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Speaker Biographies Affirming the Faith 2019



Jeremie Beller

Jeremie Beller

Since 2002 Jeremie Beller has served as the Congregational Minister for the Wilshire Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. He received his undergraduate degree in Bible and Biblical languages, as well as his MDiv from Oklahoma Christian University. In 2014 he completed a PhD in Communication from Oklahoma University studying Religion and Racism. Along with his work with Wilshire, Jeremie serves as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma Christian where he has taught Bible, Homiletics, and Communications courses. Jeremie’s wife, Delaina, teaches 4th grade at Oklahoma Christian Academy and they have one son (Keaton) and one daughter (Kayden).

Travis Bookout

Travis Bookout

Travis and Lauren have been working with the Jackson Street church of Christ in Monroe, LA since 2012. They both enjoy speaking at churches, lectureships, and retreats, and he has been in preaching ministry for over 10 years. Travis is a graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver and Heritage Christian University, earning both a Bachelors and a Masters degree from each institution. He is currently enrolled at the Harding School of Theology pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. Travis and Lauren have been married for over 10 years and have two young boys, Oliver and Levi.

David Brassfield

David Brassfield

Davis is currently preaching at Newalla (32 years).  Prior to that he has preached at Ripley, OK., Duncan (Eastside), OK, Rose Hill, KS, Comanche, OK., Stuart, OK. He has been married to Carol for 41 years.  His son Tyler is a youth minister in Fritch, Texas and his daughter Tiffany is married to Michael Jones who is the pulpit minister at East Point in Wichita, KS. He received his B.A. in Bible at OCC in 1976 and his M.A. in Ministry at OC in 1990. He has written articles for One Body, Gospel Advocate, Forthright, and Old Paths magazines.

Myron Bruce

Myron Bruce

Myron Bruce serves as the Associate Minister with the Faith Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas. He and his wife, Vicki, met at Lubbock Christian College and married in August of 1989. His education includes a Bachelor Degree in K-12 Kinesiology, and a Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of Northern Colorado. They have three grown children; Logan, Emili & Dillon. Logan and Emili graduated from FHU in December of 2016 & 2017. This fall Dillon will continue his education at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee as a Junior.

Dan Chambers

Dan Chambers

Dan Chambers loves to preach the Word of God and has been doing so for almost 30 years. Since the summer of 2009 he has considered himself to be “livin’ the dream” by serving the Concord Road Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville) as their Preaching Minister. In addition to his preaching and teaching ministry, Dan also likes to dabble in writing books on theology. He received his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Applied Theology from Southern Seminary and also has advanced degrees in Biblical Studies (M.A., M.A.R., M.Div.) from Lipscomb University, and in Business Management (M.B.A.) from Indiana University—Ft. Wayne. He and his wife, Leola, live in Franklin, Tennessee and have two grown children and a son-in-law. In his down time, Dan likes to hike, camp, read historical fiction, watch action movies, and plot new travel adventures with Leola.

Steve Cloer

Steve Cloer

Steve Cloer has been the preaching minister at Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX since 2006. Before that, he worked in youth and campus ministry. He and his wife, Lindsay, have three children, Joshua, Bethany, and Lydia. Steve graduated from Harding University with two B.A. degrees in Bible and Math.  He received his M.Div. in New Testament from Harding School of Theology and graduated with his D.Min. in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary.

David Deffenbaugh

David Deffenbaugh

David Deffenbaugh is the preaching minister for the Southwest congregation in Oklahoma City. He has worked with SW since 2013. He’s been preaching full time for 35 years and has served congregations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. He was educated at Oklahoma Christian. He has made over 30 mission trips to the Ukraine. David is the author of three daily Bible reading and devotional books, Strength for the Journey (07, co-authored with Bill McFarland), The Road Home (15), and Better Days (17). He writes a daily Bible reading blog at ireadtheword.com, which can also be followed on Facebook at I Read the Word. David and wife Tanya (37 years) have two married children: Alissa (married to Jeff Lovett) of Edmond, OK and Dalton (married to Mary) of Cedarville, OH and three grandkids.

