PLENARY SPEAKER PROFILEs
Dr. John Christopher Thomas was educated at Lee College (BA), Church of God School of Theology (MA), Ashland Theological Seminary (MDiv), Princeton Theological Seminary (ThM), and the University of Sheffield (PhD). A member of the full-time faculty of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary since 1982 and the director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University, Professor Thomas has been honoured for his work in New Testament scholarship by election into membership of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and his appointment as the Clarence J. Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He also serves as the director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University in Bangor, Wales.
Professor Thomas has published articles in several leading international journals devoted to study of the New Testament including: New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, and Journal for the Study of the New Testament. He has authored a major study entitled Footwashing in John 13 and the Johannine Community, published a collection of his essays for the church, Ministry and Theology: Studies for the Church and Its Leaders, written a significant monograph on healing entitled The Devil, Disease, and Deliverance: Origins of Illness in New Testament Thought, authored a brief study on John 13-17 entitled He Loved Them until the End: The Farewell Materials in the Gospel according to John, written a commentary on 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, published a collection of his studies in The Spirit of the New Testament, recently completed a major commentary on the Book of Revelation entitled, The Apocalypse: A Literary and Theological Commentary, and together with Professor Frank D. Macchia awaits the appearance of the commentary on Revelation in the Two Horizons Series. Professor Thomas serves as editor of the Journal of Pentecostal Theology (Brill), the Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series (Deo), and serves as General Editor of the Pentecostal Commentary Series (Deo).
Along with his colleague Lee Roy Martin, he is a founding publisher and editor of CPT Press. Strongly committed to parish ministry, he has served as associate pastor of the Woodward Church of God in Athens, Tennessee since 1981. Professor Thomas has been a guest lecturer or visiting lecturer at a variety of educational institutions on five continents. He was named Alumnus of the Year by Ashland Theological Seminary (1992) and by the Church of God Theological Seminary (2004). Dr Thomas served as the president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (1997-98).
He is married to Barbara and they have two daughters, Paige Thomas Scaperoth and Lori Thomas Brown, two sons-in-law, David Alan Scaperoth and Chad J. Brown, and one granddaughter, Madeline Danielle Scaperoth.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon, together with his wife Betty, is the senior pastor and founder of King of Kings Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which today has over 30,000 active members.
He studied theology at Río de la Plata Seminary of the Union of the Assemblies of God in Argentina, and graduated in 1977.
He completed postgraduate studies at the Institute of Higher Ministerial Training of the Assemblies of God (ISUM).
He earned a PhD in philosophy from Vision International University.
In addition, he has been awarded several honoris causa doctorates in different places around the world in recognition of his ministry.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon is a highly regarded conference speaker and holds meetings attended by thousands of people all around the world.
He has preached the Word of God in places such as the Madison Square Garden in New York, the Jerusalem Payis Arena, the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, the Paris Bercy arena in France, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the largest outdoor stadiums in Latin America.
His gigantic meetings held on the five continents have reached over 10 million people with the message of the gospel.
King of Kings Church, which pastor Freidzon leads, is carrying out a project for doubling the size of the building in order to accommodate the increasing number of members.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon has written several internationally best-selling books including Holy Spirit, I Hunger for You, translated into nine languages, and the devotional From Glory to Glory.
With the media ministry of King of Kings Church, he produces and hosts a program that is considered to be one of the most influential and most widely watched Christian programs in Christian TV networks around the world. The program reaches 1.3 billion viewers weekly in 190 countries throughout the world.
He is the president of King of Kings Foundation and promotes different programs that have a national scope within Argentina, such as Operation Life. Operation Life is a charity outreach program whose vision is to reach the lost through charity work and the gospel. In 2006 it was recognized and awarded by the Foreign Affairs and Religion Department of the Republic of Argentina for its outstanding achievements.
Operation Life has reached 18 Argentine provinces so far. It has provided over 1,100 tons of food for people in need, 1,028,000 pieces of clothing, and 225,000 medications. In every city where Operation Life has been, hospitals, schools and prisons have received important donations of equipment. Over 1,200,000 people have been reached by the message of the gospel personally in their homes or in gigantic crusades led by Pastor Claudio Freidzon in every city.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon, through his Foundation, has a radio station, FM Gospel. The House of Representatives of the government of Argentina has recognized FM Gospel officially for journalistic excellence and independent work.
King of Kings Foundation owns Buenos Aires Christian School, a bilingual school that follows the national curriculum and offers academic excellence in kindergarten, primary and secondary education. The school promotes Christian values and the enrichment of spiritual life as it trains the next generations of leaders that will make a difference in society.
The Foundation is also developing an educational project which will have a high national impact: the creation of the first Evangelical University of the Republic of Argentina, based in the city of Buenos Aires.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon has been married to his wife, Betty, for 36 years and they have three children: Sebastián, Ezequiel and Daniela. They also have two grandchildren, Mateo and Isabella.
Dr. Claudio Freidzon is famous everywhere he has preached for his ministry of spiritual revival and his Christ-centred preaching inviting believers and pastors to recover deep communion with God and his Holy Spirit. The testimonies of supernatural miracles, ministries restored and lives renewed by the glorious presence of the Holy Spirit are the evidence of God’s grace upon his life and ministry.
Patrick St-Onge is married and a father of three children: Vanessa (21), Benjamin (19) and Jonathan (16). Patrick did his biblical studies at McGill University and the Biblical Institute Bérée. A pastor since 1991, he has been senior pastor of the Centre Évangélique de Laval (CEL) since 1997. Involved at various levels in the district of Quebec, he has served as Chairman of IBQ part time for five years and teaches at this institution. His wife, Nathalie, works with him in worship and Christian education at CEL.
