Faculty

Bob Hostetler

Bob Hostetler is an award-winning writer, editor, pastor and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His forty-five books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices)  and the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is also a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats.  Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by The Salvation Army. He and his wife, the lovely Robin, served in The Salvation Army from 1980-1992. In addition to his training for ministry with The Salvation Army, he earned degrees in English Bible from Cincinnati Christian University and English Communications from Bloomfield College. In 2000, Bob (with his wife) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He has served that church in leadership and teaching pastor roles. He has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor,and (with his wife Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once). Bob and Robin have two adult children, Aubrey and Aaron, son-in-law Kevin and daughter-in-law Nina, and grandchildren Miles, Mia, Calleigh, Ryder, and Avery. They live in Hamilton, Ohio.


Tim Shoemaker

Tim Shoemaker – Tim speaks at schools, churches, and para-church organizations (such as Focus on the Family, Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences, International Network of Children’s Ministry, and Moody Pastors Conference). He also speaks at men’s retreats, women’s groups, couples retreats, Youth Worker conventions, homeschool conventions, writers’ conventions, and conduct Family Devotion Workshops all across the country. A successful author, Tim has penned 6+ books from adult to young adult. Tim has been married over 30 years and is dad to 3 adult sons. His writing skill and leadership brings a unique turn to writers conferences.


Vonda Skelton

Vonda Skelton – Whether delivering a keynote at a civic event, speaking at a women’s retreat, or teaching a class at a writer’s conference, Vonda Skelton’s programs are consistently called powerful, entertaining, and insightful. Her women’s book, Seeing through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe, “…takes readers on a hilarious journey through all things female as we search for truth in a counterfeit world.” Discussion questions are included, making it appropriate for small group or individual study. She is also the author of a children’s mystery series, The Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries, which are set on Hilton Head Island (SC), Amelia Island (FL), and Tybee Island (GA).As a former RN and freelance writer, Vonda has had articles published in HomeLife, Christian Single, ParentLife, Focus on the Family magazines, and many other publications. She is also a playwright and lyricist, and her scripts have been performed around the country. Her writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den, covers weekly writing topics, instruction, and opportunities for writers. Vonda is the founder and co-director of Christian Communicators, a conference and community that educates, validates, and launches women in their speaking ministries. Vonda and Gary have been married all their lives and are still happy about it! They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Visit Vonda at www.vondaskelton.com.


Edie Melson

Edie Melson — author, blogger and speaker—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. Her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers across the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a prolific writer, with numerous books and thousands of articles. Her popular writing blog, The Write Conversation, is a well known resource. Edie is the senior editor for Novel Rocket, and the social media mentor for My Book Therapy websites, as well as social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts.org. In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has been updated and expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. Her books for military families include her latest, While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military(Worthy Inspired) and Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).You can also connect with Edie on Twitter andFacebook and at ediemelson.com.


Linda Gilden

LINDA GILDEN – is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives, Called to Write, and many ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals, she encourages others to write with excellence. As a speaker, she travels all over the country sharing the message of God’s hope. As a member of the CLASS Seminars training staff and Director of CLASS Christian Writers Conference and Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Linda enjoys helping others polish their speaking and writing skills on their journeys to clear, concise communication. Linda is a Certified Personality Trainer helping others discover the joy of understanding themselves and others. Contact Linda at [email protected]   and visit her website at www.lindagilden.com


La-Tan Roland Murphy

As an event speaker and vocalist, LaTan finds encouraging others her passion and purpose. La-Tan speaks with candid humility and raw honesty, drawing from her own real-life mistakes and failures while inspiring her audiences with hilarious personal stories.  She is quick to say that God amazes her daily by honoring an ordinary girl like herself to speak to extraordinary people. Her audiences respond to her rare authenticity saying they feel as though they’ve known her their entire lives. LaTan loves to inspire others to look for everyday blessings in the middle of crazy-busy living. LaTan and her husband, Joe, met when they were only teenagers and celebrate thirty-three years of marriage, and will be the first to tell you they are still growing up together. LaTan enjoys leading marriage seminars and helping singles discover their identity and confidence in Christ. LaTan and Joe have three adult children: two sons, and a daughter. They are blessed to have a loving son in law and daughter in law—who feel more like biological children. In her spare time LaTan enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, a granddaughter and a grandson—who totally captivate LaTan’s heart.

