Featured Speakers

At the Propel Conference, you'll hear inspiring speakers that will encourage your faith and spur you to action. Our main session speakers are some of today's top Seventh-day Adventist church growth experts in North America.


Jose Cortes Jr.

Elder Jose Cortes Jr. currently serves as Associate Director of the North American Division Ministerial Association. He leads in the association's areas of Evangelism, Church Planting, Global Mission, Church Growth, and Mission to the Cities for the Adventist Church in North America. He has 25 years of experience in pastoring, youth and young adult ministries, soul winning, church planting, and leadership as a conference and union departmental director

Cortes holds an MDiv from Andrews University, a BA in Theology from Washington Adventist University, and is currently working toward a DMin from Andrews University. He treasures and loves Joanne Cortes, his wife and companion in ministry. Together, they are blessed with two boys, Jose III and Joel Benjamin.

Sunday, May 7, 6:30 p.m.  Main Session: The State of the Church


Richie Halversen

After years of struggling with addiction, Richie Halversen surrendered to new life in Christ and now spends his time sharing the hope and healing he found in Christ with others. He currently serves as the Director of Church Growth & Revitalization for the Southern Union where he coaches churches, pastors, and lay leaders to maximize their impact in evangelism, church planting, and revitalization. He has been married to his wife Brittney for 24 years and has four children: Kaleb, Hayley, Tristen, and Taylor.

Monday, May 8, 6:30 p.m.     Main Session: Darkness Will Not Overcome
Tuesday, May 9, 8:30 a.m.     Main Session: Meeting Felt Needs
Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Reaping Meetings Part 1
Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.    Breakout: Reaping Meetings Part 2
Tuesday, May 9, 6:30 p.m.    Main Session: Red Zone Evangelism


Bill McClendon

Elder Bill McClendon is Vice President for Administration and Director of Evangelism for the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

After a career in business and IT, McClendon began his ministry in 2000 as a church planter in Tulsa, OK. This new church quickly became one of the fastest growing churches in North America. Later he pastored a church in Elicott, MD, leading a revitalization effort to grow attendance from 75 to 300 in 4 years. He also served the Oklahoma and Washington Conferences as vice president for church growth before joining the North Pacific Union in 2018.

Sunday, May 7, 6:30 p.m.  Main Session: Are Your Dreams Big Enough?


Dr. Roscoe Shields Jr.

Dr. Roscoe Shields Jr. is the senior pastor at Sharon Adventist Church in Portland, OR and serves as Regional Ministries Director for the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. With a passion for teaching and a heart for ministry, he has spent years inspiring and motivating believers through his writing, speaking, and social media presence. As a respected theologian and scholar, Dr. Roscoe holds multiple advanced degrees in ministry and business, and has authored several books and articles on Christian living and spirituality. He is also the founder of a thriving online community where Christians can come together to share their faith and support one another in their spiritual journeys.

With a warm and engaging personality, he is known for his ability to connect with people from all walks of life and inspire them to live out their faith in practical and meaningful ways. Whether he's preaching from the pulpit, leading a Bible study, or engaging with his followers on social media, Dr. Roscoe is a powerful force for good in the world of Christian ministry, and a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

Monday, May 8, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Revitalizing the Sharon Church
Monday, May 8, 6:30 p.m.   Main Session: Leadership & Discipleship


Dr. Roger Walter

Dr. Roger Walter is senior pastor of Adventist Community Church in Vancouver, WA, and founder of EvangeLead. He has been a pastor, church planter, conference leader, and leadership coach for 35 years and is passionate about leadership, evangelism, and preaching.

Dr. Walter earned a BA in theology from Walla Walla University, an MDiv in youth ministry from Andrews University, and a DMin in preaching, also from Andrews University. He has been married to Gail for 35 years and together they have 8 children.

Monday, May 8, 8:30 a.m.   Main Session: The Evangelism Pyramid
Monday, May 8, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Asking for Decisions
Wednesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m.   Main Session: Putting It All Together


Dr. Calvin Watkins

Dr. Calvin Watkins Sr. serves as a vice president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He previously served as president of the Southwest Region Conference for two terms. He brings a wealth of experience, having worked as a conference evangelist and as director for the ministerial, personal ministries, and community services departments.

