Allison Arsenault

Forum for Theological Education

Atlanta, GA

Rob Ater

Immanuel Presbyterian Church

Milwaukee, WI

Jana Blazek

Chicago Presbytery

Chicago, IL

Karen Fitz La Barge

North Kent Presbyterian Church

Rockford, MI

Wilson Kennedy

Cherokee Presbytery

Cartersville, GA

Shanea Leonard

Presbyterian Mission Agency

Louisville, KY

Jessie Lowry

Christ Our Anchor Presbyterian Church

Annapolis, MD

Andrew Plocher

Messiah Lutheran Church

Marquette, MI

Jennifer Thomson

Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church

Mechanicsburg, PA

Angela Tyler-Williams


(Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity)

Washington DC

Joshua Young

Clear Lake Presbyterian Church

Houston, TX

** Rev. Stephen Smith-Cobbs, Trinity Presbyterian (Herndon, VA), Ex-Officio Member per incorporation requirements


Susan Thornton

Team Chair

Los Ranchos Presbytery

Mission Viejo, CA

Shani McIlwain*

Faith Presbyterian Church

Washington DC

John Wilkinson

Ministry Engagement and Support, PC(USA)

Louisville, KY/Rochester, NY

*Corresponding Member to Vision Team


Larissa Kwong Abazia

Executive Director

Jen James

Program and Operations Director

LeAnn Hodges

Preaching for Change Coordinator

How is NEXT Church leadership structured?

We believe a leadership structure should be agile and meet the current needs of the organization. In this season, NEXT Church Leadership is structured in four areas.

  1. The VISION TEAM sets the vision and model, serves as the organizational board, is responsible for development along with staff, and are the primary relationship builders.
  2. The OPERATIONS TEAM helps to provide financial oversight and accountability, serves as the primary HR body, and supports the logistics of the organization.
  3. ALUMNI are comprised of former board members, supporters, and staff. They are our biggest boosters and mission cheerleaders.
  4. STAFF provide the day to day support for vision, operations, programming, and logistics.