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  • ARCUS Peer Support Teams


    In 2015, the Alliance received a generous grant from the ARCUS Foundation on helping churches discuss full inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Part of that grant includes providing peer support and 

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    coaching. Churches need not wait to receive individual support and coaching on LGBTQ inclusion. If churches would like a peer support partner to walk with them as they engage difficult conversations, they are trained and eager to be assigned!

    The process for enlisting a peer support partner is as follows:

    • Pastors or lay members of individual churches desiring a Peer Support Partner (PSP) assignment should contact Paula Dempsey to make that request. PSPs should not be contacted directly.
    • A PSP will be assigned by the ARCUS grant team. This will help us spread the requests out among the entire team, assess needs, address the "fit" between available PSPs and the church making the request, and ensure that the churches understand and are prepared to pay all PSP expenses for whatever consultation they might need.
    • Each congregation is asked to accept responsibility for all PSP expenses. Honorarium for the PSP is not expected, and is left up to the discretion of the individual congregation.
    • Please refer all request for PSPs to Paula Dempsey
    • Once the pairing is made, the PSP will be connected to the congregational representative and the details between congregation and PSP will be left up to them.

    Peer Support Team:

    April Baker

    April is one of the pastors of Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., where she has served for the past twelve years. She is involved with several local and international organizations that are working for peace and justice for the earth and all of its inhabitants. Among the delights in her ministry are the students at Vanderbilt Divinity School with whom she works as they fulfill their field education requirement for the Master of Divinity degree.

    Valerie Burton

    Valerie Burton serves as the Minister for Christian Formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Ala. She is a graduate of Belmont University, Nashville, and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She has served churches in Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama for 25 years.

    Dorisanne Cooper

    Dorisanne Cooper is the pastor of Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., where she has served since July 2014. She previously served as pastor of Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, Texas from 2002-2014. Her and her husband, David, have a son, Adam and a dog, Lucy.

    Jason Crosby

    Jason Crosby is minister for preaching, pastoral care, and administration at Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. Prior to joining the Crescent Hill staff, Jason served as an Interim Minister at the First Baptist Church of Battle Creek, Mich, worked as a Community Organizer with the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice in Ann Arbor, Mich., and was a Project Coordinator with Kentucky Refugee Ministries. Jason is married to Kate and is the father of two young children, Brooks and Millie Lou. He also has two dogs, Wynona and Lucinda.

    Kadia Edwards

    Kadia is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches USA since 2009. Currently, she serves as an Associate Minister at Union Baptist Church in Durham, N.C. She is a member of the inaugural class of the group Project Rising Sun which is a leadership formation academy for young pastors that is funded through Funds for Theological Education.

    Joe Glaze

    Joe works in an intentional pastoral interim, serving churches in transition. He has extensive experience as a pastor, urban social minister, and theological educator. Joe has worked with many churches in addressing issues of human sexuality, welcome, affirmation and inclusion. He has ordained standing with American Baptist Churches USA and the United Church of Christ.

    David Grebel

    David currently serves as the Director of Extended Education at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. An active member of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, he designs and leads worship for the church’s Agape Meal for the economically distressed.

    Greg Griffey

    Greg is an endorsed chaplain with the Alliance of Baptists. Newly relocated to San Francisco, Calif., Greg he previously served as a hospice chaplain in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of a new book, Rereading Appalachia.

    Michelle McClendon

    Michelle McClendon serves as the ARCUS Grant administrative team member and is currently Associate Pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. She is a teacher, facilitator, and life coach and spiritual director.

    Tim Moore

    Tim Moore holds the title of writer-in-residence at Sardis Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., where he was pastor for 19 years. He is currently a member of the Alliance board, where he also served in the early 1990s.

    Ann Quattlebaum

    Ann Anshus Quattlebaum is a former president of the Alliance and an active member of First Baptist Greenville, S.C., serving as coordinator of the church’s Stephen Ministry. A retired clinical social worker, she is grandmother to seven beautiful children.

    Susan Rogers

    Susan Rogers is a graduate of the McAfee School of Theology (2008) and currently serves as planting pastor of The Well at Springfield in Jacksonville, Fla. She also has experience in leadership coaching, youth ministry and occupational therapy. She is married and has two children.

    Cody Sanders

    Cody J. Sanders is pastor of Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. He is author of Queer Lessons for Churches on the Straight and Narrow: What All Christians Can Learn from LGBTQ Lives and editor of the 2nd edition of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Resource for Congregations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

    Sally Sarratt

    Sally Sarratt is senior co-pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Candler School of Theology. Prior to pursuing theological education, she received her MBA from the University of Virginia and spent ten years in brand management and operations.

    Guy Sayles

    Guy Sayles is a writer, speaker, teacher, and consultant. He served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C., for thirteen years, is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Mars Hill University and an adjunct member of the faculty of the Divinity School at Gardner Webb University. He is also a consultant with the Center for Healthy Churches.

    Mahan Siler

    Mahan's vocational life happens to fall into roughly two equal parts: 27 years as pastor; 27 years working with pastors. His last congregation as pastor was Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (1983-1998), Raleigh, N.C. He and his wife, Janice, live close to family in Asheville, N.C.

    Jorene Swift

    Jorene currently serves at Bread Fellowship, Fort Worth, Texas and before that as the Minister of Congregational Care at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth for twenty years before her recent retirement. She is a past coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, past President of the board of Tarrant Churches Together and now serves on that board.

    Alliance Staff:

    Carole Collins

    Carole serves the Alliance of Baptists as Director of Operations and Finance, and uses her accounting and management skills to give financial and administrative leadership to the team.

    Paula Clayton Dempsey

    Paula is Director of Partnership Relations for the Alliance of Baptists, building connections with existing and prospective Alliance ministry partners and denominational partners.

    Ken Meyers

    Ken serves as Faith Formation Specialist and works to support partner churches in the vital mission of forming people of faith in the 21st century.

    Jason Smith

    Jason serves the Alliance as Congregational Engagement Specialist, workings collaboratively with partner congregations and Alliance leadership on development strategy and forming relationships.