National Leadership Team

Eric Kelly - National JJM Director

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It is such an honor to serve you! My name is Eric Kelly and I am the National Juvenile Justice Director for Youth For Christ USA. I started in 1999 with Fort Wayne Area Youth For Christ. I began as an urban campus life director, then created programs in two low-income housing sites (Yup, I was a Van-Ministry guy). Since 2003 I have focused on starting programs in institutions. It has been such a blast to spend time with lost young people in our detention centers and shelters.

My first ministry is my wife Megan. We married in 2002 and love to travel and spend time together. In my free time, I coach high school football, spend time fixing computers, and love traveling and exploring. I am so thankful for this chance to serve you and help in any way. Feel free to contact me at any time!

Email Eric at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Gareth Unruh - Operations Specialist

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My name is Gareth Unruh, my wife Jen and I have known each other since the age of 14 and have been married since 1999! We have three sons, Jake, Lawson, and Eli. I started as a traditional youth pastor since college and have been with Denver Area YFC since 2005.

I'm working with Denver Area Youth for Christ part-time as the Ministry Director overseeing our 3 ministry models and part-time serving the field of Juvenile Justice Ministry staff around the country, resourcing and encouraging our staff working with young people in the system.

I enjoy empowering our ministry leaders to work with our population of youth, backpacking with my sons, and watching Redbox movies with my wife.

Email Gareth at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Steve Strickler - Everett, WA

My Name is Steve Strickler. My wife and I have been married for 37 years. We have two daughters, two son-in-laws and two grandchildren and one on the way. I have been in ministry for 41 years. Thirty-Seven of those years were as a Pastor, the last four as Director of Juvenile Justice ministry for Seattle area Youth For Christ. I serve as the lead Chaplain at Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Snohomish County Washington. I also work at two state facilities for long-term incarcerated youth. Currently, I am mentoring three young people who are in the system and on probation. One of them is a participant in the Juvenile Drug Court which works with young people who have addiction problems associated with breaking the law. This is challenging work. I can only trust in a God who is full of Grace and hope.


I also am in charge of recruiting and training mentors to work with this population. At any given time there are 600 young people in the system in Snohomish County. Finding and training caring adults to engage these young people is a huge part of my job. I continually depend on God’s guidance and wisdom.

Email Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

 

Nathan Kroll - Hickman, NE

My name is Nathan Kroll. I've been with YFC since the beginning of time and have worked in every position possible. I am the Director of Ministry Development and a Fund-raising Coordinator. I also serve our staff, pastoring and leading them through life. Most often, I am referred to as “Nathan the Great” or “Grampus Life.” My ministry career started at Norris High School, and I still keep in contact with the students I had then.

I am also a part-time pastor at Christ's Place Church. My wife, Sandi, and I have amazing hearts for ministry and love working with people.

Email Nate at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

 

CJ Fisher - Peoria, IL

Hi! I'm CJ Fisher and I'm blessed to be married to my beautiful wife Sarah. God has blessed Sarah and I with a beautiful daughter and a handsome boy.  I have been with Peoria Youth For Christ as a Juvenile Justice Ministry Director since November 2010. I also serve as our Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center Chaplain. JJM Peoria reaches to students in Juvenile Detention as well as residential treatment. We hope to expand JJM to other juvenile facilitates within the area.

In my free time, I enjoy magic tricks and cardistry, playing games (board and video), watching movies, golf, baseball, outdoor activities, and relaxing with close friends.

Email CJ at [email protected]

 

 

Chad Fincham - Eldora, IA

 

My name is Chad Fincham. I have been the Juvenile Justice Ministry Director at North Iowa Youth for Christ since 2013. My primary role has been to serve as the Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator of the State Training School for Boys in Eldora, Iowa. As young men at this long-term facility have been introduced to the life-changing message of Jesus and begun developing a way of living taught by Him, the need for support in their transition back to the community has become clear. My role is now shifting into supporting the youth as they leave the facility.

I have been married to my wife Rachel since 2012. We have two sons and another child on the way! I enjoy playing basketball, cheering on Kansas City and Kansas State University sports teams, eating basically anything, roasting coffee, and hanging out with my wife and young people.

Email Chad at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Chelsie Coleman - Jacksonville, FL

My name is Chelsie Coleman and I have been with YFC since 2009! I started as a JJM site director in Polk County, FL where I served at a girls’ residential facility and in aftercare neighborhood groups. Most recently, I have transitioned into the role of Juvenile Justice Ministry Director at the new YFC Jacksonville affiliate. My vision for Jacksonville is to create a trauma-informed continuity of care with the juvenile justice system focused on prevention, intervention, and aftercare.

I am passionate about taking a holistic approach to ministry! I have worked in juvenile correctional settings as a mental health counselor and fully believe in being equipped to meet the emotional needs of young people in crisis for the purpose of pointing them back to Jesus! I am also passionate about empowering teams of people to reach youth in systems everywhere and have enjoyed unique opportunities to train community partners, as well as teach undergraduate juvenile delinquency courses.

In my free time, you can catch me watching Star Wars, playing with my puppy (Hermione), or exploring the local restaurant scene.

Email Chelsie at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Barrell Richardson - Houston, TX

I have been providing faith-based mentoring and various outreach programs for incarcerated and at-risk youth for over the past seventeen years for the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. My school education included Hastings High school, a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, and a Master’s of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. For over ten years I taught at one of the largest alternative schools in the Houston area. I was formerly Assistant Director for Youth Exchange Inc. for over seven years and also founded Teen Inc. in 2013.

I became Juvenile Justice Ministry Director for Youth for Christ in January 2016, offering programs such as church services and bible studies, mentoring, creative arts, dance, faith-based peer lead support groups, sports, theatre arts, tutoring, concerts, etc.

Email Barrell at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Deann Cleveland - Missoula, MT

Hi! I’m Deann Cleveland and have worked with Youth for Christ since 2014 when God started me on a completely different course than I expected! I was born and raised in Mississippi and was then working full time as a physical therapist when God provided an unforeseen opportunity to move to Montana to work with YFC. I was originally hired to work with Campus Life for only one year, yet quickly after moving, practically begged to re-launch JJM in Missoula as God was clearly drawing my heart there. I had no prior experience with YFC or JJM but had been a part of a variety of inner-city ministries serving kids from hard places throughout college, grad school and beyond. I’ve learned so much from the kids and team members I get to work with! One of my all-time favorite places to be is hanging out with teens in our detention center, rivalled only by getting to continue being a part of their story once they’re released.

In addition to being Missoula’s JJM Director, I work part-time as a physical therapist, and the practice I work for is conveniently located next door to our detention facility! When I’m not at work, I enjoy being a part of the worship team at church, playing church softball, kayaking, pretending to be an athlete at OrangeTheory Fitness, traveling, visiting Mississippi as often as I can, and trying to adapt to Montana winters.

Email Deann at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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