Beyond Evangelism: Establishing a lifelong faith in Jesus 

Meet our Staff

Dr. Richard Gardner — FFICM Founder & President 

Richard grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and received Christ as a 21-year-old through a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In 1981, he completed his M.Div through the Reformed Episcopal Seminary, and in 2011 he received his doctorate in missiology from Western Seminary. After marrying his wife Janice in 1985, the two moved to Portland, OR, where they learned about Wycliffe Bible Translators. From 1991-2005, Rich and Janice lived in Nigeria as translators with Wycliffe, working on the Izere New Testament and raising their family. Through his various experiences with Wycliffe, The Seed Company (a division of Wycliffe Bible Translators), and studying for his doctorate, Rich saw a deep need to follow up with new believers as they grew in their Christian faith.

Evangelism and follow-up quickly became a passion of Rich, and in September 2013 he took steps to form Firm Foundation In Christ Ministries. 

David Moore — Intl. Director of Operations

David grew up in a Christian family in Hillsboro, OR. After high school, he attended Multnomah University in Portland, OR where he got his Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Studies. He worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators from 1999 until early 2018.  Most of his work with Wycliffe was in Indonesia where he worked with local church denominations and teams to help facilitate and support the work of Bible translation and seeing partnership with the local church in using local language in ministry thrive. When life transition happened and brought David and his family back to the US in 2017, God opened the door for David to come on board with FFICM and to serve as Director of Operations.

Jerel Skeith — Director of Strategic Relationships

Jerel joins Firm Foundation In Christ Ministries after 25+ years of launching, scaling, and planting churches and non-profits. He also brings a creative entrepreneurial spirit as he has built several covocational start-ups, small businesses, and social enterprises. Jerel’s love and excitement for discipleship forward (field-facing) and backward (donor-facing) has equipped him to catapult FFICM well into the future. As his parents were missionaries with The Navigators, his growing up years were saturated in a Jesus-centric discipleship model. Jerel and his wife, Amie, later joined The Navigators discipling millennials in Portland, Oregon. 

His experience in development has provided resources around the globe for community development, micro-enterprises, tsunami relief, disaster mitigation, food relief, discipleship curriculum, church planting multiplication, and several other Kingdom focused ministries. Jerel is absolutely thrilled to put these skills to work for FFICM as we witness discipleship become an everyday rhythm around the globe, in some of the most unreached context. Jerel and his family share the vision of Isaiah 61:1-3 (bring the Good News, build into relationships, bind-up the broken-hearted).

Carly Powne – US Based International Trainer

Carly Powne has always had a passion for youth and for missions.  Retiring from 23 years of youth ministry, she is now ready to join our team as the International Trainer.

Carly is from Hillsboro, Oregon and currently living in San Antonio, TX.  She has spent time serving locally and globally as a volunteer with the Oregon Food Bank, Nazarenes in Volunteer Service in Venezuela, Village of Hope Uganda, and as a Team World Vision Captain.  She has a heart for connecting youth with serving others in their community and world.

Carly has a degree in Special Ministries with an emphasis in Youth from Northwest Nazarene University.  She holds a certificate in youth and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary as well as a Certificate from the Youth Cartel’s Youth Ministry Coaching Program.

Stacey Lloyd — International Director of Multimedia

Stacey is a volunteer with FFICM, who coordinates our multimedia efforts including editing of pictures and videos. He helps with our website, electronic data management, and other projects in the office. He has been a long-time partner with FFICM and went to Nigeria to film the Izere New Testament dedication.

Elle Wisot — Communications Coordinator 

Elle is originally from Chester County, Pennsylvania. After high school she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where she received her undergraduate degree in multimedia from Hawaii Pacific University. Elle is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in School Counseling from George Fox University. Prior to working for FFICM she worked as the Creative Director for Life Community Church and prior to that as a marketing associate at Hanalani Schools. Elle is excited about her new role as the Communications Coordinator for FFICM and is looking forward to how God will use her in this new role. 

Susanna Ballard — Director of Outreach

Susanna began partnering with Rich Gardner in the training of new believers in 2012, before FFICM became a formalized non-profit. She has a passion for FFICM’s vision to support new Christians because of her experience of isolation and confusion after becoming a Christian during adolescence. Those early years of choosing to follow Jesus despite significant cultural pressures were deeply formative for Susanna. With a deep desire to live and learn immersed in Christian community, Susanna chose to study for her BA at Houghton College, a liberal arts Wesleyan college in rural NY.

After graduating, she and her husband served a year with AmeriCorps as volunteer teachers in after school programs and summer camps. Susanna and Dan moved to Oregon in 2011 where Susanna received her Masters of Divinity from Portland Seminary. Susanna has been grateful to partner with FFICM over the past 9 years. She and Dan have two young boys and enjoy getting outside as much as possible – rain or shine! Susanna’s favorite FFICM partnership thus far was the trip she and Dan took to Ethiopia to train evangelists in the FFICM Training Booklet and Evangelism tools.