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.
Dara Searcy-Gardner — Intl. Director of Communications
Dara grew up in Jos, Nigeria. She moved to the US when she was eighteen to go to college for vocal performance, and after completing her BMus, went on to complete a masters in theology at Houghton College. She focused her study on the intersection between personal faith, theology, and culture. After graduating, she worked in a Methodist church in Forest Grove, Oregon as Ministry Associate. In this position she led the discipleship program, the youth group, and planned outreach events. While working at the church, she also worked with Rich as he moved from doctoral research to developing material, doing trainings and ultimately forming FFICM. Helping to develop materials and interviewing people to tell their stories intersected powerfully with Dara’s passion for people to have intimate, lasting relationships with Jesus, and her love for and loyalty to people who risk everything to reach out to others for the gospel. Eventually she felt called to join the ministry, and currently serves as International Director of Communications.
Nicole Miller — Intl. Communications Coordinator
Nicole grew up in a supportive Christian family in Reno, NV. After high school, she attended a nine-month discipleship program called the Joshua Wilderness Institute, where she was immersed in community living while studying the Bible and theology. She did her undergrad studies at Biola University in Southern California, receiving a Bachelors in Creative Writing with a minor in Biblical Studies. Nicole dreamt of storytelling from a young age, but discovered the passion to use her writing skills for positive change when she moved to San Francisco to intern for Greenpeace USA. Since then she has worked for a wide range of nonprofits, crafting stories for a cause. Nicole moved to Portland in 2016 for a communications fellowship, continuing to use her experience in social media, blogging, editing, and design. She learned about FFICM through a friendship with Rich’s son, and became connected to the organization after meeting Rich and Dara.
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.
Courtney Zurcher — Communications Specialist
Courtney grew up in Sherwood, Oregon. After graduating high school, she began attending Azusa Pacific University in southern California. Now, she is currently a junior working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Management and a minor in Psychology. In the spring of 2020, she joined our team as an intern, working primarily on developing FFICM’s social media and website engagement. Now, she is a part of the communications team, working more specifically on connecting people with FFICM through different media platforms and prayer involvement. She is passionate about building relationships with people and the impact that follow-up with new believers has on their lives. Courtney has loved working with FFICM and seeing first-hand the incredible work that God is doing through the ministry!
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.