Breakout Sessions

GAYE ARBUCKLE    |    Kingdom Dreams

Gaye radiates the heart of a worshiper. From the soul of a woman in love with God, Gaye is declaring the message of God through song. Not only is she a talented musician and choir director, but she has been endowed with a gift to pen songs that come from the heart of God. She is a National Gospel Recording artist from Dallas, Texas, with an enriched style and talent that leave listeners spiritually touched as she ministers in music and song.

BARBARA CROSS   |   Go Love Your Neighbor!

Session Description: How can you put God's call into action?  Every woman can make a missional expression in her home, neighborhood, community, and the world.  But I have three kids, a baby, and no money to spare.  You can do it, and I'll tell you how!  Learn practical ways you can serve and love locally while being challenged to step out in faith to consider serving abroad.

Barbara and her husband, Ralph, have been married for 46 years. God has blessed Barbara and Ralph with two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four granddaughters. Barbara currently serves with 25Project, an international faith-based organization helping vulnerable children, as the Director of Donor Relations. Prior to her work with 25Project, Barbara has served in children’s & missions ministry at First McKinney as well as 13 years as an elementary school teacher. Barbara also served on the board of Direction 61:3, a faith-based organization working with youth transitioning out of foster care. God has given Barbara a heart for missions and a passion for sharing the gospel with children.

 

SOPHIE DEMUTH   |   Answer God’s Call to Write

Session Description: Do you feel called to write but aren’t sure where to start? Or, are you looking to take the next step in your writing? In this workshop, discover best practices in writing, learn about the publishing process, and explore how God can use your gift of writing for His Kingdom.

Sophie is an associate publisher at RightNow Media and the copyeditor at Fathom Magazine. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and has written for “Fathom Magazine” and “Christ and Pop Culture”. She attends Bent Tree Bible Fellowship where she leads a small group of young adults.

 

JEFFRI FOSTER    |     Finding our Identity in Jesus in a “What about Her” Kind of World

Session Description: The temptation to be consumed by comparison is everywhere: social media, the workplace, school, extra-curricular activities, EVERYWHERE. What if you could be content as the person God created you to be? Join Jeffri and take the LEAP from consumed by comparison to content in
Christ.

Jeffri is the wife to BJ, a mama to three kiddos, an Associate Student Minister at First Baptist Church Lewisville and an online health and fitness coach. She combats exhaustion with Scripture, coffee, shopping and working out. Jeffri obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees from Howard Payne University.  She served at First McKinney from 2013 to 2016 as an Associate Minister with Students and still considers the church to be her family. Jeffri desires to encourage those around her to follow Jesus and honor Him with their lives as they steward all the gifts that He has given them.

 

SHELLIE FOSTER   |   Trusting God in the Adoption/Fostering Journey

Session Description: As a type A personality, Shellie had her whole life planned out at a young age. She and her husband assumed that they would have 3 or 4 kids close in age, but after their son was born, she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. For the last 4 years, they have focused on trying to grow their family naturally and through adoption. Despite all the heartbreak, they know that God has a perfect plan to grow their family and His plan and His timing are better than anything they could hope for or imagine. Hear Shellie’s story, gain support, and learn valuable information about the adoption and fostering process.

Shellie is a Louisiana girl, growing up in Springfield. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing followed by her MBA. She served as Louisiana Strawberry Queen XXXII and worked with a variety of college-level football programs in that region. She moved to Texas in 2011 and met her husband Michael. They own a Goosehead Insurance franchise, and have a five-year-old son, Benton. In 2017, they began fostering and have had 12 kids live with them.

 

JODY GERBER     |     Tapping Into the Power of Prayer

Session Description: Have you ever wondered: Why pray?  What is prayer?  What good is prayer?  Does God really hear my prayers?  And, how can I get God to answer my prayers?  In this workshop, we will dive into Scripture and discuss these questions together. Prayer is our lifeline with God. Through prayer, we strengthen our relationship with God and develop our faith. God wants to empower each one of us to become fervent, praying women.

Jody received her undergraduate degree from Southern Nazarene University as well as a Master’s degree in education from University of Texas in Dallas. Jody has taught high school science for 20 years. She and her husband, Doug, have six children and are active in teaching church classes to all ages. She enjoys the Scripture for both teaching and personal spiritual growth.

 

AUDREY HARDIN    |    Unstuck: Clearing the Mental Roadblocks on Your Path to Following God

Session Description: In order to be fully equipped for God's call, it is important to understand that emotional health includes physical, social, and spiritual health as well. In life, we all encounter both internal and external roadblocks on the journey to becoming mature and whole. In this session, you will learn how to shrink the voices of the inner and outer critic. You will discover practical tips to gain self-awareness and listen to your body. And, you will be challenged to adopt daily steps to proactively move towards holistic growth.

Audrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Science degree in Counseling from the University of North Texas. She began her counseling career in the non-profit sector, concentrating on the role of strong attachments within couples, families, and parent-child relationships. Audrey has additional training and experience providing trauma care to her clients. She provides counseling for adults, couples and older teens. She currently serves as a counselor for the Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology with offices in Dallas and First McKinney.

 

JENNIFER PICKETT   |   Nourish to Flourish: A Body, Mind, and Soul Approach to Living in Freedom

Session Description: In today's culture of indulgence, healthy living and healthy eating is a struggle for most women. Be empowered to identify the barriers that are holding you back and learn healthy strategies to help you overcome these barriers.  Using a holistic approach, you will walk away with a simple, realistic action plan that will leave you feeling both empowered and encouraged to pursue a healthier life.

Jennifer is a dietician/health coach with 23 years experience in health care and wellness. With a Master's degree in human nutrition, she is a firm believer in harmony across physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual health. She and her husband live in North Texas with their two children.

 

CARMEN WEST    |    Read the Bible More Efficiently

Session Description: The Bible is complex, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Deepen your understanding of Scripture by learning some fundamental techniques for approaching the Word. Carmen will equip you with specific tools to study the Scriptures so you can hear from God more clearly.

Carmen is a former teacher turned data analyst who loves to read and learn more about the Bible.  She and her husband, Derek, are both native Texans and have lived in McKinney for all 22 years of their marriage. They have two children, ages 15 and 11.

 

LETESHA WHEELER    |    Jesus: The Bridge Builder

Session Description: Is there any hope in unifying our nation today?  Are you trying to understand how to deal with the political, social and racial divide within your family, friends and community? What part does The Church play in healing our country? We have the keys to unlock the unrest in our nation. LeTesha Wheeler, author of Halfbreed: Finding Unity in a Divided World, shares her personal journey of overcoming the division within our culture to develop the muscles to forgive offenses and build relationships. Come hear how Jesus brings hope, healing and the very blueprint for true unity in a divided world.

LeTesha is a passionate influencer, author, and speaker whose greatest desire is to motivate others to walk in the fullness of their purpose, overcome fear, and stand strong in their faith despite life’s biggest obstacles. LeTesha’s life experiences and family heritage have fueled her voice for unity and reconciliation within her local community and the nation. She is a busy sports mom of two amazing teenage boys and has a long career within the financial services industry. She and her husband of 16 years, James, currently serve in leadership at Covenant Church McKinney.