He is the author of two books, Evangelism for the Next Millennium and 101 Ways to Win Souls. He is a widely sought-after speaker and lecturer in the field of church growth and pastoral training, speaking to both Adventist and non-Adventist audiences.

Tuesday, May 9, 6:30 p.m.   Main Session: Growing Your Church

Breakout Session Trainers

Choose 4 breakout sessions to attend from 7 different training tracks, presented by these experts in church growth topics.


Charles Byrd

Elder Charles Byrd is president of QuestLine Productions, producer of Thunder in the Holy Land and I Met God. A pastor with nearly 4 decades in ministry, Byrd is passionate about introducing people to Jesus and helping them along their spiritual journey. He lives with his wife, Karen, in Tennessee.

Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Thunder in the Holy Land


Cindy Chamberlin-Eastwood

Cindy Chamberlin-Eastwood is president of The Hope of Survivors, a nonprofit dedicated to support, hope and healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse. A seasoned communicator with organizational reputation and brand-management acumen, Cindy is an SEO content specialist for a Silicon Valley entity. She is the recipient of a Society of Adventist Communicators’ award, author of numerous op-ed pieces, former Conference Vice President of Communication, and past managing editor. She is married to Adventist Pastor Stephen Eastwood and has three grown children.

Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Making Church a Safe Place


Dr. César De León

Dr. César De León is Ministerial and Hispanic Ministries Director for the North Pacific Union Conference. Born in Guatemala City, he is an ordained SDA minister and a California licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT). Dr. De León earned his B.A. in theology from Walla Walla College, an M.Div. degree from the Theological Seminary at Andrews University in 1985 and a Master of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy from Loma Linda University in 1993. In 2002, Dr. De León received a clinical Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy from the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. De León is married to Carolann De León, and they have two adult sons, Zachary and Jonathan.

Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Dealing with Church Conflict


Dr. Stan Hudson

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stan Hudson was captured by Hollywood’s positive images of science. Having been introduced to rockhounding as a youth, he enrolled as a geology major at the University of California at Riverside. After experiencing some disappointments and challenges to his worldview, he became a Christian and enrolled at Loma Linda University as a theology major, completing a bachelor’s degree there. He went on to earn a master of divinity degree from Andrews Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

However, he never lost his love for earth sciences and issues related to origins.  He is co-host of nationally-syndicated LifeTalk Radio’s “Sink the Beagle,” a lighthearted look at the subject of creationism and evolutionism. A resource person for the Adventist Church on origin issues, Dr. Hudson lectures widely to groups, both secular and religious. He is married to Cynthia, a registered dietician, and they have two children. He currently serves the North Pacific Union Conference as the Director of their new Creation Study Center.

Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Origins


Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant is a campaign manager at SermonView Evangelism Marketing, dedicating her time to helping match churches' needs with the most effective advertising resources. She also provides training to conferences and church groups on SermonView's LeadGenerator program that guarantees Bible study leads every month, as well as on InterestTracker, the cloud-based CRM for managing interests on their way to membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: LeadGenerator & InterestTracker


Cyndi Keiser

Cyndi Keiser is a Regional Bible Instructor for the Georgia Cumberland Conference. Her job entails educating church members with graphically enhanced presentations as well as taking members out in the field for hands-on training. Cyndi has nearly three decades of Bible instructor experience, and completed the Amazing Facts College of Evangelism and ARISE training through Light Bearers Ministry.

Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.    Breakout: Bible Study Training Part 1
Monday, May 8, 2:00 p.m.
     Breakout: Bible Study Training Part 2
Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Bible Study Training Part 3


David Klinedinst

David Klinedinst is the Evangelism and Church Growth Director for the Chesapeake Conference in Columbia, MD, and the speaker for the Forecasting Hope series airing on 3ABN and the Hope Channel. David has preached at evangelistic series across four continents. His desire is to see a passionate, mission-minded, lay-driven church where each member is looking for opportunities to plant seeds for Jesus. David’s passionate style of speaking has engaged multi-cultural audiences across the world.

