Growing Up Social | Speakers

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Arlene Pellicane BioArlene is a speaker and author of five books including Growing up Social31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife31 Days to a Happy Husband and 31 Days to a Becoming a Happy Mom.

Arlene wants to help you figure out how to experience more joy.  When she shares about marriage, parenting, health, or personal growth, her goal is not only to inspire. She gives practical steps so you know exactly what to do next.

Arlene has provided expertise as a guest for the Today Show, Focus on the Family, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, The 700 Club, The Better Show, The Hour of Power, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, Home Made Simple on TLC and numerous radio programs.

Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and a MA from Regent University.  Before becoming a speaker and author, she served as a features reporter for The 700 Club and associate director for Turning Point Television with David Jeremiah.   

Arlene lives in a happy home in San Diego with her husband James and their kids Ethan, Noelle and Lucy.

Find Online: WebsiteTwitter & Facebook


J&L 2016 ColoradoJay and Linda Adams have been married 37 years, raised 6 children and have 13 grandchildren.  God, in His grace and mercy, saved Jay & Linda during the Jesus people movement of the early 1970’s.

God has been faithful in walking with them through the fires of life.  Linda lost her first husband to cancer, leaving her a widow at the age of 27 with 3 small children.  Jay, being obedient to God’s call, married Linda and together they had 3 more children.

Jay worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 22 years before starting his own marketing company that assists organizations with donor & business development in the youth sports, commercial printing, and faith-based industry.  Linda was a stay at home mom for 30 years before starting her own custom home design and sewing business.  They have attended Cross Points Church for over 35 years where Jay serves on the Elder board.


Rebecca Blomker speaker at growing up social in Shawnee KansasBecca is a laundry-washer, storyteller, Jesus-lover, who homeschools four wild, beautiful kiddos, blogs every now and then, and is married to her college sweetheart, Jon.

By connecting day-to-day stories to God’s big redemption story, Becca hopes to help you live more authentically and parent more effectively. Becca also hopes to inspire you to own your life story—the heartbreaks and the joys—so you are free to help your children live the story God is writing for them.

Becca earned her BA in English Education from Northwestern University and holds a certificate in Foundations of Biblical Counseling from the Christian Counseling Education Foundation. Currently, she homeschools her football-loving boys—Micah, Josiah, Isaiah—while entertaining her three-year-old girl, Esther, and she teaches writing and literature at Legacy Christian Academy.



Andy Bondurant of Cross Points Church in Shawnee Kansas - Staff

Andy graduated from Maranatha Academy and then Mid-America Nazarene University with a degree in Christian Education. Upon graduation, Andy worked as the bus ministry pastor at Full Faith City Church before becoming Children’s Pastor at Cross Points Church.

In 2004 Andy took a break from full-time ministry to join his wife and her family in a new business endeavor. He helped build a portrait photography organization of over 400 studios with an annual event of over 600 people.

In the Fall of 2012, Andy returned to CPC to work with the pastoral team as Children’s Pastor (along with the dreaded “other duties as assigned”).

Andy spends his free time coaching and watching soccer, reading, writing and checking his Instagram feed. Andy has been a fan of Sporting KC since they were known as The Wiz.

Andy met and married Kia at Cross Points Church, and together they have four children – Kessa, Sephine, Chilton and Beale.



Ryan Darrow speaker at Growing Up Social in Shawnee, KansasDr. Ryan Darrow is the lead pastor of Overland Park First Assembly of God, an evangelical Christian church located in the Kansas City metro. He and his high school sweetheart, Krystal, were married in 1997 and have three sons.  Ryan has earned bachelor degrees in Biblical Studies and Business Management, a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology.

Ryan is an associate professor of psychology at Johnson County Community College, and the recipient of the 2015 Lieberman Teaching Excellence Award for Adjunct Faculty.

With nearly 10,000 clinical hours of therapy, Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge as a marriage and family therapist and child development specialist.

He is an ordained Assemblies of God minister who travels the country speaking at marriage retreats and conferences.


Phil Ellsworth at Growing Up Social seminar in Shawnee, KansasPastors Phil and Jan Ellsworth founded Grace Christian Fellowship Church in 1980 and have pastored there for 36 years. Yes, they have been around the mountain more than once. He is currently working on his DMin at Oral Roberts University.

Jan Ellsworth has taught in a variety of venues and home-schooled each of their children in the middle school years. She recently retired from teaching at a Christian School and continues to lead a Women’s Bible Study Class at Grace.

Next year they will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They are blessed to have 3 grown (married) children, Heather (and David Lucas), Amanda (and Nathan Johnson), and Jared (and Racheal Ellsworth) who are all serving Jesus in Colorado Springs, Boston, and Jefferson City.

At this conference, it is their desire to pass on some of the insights they have learned in transitioning (independent?) teens into independent adults.


