Candidates for OCF Council Class of 2023

Below is biographical information for candidates running in the OCF Council elections, that begin 1 February and end 29 February. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the current OCF Council, click here and scroll down to OCF Governance. Otherwise, follow the instructions below to cast your ballot. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. We appreciate your prayers over the candidates and the election process.

TO VOTE:
Go to the Election Runner voting site and follow the instructions to log-in, or check your email (including junk folder) for an email OCF sent on 1 February with login credentials and voting instructions.

For more information or if you have questions, contact Heidi Martin at the OCF home office: 800-424-1984 or Heidi.martin@ocfusa.org

Maj Robert Crespo, USAF

Education: U.S. Air Force Academy, BS Biology, 2007; Oklahoma Christian University, MBA/Finance, 2013

Present Assignment: HQ Air Combat Command, Airborne Command & Control Systems Branch, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2007; attended/led OCF bible studies at USAFA (2006-2007), USAFA prep school (2007-2008), Anchorage, AK (2015-2018), taught Bible studies during deployment as part of Chapel Religious Support Program (2015-2018), Fort Leavenworth (2018-2019); attended Spring Canyon for Rocky Mountain High, summer 2007 and Anchor Points, summer 2019; currently leading OCF group at Newport News/Yorktown, VA, and the morning Bible study at Langley AFB, VA; currently chairman of the board for non-profit coffeehouse employing special needs (2018-present); currently mentoring a USAFA cadet and discipling 4 men from church

Personal Testimony:

My walk began when God called me during elementary school to Himself through the teaching of my parents and others. During high school, God used multiple incidents to draw me back to him. God continues teaching me about His sovereignty, what His Church looks like, and how to minister while serving as part of His plan to glorify Himself in this world.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

One of the greatest services to my coworkers is to pray for them. I have invited my coworkers to the two OCF Bible studies I am involved with. God continues to impress upon me to serve those in close proximity to me. I also currently mentor a USAFA cadet as part of the OCF mentorship program and am reaching out to an Army 2LT recently stationed in the area as a potential mentee.

Nominated By: Capt Amari Holt, USAF; LTC Jim Harbridge, USA (Ret.); LTC Thomas Schmidt, USA (Ret.); Dr. Samuel Tate; Lt Col Steve Wade, USAF (Ret.)

COL Jeffrey Ginther, MC, USA (Ret.)

Education: U.S. Military Academy, BS, 1974; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 1984; Orthopedic Residency, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, 1991; Fellowship in Total Joint Replacements, 1997

Present Assignment: Civilian Orthopedic Surgeon

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 1982; discipled by chaplains and OCF members after becoming a Christian in 1976; taught various home Bible studies; while in medical school, active in Bible study at USUHS, encouraged OCF affiliation; attended White Sulphur Springs and Spring Canyon retreats; after medical school, active in OCF local ministry both in Denver and Colorado Springs; elected to Spring Canyon’s ROACT board, which later became the Spring Canyon Advisory Council (SCAC), and have served ever since, including as vice president; served on steering committee for the OCF local ministry in the Colorado Springs area; helped organize the Spring Canyon Military Medical Week; since retirement, served on the steering committee and as a chairman for Christian Medical and Dental Society, Indiana; teach and attend Bible studies, Indiana.

Personal Testimony:

Although raised attending church, I did not understand the Gospel message until my first duty station at Fort Carson. I started attending the brigade chapel as part of my responsibility. An Army chaplain explained the salvation message to me and my need for a Savior. I understood that we are saved by the faith in Jesus and not by works. I have continued to grow in my faith and rejoice in the power of His salvation.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

My passion for ministry is to transform the military society for the Lord. I feel the Lord is using this organization to train military leaders for Christian leadership. I also feel that the bond between the OCF home office, regional leaders, conference centers, academy ministries, and local leaders is essential in accomplishing this mission. My purpose for running for the OCF Council is to give back to that organization that has been so important to my life over the last 44 years. I believe so much in the conference center ministry in changing lives and ministering to military families. The effect that this has had on my family’s life has been immeasurable. My son and 2 sons-in-law are in the Army which also give me a current perspective on the challenges of junior and senior officers and the strain that deployments put on the military family. My time as a line officer (6 years infantry) and a leader in military and civilian medicine allows me to bring a unique background and perspective to the council. I also hope to use my role as a physician to reach out to the new medical command. Regardless of my role I will continue to serve this great ministry.

