Meet the Editors

Cameron Cole

Cameron Cole has ministered for fourteen years at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL. He presently serves as the Director of Children, Youth, and Family. He is the founding chairman of Rooted: Advancing Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry, a youth ministry organization that works to transform youth ministry by forming Gospel-centered student ministry leaders and parents.  Rooted hosts a national conference and a podcast and runs a blog with over 110 writers and a readership of greater than 150,000. 

Cameron is the editor of Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide (Crossway, 2016) and author of Therefore I Have Hope: 12 Truths That Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy (2018). He has been published in The Gospel Coalition, Modern Reformation, the Rooted Blog, Church Leaders, Youth Specialties, Youth Worker Journal, and Mockingbird. Cameron won the award for 2018 World Magazine Book of the Year (Accessible Theology) and was the runner up for The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year (First-Time Author). Cameron has appeared on radio and podcasts, In the Market with Janet Parshall, Chris Fabry Live, Family Life Radio, Gospel Coalition, Pilgrim Radio, The Bob Dutko Show, The 700 Club Interactive, and four other Moody Radio affiliates.

Cameron is a three-year, cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University, where he double majored in Latin and English. He also holds a Masters in Education from Wake Forest, where he finished summa cum laude. He also earned a Masters in Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (May 2020). Cameron and his wife, Lauren, have four children: Cam (2010-2013), Mary Matthews (8), Hutch (6), and Knox (3). In his free time, Cameron enjoys distance swimming, Alabama football, international soccer, barbecue, meat-and-three’s, cutting his grass, and fine dining with his wife.

Charlotte Getz

Charlotte Getz currently serves as the Director of Publishing Projects at Rooted: Advancing Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry, a youth ministry organization that works to transform youth ministry by forming Gospel-centered student ministry leaders and parents. Prior to that, she served for five years as the Editor-in-Chief of the Rooted blog. 

Charlotte is the co-author of Unmapped: How Two Women Lost at Sea Found Their Way Home (Mockingbird, 2018). She is a regular contributor to the Rooted Blog, the Mockingbird Blog, has published several essays in The Mockingbird Magazine, and speaks frequently on all facets of the gospel and life. Charlotte has appeared on several podcasts: Front Porch with the Fitzes, The Mockingcast, Crackers and Grape Juice with Jason Micheli, and The Ministry Minded Podcast.

 Charlotte has her BA in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University (2006) and her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design (2013). Charlotte currently resides in Birmingham, AL with her husband, Alex, and their two spunky and beloved children Ford (8) and Margot (6). Charlotte enjoys cheeseburgers, music, crime-related television shows, being on the water, and her new-yet-surprising hobby of baking.

Meet the Authors

Catherine Allen

Meet Catherine Allen, born and raised in Birmingham, AL. After graduating from Furman University, Catherine lived in Charlottesville, VA for four years ministering at Christ Episcopal Church as the College Minister for undergraduate students at the University of Virginia. Before and after work, Catherine would teach Pure Barre classes, which led her to Charlotte, NC., where she is now the General Manager of Pure Barre SouthPark. Catherine has found a home in Hope Community Church. 


Sam Bush

Sam Bush lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife and two boys. Having been the Music Minister at Christ Episcopal Church for ten years, he is now studying at Duke Divinity School in the hopes of becoming an ordained minister someday (so far, his grades have been decent, but nothing special). Sam is a regular contributor to the Mockingbird blog.

Dawson Cooper

Dawson Cooper lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and three boys. She graduated from Wake Forest University. While at Wake Forest, she began freelance writing for a local magazine. Since then, Dawson has been published in flower and Celebrate magazines. She has been writing for Rooted Ministry since 2017. She also works as a lead floral designer with Marigold Designs. Dawson and her family attend Covenant Presbyterian Church where she is involved with leading a youth small group. When she isn’t at or driving to her boys’ various games, school events, or activities, she enjoys reading, playing tennis, and enjoying a good meal with friends. 


Liz Edrington

Liz Edrington serves as the Fellowship Groups and Young Adults Director at North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN. She received her M.A. in Counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, and she has worked with students in one form or another since 2002. She’s served on the Rooted Steering Committee since 2010, is a regular contributor to the Rooted blog, and authored a chapter in Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide. She’s delighted to live at the base of a mountain with her golden retriever, Bo Diddley, and she finds joy in tasting new things.

