12th National Gathering of UMMen
Rev. Tom Albin
Rev. Tom Albin is the Dean of The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1999. The Upper Room, a global ministry of prayer and spiritual formation, is a part of UMC Discipleship Ministries. Prior to this, he was a faculty member at Boston University School of Theology and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. An ordained elder in the Oklahoma Conference, Rev. Albin provides spiritual leadership, teaching, and guidance for clergy and laity in various settings, across the church. Since 2013, Tom has guided The Upper Room team working with the United Christian Ashram movement. Last year, he led 16 different spiritual renewal events in India, Canada, and the USA. At the invitation of the General Conference Host Committee in 2012, Rev. Albin served as the co-chair of the Prayer Ministry Team—a role he has accepted again for 2016 in Portland.

Mr. Greg Arnold
Deployed Staff
Greg Arnold, CPC: Coaching and equipping men to win at faith, work, and life. Greg finds purpose in helping others find their purpose. Greg operates Live Bold Ministries, where they work to equip men to win at faith, work, and life. Find out more at www.livebold.org Greg is a Certified Professional Coach and work to help men overcome barriers and discover God’s hand-delivered talents, skills, and calling for their life. He serves as a deployed staff member at the General Commission on United Methodist Men. He is an active member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Vocationally: he is a serial entrepreneur with interests in the health care field where he serves in the CEO and Managing Partner capacity in his companies. Greg is a husband to his amazing wife, Rhonda, and father to the most impressive daughter on the planet, Olivia. He lives on the Mississippi gulf coast where you can often find him on the boat, fishing, or on land playing average golf.
Mr. Jim Boesch
Deployed Staff
Jim Boesch, one of the first persons to be certified as a men’s ministry specialist, is a deployed staff member of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. After completing training sessions with Orlando-based Man in the Mirror, Boesch engaged in courses in United Methodist polity and history, safe sanctuary training, and hands-on experience in men’s ministry in a local church. He was certified as a men’s ministry specialist in 2009. Boesch has taught adult-education classes in local churches, and he has equipped church members to lead discipling experiences, Bible studies and Sunday school classes. In recent years, Boesch has been active in the delivery of the “Understanding Men’s Ministry” discipleship training for clergy and lay leaders throughout the U.S. Two years ago he also became a facilitator and performance coach as an advocate of the Lead Like Jesus servant leadership equipping ministry based in Augusta, Ga. He was involved in the development of the Understanding Men’s Ministry Leadership Training, and an Advanced Lay Speaking course. He has successfully combined his training skills used in his profession with our training needs in men’s ministry.” Jim lives in Florida and is available to speak with any and all local, district or conference level United Methodist Men’s groups in regards to facilitating an “Understanding Men’s Ministry” discipleship training program or “Lead Like Jesus” servant leadership equipping program at their facilities.
Dr Gopi Dandamudi
Dr. Dandamudi is a cardiac electrophysiologist at Indiana University Health. He is the program director for the Indiana University Health Atrial Fibrillation Center and also serves as the system medical director for Indiana University Health Cardiac Electrophysiology. His interests also include value and consumer based health care delivery and His bundle pacing.
Mr. Mark Dehority
Deployed Staff
Currently serving as Deployed Staff - General Commission on United Methodist Men (UMM), Past President - Board of Directors of Disciple Bible Outreach of Illinois, Inc., and Executive Vice President - North Central Jurisdiction of UMM, and serving the UMC at the Conference, District and Local Church level. Magna cum Laude graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield. Thirty years of experience in the design and implementation of team based improvement systems, using small groups as the primary tool to engage people in cultural change and personal development. I believe God is calling me to bring men to Christ, through the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Men’s Ministry. He and his wife and spiritual partner Lynnette live in Central Illinois.
Mr. Shan Foster
Shan has served as the MEND Director since spring 2015.  Shan graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Organizational Development in 2008.  During his time at Vanderbilt, Shan was named the SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year and is Vanderbilt University's all-time leading scorer.  Shan was drafted into the NBA in 2008 and was inducted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2009.  Recently, Shan was honored as SEC Legend at the 2016 SEC Basketball Tournament.  Prior to his work at YWCA, Shan served as Dean of Culture for Intrepid College Preparatory Charter School in Nashville.  Shan now sits on the board for Intrepid and is also a member of Joyful Heart Foundation's Advisory Committee.
