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2018 CMDA National Convention


Plenary Speakers

Dr. John Barnett
Dr. Barnett has been teaching the Word of God for 30+ years. Born and raised in Michigan, John has studied at Michigan State University, Bob Jones University (B.S., B.A., M.A., M. Div.), The Master's Seminary (faculty and Th. M. work), Dallas Theological Seminary (Dr. of Biblical Ministry) and with Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri Fellowship.

John shares his life with Bonnie his beloved wife, and their eight wonderful children. As a home educating family, John and Bonnie teach children and teens with enthusiasm and love. In the past 30 years of uninterrupted ministry, John has served congregations in Michigan, Georgia, Rhode Island, California and Oklahoma before coming to the precious saints at Calvary Bible Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2008. He has served on the Faculty of the Master’s College & Seminary. He was an Associate Pastor to Dr. John MacArthur at Grace Community Church for five years overseeing the Shepherding Ministries. During graduate school, John served as the Assistant Dean of Men at Bob Jones University for five years.

Called to the ministry as a young man—his passion remains prayer and the ministry of God's Word. As a global Christian, and having ministered the Word in 40 nations around the world, John's ministry is deeply touched by outreach and evangelism. Since 1978, in conjunction with Land of the Book Tours John has led dozens of study tours, retreats, travels, and pilgrimages with over 1,500 participants, and taught on site in 21 countries and on five continents. His Tours filmed onsite are available to watch online.

As a Seminary Professor of Theology, Church History and the English Bible, John's messages reflect the background of the Scripture from the ancient biblical world, the history of the church and the daily life in far corners of the planet. In 1998 a new ministry called Discover the Book Ministry was launched to provide electronic copies of Pastor John's audio, video, and text studies free of charge to pastors, missionaries, and other believers. Since then, this ministry has grown to serve saints in all 50 states and over 145 lands around the world, as well as through daily radio on a growing number of radio stations in the USA, Europe and the Caribbean.

Ellie Lofaro
Ellie Lofaro  is a respected Bible teacher, inspirational speaker and humorist.

Completely convinced of God’s love and His mandate to “go and tell,” Ellie has committed her life to sharing the Great News. She speaks internationally, has authored five books, has been published in numerous magazines and taught a weekly nondenominational Bible Study for 15 years.  She has taught in prisons across the globe. On two occasions, she has been honored by Focus on the Family as being “The Best of the Best.”   Ellie’s  message is a wonderful blend of plainspoken truth, common sense practicality, and disarming humor. A serious student of Scripture and a keen observer of the culture, she has developed a unique teaching style that touches the heart, stimulates the mind, and nourishes the soul — thus inspiring her to establish  Heart Mind & Soul Ministries. Ellie and her husband Frank (CEO of Prison Fellowship International), are native New Yorkers. They reside near the nation’s capital where they raised three children who turned  into very likable adults. She loves travel, photography, long dinners, large masses of water and all things Italian.

Hon. Joe Pitts
U.S. Representative Joe Pitts served in Congress for 20 years, retiring in 2017 as a respected statesman known for his strong Christian faith and his commitment to advancing Judeo-Christian values in government and society. He was raised by missionary parents in the Philippines before returning to the U.S. to attend Asbury University, where he met Ginny, his wife of more than 50 years. After several years of teaching middle and high school math and science, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served three tours of duty in Vietnam. He was elected to the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives in 1972. Then he was elected to Congress in 1996. He chaired the Values Action Team for 19 years and he also chaired the House Subcommittee on Health, advocating for pro-life, pro-family legislation and religious freedom for all Americans. Having served on the frontlines of the culture and legislative wars for the last 40 years, Joe has a unique insight into the proper role of Christians in public life and government and how to effectively advocate for our religious freedoms and values.

David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics)
Dr. Stevens serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. He is the author of Jesus, MD, Beyond Medicine, co-author of Leadership Proverbs and Servant Leadership.

From 1981 to 1991, Dr. Stevens served as a missionary doctor in Kenya helping to transform Tenwek Hospital into one of the premier mission healthcare facility in the world. Subsequently, he served as the Director of World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse, assisting mission hospitals and leading medical relief teams into war and disaster zones.   

