RA18 Speakers

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Rev. Christy Jo Harber - friday Clergy lunch speaker

Rev. Christy Jo Harber is Associate Pastor at Eastwood Christian Church. She recently received her Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.  In 2012, she graduated from Murray State University in Murray, KY, where she focused on Nonprofit Leadership and Organizational Communication. She served as the Student Associate Minister of Youth and Congregational Life at First Christian Church (DOC), Paris, TN while in college. Christy Jo is passionate about congregational ministry as it intersects with social justice and community.  In her free time, she loves going hiking, finding waterfalls, and creek stomping.


REv. dr katie hays - Friday night speaker

Rev. Dr. Katie Hays is the founding pastor and Lead Evangelist for Galileo Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Worth, Texas. Galileo is a next-church community that seeks and shelters spiritual refugees, and it just turned five years old. Before Galileo, Katie pastored traditional congregations for almost two decades. She trained for ministry at Yale (M.Div.) and Princeton (D.Min.), and teaches a course called "Evangelism in the Contemporary North American Religious Landscape" for Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. 

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Rev. teresa hord owens - Saturday all assembly dinner speaker

Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens was elected General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in July 2017. She is the first person of color and second woman to lead the denomination. A descendant of one of the oldest African-American free colonies in Indiana and a Disciple since young adulthood, Hord Owens was dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL prior to her election.

Hord Owens’ resume includes more than 20 years in corporate America leading diverse data management teams in health care and other industries before she entered seminary. After ordination, she served 15 years at the University of Chicago Divinity School, shepherding a varied student body in both background and theology.

Hord Owens is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include a theology of reconciliation, cultural intelligence, developing inclusive and multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring of young adults. She marked three decades of marriage with Walter Owens, Jr., prior to her election. They are the proud parents of an adult son, W. Mitchell Owens, III.


Regional assembly reception host - friday night

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Christal graduated from the Cleveland School of the Performing Arts, where she had a special emphasis on Vocal Music and Theory. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas; a Master of Divinity Degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Christal holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. On June 20, 1998, she was ordained a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at Southport Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Williams has an extensive background in community service, mission work, education and proreconciling-anti-racism training, conflict resolution and mediation and Parker Palmer’s Circles of Trust Retreats. She has served as the President of the Disciple Women Leadership Council of the Christian Church, Wisconsin Council of Churches, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Christal has one sister Kim, two nieces and two nephews and also, has four very special Godchildren. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, music and photography. Her favorite scriptures are Isaiah 61, Ephesians 3:14-21, I John 4:7&8.

On Dr. Williams was installed as Regional Minister and President of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tennessee, and she hit the ground running. 

More information coming soon!