Hanson BioDana is the Children’s Pastor at Grace Christian Fellowship Church in Shawnee, Kansas. Nathan is the Director of Pharmacy at a local hospital. They moved to the KC area in 2004. Together they served as the College and Career Ministers for seven years before moving to Children’s Ministry.

Dana and Nathan believe that parents are the primary influencers in a child’s life and enjoy partnering with each parent to raise up the next generation for Christ. They have a passion for helping parents and kids navigate through different stages of life.

Dana spends her free time reading, going on adventures with her kids or organizing something. Nathan spends his free time gardening, playing sports with his kids or reading. Nathan and Dana have been married for fourteen years and together have four children- Hannah, Rebekah, Luke and Jacob. They try to live a Purposeful Life as they raise their own kids to be godly leaders with a Christian worldview. Learn more about them at


RobynAfter attending Fort Hays State University, Robyn went to Victory Bible Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While there, she met and married her husband Chris. The two of them stepped into full-time ministry together in 1995. Robyn has primarily ministered in the areas of youth, marriage, and worship.

Robyn’s passion is to see people, young and old, grab a hold of what God has for them and walk in His plans for their life. Together Robyn and Chris have 5 really cool kids: Cheris, Addison, Christian, Drew, and Caleb.

When Robyn isn’t homeschooling, she enjoys spending time with friends, knitting useless creations, eating chocolate, and drinking coffee and more coffee.


Tina Jackson bioTina is a mother of two intelligent and beautiful daughters.  Her oldest daughter was born with multiple disabilities.  This has placed her family on an extraordinary life journey.  Tina and her husband are full-time caregiver to their adult daughter, and will continue to be primary and secondary caregivers for the rest of their lives.

In watching her daughter’s life, Tina has decided to educate herself and support her in reaching her fullest potential.  She has made it her life purpose to support her daughter by helping her become her best “self-advocate.”  Advocating takes courage, strength, and determination.  This has led her to spend the last 16 years encouraging, sharing community resources, and connecting with families.  This work includes experience with the following organizations and roles:

  • Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center (CTLC), Parent Representative Managing Board
  • Missouri Families for Families, Sharing our Strengths, (SOS) Parent Volunteer
  • Kansas City Regional Advisory Council. Committee Member
  • Abundant Life Church, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Special Needs Co-Coordinator
  • Abundant Life Church, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Respite Outreach Coordinator
  • Joni and Friends Ministry Greater Kansas City, Church Training Representative
  • One Image Disability Services, Writer and Workshop trainer, Respite Education and Support Tools (REST)


Donald LewisPastor Don served as senior pastor of Cross Points Church for eleven years and now serves as an associate pastor with an emphasis on fatherhood to the urban communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Pastor Don formerly served the Washington Dulles International Airport as its senior chaplain.  He orchestrated ministry in one of the busiest and most multicultural intersections in the world. Besides his chaplaincy, Pastor Lewis also served as the program director of Youth for Tomorrow, a residential facility for at-risk adolescent males.

His work has been featured in the Washington Times, People Magazine, the Family Research Council magazine and other articles and books.

Pastor Don testified before Congress on behalf of pro-family organizations in Washington D. C., and he also served as regional director for Prison Fellowship’s Mid-Atlantic Neighbors Who Care, a crime victims assistance ministry.

Pastor Don formerly served as a pastor in Oakland, CA., Little Rock, AR., the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

He and his wife, Hildred, have four adult children and now reside in Lenexa, Kansas.


Diane Mattione bioDiane Mattione is the wife to Lou and a mother to two wonderful adult children.  She and her husband reside in Grandview, Missouri.

Bringing up a child on the autism spectrum has grown compassion and love within Diane for families and individuals affected by disability.  Diane believes we have to learn from the ones who run into the arm of a Savior with such abandonment. Their child-like faith should be an inspiration.

In the last 25 years, Diane has advocated for her son and others in similar situations. Her heart passion is to lead all God’c children, no matter their abilities, to the heart of the Father.  Knowing that disability brings many unanswered questions and stress, Diane words to strengthen families by helping them find needed support.  She has also had the pleasure of teaching adults and children about the love of Jesus.  She has carried out that goal by working with the following organizations:

  • Vice President Blue Springs Special Olympic Booster Club
  • New Covenant Ministries, Children’s Ministry Manager
  • Support Group Leader for parents homeschooling special needs children
  • 4-H Leader
  • New Covenant Ministries, Administrative Assistant
  • Special Needs Ministry Director and Resource Manager for Orphan Justice Center
  • Special Needs Buddy Coordinator for Forerunner Christian Fellowship
  • Founder and Teacher, King’s Table, ministry for special needs adults
  • Joni and Friends, Greater Kansas City, Church Training Representative


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