Nominated By: Col Kim Hawthorne, USAF (Ret.); Col Dale Holland, USAF (Ret.); Col Scott Nowlin, USAF (Ret.); LTC Colin Wooten, USA (Ret.)

CDR Wendell Holmes, USN

Education: Illinois Institute of Technology, BS Mechanical Engineering, 2004; Naval Post-Graduate School, MS Mechanical Engineering, 2012

Present Assignment: Engineering Duty Officer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, VA

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2007; OCF Area Coordinator in Monterey, CA; have taken turns leading OCF Bible studies in Monterey, CA; Panama City, FL; Kittery, ME; and (currently) Norfolk, VA; frequently attend summer and winter family retreats at both Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs since December 2012; Anchor Points attendee, June 2017; have also served as USS MEMPHIS lay leader (‘06-‘09) and teen Sunday School teacher (‘13-‘15).

Personal Testimony:

Though I grew up in a Christian family and knew of the gospel as a child, I didn’t make a personal decision to follow Christ until high school. While on a mission trip, through the Holy Spirit’s leading and others’ testimonies, I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10), and I seek to follow Him daily.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

Through OCF Bible studies, conference center family retreats, and many informal mentoring relationships, I have been personally challenged to grow spiritually, persevere amid the unique challenges of military life, and embolden fellow military members in their spiritual walks (Hebrews 10:24-25). As part of OCF’s Mission of equipping military leaders at the intersection of faith, family, and profession, by God’s leading, my wife and I are starting a local family focused OCF Bible study to encourage whole families through biblical fellowship.

Nominated By: Capt Daniel Abney, USMC; CAPT Kenneth Marks, USN (Ret.); CDR Clay Thomas, III, USN (Ret.)

COL Robert Jassey, USA (Ret.)

Education: BS Mathematics, 1981; Kansas State, MS Engineering, 1992; U.S. Army War College, MA Strategic Studies, 2001

Present Assignment: Retired

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 1984; current Council member and treasurer; with wife, Tami, have been involved and hosted an OCF Bible study since 1982; supported the chapel programs and chaplaincy; served on the chapel councils and helped start a chapel service at Fort Bliss, TX; has attended Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs throughout the years, having practically raised both now adult children at Spring Canyon; was president of HOA for 13 years, president of the home school board at church for 4 years, and served on the ADA association board of directions for 13 years; the opportunity to mentor in many ways is a blessing much greater for the mentor than the mentee. It is a purposeful relationship I believe we, as the elders, are commanded to do with the younger generation. I have had the opportunity to mentor so many, and in every one of those relationships, I have grown in a variety of ways. As they say, the teacher always learns more than the student, so a mentor must prayerfully consider all that he/she passes on to ensure God is glorified in the end. These past three years while serving on the OCF Council and as the treasurer have been a tremendous blessing to me. The path my life has taken has prepared me for such a time as this. We are in the middle of significant transformation and that transformation is coming at a time when the ruler of this world, I believe, is working completely uninhibited to discourage, destroy, and otherwise thwart our efforts to be a light in a world of darkness. There are soldiers out there who need to be encouraged and strengthened and OCF is uniquely postured to be the conduit by which God can work in the military.

Personal Testimony:

I didn’t have a “road to Damascus” experience. I found myself as a young 2LT alone and empty. One night I asked the Lord to take control after my wife decided it was best to spend the rest of Officer Basic Course with her folks. Little did I know, a thousand miles away, my wife did the same thing. Glory!