Chelsea Kingston Erickson

Chelsea serves as Pastor of Youth and Families at First Congregational Church in Hamilton, MA, where she lives with her husband, Steve and their baby boy, Wells. She holds an M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves teaching the arc of redemptive history and is currently pursuing a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Old Testament Studies. Chelsea serves as an editor of the Rooted blog and is also a frequent contributor. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys restaurant hopping around Greater Boston and spending time with her retired thoroughbred, Aiden Magee.

Clark Fobes IV

Clark is a hapa (half-White, half-Korean) from San Francisco, and has served as a youth pastor in Asian-immigrant and Asian-American churches for nearly 10 years. He received his M.Div. from Talbot School of Theology, and is a Doctor of Missiology (D.Miss) candidate at Southern Seminary (SBTS). He is also a contributor to the Rooted Blog, and an emeritus member of Rooted’s Steering Committee. He and his wife, Janet, have two daughters and minister in Clark’s hometown of San Francisco, CA.

Lucy Kate Green

Lucy Kate graduated from Samford University in 2019 and began working at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. She works with both children and youth, and loves getting to know and learning from the wonderful families there. Lucy Kate will begin graduate school at Wheaton University in the Summer of 2021 where she will pursue a Masters in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership. She hopes to eventually work with children who have experienced trauma, and be a foster parent herself.  In her free time, Lucy Kate loves being outside, cooking, and eating (but mostly the eating).

Lauren Hansen

Lauren Hansen formerly served as senior director of enterprise communications for an East Coast grocery corporation and has 10 years of experience in communications, training, and marketing. She is a deacon of women’s ministry at Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where her husband Collin and their two young children call home.

Anna Meade Harris

Anna Meade Harris is a single mom of three almost-grown sons. She is the Rooted Blog Editor-in-Chief, a member of Brookwood Baptist Church, and the author of Fresh Faith: Topical Devotions and Scripture-Based Prayers for College Students. In her free time, Anna enjoys gardening, great books, running, hiking, hammocks, and ice cream. She cheers for the Crimson Tide and wants to live by a mountain stream in Idaho someday.

Mac Harris

After graduating from Davidson College, where he studied history and religious studies, Mac Harris worked for a year as a Charlotte Fellow. He currently serves as Assistant Coordinator of Youth and Families at Hope Community Church while working towards his M.Div at RTS Charlotte. An avid Alabama football fan, Mac also enjoys fly fishing, ultimate frisbee, and Bojangles’ fried chicken.

Kristen Hatton

Kristen Hatton recently obtained a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University and is pursuing licensure to become a LPC. She is the author of The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for StudentsFace Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World and Get Your Story Straight and founder of the Redemptive Parenting online ministry and podcast. Kristen resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her pastor husband. Together they have three young adult and teen children. 

Emily Heide

Emily Heide serves as the Executive Director for Rooted Ministry. She began working for Rooted in 2015 after a decade of experience in the field of marketing and communications for non-profits. She is a wife and mom to three children. She teaches Girl's Bible Club, volunteers at school and drives carpool most afternoons. Emily graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Human and Organizational Development. She and her family reside in Birmingham, Alabama and attend Covenant Presbyterian Church. In her free time, Emily enjoys running, traveling and reading. 

Mark Howard

Mark Howard serves as the Director of Development for Elam Ministries, a non-profit with a mission to strengthen and expand the church in the Iran region and beyond. He oversees the team that tells the story of the Persian-speaking church with Elam’s partners globally.

Before his work with Elam Ministries, Mark served in full-time pastoral ministry, which included working with the youth. During this time, Mark got connected with Rooted Ministries and served first on the steering committee and later on the advisory board. Mark earned both a B.A. and M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. In addition to writing periodically for Rooted and other blogs, Mark has a chapter in Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry (Crossway, 2016). He lives in Covington, GA with his wife, Tiffany, and two children.

Watson Jones III

Watson Jones III is the Senior Pastor of Compassion Baptist Church on Chicago’s Southside. He served as the Lead and Founding Pastor of Restoration Church of Philadelphia. Before starting his church, Watson served in a dual two-year church-planting residency under the leadership of Dr. Eric Mason of Epiphany Fellowship in North Philadelphia and Fellowship Associates in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before moving to Philadelphia, Watson served as a staff pastor at his home church, Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, where he served as Children's Pastor and eventually Youth Pastor while leading a group of 1,000 members in various church-wide activities. 

Watson has a Bachelor’s of Art in Business from Trinity International University, a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric. Watson is married to his wife Kelli, and together they have three children, Yeshaya, Watson IV, and Ellison.

