The Rev. Dr. Russ Lackey is the senior campus pastor at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, and also serves Luther Memorial Church. He holds the James E. Rasmussen and Duane M. Skow Chair in Pastoral Excellence and wrote the book, “Power and Purpose: The Book of Revelation for Today.” He also is the project manager of The Moses Project and The NEXUS Institute which are funded by the Thriving in Ministry Initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc. Lackey received his master’s degree from Luther Seminary and completed his doctoral studies in Christian leadership at Duke Divinity School.
The Rev. Greg Finke is the founder and executive director of Dwelling 1:14. Prior to his current call, Pastor Greg had been a senior pastor leading and growing congregations for 22 years. He served as the senior pastor of Messiah in Midland, Michigan, which God grew from 52 in worship to 1200 in worship under Greg’s leadership. Pastor Greg also served Gloria Dei in Houston, Texas. It was there that he lead the process of transitioning a large, program-based congregation to a missional, discipling-based congregation. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri and is ordained in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Pastor Greg is widely recognized as being a pioneer in thinking and practice in discipling, missional living, and multiplying missional communities. Pastor Greg continues to live the missional life with his wife, Susan. Together they oversee a growing network of missional communities throughout North America and the world.
The Rev. Henry Graf currently serves Promise Ministries in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary and currently completing his Doctorate of Ministry at George Fox University. He and his wife, Tricia, have two daughters.
Pastor Graf is the coauthor of More Than A Story. He is passionate about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Following his most recent book tour, his congregation has been sharing his time with the larger body of Christ, including Life Promotions, connections with the Danish Lutheran Church, and recently taking the stage at TEDx Fort Wayne.
The Reverend Doctor Gemechis Desta Buba currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop for Mission for the North American Lutheran Church. He is originally from Ethiopia and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three children.
Dr. Buba received a Bachelor of Theology with high distinction from Mekane Yesus Theological Seminary, where he served as a professor for two years. After working on a Masters of Theology in Church History in the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, he moved to the United States for further studies. In 2003 he received his Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Christian Education from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. In May, 2006, Dr. Buba earned a Doctorate Degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, specializing in missional leadership.
Dr. Buba was ordained in 2001. He has served as a seminary professor, mission developer, senior pastor, vice president of the Southeastern Black Lutheran Pastors’ Conference, assistant to the bishop of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (ELCA), director of African National Ministries (ELCA), and president of the worldwide Union of Oromo Evangelical Churches. He was pastor of St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church and the African/Oromo Lutheran Church in Atlanta, GA.
In addition to academic study and ordained ministry, Dr. Buba participates in multiple international ministries through speaking, leading revivals, leadership development conventions, and evangelical mission events.