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

I strongly believe, and pray thusly, that we need to simply be a light in a world of darkness. That can happen in every environment we find ourselves. Even the last 13 years leading a large civilian organization, people are in search of the light. When they see you and your light shining bright, no matter what the chaos is that is going on around them, they will be drawn to that light and encouraged. They will seek it out and God provides the opportunities to share the good news. I think the Bible uses idioms relating to soldiers to describe what our mission is on this earth. We, as soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen know what it means to be at war. Our war is not against flesh and blood and we should praise the Lord because He is our Rock and He trains hands for war and our fingers for battle.

Nominated By: COL Steven Berger, USA; COL Richard Goldsmith, USA (Ret.); LCDR Gordon Hood, USCG

LT Grant Johnson, USN

Education: U.S Merchant Marine Academy, Systems Mechanical Engineering, concentration in Nuclear Engineering, 2013

Present Assignment: Flight Instructor at HSM-40 (Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron) in Jacksonville, FL

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2013; I was an active member of the OCF group in Pensacola and helped cook and serve meals on occasion. In San Diego I helped initiate a new house group with my roommates and served by cleaning, cooking meals each week, sending weekly emails, and facilitating Bible studies. As the group grew, my wife and I helped launch a second house group at our home. We are in the midst of PCSing to Jacksonville and are excited to plug in and serve the OCF community however we can; During two deployments, supported the ships’ lay leaders and DESRON Chaplain; Anchor Points attendee, 2018

Personal Testimony:

While I don’t remember a time that I didn’t believe in God, I have grown in an understanding of my own sinfulness and of God’s love through the unique challenges in my life.  The freedoms of college, the isolation of deployments, and the ups and downs of marriage have shown me my need for His love and grace every day.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

OCF was a huge part of my life in Pensacola and I wanted to continue that level of fellowship at my next duty station. My involvement in San Diego started with serving where needed, which grew into cooking weekly meals for a house group and eventually facilitating a Bible study. Serving with OCF has allowed me to encourage others and has equipped me to integrate faith into all areas of my life.

Nominated By: Capt Daniel Abney, USMC; Col Chester Arnold, USMC (Ret.); LCDR Kory DeFore, USN (separated)

MG Christopher McPadden, USA (Ret.)

Education: U.S. Military Academy, BS, 1985; Brown University, MA History, 1995; School of Advanced Military Studies, Masters of Military Art and Science, 2004; U.S. Army War College, MA, 2008

Present Assignment: Retired, co-president of Grace and Mercy Foundation, NYC

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 1986; current council member; attended OCF local fellowships at Fort Bragg, NC; as USMA faculty, Schofield Barracks, HI; Fort Leavenworth, KS; and Carlisle Barracks, PA; Rocky Mountain High attendee; attended Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs throughout the years; supported the chapel programs and chaplaincy throughout all military assignments; played saxophone in numerous worship teams since 1993; served on 3 mission trips to Harlem, NY, with the Salvation Army

Personal Testimony:

I was lost in sin as a cadet candidate at the West Point Prep school. Through the prayer in the back of a Gideon’s Bible, which I picked up in the day room at West Point Prep school, I asked Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Several classmates witnessed to me while I was searching for answers, one of which was Wes Loffert. I solidified my decision through the Navigators at USMA in 1981. Cadet Scott Eichelberger talked me through the Bridge Diagram; ever since, I have endeavored to follow the Lord Jesus ever closer. In the words of John the Baptist, “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

Both the OCF vision and the mission clearly exhibit what I have endeavored to achieve as a disciple of Jesus Christ throughout my service in the military and as a retired officer, recognizing fully Isaiah 26:12, “All that we have accomplished is really from You.”

Nominated By: Capt Daniel Abney, USMC; LCDR Gordon Hood, USCG; LT James Rader, USCG

LT Richard (Matt) Prevatt, USN

Education: U.S Naval Academy, BS Systems Engineering, 2012

Present Assignment: Flight Instructor, VT-6, Pensacola, FL

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2012; involved in weekly OCF Bible studies since graduating from college; have met with chaplains for accountability, support, and encouragement. My wife and I have hosted and led an OCF marriage study. I pursue mentor and mentee relationships.

