ABOUT THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND GENNOW DISCIPLES:
Ariel Williams is the creator, facilitator, and administrator of GenNow Disciples. She stumbled upon the idea of online confirmation and thought… “I could do that.” Early in the experimental phase she threw out a tweet stating she was working on online-confirmation. Two weeks later after lot’s of social media connecting and a couple of phone calls to friends, a team was assembled and GenNow Disciples was born. When the Holy Spirit moves, THE HOLY SPIRIT MOVES! Ariel has served as the Director of Youth & Family Ministries at Emanuel’s Lutheran Church in Seguin, TX. Three years ago she started as a Seminarian at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. She and her two children are now on internship!
Ariel also produces seasonal family faith resources and blogs VERY inconsistently. To follow her sporadic ramblings check out: www.javaluia.com.
Pastor Jerry Wirtley is a curriculum contributor, technical guru for GenNow and his congregation, St. John’s Lutheran in Little Suamico, WI is one of the pilot congregations participating in GenNow Disciples. Jerry was very involved in music growing up which led him to pursue a degree in music. It was then that he first felt called to ministry during his undergraduate work in music performance, but he did not follow the call at that time.
He went on to finish his Bachelors of Music degree in music performance on electric bass in Jazz studies at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY in 1994. He continued on at Morehead in Jazz performance studies and received his Master’s of Music Performance in Jazz in December of 1995.
It was in college at Morehead that he met the love of his life, Krista. Krista and Jerry were married in 1996, and shortly after this moved to North Carolina. While in North Carolina the family grew with the birth of their first daughter Charis.
It was in North Carolina where he felt the call to ministry again, and after attending a Via de Cristo weekend September 13 – 16, 2001 he gave in to the call and prepared for seminary. He moved his family to Pennsylvania and attended The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. During their time in Gettysburg they had two more daughters, Carina and Calea. He graduated with a Master’s of Divinity in May of 2006. Since his ordination he has served congregations in Northwestern Ohio Synod, the Southwestern Texas Synod, and the East Central Synod of Wisconsin.
Pastor Jerry does a daily devotional on his blog here.
Pastor John Wertz is a curriculum contributor and pastor at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, VA which is one of the pilot congregations participating in GenNow Disciples. Pastor John graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1997 and prior to coming to St. Michael, he served as Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Walterboro, SC.
Pastor John met his wife Kris while working at a Lutheran summer camp, Lutheridge in Arden, NC. They have two sons in high school.
Pastor Andrew Tucker is a curriculum contributor. Drew came later into the process as a pinch hitter, and has loved the opportunity to create unique confirmation material to help redevelopment congregations like his, Christ Lutheran in Radford, Virginia, provide robust and engaging confirmation education experiences.
Drew’s passion in ministry is the formation of young adults into the image of God, which seems to him as the heart of discipleship and a core facet of confirmation. He works at this through campus ministry at Radford University, as adjunct faculty at New River Community College and Lenoir-Rhyne University, and by writing for publications like Sundays and Seasons: Preaching and Currents in Theology and Mission.Originally from Northeast Ohio, Drew now lives in Radford with Michelle and their two dogs, Stanley and Jack. If you’re looking for him, check the golf course, the nearest body of water, anywhere where there’s good music, or anywhere where the Buckeyes are playing.