 

La-Tan is a Selah award nominated writer and a regularly featured columnist for the nationally recognized WHOA Women’s Magazine, from its inception in 2010.  La-Tan’s articles have been featured through WHOA women’s Magazine on: Fox news, Inside Edition, 700 Club, and The Daily Mail in the UK. Her books have been featured in Southern Writers Magazine in the 2014 January Edition, and the October 2014 edition as MUST READS. La-Tan has also been published on Girlfriends in God Devotional/Crosswalk.com, and is a regularly featured columnist for Just 18 Summers. LaTan has been highlighted by the American Daily Herald, Inspire a Fire, Southern Ohio Christian Voice. Her articles have been featured alongside Joyce Meyer, Lisa Osteen, Kim Alexis, Gretchen Carlson- Fox News and Megan Alexander of Inside Edition.  Website:  latanmurphy.com

 

La-Tan Roland Murphy – As an event speaker and vocalist, LaTan finds encouraging others her passion and purpose. La-Tan speaks with candid humility and raw honesty, drawing from her own real-life mistakes and failures while inspiring her audiences with hilarious personal stories.  She is quick to say that God amazes her daily by honoring an ordinary girl like herself to speak to extraordinary people. Her audiences respond to her rare authenticity saying they feel as though they’ve known her their entire lives. LaTan loves to inspire others to look for everyday blessings in the middle of crazy-busy living. LaTan and her husband, Joe, met when they were only teenagers and celebrate thirty-three years of marriage, and will be the first to tell you they are still growing up together. LaTan enjoys leading marriage seminars and helping singles discover their identity and confidence in Christ. LaTan and Joe have three adult children: two sons, and a daughter. They are blessed to have a loving son in law and daughter in law—who feel more like biological children. In her spare time LaTan enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, a granddaughter and a grandson—who totally captivate LaTan’s heart.

La-Tan is a Selah award nominated writer and a regularly featured columnist for the nationally recognized WHOA Women’s Magazine, from its inception in 2010.  La-Tan’s articles have been featured through WHOA women’s Magazine on: Fox news, Inside Edition, 700 Club, and The Daily Mail in the UK. Her books have been featured in Southern Writers Magazine in the 2014 January Edition, and the October 2014 edition as MUST READS. La-Tan has also been published on Girlfriends in God Devotional/Crosswalk.com, and is a regularly featured columnist for Just 18 Summers. LaTan has been highlighted by the American Daily Herald, Inspire a Fire, Southern Ohio Christian Voice. Her articles have been featured alongside Joyce Meyer, Lisa Osteen, Kim Alexis, Gretchen Carlson- Fox News and Megan Alexander of Inside Edition.  Website:  latanmurphy.com


Yvonne Lehman

Yvonne  Lehman– Yvonne  lives in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina where she and her husband raised four children, now grown. She is an award-winning, best-selling author of 40 novels and past director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25+ years. Yvonne now directs the Novel Retreat each October at Ridgecrest Conference Center. In each of her novels, Yvonne tries to present one significant ingredient—hope. She has a southern upbringing and many of her novel settings are in the mountains where she’s lived for the past 25 years. Many of her novels reflect her unique sense of humor. Visit Yvonne at www.yvonnelehman.com.


Cindy Sproles

Cindy Sproles – Cindy  is the Cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries, popular speaker and conference teacher, Cindy is the Executive Editor of ChristianDevotions.us and a Managing Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her devotions are published widely in Christian newspapers across the eastern seaboard. Cindy is the author of New Sheets: Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be and is the cowriter of He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion. And her debut novel, Mercy’s Rain is a Selah Finalist, an Illumination Award silver medalist, and a IndieFab Book of the Year winner. She is a certified life coach and mentor. Cindy is the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.


Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC. Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.


Denise Loock

Former high-school English teacher and college professor Denise Loock is an editor, author, and inspirational speaker. She is an associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, based in Raleigh, NC (lighthousepublishingofthecarolinas.com). She also accepts freelance editing projects from writers who want to submit clean, concise, and compelling manuscripts to publishers (lightningeditingservices.com). She is the author of two devotional books that highlight the scriptural truths of classic hymns and gospel songs, Open Your Hymnal and Open Your Hymnal Again. She is the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, a website that encourages Christians of all ages to dig deeper into the Word of God (digdeeperdevotions.com). Her articles, stories, and devotions have appeared in various publications, including EFCA TodayChicken Soup for the SoulThe Upper Room, and Vista.


