My name is Steve Braudt, I go by Pastor Steve with in my church. I married to Rev. Florence Anne Lippincott. We have a daughter Sarah Thompson who is married to Brian, we have two perfect grandchildren, Trent – 12 and Calla – 10. I grew up in Clinton Iowa, attended First United Methodist Church, where I was baptized and confirmed. Graduating from Clinton High School, I attended Clinton Community College and settled into a life of work, family and community.
Following a failed attempt at college and marriage, I was left raising a baby daughter as a single parent and living in my parent’s basement. As I began to regain my life, and trying to make sense of the world around me, I searched for a career that would bring happiness and fulfillment. I chased many professional careers: restaurant management, machinist, welder, shift foreman, jailer, web designer, custodian, industrial engineer – yet I never felt quite satisfied or complete. This began a process of reconnecting to the purpose, plan and person that God was calling me to be. God’s plan continued to unfold as a spouse of a United Methodist clergy.
On an instinctive desire, I found myself volunteering to be the high school Sunday school teacher. This was significant because I experienced great satisfaction and my first real success as a teacher and leader. In addition, I decided to attend Iowa Wesleyan College and pursue my gift and talent for art. The completion of a degree and my transformation from a shy introvert to a person who loves to lead and preach culminated in a call to ministry at a Walk to Emmaus in 1995. From that retreat, I knew that God was calling me to be a person of color – visually and figuratively - in speech and in life. My faith has continued to grow and to develop, in ways that are always amazing to me. I found a love of youth and evangelism that would lead me to taking youth around the world to preach, teach, serve and witness to their faith journey. My love of art, while renewing and refreshing, is intermixed in what I have started to call “Art as Spiritual Discipline.” As I have refined and defined this spiritual discipline, Art as a spiritual discipline is visual art that is created during or as the result of worship, prayer, Bible study or meditation.
Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Rev. Rios graduated from the Methodist Seminary, John Wesley and is an ordained elder of the Methodist Church of Mexico. Rev. Rios has toured churches throughout Mexico and the United States, ministering and equipping worship teams as well as providing support for youth groups for at least 20 years. Currently, he is an associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church Peoria and Director of contemporary and bilingual worship services.
Bishop Frank J. Beard was assigned to The Illinois Great Rivers Conference effective September 1, 2016. Prior to his election he served as an ordained Elder in the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church. Bishop Beard is a gifted preacher and teacher. He has a passion for Jesus Christ that is contagious. His primary focus is encouraging churches to be “on fire for Jesus.” His life quote is, “I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me it will fly away humming ‘there is power in the blood’!”
Adult volunteer/chaperone - you must submit a background check form prior to attending SR High Now. Please submit this form no later than February 16, 2018.