2019 GO CONFERENCE PLENARY SPEAKERS

Jeremy Courtney

Author, Speaker and Founder/President of
Preemptive Love Coalition

 Jeremy Courtney is founder and president of Preemptive Love Coalition, an international relief organization engaging on the frontlines of the world’s most polarizing conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

A decade ago, at the height of the Iraq War, Jeremy and his wife, Jessica Courtney, chose to move to Iraq. Rather than turn away from chaos and conflict, they were going to lean in and love anyway. There, Jeremy met a little girl who was dying of a heart defect. Soon he discovered thousands more like her, all waiting in line for surgeries their country couldn’t provide. That’s when Preemptive Love Coalition began. Over the next several years, Preemptive Love provided lifesaving medical care for thousands of children and hands-on training for local medical staff: empowering them to be the long-term solution to Iraq’s child health crisis.

Everything changed when ISIS stormed across Iraq in 2014, killing anyone who stood in their way and forcing millions to flee. With militants on their doorstep and other aid organizations pulling out of Iraq, Jeremy, his family, and Preemptive Love chose to stay.

Since then, Jeremy and his team have rushed emergency aid to several hundred thousand people in Iraq and Syria: airlifting food to an entire city surrounded by ISIS, feeding thousands of families streaming out of Aleppo, and being the first to show up inside Fallujah and west Mosul as the battle against ISIS raged a few streets away. Jeremy and his team also help refugees start small businesses to get back on their feet and promote peace across long-standing sectarian divides in the Middle East.

As a sought-after speaker from the camera to the conference stage, Jeremy travels the globe, inviting people from all backgrounds to reach across “enemy” lines and choose love over fear. He has been featured on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS, Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today, offering expert, on-the-ground commentary on conflict in the Middle East.

Jeremy’s first book,  Preemptive Love, tells the story of the Courtney’s early years waging peace in Iraq. He is currently working on his second book, Love Anyway. Jeremy and Jessica have two children, Emma and Micah.

Jay Pathak

Author and Lead Pastor of Mile High Vineyard, Denver, CO

Jay Pathak is the Lead Pastor of the Mile High Vineyard where he strategically guides the mission and vision of the church as a whole, is the main teaching pastor, and provides oversight to each of our neighborhood churches. He has spoken nationally and internationally for Vineyard and other groups in both conference and classroom settings. In addition, he is a member of Vineyard USA’s Executive Team.

Committed to engaging and impacting those outside the church walls just as much as he is to those within, Jay and his team have worked to build MHV into a vibrant community that engages and impacts the city at every turn. In addition, Jay co-wrote the book The Art of Neighboring  with Dave Runyon. In their unique book, they dare to challenge us to wonder what would happen if every follower of Jesus took the Great Commandment literally, by loving our actual neighbors.

Jay has a BA in Philosophy from The Ohio State University and is a graduate of the Vineyard Leadership Institute. Prior to planting our church in 2001, he served as a leader in the Columbus Vineyard’s young-adult ministry, Joshua House, and as an intern to the senior pastor, Rich Nathan, in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Danielle, were married in 1998 and have two daughters, Jasmine and Sofia.

Bruxy Cavey

Author and Senior Pastor of The Meeting House, Hamilton, Ontario

Bruxy Cavey is the senior pastor at The Meeting House, a church for people who aren’t into church. The Meeting House is a multisite Anabaptist congregation in Ontario, Canada where thousands of people connect to God and each other through Sunday services, online interaction, and a widespread house church network.  

Bruxy is also author of the bestselling book,  The End of Religion  and his new book, reUnion , is an overview of “The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners.” Bruxy and his wife, Nina, have three daughters and live in Hamilton, Ontario.

Emily Nielsen Jones

Co-founder/President of the Imago Dei Fund, donor-activist engaged in promoting human equality

Emily is a donor-activist engaged in promoting human equality, justice, and peace around the world. She is particularly passionate and engaged in the nexus of faith, gender, and development and working to mobilize our world’s faith traditions to more fully and unambiguously embrace gender equality.

As Co-founder and President of the Imago Dei Fund, Emily has helped the foundation adopt a gender-lens in its grant-making with a particular focus on partnering with inspired change agents, locally and around the world, to build bridges of peace and create a world where girls and women can thrive and achieve their full human potential.

Emily is actively engaged as a leader in the women-led philanthropy movement and was recently featured in an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Her passion for creating a more just world where more human beings can thrive and flourish has led her to collaborate in a variety of networks and organizations.

Emily has a BA in Government from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Educational Policy from Boston University. She and her husband Ross live outside of Boston, Massachusetts with their three children.

Carlos Rodriguez

Author and native Puerto Rican who serves
local churches in his country

Carlos is passionate about reaching the world with God’s radical love. He is a provocative preacher who serves local churches and loves to pastor prisoners, young adults and anyone who dares to think differently. For 15 years he has been traveling the world reaching the most broken people with hugs, passion and the stories in Luke 15. 

In 2014 he began HappySonship.com, an online magazine that reaches thousands of people daily by sharing the message of grace via whatever the heck is trending on the web. He is the author of Simply SonshipDrop The Stones and an upcoming book entitled “Proximity”. He also works as the director of The Happy NPO, a non-profit organization doing relief work and supporting children’s homes in Peru, Ethiopia and Puerto Rico. Carlos and his wife Catherine have two gorgeous boys and a darling girl.

Oh yeah, he also wants everyone to know that he’s a Puerto Rican (living in Puerto Rico) and he can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Archbishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr.

Senior Pastor/CEO of The First Cathedral, Bloomfield, CT and Author

Archbishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Chief Executive Officer of The First Cathedral, Bloomfield, CT. In the 45 years of his pastorate, The First Cathedral has grown from a few hundred to more than 11,000 members. Under his leadership, The First Cathedral provides a weekly television and radio broadcast “Discovering Your Power”, senior housing of eighty units in the City of Hartford (First Village and Second Village Senior Housing) and a theological training center (New England International School of Ministry). God chose The First Cathedral to be a testimony of His faithfulness through the construction of its 120,000 square foot facility, and the future development of an 80,000 square foot Family Life Center.

He is the author of A Solid Foundation; a powerful and inspirational manual that provides concise principles for developing a solid foundation for facing and overcoming life’s daily challenges. 

He has a Shepherd’s heart and is a gifted and anointed teacher, preacher and counselor. His love and devotion to the Lord directs him to equip believers for Kingdom service. 

Jenny Yang

Author and Senior VP of Advocacy & Policy
for World Relief 

Jenny Yang provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. She has worked in the Resettlement section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer, where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. 

She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, serves as Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.