Speakers & Communicators


There are so many wonderful and amazing men and women who communicate the gospel so well to students.  While this list is obviously not exhaustive, it might help you find some diamonds in the rough.  Each speaker below has been approved to speak at a past EPC youth event. 

Brett Ray - Student Ministries (Speakers)Brett Ray

Since 1986, Brett's unique style of communicating has taken him all over the United States and around the globe. Every year Brett speaks to thousands of students regarding God's unconditional love and grace for them. He continues to be involved in national youth conferences, camps, retreats, school assemblies, banquets, and youth rallies. Over the years, Brett has been one of the most popular speakers at the EPC's Summer Jam Conference for senior high students. Brett and his wife Carol have five children and live in southeastern Michigan.  You can reach Brett on his website: http://www.brettray.com/.

Rich Van Pelt - Student Ministries (Speakers)Rich Van Pelt

Rich Van Pelt, who's ordained in the EPC, trains and motivates thousands of educators, professional counselors, and youth workers every year in teen suicide prevention and response and adolescent crisis intervention. His expertise springs from three decades of youth work over ten years with incarcerated youth in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He is president of Alongside, a Denver-based leadership training organization, and is national director of ministry relationships at Compassion International.  Contact Rich at: .


Mark Devries - Student Ministries (Speakers)Mark DeVries

Mark is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects, a hands-on coaching service for churches whose youth ministries are in (intentional or unexpected) transition or churches who hope to see their youth ministries move to the next level. For the past 20 years, Mark has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis. For the past several years, Mark has been a presenter both for Wayne Rice's "Understanding Your Teenager" and other Homeword parenting seminars. In addition to partnering occasionally with popular Christian musician, Mark Schultz, Mark has trained youth leaders at both the National Youth Workers Convention sponsored by Youth Specialties and the national youth ministry training event sponsored by Group. Mark DeVries lives in Nashville with Susan, his wife of 28 years, and children (when they choose to be in town): Adam (26), Adam's wife, Sara (23), Debbie (21) and Leigh (18). He can be reached at: http://www.ymarchitects.com/.

Rich Grassel - Student Ministries (Speakers)Rich Grassel

A 20-year youth ministry veteran, Rich has been an assistant professor of student ministry at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a church consultant for student ministry and youth ministry in the small church, and a seminar leader for the Youth Specialties' National Youth Workers Convention.  Now the senior pastor at a CMA church in Ambridge, PA, Rich is the author of Help! I'm a Small Church Youth Worker (Zondervan).  Rich spoke at the EPC's General Assembly in 2003 at Cornerstone EPC in Brighton, MI.  You can reach Rich at: .


Image Library (Bullhorn) - Student Ministries (Stock...Russ Gable

A long time friend of EPC Student Ministries, Russ is the Senior High Ministry Director at First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven, MI.  With over 12 years of youth ministry experience, leading mission trips, and speaking to young people, Russ has impacted the lives of thousand of teenagers (many of them through his years of service at Summer Jam).  What's more, Russ is a certified Sonlife Ministry Trainer and brings that wisdom to bear in his ministry to youth leaders, senior highers and junior highers.  To contact or learn more about Russ (or to get a promo video), email him at: or call him at: (616) 842-3728.


Steve Argue - Student Ministries (Speakers)Steve Argue

Steve is currently the Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Architect for Intersect, a ministry that seeks to serve the wave of emerging influencers by elevating their theological, personal, and missional formation. Steve has directed youth ministry initiatives at the national and international level, has served as a youth pastor, has ministered with Sonlife, and currently writes for Group Magazine.  Steve is amazingly gifted to speak to either students or youth leaders.  You can reach Steve on his website at: http://www.intersectcommunity.com/ or via email: .


Laurie Polich - Student Ministries (Speakers)Laurie Polich

A popular speaker and youth ministry author, Laurie currently serves as Pastor of Small groups and Discipleship at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara.   She speaks at youth conferences, women's conferences, colleges and churches around the country. She also speaks frequently for Compassion International. Laurie is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including "Help I'm a Small Group Leader", "Small Group Strategies", and a new series called "Studies on the Go"(published by Zondervan).  You can reach Laurie at:  949-466-2240 or http://mailto:Laurie@OceanHills.org or by visiting her website: http://www.lauriepolich.com/.

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