David has been married for 27 years to his wife, Marquita. They have two precious daughters, Melaney, 18, and Emiley, 15.

Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.    Breakout: Interest Visitation
Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Preaching Christ in the Doctrines


Tyler Long

Tyler Long serves as the Personal Ministries Director at the Washington Conference, overseeing Evangelism, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, and Native American Ministries. Tyler has been involved in over 100 evangelistic meetings and is passionate about church planting and church revitalization.

Tyler has a Master's in Business Administration and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Tyler has been married to his wife, LaVonne, for 24 years, and they have two kids who attend Skagit Adventist Academy.

Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Revangelism


Dr. Paulo Macena

Dr. Paulo Macena is Director for Leadership of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He has over 25 years of ministry experience in British Columbia, New Jersey, and Maryland as a pastor, conference youth director, and division leader. He earned his MA in youth ministry and DMin in leadership, both from Andrews University.

domingo, 8 de mayo, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Evangelismo Creativo y Eficaz 1
domingo, 8 de mayo, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Evangelismo Creativo y Eficaz 2
martes, 9 de mayo, 10:00 a.m.    Breakout: Discipulado y Mentoria 1
martes, 9 de mayo, 2:00 p.m.    Breakout: Discipulado y Mentoria 2


Tim Taylor

Tim Taylor is director of outreach ministries for the Oregon Conference, where he provides training and support to 130 churches in their church growth efforts. A certified life coach, Tim has over a decade of experience as a literature evangelist, pastor, and conference department director. He earned a Bachelors in Theology from Southern Adventist University and a Masters of Divinity from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Reclaiming Missing Members


Dr. Sherri Uhrig

Dr. Sherri Uhrig is currently the Children’s Ministry director for the North American Division. Her passion is that all our children have the opportunity to say yes to Jesus! She has worked in various areas of children’s ministries for more than 30 years, including conference children’s ministry director, daycare administrator, writing for faith-based preschool curricula, and kindergarten teacher.

Dr. Uhrig earned her BA from Southwestern Adventist University, an MA in children and family ministry from Bethel Seminary, and a DMin in next generation ministry from Liberty University. She and her husband have two children and six grandchildren.

Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: Nurturing Faith in Children
Monday, May 8, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Child Evangelism


Ted Vanderlaan

Ted Vanderlaan, Esq., is vice president and chair emeritus of The Hope of Survivors, a nonprofit dedicated to support, hope and healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse, where he has volunteered for 15 years. A licensed attorney and Walla Walla University graduate, Ted brings accomplished revitalization, growth, and leadership talents honed from his ten years as vice president for strategy and innovation at a medical educational institution. He is blessed with two children and four grandchildren, and they enjoy outdoor family activities together.

Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Making Church a Safe Place


Ryan Whitehead

Ryan Whitehead is associate pastor of Adventist Community Church in Vancouver, WA. He currently serves as the pastor for children, youth and young adults, and loves connecting with this demographic and their families. He also helps oversee the relationship between the church and its schools. Since August 2017 Ryan has enjoyed working with the church staff to develop and grow discipleship and systems throughout the church community.

Ryan has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Adventist University and a Masters from Andrews University, and is working on a DMin at Andrews University. He enjoys time with his wife, Bridget, and their newborn daughter, Brynna.

Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.   Breakout: A Spirit of Friendship


Larry Witzel

Larry Witzel is a respected innovator and inspiring speaker at the intersection of technology and ministry. As founder and president of SermonView Evangelism Marketing, he leads a team providing event marketing, church websites, Bible study lead generation, and interest tracking services to churches throughout the North American Division.

Larry has a BA in theology and mass media from Walla Walla University, earned his MBA from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, and is currently studying toward a PhD in strategic media at Liberty University. He is a tech team leader and musician at his local church, is chair of the board for Columbia Adventist Academy, and serves on the North Pacific Union Executive Committee. He lives with his wife and two children in Vancouver, Wash.

Monday, May 8, 2:00 p.m.   Breakout: Evangelistic Websites
Wednesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m.   Main Session: The Power of Asking Boldly

(Dr. John Boston II was scheduled to speak, but will be unable to attend this year's Propel Conference due to unforeseen circumstances.)

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