Rev. Robert Fuquay
Senior Pastor
Rob Fuquay was appointed September 1, 2011, as the fifth senior pastor in the 58-year history of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Prior to that, Rob has led growing congregations in a variety of settings in England and the United States. Rob loves the mountains, hiking, playing golf, attending his daughters’ activities, exercising, traveling, and watching college basketball (yes, both Duke AND Butler!) He graduated from Pfeiffer College (now Pfeiffer University), Misenheimer, NC, in 1984, with a B.A. in Religion, and Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, in 1987, with a M.Div. degree. Recently, Rob wrote The God We Can Know, a 7-week study designed for the entire congregation to explore the “I Am” sayings of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. Rob’s wife, Susan, is the daughter of United Methodist Bishop Richard Wilke, who wrote the Disciple Bible Study series. Susan loves teaching Disciple. Rob and Susan have three daughters: Julie, Sarah and Anna. Julie is a graduate of Southwestern College in Kansas, Sarah is a senior at Butler University in Indianapolis and Anna is a junior at Purdue University.
Mr. Reginald Grant
Reginald Grant is a member of the General Commission of United Methodist Men’s board of directors, serving his second term. He is the newly elected president of the Cal-Pac UMM Conference. He is the co-founder and CEO of eSportsInstruction.com, a technology firm focused on the conversion of gaming (eSports) with education and sports training. He is a sought-after speaker and has been an English teacher since 2002. He has written numerous textbooks and books in the education sector. He also serves on the board for the NAAAA, presenters of the “Watkins Award” for high school scholar athletes and P.O.W.E.R.S, Inc., a nonprofit in Los Angeles serving youth and women in the areas of education and entrepreneurship. He is a former professional athlete having played for the New York Jets, NFL and in the CFL after attending the University of Oregon.
Greg T. Hale Ph.D.
Gregory T. Hale, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist providing consultation and psychological services for individuals, attorneys, physicians, insurance companies, and manufacturing and service companies. As a forensic psychologist he evaluates and reviews cases of physical, mental, and emotional injury in employment claims. He has evaluated employment issues, fitness for duty, criminal responsibility, competency to stand trial, personal injury, workers compensation, battered woman syndrome, risk assessment, workplace violence, and sentencing issues. Dr. Hale earned his undergraduate degree from Anderson University and graduate degrees from Ball State University. In addition to his forensic work, Dr. Hale maintains an independent private practice providing treatment to adults with a wide range of psychological issues. A particular focus of his practice is the area of behavioral medicine and trauma. He regularly evaluates and treats patients with chronic pain and physical disorders. He consults with physicians regarding determining psychological suitability for surgery. He is regularly involved in providing psychological treatment for individuals severely injured in traumatic events and following work-related injuries.
Mr. Gilbert C. Hanke
General Secretary
Gil is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and a Speech Language Pathologist. He is an associate member of Antioch United Methodist Church in Nashville. Gil has been very active in missions from a local level to international projects. He served on an advance team to Tomsk, Siberia, and has led 8 medical/construction teams to Costa Rica, and 25 teams to Haiti. Most of the work in Haiti has been to provide reconditioned hearing aids to children in schools for the deaf through the Hope of Hearing Project. Gil has been a local UMM president, district president, Texas Conference president and National president. He also served as the president of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, served as the convenor of the UM Agencies General Secretaries and has been General Secretary since 2010. Gil is a Paul Harris Fellow, a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and a John Wesley Fellow.
Dr. Arnold Henry
Dr. Henry, Jr. is board certified in family medicine and fellowship trained in sports medicine. He loves family medicine because he is able to interact with the whole family and sports medicine comes naturally to him because he’s always been an athlete. By combining his two specialties, he is able to help his patients create balance between the physical and mental aspects of normal daily life. Dr. Henry, Jr. earned his medical degree from the Meharry Medical College. He went on to complete an internship and residency at the Medical College of Georgia, where he was chief resident.
Mr. Nicholas Hiratsuka
Nick Hiratsuka is an Eagle Scout and Senior at Mountain View High School in Tucson, Arizona. Recognizing that advances in technology have created a new type of bullying, not faced by previous generations, Nick used his passion for film-making to make a short film about cyberbullying. Nick’s film, ‘It’s Not Just a Joke,’ was made to promote discussion among both youth and adults at his church on the topic of cyberbullying. In making this short film, Nick realized that adults need a different skill set to deal with bullying events experienced by today’s youth. Nick serves on the technology team at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, is President of his high school film and T.V. club, and volunteers with a youth theater group in his community.
Bishop Jonathan Holston
Bishop Jonathan Holston is the resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference. Prior to his election and consecration in July of 2012, he served as the senior pastor of St. James UMC in Atlanta. Bishop Holston holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from The Interdenominational Theological Center, Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta. He also has a bachelor's degree in religion from the University of Georgia. He has also traveled extensively as a specialist in missions to Ecuador, Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, China and Hong Kong.
