Meet the Speakers

Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Rich holds a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading widely, preaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, justice-related matters, and the art of preaching. He’s been married to Rosie since 2006 and they have two beautiful children, Karis and Nathan. His first book, The Deeply Formed Life, is now available wherever books are sold.

Michael Beck is a pastor, professor, and author. He is a spiritual guide who helps people heal, love, and unleash imagination to create better lives, organizations, and communities. Michael and his wife are co-pastors of two churches and a network of thirteen fresh expressions led by laity that gather in tattoo parlors, dog parks, burrito joints, and digital spaces. They direct an inpatient rehab, a shelter for those experiencing homelessness, and an anti-racism movement. Michael also teaches, coaches, trains, and educates leaders internationally.

Marilyn Elliott has been a student of formative spirituality since she encountered the forces of formation in her own life in 1991. Her work has encompassed the creation and engagement of formative experiences for many, involving both church and seminary. She is a challenging communicator with a deep understanding of spiritual hungers and human passion.

Wes is the Lead Pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida. Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America. He is a Child of God and Person of Worth (C.O.G.P.O.W.) and wants other people to share in the joy of that identity through a relationship with Jesus.