Jodie Duke

Jodie Duke

Jodie Duke is a wife, mother, editor of Christian Woman magazine and, along with her husband, co-owns the Gospel Advocate Company. She holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. Jodie lives in Old Hickory, TN and worships with the Mt. Juliet church of Christ in Mt. Juliet, TN.

Kent Hartman

Kent Hartman

Kent was raised in Sayre, OK. He graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1977 and from Harding Graduate School in 1980. He worked at the 29th and Yale church of Christ for 3 years before becoming part of a team of workers who went on the mission field to Campbelltown, Australia where he spent 17 years. He has served as a missionary-in-residence at OC since 2002 to the present. He and his wife Nancy have started the TCK (Third Culture Kids) at OC and started a Global Reunion camp for returning cross cultural families. They have 3 children: Heidi, Hayli, and Heath and 2 grandchildren, Chelsea and Davis.

Jacob Hawk

Jacob Hawk

Jacob Hawk serves as the Preaching Minister for Faith Village church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas. He holds both bachelor and master’s degrees in Bible and Ministry from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He speaks at seminars and lectureships around the country. Jacob has a burning passion to preach the gospel which was first discovered at the age of nine years old when he delivered his first sermon. He is the author of four different books: Image of the Invisible God; The Hawk's Nest: 90 Lessons for Faith and Family: When Mountains Won't Move: How to Survive a Struggling Faith; and Blinded by Darkness. He has also co-authored two books on preaching: Fit for the Pulpit and Preach Better, and has written for the Gospel Advocate. Most importantly, Jacob is married to his beautiful wife, Natalie. They have three precious sons, Hayden, Hudson, and Hewitt.

Kim Higginbotham

Kim Higginbotham

Kim Higginbotham attended Freed-Hardeman University and earned her Master's Degree at Marshall University. She currently lives in Knoxville, TN where her husband Steve is the preacher for the Karns congregation.  They are the parents of four children. Kim has worked as a special education teacher for children with multiple disabilities, but currently works for the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies as the librarian and an adjunct teacher in the women's program. Her special love is an outreach ministry called, "Forever His." Kim developed this ministry for children with special needs and has written a book on the subject entitled, "Forever His: Building a Special Needs Ministry in Your Congregation."

Steve Higginbotham

Steve Higginbotham

Steve Higginbotham has been preaching for 34 years. He is presently the preaching minster at the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN and is also one of the instructors at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies.

Les McGalliard

Les McGalliard

In 1963, Les received his BA in education from East Central University in Ada, OK and a Master’s degree from ACU in 1984. Les McGalliard has preached the gospel for 57 years. He has preached 19 years in OK. Nearly 40 of his years was spent in Texas, serving as the preaching minister for churches in Austin, Houston, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Andrews and Abilene. Although semi-retired, he still actively preaches for congregations in OK and TX. He has two children and seven grandchildren.

Bruce McLarty

Bruce McLarty

Bruce was born in Nashville, TN. He grew up in OK, AR, and TN. He married Ann Hutson in 1980 and they have two daughters, Charity and Jessica. He graduated from Harding with a B.A. in Bible (1978) and from the Harding Graduate School of Religion with a M. Th. (1982) before he received his D. Min. from Ashland Theological Seminary (2010). He has preached for churches in MS, TN and AR as well as serving as a missionary in Meru, Kenya for a year. He became the fifth president of Harding University in 2013. He has written for 21st Century Chrisitan, Upreach Magazine, and the Gospel Advocate to name a few. He has also written for the Truth for Today commentary (Philemon).

Roy L. Montgomery Sr.

Roy L. Montgomery Sr.

Roy was born in AL. He moved to Atlanta, GA where he lived until 1989. Oklahoma City has been his family’s home since 1989. He and his wife Lynda are the parents of three children: Tonya, Roy Jr., and Roderick and seven grandchildren. He earned a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from the American Christian College and Seminary in 2004. He retired from GM’s management team after 36 years of service. He is an army veteran. He has been preaching the gospel and working in Christian counseling, church growth, and conflict resolution for over 38 years in GA and OK. He currently serves as the pulpit minister for the Estes Park church of Christ in OKC.

