Merilyn Lauffer is our Spring Refresh Keynote Speaker. Merilyn and her husband, David, serve as the Southwest Regional Leadership couple of the Western Pennsylvania District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). Merilyn is a licensed Ministry Coach with the C&MA and mentor of women in the deeper life and women going through the consecration process. Previously the Lauffers ministered with the Alliance as church planters in Pennsylvania and Michigan (’83-’86 and ’04-’07), International Workers to Israel (’88-’03), and denominational leaders at the National Office, where Merilyn served as the Director of Donor Engagement and David served as the Assistant Vice-President of International Ministries (‘o7-’18).
Gloria Chapman was born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. Her parents were hardworking and loving, but they did not provide her with any religious training. She did not get introduced to Jesus Christ until her late 20’s when her then-boyfriend Mark Chapman shared the gospel with her and took her to his church. It was not long before she accepted God’s gift of salvation. Several months later, Mark and Gloria married, and life looked like it was going “happily ever after.” Nothing could have prepared Gloria for what happened one year and six months later: Mark flew to New York and shot and killed John Lennon the former Beatle! Gloria found friendship and help through her pastors and friends of Kailua Community Church (C&MA) and became active in its Sunday School program and in Alliance Women. She served in leadership roles, including two terms as Hawaii Area director. In the meantime, thousands of miles away, God healed Mark mentally and spiritually. In 2005, God gave them a ministry called All About Jesus Ministries which Gloria manages. AAJM revolves around evangelistic pamphlets Mark and Gloria have written; one contains their testimony. AAJM freely provides these materials to prison ministries, chaplains, and others all across the US and in Africa.
Doris Strong grew up in middle Georgia and found Jesus at the age of 15. While attending graduate school she found a home at First Alliance Church in downtown Raleigh. Here, she felt God’s call to missions and went with the Alliance to teach and disciple MKs at Dalat School (Penang, Malaysia). There, she met David who at the time was serving single in Cambodia with CAMA Services. David and Doris married in 1996 and served the marginalized for 16 years through Church Based Community Development in Cambodia. Then for the past 10 years they have served regionally -- consulting, equipping, and encouraging 20+ CAMA workers in 8 different Asian countries.
Hannah and Josh Gies are from Valley Alliance Church where they lead the youth ministry and worship ministry. They love leading worship, especially when they get to do it with their good friends. Natalie and Austin Bates live in Syracuse, NY and both grew up in Alliance churches. They are talented musically and have a great gift for worship. The four of them are looking forward to worshiping with you all at Spring Refresh this year!