Rachel Kang

Rachel Kang is a New York native, born and raised just outside of New York City. A mixed woman of African American, Native American, Irish, and Dutch descent, she writes prose, poems, and other pieces that whisper into the thin tensions between life, art, and faith. Rachel is a graduate of Nyack College in New York where she obtained a degree in English with Creative Writing. She is the founder of Indelible Ink Writers, an online community prompting creatives through soulful art and writing journeys. Her writing has been featured on Christianity Today, {in}courage, and Charlotte Magazine. Rachel writes for and serves on the Board of Advisors for Fashion & Compassion. Her first book, on creativity as calling, is due out in 2022. For more on Rachel's work and writing, visit

Davis Lacey

A veteran of vocational student ministry, Davis Lacey now serves as the Lead Planter and Pastor of Autumn Ridge Community Church in Ellijay, GA. He is host of The Rooted Youth Ministry Podcast, a regular contributor to the Rooted blog, and also a member of the Rooted Steering Committee. He holds the MTS and MDiv degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as an Engineering degree from Mercer University. He is married to his childhood sweetheart Charis, and the two of them love having adventures with their two children: Evelynn and Haddon.

Rebecca Lankford

Rebecca serves in Youth/Young Adult Ministry at the Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL. She is a regular contributor to the Rooted Blog and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Theology at Beeson Divinity School.

Sandra McCracken

Born and raised in the Midwest, Sandra McCracken has since firmly planted her musical roots as a singer-songwriter and producer in the Southern soil of Nashville, Tennessee. Through and through, she is a musician by craft, trade, and gifting, but ultimately, she is a storyteller at heart. Keenly attuned to the thin line between the temporal and eternal, her storytelling has always invited audiences—whether found in clubs or coffee shops, churches or the Mother Church of Nashville’s own Ryman Auditorium—to consider their own humanity in relation to both creation and its Creator. 

Over the course of her fourteen critically acclaimed studio albums (including two projects with London indie label, Shell Records, and producer Peter Collins), Sandra has developed a body of work that encompasses hook- driven melodic pop, No Depression-style Americana, contemporary recastings of classic hymns, and even children’s music as part of the Nashville alt-folk group, Rain for Roots, which crafts Scripture songs for children alongside collaborators the likes of Ellie Holcomb and Sally Lloyd Jones. Both she and her music have long held a remarkable appeal to a wide variety of audiences, whether as a vehicle for congregations across the globe to worship God in their church communities, or in placements for film and network television shows like Grey’s Anatomy

With her recent album release, Patient Kingdom (October 9, 2020), Sandra’s deepest desire remains clear: to faithfully steward the passions, giftings, and callings God has placed on her life, whether through song, word, and story, or conservation and social justice work. She reasons, “If a part of my story can be a conduit of seeing God as the most faithful, steady presence we can know, those are the stories I want to tell.” As long as there is an audience to connect with and an important conversation to be had, Sandra will have a story to tell.

Jen Pollock Michel

Jen Pollock Michel is the award-winning author of Teach Us to Want, Keeping Place, and Surprised by Paradox. Her fourth book, A Habit Called Faith, released in February 2021. She holds a B.A. in French from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University. An American living in Toronto, Jen is a wife and mother of five. She is the lead editor for Imprint magazine, published by The Grace Centre for the Arts, and host of the Englewood Review of Books podcast. You can follow Jen on Twitter @jenpmichel and also subscribe to her monthly letter at

Peter Ong

Peter Ong serves at Living Faith Community Church as Ministry Director, where he oversees the diversity of ministries to serve the congregation as well as it seeks to saturate NYC with the gospel. Peter Ong went into ministry at the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades' Herald Youth Center. It was there he felt compelled to serve the Chinese immigrant community as a youth worker and later became the Youth Center's Director. He has served in New York City for over 20 years, with his passion for mercy and justice focused on engaging the church to serve local immigrant youth. He has advised youth ministries and conferences locally and nationally. Peter also served as volunteer staff at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at New York University. He then came on staff as Director of Gospel Community at Living Faith Community Church where he established a mercy and justice ministry. He was Director of Laity Ministries for Pastoral and Laity Ministries where he equipped and trained lay leaders within the Asian American church context. Previously he served as the youth worker and Director of Gospel Community at Living Faith Community Church where he had the privilege of disciplining the youth as well as lead the mercy and justice efforts. In 2011, he was a Redeemer City to City Church Planting Fellow, during which time he and his wife, Jamie, planted King’s Cross Church, a congregation of Living Faith Community Church, serving downtown Flushing’s immigrant families. He also served as Redeemer City to City’s Catalyst Leader to network and coach new church planters as well as Community Engagement Facilitator. He is the Decadel Adviser for LEADNYC with a vision to reach one million new New Yorkers with the gospel by 2030. Through coordinated partnerships, intentional goals, and a spirit of humble collaboration, we are bringing together the efforts of leaders, churches, and agencies across the region to see God work through five specific focuses through United Prayer, Sustainable Church Planting, Reaching, Discipling, and Empowering the Next Generation, Reaching, Empowering, and Equipping the Margins, Ethics and Philanthropy in the Marketplace. He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Living Faith Community Development Corporation that is committed to the support, upliftment and growth of our neediest neighbors in Flushing, New York. 