Personal Testimony:

I grew up in a Christian home but didn’t understand what it meant to follow Jesus. My lifestyle didn’t reflect what I thought I believed. God used a friend in college to exemplify a life devoted to Him and lovingly convict me. Jesus is the Lord of my life and I trust Him to complete His work in me.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

I am currently stationed at NAS Whiting as a primary flight instructor and live in Pensacola with my family. I seek to do my work as unto the Lord and allow Jesus to live through my interactions with students and fellow instructors in my squadron. Through the week, my family and I are encouraged by and built up through the weekly OCF study and hanging out with fellow believers.

Nominated By: Col Chester Arnold, USMC (Ret.); LT Benjamin (Luke) Scripture, USN; CAPT James Vandiver, USN (Ret.)

LT James Rader, USCG

Education: U.S Coast Guard Academy, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2010

Present Assignment: Helicopter Pilot, Air Station Atlantic City, NJ

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2008; current OCF Council member (2017-present) and OCF Council Talent Committee Chair (2019-present); OCF worship leader at USCGA (2007-2009); OCF cadet president at USCGA (2009-2010); hosted OCF Portsmouth, NH (2011-2012); worship leader OCF Pensacola, FL (2012-2014); OCF Local Leader, Houston, TX (2015-2018); Anchor Points attendee (2015)

Personal Testimony:

I was raised attending church and surrounded by Christian family and friends. My faith strengthened immensely while in high school. As a cadet at the USCGA and throughout my career, God has placed influential people in my life through OCF to sustain me through the highs and lows of my walk with the Lord.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

Biblical fellowship, “…at the intersection of faith, family, and profession” can have various forms for each member of OCF. At my current assignment, many of us attend the same church and have been involved in small group fellowship. With high demands of temporary duty, fellowship most often takes place in small doses at work or while traveling. A regularly scheduled OCF study hasn’t yet taken hold at my location duty station, but Christlike leaders are still having an impact!

Nominated By: Capt Daniel Abney, USMC; Maj James Groves, USAF (Ret.); LCDR Gordon Hood, USCG; LTC Stephen Schmidt, USA

LTC Stephen Schmidt, USA

Education: University of Idaho, BS Family and Consumer Sciences, 1999; University of Idaho, MS Family and Consumer Sciences, 2001

Present Assignment: Professor of Military Science, Purdue University

Ministry Involvement:

OCF member since 2014; current OCF Council member and secretary, previously serving as the Talent Committee Chair; involved with OCF at every duty station since joining OCF; supported the chapel and chaplaincy at Fort Leavenworth, KS; assisting with prayer breakfast/fellowship at the Pentagon; and volunteering/supporting the cadet summer training ministry at Fort Knox, KY; attendees at Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs; have been blessed with amazing OCF mentors and I pour into others when presented with the opportunity; currently mentoring two junior Air Force officers at Purdue; I am currently discipled by a few wonderful men of God, both inside and outside OCF. My wife, Christina, and I currently provide financial support to a wonderful OCF family doing full time ministry work in Hawaii for the Navigators.

Personal Testimony:

Growing up I attended church sporadically with friends. I knew something was missing from my life and while searching for hope and healing after a challenging deployment to Iraq, an Army chaplain helped me to see my need for a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am still growing and thankful for His amazing mercy and grace.

Use either the OCF Vision or Mission statements to describe OCF's ministry in your personal life integrated at your current assignment or location.

God has placed me in authority in a specific time and place to further His kingdom. I pray for the people who work for me as part of my daily quiet time and pray for guidance for the many decisions I face. God has answered me in so many amazing ways. When people are in crisis, I always ask if I can pray for them in the moment – no one has ever said no.

Nominated By: Capt Daniel Abney, USMC; LCDR Gordon Hood, USCG; LT James Rader, USCG