"Speak Life"

 

Main Speakers

 

Jennifer Mills

Jennifer is a speaker, writer, & Co-Author of “Salvaging My Identity” & “Even More”.  She has a heart for girl’s ministry and for women of all ages and is passionate about seeing them fall in love with Jesus. When girls find freedom in Christ and realize that His love for them is ALL they need that’s what it is all about! She loves studying and teaching the Word of God & doing ministry alongside her husband Brian. 

Currently living in Jackson, TN,  Jennifer is a native Arkansas girl and grew up in NWA.  She is happily married for 13 years to her husband Brian and Mom to the two most amazing kids - McKenna & Parker. She enjoys spending time with her family, laughter, Mexican food, the Christmas holidays, & a good cup of coffee!

 

Susan Goss

Susan Goss is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a founder of The Joshua Center, a faith-based therapy center located in Northwest Arkansas.  Susan is founder and director of Tangible Truth Ministries and is passionate about loving, teaching, and training others to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She served as Women’s Ministry Director at First Baptist Church, Bentonville, and has been speaking, teaching, leading conferences, and counseling women for more than thirty years.  Susan’s authentic style enables her to meet real life with real truth, bringing God’s hope, healing, and freedom.

Susan is crazy about her husband and kids. She has been married to Steve Goss for 37 years and they have two grown sons, Chad and Jake. Chad is married to Ashley, and they have one daughter (so far!), Adeline Grace, who has absolutely single-handedly stolen her grandparents’ hearts! Susan and Steve live in Bentonville, Arkansas.

 

Kelly Wehunt

Kelly Wehunt has been the Children's Minister at First Baptist Owasso in Oklahoma for two years. Before that, she was the Director of Girls Ministry at Henderson Hills Baptist Church for six years. Kelly loves to write and is the author of Submission Isn't for Sissies: Why God Calls Us To Do It Anyway. When she isn't writing or speaking, she is usually snuggling her family (a son, a daughter, and one on the way!), watching Star Wars or laughing so loud the walls shake.  

 

Breakout Speakers

 
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 Brittany Bryant

Brittany was born in Northwest Arkansas. She loves the beach, Starbucks, Hillsong United, Jesus, and reading. Lots of reading.  She went to Bible college at Ozark Christian in Joplin, Missouri where she studied God’s Word intensely, developed skills to assist with ministries and leadership, assisted in teen events, organized prayer nights, and was involved in several mission trips. It was in Joplin where Brittany discovered her passion to inspire women of all ages and nations to pursue Christ completely. Her desire to assist women in finding their lifelong purpose, identity, and worth through Christ has lead her to serve with a church plant that began two years ago. She mentors young woman in reading God’s Word, writes a blog, raises awareness of human trafficking, and is writing her first book. Through her real estate profession in downtown Fayetteville, Brittany seeks every opportunity possible to make Jesus known everywhere she goes. Brittany recently traveled to Florida and ran the Cinderella Challenge at Disney World.

It won’t take you long to figure out that Brittany really is a Princess. While its flattering to often be mistaken as Princess Belle, she knows that she is far more than a Disney Princess. She is a Princess who belongs to the Heavenly King and His adventure with her in this life has placed her on an entirely different race. This race has challenged her to make disciples, to fight injustice, and to travel throughout this world spreading the freedom found in Jesus Christ.

 

Johnna Burns

Dr. Johnna Burns is an English professor, a department coordinator, a non-profit founder, and a homeschooling mom who has devoted the last fifteen years of her life to helping young adults build life stories that change the world. She has completed post-doctoral studies in Leadership from Harvard University and a Doctorate of Education from Oral Roberts University.

Johnna's been known to paint any object that will stand still long enough for her to add color to it, to implement elaborate practical jokes on her friends, and to devote herself to creativity given by her Divine Creator... both in and out of the classrooms she leads. She's drawn to the energy of contagious laughter and the joy of hope-filled dreams, but there's nothing she loves more than the opportunity to encourage others to embrace all the God-Love this life has to offer. 

 

Kristi Caple

Mrs. Caple has taught 7th and 8th grade English at Shiloh Christian School for the past five years.  Prior to this, she helped manage her husband’s Pediatric Dental Practice. Mrs. Caple graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Memphis in 1991 and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harding University, 2014 with a 4.0 GPA. In 2014, she was named Shiloh’s Teacher of the Year.  She was born and raised in Katy, Texas and trusted Jesus to be her Lord and Savior in 2nd grade.  Mrs. Caple and her husband, Brent, have been married for 26 years, have one son, Clayton, who is in 11th grade at Shiloh, and they attend Cross Church.   They cherish their yellow lab, Max, who is 13 years old

 

Rebecca Cross

Rebecca has seen God lead her family on a roller coaster of adventures during the (almost) 15 years she & Samuel have been married. After moving 3 times in the past 3 years, they currently live on 40 acres in Northwest Arkansas, with their 5 children, all age 10 and under. Kyla, Nathan, Malachi, Kierstin and Lincoln, call the fledgling "Cross Family Farm" home, along with a handful of chickens, the raccoon, sneaky fox and wily coyotes out to get them all, and a herd of wild deer. Life is certainly never boring! The past two years of Rebecca's life have included an adoption, a 60-night hotel stay after a home water leak, family road trip to Colorado, serious illness and multiple hospitalizations for one of her children, and an amazing trip to Costa Rica to visit friends. When she isn't homeschooling her children at the house, you can spot her driving her 12 seat passenger van around town, with TobyMac blasting from the radio. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 is her life verse, and she is excited to see what God has planned for her family next! 

