Joel Napp (kick off keynote Speaker!)
Joel Knapp was born and raised in London, Ontario. He grew up attending Awana and has great memories of making race cars, attending the Awana Games, and many leaders along the way. After finishing high school, He sensed a calling to ministry and now has the privilege of working with youth at West London Alliance Church. He is married and has two beautiful girls.
Breakout Session Leaders (will be updated as they are confirmed for the event)
We are grateful to those who have agreed to participate in the NEXTGen Conference as Keynote Speakers and Breakout Session Leaders!
Please show them your gratitude when you are at Conference.
Awana Advocate, Ontario Events
Raised in a Christian home and now leading my own. A servant of God, husband, father and now a part time advocate with Awana. My wife Ruth Anne and I are Ontario Camp and Southwestern Ontario events advocates. Growing up through the Awana program has instilled a life long love of Christ. We both truly love to see God working in the youth of today. God has truly blessed us by allowing us this opportunity to serve our Lord while ministering to our youth.
I grew up in a solid Christian home in London, Ontario. I went to a Christian school age 3 through grade 1(where I accepted Christ as my Saviour at 6 years old). I was then home schooled all the way up through high school and graduated from Kawartha Lakes Bible College in 2009. I started Awana when I was 9 years old in what was then known as the Chums program (now T&T - Ultimate Adventure). I continued in Awana all through high school and earned my Citation Award in 2007. Awana’s Ontario Scholarship Camp (OSC) had a huge impact on my life and through opportunities presented at camp, I was able to participate is several missions experiences. These opportunities included a couple internships on a reserve in Northern Manitoba that totalled 6 months. God used all these aspects of the Awana ministry to shape my faith and give me a solid foundation for my future. Kyle and I met at OSC and were married in 2009. We have two children Chloe (4) and Jobe (2). They are huge blessing in our lives, both are involved in the Awana program and they love it. Kyle and I signed on as Awana Advocates in the Spring of 2016. It is a privilege and honour to be serving in the ministry that has played such a vital role in my personal and spiritual life. I am very excited to see what future holds and look forward to what God will do!
Tom is the T&T Boys Director at Benton Street Baptist Church in Kitchener. He has 25 years experience in Awana Clubs having served as handbook table leader, Director (Pioneers & Guards - remember those?), JV(Trek) and T&T as well as Commander (now Awana Ministry Director). He started out not liking kids... but though God's Grace (Mercy?) very quickly he developed a love of children's ministry through Awana clubs. His other passion is motorcycling - his current ride is a 2001 Goldwing and he has managed to put 310,000 kms on it (don't get him talking about motorcyles for your own sake!)
Rebekah grew up in London, Ontario. Attending Awana from a very young age, she grew up through the program, starting in Cubbies and working her way through to Journey, she received her Citation Award in 2013. Rebekah was trained as a missionary by Child Evangelism Fellowship Ontario in Brantford for 4 summers. Being recently married Rebekah now lives in Woodbridge Ontario and is working with Awana as their Church care advocate. Helping churches with whatever they need from answering simple questions, to running trainings.
Married to Alex Siemens for 14 years. They have four daughters, and live in Ayr Ontario. Lorelee is very passionate about children, and has been a Jr. High teacher, Ministry director at CEF and children's pastor before serving at CEF. Lorelee Is a freelance speaker. She speaks on the topics related to children's ministries as well as pro-life ( abortion, adoption, and euthanasia).
Dave grew up in the Chicagoland area. With a degree in Christian education, Dave learned about Awana while serving on the staff of a local church. His wife Joyce, however, was saved in an Awana Club at a young age. Eventually, Dave and Joyce served as area co-ordinators in Western New York before moving to Ontario to work full-time as Awana missionaries.
God has used the Kinseys' many experiences to prepare them for their present ministry. Dave and Joyce have served as Awana missionaries since 1982. They have four grown children and make their home in Powassan, near North Bay, Ontario.
Both Dave and Joyce are well versed in the Awana program. They are available to counsel with church leaders regarding their youth ministry, and to present the Awana ministry to boards, committees, and congregations. They are also ready to conduct leadership training, operate area AwanaGames and Sparks-a-Ramas, and speak at your special events, such as award presentations, banquets, church services, and missions conferences. Please feel free to contact them directly.
Regional Director Ontario
I was born and raised in the historical city St. Johns, Newfoundland. As a teenage boy I fell in love with serving in the Awana Clubs. Serving on the front lines as a Leader, Director, and Commander was an amazing experience. The victories were always a blessing and seeing boys, girls, and families won to Christ was an amazing experience! It is my prayer to see this continue!
Faith and I have been married for 11 years and have 2 kids, Harmony (5) and Simon (1). We have served the Lord in different ways over the years and are thrilled to be a part of Awana! We love coming along side of the local church asking them, “How can we help?” We simply desire to be a blessing. We live in the beautiful forest city, London, Ontario. I enjoy playing hockey, running, and pretty playing any sport. I have met many people on the Awana trails and am looking forward to meeting and being a blessing to many more.
Pastor Jay Grimes
Jay Grimes has been the lead Pastor of Cobblestone Church in Paris, Ontario since he led a group in starting it 5 years ago. Jay has been involved in church ministry for the past 12 years in one capacity or another including Youth ministry, ministry consultation, Leadership development and church planting. His driving passion is to see the church equipped and empowered for the mission of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life. Jay, his wife Sarah, and their three boys live in Paris.
Jessica Martin is a Child and Youth Worker who has been working in Social Services for over 15 years. Professionally Jessica has worked extensively with special needs, mental health and volunteer management. She has been serving at the Simcoe Gospel Chapel in Cubbies for the past 6 years with 4 of those as Director. She also serves on the Christian Education Advisory Committee serving as the Child Protection Member focusing on risk management policy and practices. Jessica is widowed and a single mom to Noah, an adventurous 11year old.
I was born and raised in the small farming community of Simcoe Ontario where I spent time working on my family farm. This is where I learned a strong work ethic, team work, and the ins and outs of the agriculture industry. I was raised in a home where I was given the freedom to choose what I believe in and choose if I wanted to be a part of the local Awana program. I joined as a Cubbie and fell in love with Awana. I went through the program and was able to attend the Awana Ontario Scholarship Camp and accepted Christ as my personal Saviour at camp in 2006. I grew in my faith through the Awana program, received my citation award in 2012 and from there became a leader within my church and Awana program.
I have been able to use my faith to reach youth across the province and have developed a fire and a passion for youth ministry. I am always willing to share my story with anyone. I am always willing to lend a hand and go out of my way to support and help someone. God has blessed me in so many ways and I am eternally grateful. I believe Awana has given me the opportunity of a lifetime by leading me to Christ and so I have made it my personal goal to reach as many boys and girls for Christ as possible.
Currently I am studying business through Nipissing University and will finish with a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree. I spend free time outdoors, golfing, and watching auto racing and hockey.
God has given me the privilege to work with the church where I was saved as a young teenager, Bethel Baptist Church in Simcoe Ontario. I have been given many opportunities to serve and I really enjoy working with our youth and children ministries. I am also able to work on various graphics and print projects here at the church. I am humbled to be able to serve the Lord and look forward to what He has in store for the future!