Conference Speakers

Christina Edmondson

Blessed by an array of academic, professional and lived experiences, Christina is committed to bringing diverse people together to promote personal and team flourishing.

Christina holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University, a MS degree from the University of Rochester in Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University.

Currently, Christina serves as the Dean for Intercultural Student Development at Calvin College. The Intercultural Student Development Center (ISDC) is committed to inspiring, challenging, and equipping Domestic and International students to engage in meaningful and intentional intercultural interactions within a global society. Additionally, a Certified Cultural Intelligence facilitator, public speaker, and mental health therapist, Christina is often contacted by churches to consult about both diversity and mental health issues. Her writing has been seen and referenced in a variety of outlets including,, and Gospel Today magazine. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Truth’s Table podcast.

Cameron Cole

Cameron Cole has been the Director of Youth Ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent since December of 2005, and in January of 2016 his duties expanded to include Children, Youth, and Families. He is the founding chairman of Rooted Ministry, an organization that promotes gospel-centered youth ministry. He is the co-editor of “Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practice Guide” (Crossway, 2016). Cameron is the author of Therefore, I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy (Crossway, 2018), which won World Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year (Accessible Theology) and was runner up for The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year (First-Time Author). Cameron has a B.A. in Latin and English and an M.A. in Education, all from Wake Forest; he nearly done with his Masters in Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary.

Kevin Yi

Kevin Yi is one of the youth pastors at Church Everyday in Los Angeles, CA and has been serving the middle school and high school students for over 14 years. He is a bi-vocational pastor and is also a video editor and associate producer with Toonzone Studios in Hollywood. He is also the founder of Kevin and his wife Tracy are celebrating 10 years of marriage together and have 3 children: Caden, Isabella, and Ian. He will be starting his Master of Arts in Philosophy at Talbot Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2017.

Watson Jones III

Watson Jones III was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. At the age of 14, Watson made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in his freshmen year of high school. It was then that Watson began to discern a call into the ministry and began preaching and teaching the bible soon after. Although Watson began preaching at the age of 14, he was licensed to preach at the age of 19, making him the youngest minister at his home church, Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.

Watson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing at Trinity International University and then continued on to earn a Masters in Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Upon completion of seminary, Watson joined the ministerial staff at his home church—Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. At Salem, he served as Children’s Pastor and eventually Youth Pastor, while leading a group of 1,000 members in various church-wide activities.

In 2012, Watson entered a joint pastoral leadership and Church planting residency with Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas and Epiphany Fellowship Church in Philadelphia. In 2015, Watson started Restoration Church of Philadelphia and served on the Leadership Team of the North Atlantic Region of Acts 29.

In 2018, Watson became the Senior Pastor of Compassion Baptist Church. In addition to his pastoral duties, Watson is a student in the inaugural cohort for the first-ever Ph.D. in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He currently serves in the Chicago chapter of the AND Campaign, where he and others pastor organized the largest forum in the 2019 mayoral election. He is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He is married to Kelli Jones and is the proud father of Yeshaya Nicee Jones, Watson Jones IV, and Ellison Samuel Benedict Jones.

Julie Sparkman

Julie Sparkman co-founded Restore Counseling Ministries with Jennifer Ervin in 2012. She is a frequent speaker and author of two video teaching series, “Idol Addiction: Finding Freedom in the Gospel You Thought You Knew” and “Unhitching From the Crazy Train: Finding Rest In a World You Can’t Control”. In 2018, New Hope Publishing will release the book version of “Unhitching from the Crazy Train”, co-authored with Jennifer Phillips.  Julie received her B.S. degree from University of Florida and her Masters degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University.

Julie has been in private practice as a pastoral counselor since 1999. She works with adult individuals and couples facing a variety of issues such as codependence, infidelity, disillusionment with God, depression, spiritual, emotional, physical and verbal abuse, and parenting through the various seasons of life. It is her desire that the teaching and counseling of Restore Ministries would be used to help men, women and children come to understand the radical and restorative impact of the gospel in their everyday lives and relationships.

Julie and her husband Wes have been married over 30 years and have three children and one grandchild.

David Zahl

David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries and editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird blog. Born in New York City and brought up elsewhere, David graduated from Georgetown University in 2001, and then worked for several years as a youth minister in New England. In 2007 he founded Mockingbird in NYC. Today David and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, VA with their three boys, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church. His first book, A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll, appeared in 2014. Most recently, David co-authored Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints) with Will McDavid and Ethan Richardson. Even after all these years, he’s still mourning the end of Calvin and Hobbes (and hoping that Morrissey and Marr will bury the hatchet). His favorite theologian is probably a cross between Johnny Cash, Flannery O’Connor and his brother Simeon.

Chelsea Kingston Erickson

Chelsea serves as Pastor of Youth and Families at First Congregational Church in Hamilton, MA, where she lives with her husband, Steve. She holds an M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves teaching the arc of redemptive history and is currently pursuing a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Old Testament Studies. In her free time, she enjoys restaurant hopping around Greater Boston and spending time with her retired thoroughbred, Aiden Magee.

Anna Meade Harris

Anna Meade Harris is a single mom of three almost-grown sons. She is the Rooted Blog Parent Editor and the author of Fresh Faith: Topical Devotions and Scripture-Based Prayers for College Students. In her free time, Anna enjoys gardening, great books, running, hiking, hammocks, and ice cream. She cheers for the Crimson Tide and wants to live by a mountain stream in Idaho someday.

Liz Edrington

Liz Edrington received her Masters in Counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, and is currently on staff at North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN, where she works with youth and young adults. She is also a counselor at Summit Counseling Center. She has served on the Rooted Steering Committee since 2010 and authored a chapter in Gospel Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide.

Rebecca Lankford

Rebecca Lankford currently serves as the Director of Senior High Youth Ministry at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL. After graduating from Furman University in 2017, she served as the Youth Minister at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA. Rebecca is currently pursuing her Master’s in Theology at Beeson Divinity School.