Child Development, and a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville. In 2012, she earned the Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia— where she served as President of the African Heritage Seminarians Association, and as Student Body President. She was awarded a Congregational Fellowship with the Fund for Theological Education and The Black Women in Ministerial Leadership Fellowship from The Interdenominational Theological Seminary. She received the Robert H. Ramey Christian Leadership Award from Columbia.

In 1999, while in graduate school at UT, Rev. Darby accepted the call to preach and after the completion of her graduate program, she joined the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA. During the course of her eight years on staff with InterVarsity, she directed the Collegiate Black Christian Fellowship at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville. In this capacity, she experienced the joy of developing student leaders and student leadership teams. Rev. Darby served in various roles and worked as the Youth Director at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was licensed to preach in 2005. She was ordained by Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Jr. at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2013. 

Rev. Darby has served in inner-city mission work as well as foreign missions in Antigua in the Republic of Guatemala, Ghana, West Africa, and Kenya, East Africa. Currently, Rev. Darby serves as the Vacation Bible School Coordinator and an Associate Editor at the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., in Nashville.  Recently, she created Women Pouring Into Women, LLC, and in August 2014, she led her first women’s retreat.

Rev. Darby is a proud member of the illustrious Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is an active member—serving as chair of the Ministry of Discipleship—of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, where Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Jr. is Pastor. Rev. Darby also continues to mentor young women and men across the country. However, what Rev. Darby wants known most is that she loves Jesus and desires for others to experience real intimacy with the living God.

 

Camara Bensinger

I am a California and Florida raised girl from a multiracial family. My background has given me a deep curiosity and passion for history, racial reconciliation, and the restoration of women. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Tampa in 2012. As a sophomore student, I had a legitimate distaste for Christians and carried many smokescreens keeping me from considering Jesus. Despite my resistance towards Christianity and the church in particular, I found myself becoming increasingly inquisitive about religion and spirituality. Soon afterwards, my search and seeking led me to fall in love with the Jesus that I had been misunderstanding all along. I discovered that he had much to say about my deepest wounds and longings and he had a way of meeting them! I discovered that he had many unexpected and life giving things to say to me about my blackness, my multiracial background and my womanhood. As my college days dwindled down, God began to stir a hunger in me to see his Kingdom come to neglected places and people. God began to show me that the harvest was plentiful among the many black students and Latino students that fill community colleges today. I became a Staff worker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) after graduation. HCC has been my dream and the labor of my life ever since. I believe that we as the church have an incredible opportunity and responsibility to labor with Jesus to reach the black community via black students while they are being shaped spiritually, socially, and intellectually for adulthood.

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Brad Everett

Brad Everett graduated from the University of South Florida. While at USF he was an active leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. A year after graduating from USF with a B.S. in Computer Science, he came on staff full-time with InterVarsity.  With InterVarsity his roles have included Black Campus Ministry staff at USF-Tampa, USF-Tampa Team Leader and Team Leader for Pinellas County.  He now serves as InterVarsity’s Florida Bay Area Director and point staff for SPC.  His other ministry roles include serving as a elder with the Underground Network and leading a the 1011 micro-church that is affiliated with the Underground Network.

On a personal note, Brad Everett has also been writing spoken-word poetry for 12 years.  His early writing and reciting of spoken word poetry was part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA's worship team on the USF Tampa campus.  He currently writes and performs spoken word primarily as part of the Underground Networks worship team and for special events.

Lastly, Brad loves any sport that involves a good amount of movement and can occasionally be found on the dance floor doing something that may or may not resemble dancing.

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Evelyn Sekajipo

Evelyn Sekajipo is a second generation Sierra Leonean born in Newcastle, England. At age 8 she migrated with her mother and sister to Boston, Massachusetts and stayed there up until high school. In 2000 she moved to Tampa, Florida where a year later she gave her life to Jesus while attending Hillsborough Community College. Six-months after saying yes to Jesus, she joined InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at HCC where she grew deeper in her relationship with Jesus and began doing campus ministry. In 2003, after a 6-weeks immersion in the inner-city where she learned about God's heart for the poor and social justice, she saw the need to start up a regular gathering to empower and unite the IV Black students of Tampa Bay. (This is now identified as BCM) That same year, she pioneered an IVCF bible study at an unreached HCC campus. 

In 2005, she founded Mama Africana (MA), a Christian mentoring program for middle and high school black girls in the city of Tampa. Along with investing in black girls, Evelyn uses MA as a tool to mobilize middle class black women to give back to the black community. MA currently has 4 different branches throughout the county. Evelyn graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work from University of South Florida. She is an elder of the Underground Church. 

In December 2014, she will be celebrating 10 years of marriage with her husband Wil Sekajipo. Wil and Evelyn are proud parents to a wise and strong 7 year old boy named Amarius. She attributes her growth to Jesus, her family, the MA Team, the Ubuntu family and Stevie Wonder's tunes. 

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Deborah Joseph

Deborah Joseph is a second generation Haitian woman, raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. She moved to Florida in 1996 for High School and has been living there since then. Deborah received her A.A at Hillsborough Community College while doing campus ministry with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. As Deborah matured in the Lord, she felt God strengthening her shepherding gifts. She received her certificate with the American Association of Christian Counselors at Light University. She has spent over 11 years working and receiving healing from her past relational and sexual wounds. Deborah has helped others in their journey as well; her main focus and deep passion has been in the area of those struggling with Same-Sex Attraction.
Deborah spent 4 years volunteering with Mama Africana, a ministry empowering young Black girls in the inner city of Tampa. She also helped pioneer Promesse de Dieu, which serves and reaches out to the Haitian women in Tampa and Haiti. After the 2010 tragic earthquake in Haiti, Deborah went to Haiti with 3 of her Haitian friends to serve and hear the Lord on the next steps in ministry. During their time there, they felt deeply to start Ayiti Underground, a Haitian led non-profit missional organization that exists to empower, mobilize, and resource the Haitian community to discover their passion, confront injustice and to attack it at its roots through Jesus Christ for the sake of His Kingdom in Haiti. Deborah is a full-time Haitian missionary and serves as the director of Ayiti Underground. She currently resides in Tampa, FL with her fine Haitian prince, Raguel, a her beautiful new-born daughter, Raquel Anacaona, and their Ubuntu community. Deborah is planning to move next year to Bon Repos, Haiti with her family and Romy Rochelin to be there full time. The AU team believes that it is Jesus and Haitians coming together in holistic ministries that will rebuild Haiti. 

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Wilfred Sekajipo

Wilfred Sekajipo is a husband of one wife - the lovely Evelyn Sekajipo.  He is also a father of one son - the amazing Amarius Sekajipo. He is an African American in the sense that he was born in Monrovia Liberia and moved to the US at the age of eleven and has lived in Tampa Florida ever since.

He graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor degree in Secondary Mathematics education. At USF he was heavily involved in Intervarsity, leading bible studies and serving the student body.

His heart desire is to live out philippians 2, in which having experienced the love of God he lives a life concerned not just about his interest but also that of others.

He is currently teaching mathematics at a local high school, and also serves as director of Mshauri Mentors. A mentoring program that seeks to help young men successfully navigate the journey to manhood. He also serves as an elder in the Underground Church.

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