Mr. Philip Howard
Phillip G. Howard is a member of Mt. Auburn United Methodist Church in Greenwood, Indiana. He serves as a lay delegate to the Indiana Annual Conference in the North Central Jurisdiction. Phil and his wife Barbara live in the Franklin United Methodist Community and have three married daughters and 10 grandchildren. Barbara is retired, and Phil is President of InterDesign, an architectural firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a member of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, Phil serves as Chairman of the Scouting Ministry Committee. Phil has received the Cross and Flame Award, the Silver Torch Award, the God and Service Award, the God and Country Award, and is a John Wesley Fellow. Phil is an Eagle Scout and has been involved with Scouting since 1958. He is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award from the Crossroads of America Council, and was awarded the Silver Antelope by the Central Region of the Boy Scouts of America. Phil currently serves as Chairman of the Membership Committee on the Religious Relationship Task Force at the national level.
Mr. Chris Karabinos
Chris Karabinos is a 20-year veteran Boy Scout leader who has had leadership positions at the unit, church, district, council and Methodist Conference level since 1996. Leadership positions include Committee Chair (of a pack and 3 troops), Asst Scoutmaster, several District positions (Membership, Religious Relations, Camping, Program, Activities), COR and Scouting Coordinator for the Methodist North Georgia Conference. As COR at Johns Creek UMC, he helped double the size of the program from 4 to 8 units over an 8-year period and started an annual P.R.A.Y. program that has seen 390 badges earned over the past 10 years. Chris has also served the UMM in multiple roles including serving on the board at Johns Creek UMC for 10 years and is now serving on the North Georgia Conference’s UMM Executive Board as Scout Coordinator. Chris is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award (2005), the Distinguished Commissioner Award (2007), the God and Country Mentor Award (2008), the UMM Cross & Flame Award (2009), and the UMM Torch Award (2014).
Rev. Mark Lubbock
Deployed Staff
Mark just celebrated 20 years of marriage with his bride Vickie Lubbock. He served as a pastor with the United Methodist Church for over 15 years before coming on staff with the General Commission on United Methodist Men where he currently serves as Deployed Staff. He was the first pastor in the nation to become a “Certified Men’s Ministry Specialist” through the GCUMM and Vanderbilt University & Co-Chairs the MMS Leadership Team with Mark Dehority. Mark was recently elected as UMM President for the Louisiana Annual Conference after having served as an officer with UMM at the Local, District and State. Mark sits as the C.E.O. of the regional non-profit men’s ministry “Gulf South Men” headquartered in Baton Rouge, serving Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Gulf South Men supports churches and men’s groups in making disciples of Jesus through coaching, events, training, studies and small group formation.
Bishop Gary Mueller
Bishop Gary E. Mueller was elected an episcopal leader of the United Methodist Church on July 19, 2012, and is assigned to lead the Arkansas Area. He recevied his theological education at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, and at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was ordained an Elder in the North Texas Conference in 1981. Before his election to the episcopacy, he held a number of leadership roles, including delegate to the 2012 General Conference; four-time delegate to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference; chair of the North Texas Conference Ministry Center Building Committee during the design and construction of a new Conference Ministry Center; representative on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Task Force. He married Karen Goodman Mueller in 2016. Together, they have four adult children and spouses, Hailey and Stephen, Nick and Carrie, Kirk and Tiffany and Jeff and Dusty, as well as two adorable granddaughters, Madeline and Claire. Bishop Mueller’s passion is leading spiritual revival that results in vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ, who then make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world.
Rev. Robert Noland
After 10 years on the road in Christian music, 20 years in parachurch ministry, church planting, and pastoring, for the past 5 years Robert Noland has run his own ministry—517 Resources, Inc.—becoming a sought-after author, writer, and speaker working with Christian publishers, ministries, and faith-based organizations. In 2009, Robert launched his men’s ministry based on his first book The Knight’s Code with a live teaching event built around the tenets of the Code— Live Pure, Speak True, Right Wrong, and Follow the King. He has also released the 3SG Men’s Small Group Manual. His heart is to encourage and inspire men to follow Christ and be leaders in all aspects of life. He and his wife of 30+ years live in Franklin, TN and have 2 adult sons. Visit his website at RobertNoland.com
Ms. Darcey Palmer-Shultz
Darcey has served Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization with a mission she loves, a total of 13 years. In 2011, she assumed the role of CEO at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI). During her time as CEO, BBBSCI has been recognized with a Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Quality Award, an Indiana Achievement Award, as the Best Place to Volunteer in NUVO’s Best of Indy, the United Way of Central Indiana Volunteer Program of the Year, and with the Community Charity Award from the I Love Julia Foundation. In addition to leading Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, Darcey is a former President and current Vice President of the Indiana Big Brothers Big Sisters State Association. In 2012, Darcey was recognized in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40. She is a Generation Now Series graduate of the United Way of Central Indiana Leadership United program; a founding board member of Giving Sum, and a former Big Sister. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, Darcey studied Political Science, Public Relations and Italian. At Saint Mary’s, she received the Juliette Noone Lester Award for academic achievement in political science.