Tim Pyles

Tim Pyles

Tim Pyles received his education in Bible and ministry at Lipscomb University: B.A. (1985), M.A. (2000). He has served with churches in Australia, Hawaii, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and Oklahoma. He has been involved in mission trips to Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Nigeria, Estonia, Ukraine, Honduras, and Mexico. Since 2009 he has served as the preaching minister for the Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) Church of Christ. Tim and his wife Kim have been married for 30 years and have two children: Hannah (husband Reece Kingcade) and Coleman.

Howard W. Norton

Howard W. Norton

Dr. Howard Norton began preaching by appointment when he was 16 years old. His ministry has covered a wide range of activities. At different times in his life, he has worked as an elder, pulpit minister; associate minister; youth minister; educational minister; minister of personal evangelism; foreign missionary to Brazil and Honduras; president of Baxter Institute in Honduras; Harding University Bible and missions professor; director of Harding’s annual lectureship, teacher and director of the Instituto de Estudos Biblicos in Brazil; pulpit minister of Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK; professor and dean of the College of Bible at Oklahoma Christian University; editor of the Christian Chronicle, Church & Family magazine, and the Arkansas Christian Herald. He is a regular contributor to the Abundant Living magazine. Howard serves now as an elder of the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas. He is chairman of the board of World Bible School and a board member of Southern Christian Children’s Home, Baxter Institute, and Great Cities Missions. He is also one of the directors of the Pan American Lectureship. The Nortons frequently do mission work in Brazil. He and Jane have been married nearly 62 years. They have three children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Melvin L. Otey

Melvin L. Otey

Melvin L. Otey has served as an Associate Professor of Law at Faulkner University, Jones School of Law, since August 2014. Prior to this, he worked for the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, as a trial lawyer (2000-2003, 2007-2014) and preached for the Georgia Avenue church of Christ in DC (2006-2014). Among other things, he writes for Christian publications, conducts Gospel meetings, lectures, and seminars, and serves as a board member for Lads 2 Leaders and the Gospel Journal. He received his formal education from St. Louis University (BSBA, 1997), Howard University School of Law (JD, 2000), Amridge University (BS in Ministry/Bible, 2008; MDiv in Ministerial Leadership, 2014). He and his wife, Jania, have two sons, Caleb and Christian. They worship and work with the Dalraida congregation in Montgomery, AL.

Denny Petrillo

Denny Petrillo

Denny is married to the former Kathy Roberts. They have been married since January, 1978. They have three children (Lance, Brett and Laura), and five grandchildren (Chloe, Ashlyn, Sophie, Easton and Brelyn). He has served as the President of the Bear Valley Bible Institute since 2004 and has been a full time instructor since 1985. He has preached in Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska and Colorado. He has taught numerous classes for the World Video Bible School and has authored several books and commentaries. He graduated from the Bear Valley School of Preaching (now Bear Valley Bible Institute), received an AA degree in Bible (York College, York, Nebraska), BA in Bible and Biblical Languages (Harding University), MA in Old and New Testaments (Harding Graduate School of Religion), and a Ph.D. in Religious Education (University of Nebraska).

Ron Stough

Ron Stough

Ron Stough is a native of Montgomery, AL where he attended Alabama Christian High School.  He graduated from Harding University, and began his preaching career at the Mill Street Church of Christ in Cassville, MO, where he preached for 10 years.  Since 1983 he has been the pulpit minister for the Eastside Church of Christ in Duncan, OK. Ron is married to Vivian (Key) Stough, and they have two children and three grandchildren.

Wesley Walker

Wesley Walker

Wesley Walker is the Preaching Minister for the Woodson Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, TN. He is a graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute and received his M.Div at Freed-Hardeman University. Wesley has preached in gospel meetings, lectureships, and seminars throughout the United States, Western Europe, and Central America. He currently serves as a teacher for the Nashville School of Preaching and Biblical Studies and in the Bear Valley Graduate School Program.  He is a frequent contributor to brotherhood magazines. Wesley is married to Amanda and has three children, Presley (7), Audrey (4), and Emmett (2).