Contributors

Timothy Beach-Verhey is the author of Robust Liberalism: H. Richard Niebuhr and the Ethics of American Public Life (Baylor University Press). Currently, he is co-pastor, with his wife, Kathy, of Faison Presbyterian Church, in Faison, NC, and  also teaches regularly in the Religion Department at Mount Olive College, Mount Olive, NC. Previously, he served as the Director of the Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation and taught in the Religion Department at Davidson College. He is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds a PhD  in Theological Ethics from Emory University. Tim is passionate about the important role of faith and religious communities in public life and is especially concerned about robust public discourse about economic and political issues of relevance to all Americans. Kathy and Tim have three children: Ryan (9), Caroline (7), and Janie (4).

Jessica Church is the Field Director of the Good Steward Campaign, a Christian environmental organization working with Christians to learn about, think about, and address climate change from a place of faith. Her interests include liberation theology, political theology, and sustainability. When she’s not organizing students or writing for Faithful Democrats, she’s probably doing something with food. Jessica graduated from the The University of Virginia in 2013 and now lives and works in Washington, D.C. Follow her on twitter at @j_r_church or e-mail her at church.jessicarae@gmail.com.

Rachel Johnson is an Associate with the Eleison Group, a consulting firm that specializes in faith-based outreach for Democrats and progressives. She also serves as Programs Director for the American Values Network, a non-profit advocacy group that mobilizes religious communities around the most pressing issues of the day. Prior to Eleison, Rachel worked as Mississippi Field Director for Faith Outreach for Common Good Strategies. She is also Managing Editor of the site FaithfulDemocrats.com. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a MAR in Theology from Yale Divinity School. She is an ordained Baptist minister and an active member and deacon in her Washington, D.C. church. Follow her on twitter at @rachelnoelj.

Jesse Lava is a campaign director at Brave New Foundation, where he runs the Beyond Bars initiative to curb mass incarceration in the United States. A resolutely progressive Christian, he was previously the founding director of Faithful Democrats and has a Master in Public Policy from Harvard. Jesse lives in Los Angeles but will always be “from Chicago.”  Follow him on twitter at @jesselava.

Eric Sapp is a founding partner of the Eleison Group, the primary political consulting firm working with Democrats and the progressive faith community on outreach and communication to faith, veteran, and values voters. Eleison was a lead consultant on the DCCC’s ’08 “Red to Blue” program, and has worked with numerous national and state Democratic campaigns. Prior to founding Eleison, Eric was Senior Partner at Common Good Strategies (CGS), which rose to national prominence following the success in ’06 of its new approach to faith outreach and messaging for the DSCC, US Senators Casey and Brown, Governors Strickland, Granholm, and Sebelius. Eric also serves as Executive Director of the American Values Network, and has worked as a legislative aid for Representative David Price and committee staffer for Senator Edward Kennedy. A North Carolina native who grew up in South Florida, Eric attended Davidson College and Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University. Eric has served for five years in the parish, and lives in northern VA with his wife and high school sweetheart, Julie.  Follow him on twitter at @SappEric.

Libby Shannon is the Associate Chaplain at Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida where she also teaches in the areas of General Education and Women and Gender Studies.  Ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she currently serves as Co-Moderator of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.  In her spare time Libby makes sure her books are in proper Library of Congress order and spends as much time as possible with her beloved bicycles.  Follow her on twitter at @libbyshannon.

Burns Strider, a native of Grenada County, Mississippi, served in an array of positions, prior to founding Eleison and The American Values Network, including Senior Advisor and Director of Faith Outreach to the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton and her campaign for President, Director of Policy for the U. S. House Democratic Caucus, Advisor to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) , Director of the U. S. House Democratic Faith Working Group and Rural Working Group and regional Communications Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  Strider and his wife Karen life in Washington DC with their two nearly perfect boys, Will and Pete.  Follow him on twitter at @BStrider.


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