 

Jennifer Holmes-Smith

Jennifer is an adventurous kind of soul. Her heart resides in the eyes of people found all around the world. Entering her teen years in a single parent home well below poverty, Jennifer has seen the hand of God continually provide, such as when she started college at the age of 14 on full scholarships, and studied abroad 3 times before graduating with Civil Engineering and French degree at age 19.

Jennifer has spent most of 2015 in Tanzania, Africa working with water wells, discipleship, and woman’s vocational training programs in a small village called Wambani. Along the way she picked up some Swahili, some new friends, and an added dose of desperation for the one she calls Lord. Jennifer is passionate about grace, new seasons, and Christ-centered relationships for young women worldwide. Now readjusting to American foods and cold weather, Jennifer has set herself like Mary before the feet of Jesus, waiting for direction towards her next assignment.

 

Marjorie Jackson  

Eighteen-year-old Marjorie Jackson is a homeschooled senior with a growing love for the Lord, for His Word, and for people. She is the oldest of five wildly energetic, half Guatemalan girls. Marjorie is the author of one book thus far, The Greatest Book You’ve Never Read, written to get young people excited about reading the BibleShe enjoys blogging, playing the piano, singing with her sisters, musical theater, art, Italian cream sodas, and talking with family, friends, strangers… pretty much anybody. She loves making new friends, and she wants to meet you!

 

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Debbie McGee

Debbie describes herself as a "dead woman walking". Except for the Grace of an Amazing Daddy, she should have died 11 years ago--this is one of her favorite stories to tell and is ready to tell you! Her husband, David, and Debbie have been married for 24 years and have 4 children: Hannah (18), Andrew (16), Emma (13), and Jacob (8). Apart from being a wife and mother, she teaches junior high kids about Jesus through math and has for 22 years.

 

 

Mariali Paz De Leon

There's always a party when Mariali's around! Born and raised in Guatemala City, she moved to Arkansas as a step of faith believing God to provide for her to become a design student at JBU. Well, He did...miraculously!!! She is now a Creative Director for DaySpring, but along the way she's had the opportunity to work in advertising with some of the world's top beauty brands and photographers. It's been said that she might have the world's largest collection of MILK ads. She is always looking for an adventure– her most recent one: zip lining through the rainforest in Costa Rica!

Mariali has been involved in youth ministry for the past 9 years where her passion for seeing young people walk in freedom and in their identity in Christ keeps her going. She currently helps lead worship in several church gatherings across NWA and her favorite part about it is encountering the presence of God in the midst of worship. She loves spending quality time with people and building deep friendships.

 

Christy Rodriguez

Christy thought she was going to be the next Barbara Walters or ESPN sideline reporter as she pursued a career in the TV news business. But after only three years in the business, God changed her heart to making a difference in the lives of His children. She headed back to college and served as a teacher and high school coach for the next seven years. Her husband, Laurencio, won her heart with cheese dip and vanilla cokes and later her heart was stolen yet again with the birth of their son, Mac. Today she stays at home with her son and enjoys being a writer and editor for www.bravegirlcommunity.com. Her hidden talents include barking like a dog and doing the moon walk.

Most importantly, Christy's passion is learning more and more about the heart of Jesus Christ through God's word and making Him known to others. Having faced several strongholds in her own life throughout her 20s, she understands the power of addiction and deception. She also understands how the power of Jesus Christ is far greater and can break through all of it. Her desire is for everyone to experience that same redemptive power that only He can provide. She believes if we humble ourselves, open our hearts, and step in faith towards Him, He will work in us and through us transforming us into a new creation. Her life's motto is, "In Him all things are possible, and in Him, all things are made new again." 

 

Rachel Price

Rachel Price is a Children’s Pastor, wife, mom, shoe-lover and fan of all things coffee. Through her radio and television appearances Rachel has been able reach people around the world with a message of hope and encouragement. She is an active member of Christian Women in Media Association and a Stonecroft Speaker. Through her live speaking engagements, Biblical resources and personal relationships, Rachel teaches young women the meaning of virtuous living.  Her goal is to see lives changed as the girls of this generation learn their true value and worth in Christ. 

And finally, considering them to be airborne worms, Rachel admits to being afraid of butterflies and all other flying insects. 

 
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Lisa Richards

Lisa was born and raised in a Christian home with charity-minded parents--she grew up with foster children in her home and outreach to African-American communities. She and her husband were high school sweethearts and were married when in college at the University of Hawaii. They both were on athletic scholarships (for football and swimming) and have now been married for 27 years with five children to celebrate! She has always attended church, but she now senses an urgency to testify about God's goodness and His love, but also His coming judgment. Lisa also was on the show Bay Watch (you didn't think the girls in red suits ACTUALLY knew how to swim did you?)! 