Peter graduated with a B.A. in English and a Minor in Philosophy and East Asian Studies from New York University. He received his M.A. in Urban Missions from Westminster Theological Seminary through City Seminary of New York. He is a certified Church Multiplication Ministries Coach and works with Redeemer City to City's training and teach Church Planters in their Incubator Program. 

Kenneth E. Ortiz

Kenneth E. Ortiz is dean of online education and professor of theology at Bethany Global University, Pastor at Cities Church, PhD student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and host of "Theology for the Rest of Us." He lives in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his wife, Malaina.

Michelle Ami Reyes

Michelle Ami Reyes, PhD, is the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and Co-Executive Director of Pax. She is also the Scholar-in-Residence at Hope Community Church, a minority-led multicultural church in East Austin, Texas, where her husband, Aaron, serves as lead pastor. She is also the author of Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures (Zondervan 2021). 

Scott Sauls

Scott began serving as our Senior Pastor in March of 2012. A graduate of Furman University and Covenant Seminary, Scott is married to Patti and is dad to Abby and Ellie. Scott previously served at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. He was also the founding pastor of churches in Kansas City and Saint Louis. While in Saint Louis, Scott also taught homiletics (preaching) to students at Covenant Theological Seminary

Scott's first book, Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides released in March 2015. Scott's second book, Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear was released in October 2016. His third book, From Weakness to Strength, released in October 2017. Scott’s fourth book, Irresistible Faith released in January 2019. Scott’s fifth book, A Gentle Answer, released on June 2, 2020.

Melina Smith

Melina Smith is the founder of StoryMakers. Over the last two decades her work has revolved around children, families, and ministry. Her hope is to incorporate a grace first approached packaged in art and good design. The scope of her experience includes work within many community settings; schools, churches, institutions, and within the home environment. Her life’s work is dedicated to sharing the Gospel with children through creative content. Melina hope to inspire Christian Educators to engage creatively and share what we have all been given first, LOVE and Mercy from our Creator through his redemptive narrative.

Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church, in Franklin TN—a PCA church he planted with friends in 1986. After pastoring CCC for 26 years, Scotty resigned from the staff in May, 2012, to serve the larger Church with his preaching, teaching and writing. He serves as the Teacher in Residence at West End Community Church, Nashville—a daughter church of Christ Community. Scotty also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Covenant Theological Seminary; Westminster Theological Seminary; Philadelphia, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas; and RTS, Orlando. Scotty is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (BA), Westminster Seminary (MAR) and Covenant Seminary (D Min.). Scotty has written a number of books, including Unveiled Hope, Objects of His Affection, and Everyday Prayers. Scotty and his wife, Darlene, have two adult children.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica is the author of several books and is a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism. She is a contributor at Christ Hold FastKey Life, and The Mob Society. She is also a part of the podcast Front Porch with the Fitzes

Jess has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is "naked confidence in the mercy of God."

Kevin Yi

Kevin Yi is the college and young adults pastor at Church Everyday in Northridge, CA and has been serving in student ministry for over 16 years and has received his Master of Arts in Theology at Talbot Theological Seminary.  He was a bi-vocational pastor for most of this time and has been in the animation industry for over 13 years.  He is the video producer for Rooted Ministries, a regular contributor to the Rooted blog, and is also an emeritus member of Rooted’s Steering Committee.  He and his wife Tracy are celebrating fifteen years of marriage together and have three children: Caden, Isabella, and Ian.

David Zahl

David Zahl is the founder and director of Mockingbird Ministries, editor-in-chief of the popular Mockingbird website (, and co-host of The Mockingcast. He and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, Virginia, with their three sons, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church, supervising their ministry to college students. He is a licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal diocese of Virginia, and the author of A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll and coauthor of Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints). His most recent book, Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It appeared in 2019.