As a leading spokesman for Christian doctors in America, Dr. Stevens has conducted hundreds of television, radio and print media interviews. Dr. Stevens holds degrees from Asbury University and is an AOA graduate University of Louisville School of Medicine and is board certified in family practice. He earned a master’s degree in bioethics from Trinity International University in 2002.

Worship Leader
Ryan Kennedy
Ryan Kennedy is a People & Songs artist and writer based in Houston, Texas. Growing up in Houston, the third largest theatre district in the U.S., afforded Ryan the opportunity to be involved in musical theatre from an early age. By the time he was a teenager, he was musically directing regional plays and, by the age of 17, he had written an entire Broadway musical along with an accompanying 22-song score. The show was staged at Houston’s famous Theatre Under the Stars, attracting the attention of multiple New York producers. The musical was chosen from a group of over 500 projects to be awarded a large grant funding from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. The show began to move toward a promising future as plans of moving the production to New York came about in creative meetings with producers, investors and directors. As the show began further developing towards its off-Broadway run, Ryan’s promising career as a Broadway composer came to a halt when he had a profound, life-changing encounter with Christ. Realizing God was calling Him to write and record music that spoke about his newfound faith in Jesus, he left his musical and career behind to recklessly follow the Holy Spirit and never looked back.

Since then, Ryan has toured both nationally and internationally and opened for acts such as MercyMe, Crowder, Brandon Heath, Jonathan Thulin, Sarah Kelly and Urban Rescue. After spending more than four years as the full-time Director of Worship & Creative Arts at his home church in Texas, Ryan now, when not on tour, leads worship for the 18,000-member congregation at Woodlands Church.

Known for his impactful and exciting live events, Ryan and his band use state-of-the-art technology and innovative sound design to explore the God designed experience of music and message. Ryan's passion is to see the Spirit of God overtake a room and the joy of the Lord change the atmosphere. Ryan's music speaks of the unending and eternal hope we have in Jesus and His healing and restorative power in our lives. Landing at the sonic edge where acoustic and electronic meet, Ryan is critically acclaimed for blazing a new path forward past the typical and weaving the ever-changing sonic landscape of music with the never changing truth of the gospel.

Ryan was the recipient of the 2016 GMA Immerse award for Songwriter of the Year and the following year signed with the incredible community of People & Songs as an artist and staff songwriter. He is currently working on his major label debut record that is slated for a fall 2018 release. Find out more about Ryan and his ministry at

Saturday Evening Entertainment
Matt Fore
Matt currently lives in East Tennessee and spends much of his time on the road as the featured entertainer for many corporate functions, churchwide events, sports evangelism celebrations, banquets and conventions. He has performed throughout the Carribean on Carnival Cruise Lines and was an opening act for Crystal Gayle. He has appeared in a music video with Taylor
Swift and has performed on several national TV Shows including the Crook & Chase show on TNN, Fox Sports and The Dennis Swanburg Show. He has also performed numerous times at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, California.

Workshop Speakers
Grat Correll, MD, FAAFP
Dr. Grat Correll is a family physician from Bristol, Tennessee, where he has been voted "Best Physician in Bristol" on several occasions. He is also an assistant professor with Quillen College of Medicine, where he serves as campus director for a CMDA student group. Dr. Correll has been active with GHO mission trips since the 1980's and has been a project director since the 1990's. He has also taught Saline Solution for over a decade for CMDA.

Gene Rudd, MD
Dr. Gene Rudd served as Senior VP of CMDA since 1995. His experience is in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine. Dr. Rudd also served with Samaritan's Purse/World Medical Mission providing crisis relief in several international locations.

Steven J. Sartori, MD
Dr. Steve Sartori is the director of Life & Leadership Coaching for Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). He is a graduate of The Medical College of Wisconsin and has been CEO of a private group practice, chief of staff at two hospitals, faculty member for a family medicine residency program, and chief medical officer for a faith-based community health center. He has served CMDA as board member, treasurer, and audit committee chair, and has participated in mission trips to Jamaica, Thailand, Romania, Kenya, and Swaziland.