Rev. J. Richard Peck
The Rev. J. Richard Peck is a retired clergy member of New York Annual Conference. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (B.A.), Iliff School of Theology (Th.M.), and Boston University School of Public Communication (M.S.). He is the former editor of Newscope, a weekly newsletter published by the United Methodist Publishing House, Circuit Rider, a monthly publication for United Methodist clergy, the Daily Christian Advocate, the “congressional record” for General Conference, and the International Christian Digest, an interdenominational magazine. He retired from the publishing house in 2001 after 25 years of service. He is the former press secretary for the Council of Bishops and current editor of the quarterly magazine of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. He served 12 General Conferences in various capacities and was the staff person who drafted legislation for the Connectional Table at the 2012 General Conference. He also served as the staff person for the General Council on Ministries that wrote legislation creating the Connectional Table at the 2004 General Conference. He is the author of Walking Humbly Doing Justice (Abingdon Press, 2002) and Caring for God’s Earth (Abingdon Press, 2002) and he was editor of the 2000 United Methodist Book of Resolutions.
Mr. Joseph Strausbaugh
Charter System Administrator
Joe Strausbaugh is the Charter System Administrator at the General Commission on United Methodist Men. He has also served as a licensed local pastor in the Tennessee Annual Conference and with several other United Methodist General Agencies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College, a Master of Divinity from The Theological School at Drew University, and is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Colorado Denver. In his free time he cares for his two adorable cats, Percival and Cleopatra.
Bishop James Swanson
Bishop James Swanson is the president of GCUMM and resident bishop of the Mississippi Conference.  He served as pastor of St. Mary's Road UMC in Columbus, Georgia for 14 years, where the church grew from 16 active members to a membership of 950 with 525 in average worship attendance.  While at St. Mary's Road, he was a co-chair of the Mayor's Task Force on Gang Activity where he helped erode the influence and growth of gangs.  Bishop Swanson holds a Master of Divinity from C. H. Mason Seminary, ITC, Atlanta, Georgia.  He also has a bachelor's degree in Christian Ministries from Southern Bible College, Houston, Texas.
Rev. Dr. Rick Vance
Men's Ministry Director
Rev. Rick Vance is the Director of Men’s Ministry at the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Prior to coming to GCUMM, he served as lead pastor at Ebenezer UMC in Newark, DE. He holds degrees in Radiologic Technology, and Adult Education and worked in the health care field for 12 years prior to becoming a pastor. He has a Master's of Divinity and a Doctor in Ministry degree in leadership excellence, from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. He is the co-founder of “Temple Keeper Ministry” a ministry devoted to physical and spiritual health and wholeness. He is a national and international speaker, speaking on topics including, men’s ministry, leadership development, small group ministry and Spirit lead living and ministry.
Ms. Amanda Vogt
Amanda Vogt is from the Gateway Central District of the Missouri Conference where she attends Salem in Ballwin United Methodist Church. Amanda serves as a member of the GCUMM Board, and as the Missouri Conference Scouting Coordinator. She serves as one of six United Methodist Church representatives on the Boy Scouts of America’s National Religious Relationships Committee as the Chairman of the Media Sub-Committee. In Scouting, Amanda serves in many different roles, some of which have included, the 2008-2009 National Venturing President, the 2015 Philmont United Methodist Church Scouting Ministry Workshop Director, the Central Region Area 3 Venturing Associate Advisor of Program, and a two time St. Louis Powder Horn Course Director. She is a recipient of the Venturing Silver Award (Eagle Scout equivalent), the GSUSA Gold Award, and the United Methodist Silver Torch Award. Amanda is a graduate of Lindenwood University with a BA in Accounting and an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing. She pays for her Scouting habits by serving as the Director for Market Development for a nationwide publishing company of local church Guide Book & Directories.
Dr. Kevin Watson
Before joining the Candler faculty in 2014, Dr. Watson taught at Seattle Pacific University and Perkins School of Theology.  His research interests focus on Christian formation and discipleship from a Wesleyan perspective, particularly communal formation, Wesleyan/Methodist Christianity, the history of early Methodism, American Methodism, common misunderstandings of the Wesleyan tradition, and current events in the United Methodist Church.  In addition to writing articles for both scholarly and popular publications, Dr. Watson is the author of three books, including "Pursuiing Social Holiness"; "The Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought" and "Popular Methodist Practice" (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014).  He is currently working on a history of the development and fragmentation of American Methodism as a theological tradition.
Mr. William West
William H (Bill) West Currently serving a second three-year term as UMM Conference President for the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference and a Big Brother mentor since January 2012. Started the Amachi Mentoring partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Rocky Mountain Conference in 2011. Retired after 34 years with GE as National Contract Administrator of Government Hydro Contracts and retired as Hydro Project Manager of Hydro Projects for Alstom (a French company). Life-long member of the United Methodist Church.