Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by OCF Communications

Since Our Last Issue:

October 2022: USMMA midshipmen attended a retreat at White Sulphur Springs with OCF groups from USMA and USNA for the first time in years. Seven USMMA midshipmen chose to be baptized during the retreat.

November 2022: Uniformed women, ranging from cadets through retirees, gathered at the OCF Leading Women Retreat at Spring Canyon. They discussed how to find psychological rest in Christ, rather than simply physical rest, and they encouraged one another as fellow women in uniform.

January 2023: Forty OCFers and friends gathered in Pensacola for a one-day conference on sexual brokenness and learning to enjoy sex the way God intended. CAPT Brent & Nicole Breining, USN (Ret.), led several impactful speaker sessions, a panel discussion, and breakout groups.

February 2023: ROTC ministry efforts through regional retreats and local fellowships proved prominent this month, during which the Eastern ROTC Retreat at White Sulphur Springs, the Rocky Mountain ROTC Retreat at Spring Canyon, and the Midwest ROTC Retreat in Iowa all took place.

Recent Staff Hires:

Keith & Gale Peck, Pastoral Care

While Keith & Gale Peck have served within OCF for the past 35+ years as conference center speakers, they took on a new role in the ministry as OCF’s Pastoral Care Couple on 1 June 2022. With over 45 years of pastoral ministry experience, including 27 years as the pastor of Broadneck Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, and with a son-in-law serving as Vice Superintendent at the U.S. Air Force Academy, they understand how to come alongside those in military ministry via counseling, prayer, love, encouragement, and a listening ear. The Pecks reside in Lynchburg, VA, and have 5 grown children and 17 grandchildren.

Brian & Rebecca Olsen, Director of Facilities & Maintenance at Spring Canyon

Col Kim Hawthorne, USAF (Ret.), center director at Spring Canyon Conference Center, announced the addition of Brian and Rebecca Olsen to the Spring Canyon team in December 2022. Brian began serving as the Director of Facilities & Maintenance that month and became a full-time director in March 2023. Brian and Rebecca bring 24 years of camp and conference center ministry experience at four different camps, and they and their four children moved from Colorado Springs to Spring Canyon to join the team. Both share a real passion for ministry and believe that Christian camp and conference center ministry is vital to helping renew and refresh guests in their walk with Christ.

Teppi Helms, Resource Development Administrator

Teppi Helms started her role on the Resource Development Team in June 2022. Inspired by parents who led an OCF Bible Study at USMA from 1995-1998 and encouraged her attendance at Camp Caleb and Allegheny Outback! at White Sulphur Springs, Teppi served on WSS’ summer staff in 2012. Teppi met her husband, Joe, at White Sulphur Springs while he worked on the Facilities Team. Teppi now assists with resource development efforts to steward and engage OCF’s giving community and ministry partner relationships. The Helmses reside in Falls Church, VA, with their son, Shane, and their dog, Annie.

Lisa Clemons, Assistant Director of Finance

Lisa Clemons joined OCF as Assistant Director of Finance in October 2022. She grew up in southern California and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at a church family camp while a young girl. After earning an accounting degree at Azusa Pacific University and Masters of International Management at Whitworth College, Lisa worked several years in public accounting and then at for-profit and nonprofit organizations including Compassion International and Little Sisters of the Poor.

Steele & Natalie Sessions, Youth Programs Manager at White Sulphur Springs

Steele and Natalie Sessions have joined the team at White Sulphur Springs Conference Center, where Steele will serve as the WSS Youth Programs Manager. They have been blessed with a son, Elijah, and a baby on the way in March. Steele and Natalie are both 2018 graduates of West Point and are coming off active-duty status this May; Steele having served as an infantry officer and Natalie in the medical service corps. They bring a passion for youth ministry, experience with ministries like YoungLife, a love of outdoor adventure, and an excitement to weave faith in Jesus Christ into the Allegheny Outback! and Camp Caleb camp programs beginning this summer.

—From staff reports

Summary of Fall 2022 OCF Council Meeting

Romans 8:28-30 was our theme verse for the Fall Council meeting in October at Spring Canyon in Colorado.

Joined by many beloved staff reps, we had the privilege to welcome two new staff couples: Joe and Kristi Chiaravallotti, OCF Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinators, as well as Paul and Janee Homan, the new OCF staff couple at USAFA. We celebrated the excitement and vision that our Lord has given them for their new roles and prayed for the start of their ministries.

The meeting started with a Pray-Discover-Obey session of corporate prayer, seeking our Lord’s will for ministry in OCF as a whole, at our respective home locations, and in our families and other circles.

We had the privilege to receive a ministry-wide update from our directors. These updates focused on how our Lord works in the souls of military members and their families through OCF, and they also included metrics like the impact of inflation on ministry capabilities. We also discussed past progress and future goals with regard to strategic priorities and lines of effort, focusing on OCF Area and Regional Coordinators’ efforts to support each OCF Local Leader. Finally, we reviewed the current budget status, dug into strategic framework assessments, and made progress on refining governance documents.

Throughout these updates and planning sessions, we were constantly delighted to see how “all things work together for good for those who love God” in unexpected ways, and we left Spring Canyon encouraged to see how He will continue to impact the military community through each OCF member.

—LTJG Brigit Jogan, USCG


New council members who will start a three-year term on 1 June are: Lt Col Robert “Rob” Crespo, USAF (Ret.); COL David Guida, USA; Brig Gen Jeff Hurlbert, USAF; COL Robert “Rob” Jassey, USA (Ret.); LTJG Abigail “Abby” Rouser, USN; LCDR Lawrence “Lars” Tormey, USCG; and Lt Col Stephen “Steve” Wade, USAF (Ret.). OCF Council officers are: COL Ric Schumacher, USA (Ret.)— President; LTC Steve Schmidt, USA—Vice President; LCDR James Rader, USCG— Secretary, and COL Rob Jassey, USA (Ret.)—Treasurer.