Rev. Elliott J. Anderson is Assistant Professor of Psychology and Pastor to Staff and Faculty at Judson University and Partner in CORE13 Construction Company. He is also Teaching Pastor at Solid Rock Church (Elgin, Illinois) and has a private practice in counseling out of his home. Elliott has also been a crisis therapist, a collegiate basketball and baseball coach, a vice president, a jazz and gospel drummer, an author, and owned multiple businesses. He has taught, performed, preached, and coached in Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and all over the United States. He and his wife Angie have two adopted sons, two biological daughters, fostered two sons, and housed over 20 college students and missionaries.
Elliott's passion is loving Christ and loving others through making disciples and sharing the gospel in whatever way the Spirit moves and the Lord desires. Though a foot shorter, Elliott was a college basketball teammate of Jeff's at Judson University and a lifelong friend and supporter of his ministries ever since.
Barry Clair is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God with a church leadership degree from Southeastern University in Florida. He pastored Bethel Assembly of God in Quincy, IL for 12 years and has also served as a staff pastor at Lakeshore Tabernacle in Kenosha, WI; Tri County Assembly in Cincinnati, OH; and Calvary Temple Christian Center in Springfield, IL. He is currently the lead pastor at Tiffany Fellowship in Kansas City MO.
Barry is passionate about impacting and mentoring people not only in the USA but also around the world. He has taken over 10 trips overseas teaching leadership conferences in Mexico, China, South America, South Africa, Thailand, Sicily, Italy, and Hong Kong.
He has been a part of Jeff Hunt's life as a friend and mentor including trips to South Africa in 2002 and 2003. Barry believes in the mission of Engage Africa and is committed to helping facilitate the work in South Africa.
Vern Hunt has been involved in the housing industry since 1969. In the early 70's he owned and operated Hunt Plastering Company, which was founded by his grandfather. In 1987 he founded Cavin Investments, Inc., a real estate investment, development, and construction company. From 1987-99 he developed several residential subdivisions in norther Illinois. Vern and his family relocated to Pensacola, FL in 1999 where he has been active in the real estate market as a real estate broker in Florida and Alabama.
Vern's love for Africa and her people began in 1996 when he was part of a missions team sent to Kenya and Uganda to build several churches. In 1999 he returned to help build a Bible school in Kenya. A business venture in 2008 brought Vern to Kenya and South Africa, where he was once again impacted by the spiritual and practical needs of the African people.
Vern now resides in Pensacola, Florida with his wife, Susan. They have 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters, and 1 grandson. He loves to travel and enjoys golf, fishing, boating, and, especially, spending time with his family.
Sonya Jones was born in Springfield, Illinois and grew up an only child in Litchfield, IL. She attended Litchfield High School and played several sports. Sonya was a 4 year Varsity fast-pitch softball player at Greenville College, where she received a bachelor's degree in physical education. She was an All-American her junior and senior years and was named All-American Player of the Year. Sonya also holds two Master's Degrees, one in Educational Leadership and one in Educational Administration. She received her Master's Degrees from the University of Illinois in Springfield, IL. Sonya was recently a finalist on Season 16 of NBC's hit reality show The Biggest Loser. Sonya lost a total of 144 pounds while on the show earning the title of Runner-Up falling to the winner by less than 1 pound. Sonya is a Professor of Sport and Kinesiology at Greenville University and owns and operates two weight lose clinics in called Losin' It with Sonya Jones. Sonya is actively involved in her church, Calvary Church in Springfield, IL and has been on our board since its inception. She also enjoys working out, spending time with those she loves which includes her friends, family, students and her pit bull puppies. Rachel Majors is Chief Financial Officer of the Illinois market for UnitedHealthcare. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare in 2011, she spent 8 years working in various aspects of corporate finance at the Tribune Company and 4 years working in the audit practice of KPMG LLP. Rachel is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the Chicago Booth School of Business at University of Chicago, where she received a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Strategic Management. She also received her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN, where she majored in Accounting and Biblical Studies. Rachel is an active member of Park Community Church in Chicago. Rachel traveled to South Africa in 2006 and was able to experience firsthand the needs of the South African people and understand the vision of Engage Africa. Jeni Phelps is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University where she studied music education. She served in full time music ministry at Calvary Temple Christian Center in Springfield, IL from 1999-2006 and remains very active with worship arts at Calvary including 9 years as choir director. Currently, Jeni is employed by Bickford Senior Living where she works in Marketing and community relations. Special interests include playing bassoon in local performing groups, singing anywhere at any time, dabbling in interior design, and enjoying time with friends.
In 2006 Jeni was able to travel with a church team to South Africa. The team hosted basketball camps... where Jeni was able to demonstrate how NOT to do a lay up! However, the majority of the trip was spent with orphaned and vulnerable children and infants who were very easy to fall in love with. Just one experience with the people of South Africa was enough to make her not only want to return but also to support the efforts of Engage Africa.
Larry Sauter is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God with a BS in business education from Illinois State University and a MA in special education from Western Michigan University. He has worked as a houseparent at Glenwood School for Boys in Glenwood, IL; director of residential treatment at Guardian Angel Home, Joliet, IL; college administrator for the University of Saint Frances in Joliet, IL; Minister of Christian Education and Children's Pastor in Elgin, IL; and Executive Pastor at First Assembly of God in Normal, IL, and Care Pastor at New Life Covenant Church Elgin and Principal at Highland Christian Academy. Both are in Elgin, IL. He and his wife, Penny, spent 10 years serving as Assemblies of God missionaries to people with disabilities. They have a passion for God and for serving those overlooked by society. Larry has recently retired from church based ministry. Larry, and his wife Penny, join the ministry team in South Africa for 6 months a year.
Larry's first trip to South Africa was in 1996 when he visited Jackson's Ridge Children's Ministry Training Centre to do building projects so there could be kids camps on the grounds. He has been back several times with teams of children's pastors or church groups to do a variety of building projects, kids camps and to do training for adults to work with the children of South Africa.
Larry has served as Engage Africas Chairman since its inception. He and Penny are invaluable to the organization.