 

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Afsaneh Roe

Afsaneh is a lover of people, travel, and sour candy. If she isn't laughing, she is probably in a deep conversation... or taking a nap. She is currently a Graduate Student studying Organizational Communication and teaches Public Speaking at the the Unviersity of Arkansas. Afsaneh and her husband Grant have been married for over 2 years and serve as college Pastors as Christian Life Cathedral. She has a passion to encourage people in their walk with God and believes the best way to end a day is teatime in her Pjs.

 

Sheree Williams

Sheree has a Texas size heart for evangelism, missions, and women's ministry. She longs to see women free, and for men to rise up and lead their families. She knows Scripture is everything, and there's no joy like sharing it with others. God has wrecked her heart with an endless love for people, and she hopes to see people catch that fever. "Love God, Love Others." Everything hangs on this. Sheree wants to encourage you to "never stop" running hard after Christ! Her other passions are recording devotional videos for her viral Facebook page, eating gummy bears, waves, sand, snow, leaves, running, holding her babies, big trucks, adrenaline rushes, and traveling! 

 

Emcee

Kimberly DeJarnatt

Kimberly has three children and is wife to husband Hal. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and will be the retreat's emcee! She is a Professor of Statistics at John Brown University and leads children's choir and drama teams in churches and schools around Northwest Arkansas. Kimberly is an excellent role model for young women and has served at the NWA Beautiful Girls Retreat for many years, having a great and positive influence on what goes on!  

 

Jonathan Leonard

Jonathan was in Oklahoma City but raised in Northwest Arkansas. His love for music is only challenged by his love for all things caffeinated. He is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Biblical and Theological studies at John Brown University. The epitome of a pastor's kid he is currently on staff at Life Connection Church as both the Audio/Visual Department Head and Assistant Worship Leader assisting both his parents who both serve on staff as well. When not commuting back and forth to school or working, you’ll probably see him in the corner of a coffee shop somewhere visiting with friends or chilling to some music. He has helped direct and plansummer camps through his church for several years now acting both as Director over the boys and spearheading the worship experience for the week, and has also volunteered at the Beautiful Girls retreat last year. 

 

 

Worship

Jared and Christen Sluyter

The Sluyters are the coolest and most passionate people around! They live in NWA and are dedicated to leading and teaching worship to others at NWA Momentum Ministries in Rogers, Arkansas. They are radical church planters! They have two sons, Hewitt (4), and Bear (1), and one more on the way! Jared is interested in photography as well as videography, and Christen enjoys being a mother. They both love cycling and are extremely gifted in relationships with others and loving on people.

 

 
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Marjorie and Genevieve Jackson

Sisters Marjorie and Genevieve enjoy singing and worshiping together! They have enjoyed opportunities to play in worship sets, at youth groups, and at their local nursing home. With a broad interest in many music genres, they enjoy singing everything from southern gospel to classical to Broadway show tunes to contemporary. 

As the oldest two of their five-girl family, they eagerly await the day that their three younger sisters can sing in harmony with them, thus making them the Jackson 5. They have the best laughs when people think that they are identical twins or that Genevieve looks like Sadie Robertson.

 

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Rachel Staff

Rachel is the owner and director of Adonai Ballet Academy. She has danced since the age of seven and has been teaching ballet for 12 years. Her hope is to be able to serve the young people of Northwest Arkansas by showing them how to honor the Lord through dance. She enjoys traveling, spending time outside, shopping, laughing, and especially British movies/short series. May He be glorified in all things!

 

 

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Amy Hulse

Amy Hulse grew up dancing in Kansas City, and went on to compete around the country for over 10 years. Extensively trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary, she now teaches at the Art of Motion in Fayetteville. Amy is also director of the newly formed Subsistence Dance Collective, which consists of dancers from various studios around NWA who are passionate about sharing their love of dance in a positive, impactful way with the local community. Amy is so excited to be back at the NWA Beautiful Girls Retreat! 

 

Miriam Garcia

Miriam is a senior at Rogers Heritage High School who plans on getting her degree in art education in order to teach elementary art. She plays the cello (among other various instruments) and has played for worship for Momentum Ministries and at a previous year of the NWA Beautiful Girls Retreat. Also know that Miriam is a ball of high-energy with crazy puns and jokes, but also very sincere and talkative!

 

 

Shae Zalenski

Sixteen year old Shae is a homeschooled junior currently completing the challenging academics of the online Alpha Omega Academy. While excelling in her studies, Shae also has a passion for playing her beautiful concert harp. A member of the American Harp Society, Shae has played the harp since age 9 and has been part of Northwest Arkansas' first Harp Ensemble, participated in the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and has had many opportunities to bless others while playing at nursing homes, senior centers, weddings, galas, and various churches. Shae is quite aware that playing the harp is more than just creating beautiful music, it is an incredible opportunity to minister  to others in a very unique way. One day, Shae hopes to teach the harp to children in her very own studio! 

When she is not studying or practicing her music, Shae's other passions are Scripture memory and playing with her beloved pet poodle Bobbie!