Leanne loves to help others understand who they were created to be and then assists them in walking it out through their passion, purpose and gifting. She firmly believes Ephesians 1:11 where it says, “It’s in Christ we find out who we are and what we are living for…He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (THE MESSAGE). This message is reflected in her speaking, which is marked by authenticity, practicality and humour.
Leanne, an ordained minister with the PAOC, is the director for ZOE Projects. Working in four key areas; health, human/sex trafficking, economic empowerment and education, it networks Canadians to create ways for women around the world to thrive, all with a heart for spiritual transformation.
Working with the PAOC National Women’s network, ZOE Leadership has recently been developed. Courses such as IDENTITY, TOGETHER and SENT prepare women to influence their work, communities and churches.
Leanne and her husband, Darcy, reside in Langley, B.C. where Darcy also serves with the PAOC as the Personnel and Family Life director of International Missions. Darcy and Leanne have three young adult children and a very needy puppy named Merry.
Rev. Patti Miller is the lead pastor of Evangel Pentecostal Church in Montreal, Quebec. Previously she was the lead pastor of Crossfire in Hamilton, Ontario, where she ministered from 2000-2015. She has served as a General Executive member of the PAOC as well as a member of the District Executive for the PAOC's Western Ontario District. Previous to Crossfire, she had served for six years on pastoral staff at Christian Centre in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto. She is a graduate of Mohawk College and Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (now Master's College and Seminary), and recently completed an honours bachelor of arts degree in sociology at McMaster University.
Patti is deeply passionate around three areas: urban ministry, with its widely diverse population and challenges, Ukraine, which unexpectedly captured her heart in 1999, and helping to make a way for other women called to be pastors.
She has been happily married to Jeff since 1992. He is her hard-rock-loving, face-pierced husband, and she continues to laugh at his jokes. They recently moved to downtown Montreal after living in Hamilton, Ontario’s north end.
Kevin has served in ministry for over 30 years, the last 14 in Saskatchewan. Together with Rachelle, his wife of 25 years, and four kids, they currently serve as pastors of three churches in central Saskatchewan. They moved to Lanigan in 2002 and the Lord brought about the “turn around” of a small rural church from decline to growth. This amazing story can be read in Tenacious, the PAOC's 2011 gift book. In 2012, Lifepoint replanted a church into the community of LeRoy, SK. The thriving LeRoy Community Church celebrated their third anniversary in September 2015 and they meet weekly on Wednesday nights. In 2013, the Sawatsky family, with the support of their other two church families, moved to the city of Yorkton, SK, to replant a closed PAOC church. This past fall, the Yorkton Dream Centre church was joyfully dedicated as a social justice-driven ministry, the heart being an indoor kids playground called Dreamland. Kevin has served on the Saskatchewan District Executive and currently sits on the Saskatchewan District 2020 Initiative Committee and the National Church Multiplication Network. Kevin is a strong voice and advocate for church planting and for kingdom renewal in our rural communities.
Beth and her husband, David, have served as Assemblies of God missionaries to Eurasia for 39 years. While their ministry has focused on the land of India, their heart for missions has carried them to over 30 nations of the world.
Beth's calling and passion is teaching. She serves as faculty and guest lecturer in missions and intercultural education in colleges in India, Europe, and the United States. She is a guest speaker at women's retreats internationally, inspiring women to recognize their identity in Christ and be empowered to fulfil their God-given purpose.
Beth serves as co-director of Project Rescue, a ministry to survivors of sex trafficking in Asia and Europe. As a member of the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking, Beth co-edited Hands That Heal, an international curriculum to train caregivers of trafficking survivors. She recently authored Courageous Compassion: Confronting Social Injustice God’s Way. Beth serves as the first female executive presbyter with the Assemblies of God USA.
Beth completed a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles, CA. Her vision is to mobilize a generation of young women and men to fulfil God’s transforming mission in our 21st century world.
Beth's most valued roles are that of wife to David, mother to two wonderful daughters, Rebecca and Jennifer, mother-in-law to Tyler Shults and Jon Barratt, and “Mimi” to four beautiful grandchildren.
Dominique and Friends
"My first contact with a church gathering was through worship and since that day I have never stopped seeking God through this unique privilege we have. When I worship Him, the only thing I want is to penetrate, be it only for a moment, the depths of my Father’s heart, both tender and majestic. As we wait for this wonderful day when we will forever abide in His presence close to His incomparable throne, may we together let Him turn His face towards us. May our life of true praise and worship, filled with the Spirit, bring down His kingdom and manifested presence among us."
Nathanael was born and raised in Montreal and comes from a rich family heritage of faith and music. His desire is to passionately serve Christ by seeing music and the arts reclaimed and redeemed in the church today. Nathanael is the music and creative arts director at Trinity Pentecostal Church in Montreal. He is also currently pursuing his bachelor of arts in theology with a music minor at Vanguard College in Edmonton, Alberta.
Melody is a Montreal-raised artist, singer/songwriter. With her dynamic personality, she is passionate about worship and people. Melody completed a discipleship training school program called Master's Commission, in Amsterdam, an experience that has birthed in her a desire to invest in training young, emerging leaders in the local church. Today, working as the director of discipleship at the Institut Biblique du Québec, Melody continues to grow musically on an international scale and continues to pursue her education in theology. You can find out more about Melody on her website at www.melodyloria.com.
André has been serving the Lord for a long time. At age 15, he gave his life to God and soon felt the call to serve Him through music and worship. To this end, he learned how to play the piano, completed a college degree and a university degree in music. In the past 25 years, he has invested himself in worship, teaching and producing albums, as well as in leading worship in Quebec and elsewhere. His desire is to be a resource where resources are scarce.