Anna Floit

Anna Floit grew up among the cornfields and maple trees of the Midwest. Her small-town, Americana upbringing was the perfect setting for a little girl with long braids who loved stories, and she became a character in every book she read — from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s popular “Little House on the Prairie” series to Harper Lee’s classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She found her favorite tales were always set in the South, and an endearment for the area led her to make her home in Nashville, Tennessee.  Anna’s lifelong fascination with stories and wordsmithing, along with her experience as a certified language arts teacher, inspired her to establish The Peacock Quill, a place of storyliving and storytelling for herself and for others. Because while creativity combined with life experiences are like watercolors to a canvas, every radiant masterpiece must first sustain refinement and polishing. And that’s what Anna does as editor at The Peacock Quill. She makes your work shine!


Larry J. Leech II

Larry J. Leech II  spent eighteen years writing, editing, and managing news and sports departments at daily newspapers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and Florida. He finished his journalism career with a five-year stint as editor of Christian Retailing magazine, the leading trade publication in the Christian industry. With more than 2,300 articles published, Larry moved into freelance writing and editing in 2004. He has ghostwritten more than twenty books, edited more than 200 manuscripts, and written back cover copy and press releases for numerous publishers. Larry teaches at numerous conferences nationwide and has become a much sought-after writing coach. Recent releases include the “Unholy Series,” featuring Unholy QuestUnholy Terror, and Unholy Alliance. Find Larry at www.larryleech.com.


Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC books). She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information, visit www.andreamerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com


Lori Hatcher

Lori Hatcher is a women’s ministry speaker, author, magazine editor, blogger, minister’s wife, and healthcare professional. She shares an empty nest in Lexington, South Carolina with her husband, David, and her vast collection of books. Lori’s the editor of South Carolina’s Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a Christian magazine dedicated to celebrating the life and work of Jesus Christ. A homeschool mom for 17 years, she’s the author of two devotional books, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year; and Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. Lori’s also a freelance writer for Crosswalk.com. Her feature articles and devotions have been published by publications such as Proverbs 31 ministries, The Upper Room, War Cry, Today’s Christian Living, Christian Living in the Mature Years, Evangel, The Mother’s Heart, Inspired Women, The Old Schoolhouse, and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. A contest-winning Toastmasters International speaker (ACG, ALB), Lori loves to use stories to impart spiritual truths. Encouraging, inspiring, and entertaining are the words people use most to describe her. You’ll find Lori her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time (www.lorihatcher.com). You can reach her at [email protected].


Scott McCausey

Scott McCausey – Radio host for Christian Devotions Speak UP! The nationally syndicated Blog Talk show is climbing the charts. With Scott’s warm interview skills and determination he has managed interviews with top Christian artists, as well as athletes, and theologians. Christian Devotions is very proud of the work and standard that Scott has brought to the ministry. Scott is looking for good solid interviews with authors, celebrities, missionaries, or individuals with unique stories.


Renee McCausey

Renee McCausey – Renee serves as the co-editor of DevoKids.com. Devokids is always looking for unique children’s devotions, stories, artwork, home school ideas, and more. Renee’s gifts to teach, and her creativity offer parents amazing tools to work with their wee ones. A successful home school mom herself, Renee understands the importance of guiding our children. 


Dee Parker and Beth Fortune

Conferee Care Representatives


Publishers, Editors, and Agents in Attendance:

Les Stobbe

Les Stobbe has been an active Literary Agent for 23 years. Les has been denominational weekly editor, book editor, book club vice-president, journal editor, curriculum managing editor, and president of a book publishing house. He has written curriculum, journalism lessons, 14 books and hundreds of magazine articles. His website is at www.stobbeliterary.com


Lin Johnson

Lin Johnson is the managing editor of Christian Communicator; freelance writer, editor, and proofreader; international conference teacher; adjunct professor, Taylor University; Gold Medallion Book Award recipient and EPA Higher Goals Award recipient. She is the director of the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois, and the new editor of the Christian Writers Market Guide.


Diana Flegal

Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for ten years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, and formula romance.  When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains, or kayaking the many lakes of her home state, North Carolina.


Eddie Jones – Publisher
Andrea Merrell – Editor
Denise Loock – Editor
Yvonne Lehman – Mgn. Editor
Cindy Sproles – Mgn. Editor

The Staff That Keeps Things Moving

We could not manage things without our amazing staff and their wonderful gifts and talents.

Bookstore manager – Bennie Jones
Conferee Care  – Dee Dee Parker & Beth Fortune
Bookstore Finances and collections – Renee McCausey
Recording – Scott McCausey
Director – Cindy Sproles
Ministry Director – Eddie Jones
Contest Director – Sarah Loudin Thomas
Schedules and Appointments Director – Terri Kelly
Conference Manual – Andrea Merrell
Conference Roster – Cindy Saab