Chief Catalyst, Leighton Ford Ministries
Kevin Graham Ford is Chief Catalyst for Leighton Ford Ministries, author of Transforming Church (David C. Cook, 2008) and chief architect of the unprecedented Transforming Church Insight congregational survey that includes over 11 million records in its database.
An expert in visioning, strategy, organizational change, and leadership development, Kevin was the senior consultant for the redesign of the U.S. Army Staff and an organizational consultant for large federal agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and major non-profits. His leadership books include The Secret Sauce: Creating a Winning Culture (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015) and The Leadership Triangle (Morgan James Publishing, 2013).
While Kevin enjoyed a successful business career as co-founder of TAG Consulting, his passion was always for the local church. Increasingly, God opened doors for Kevin to utilize his visioning and organizational abilities to support local churches, provide leadership development for ministry leaders, and help ministry organizations manage necessary change and transition.
In 2019, Kevin Ford, along with his partners, sold the for-profit assets of TAG Consulting so that he could focus on supporting healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries through Leighton Ford Ministries. As a result of this transition, Kevin is even more in demand as churches from coast-to-coast and diverse denominations look to navigate a post-Christian, post-pandemic world.
Kevin’s experience supporting churches with visioning, governance, transformation, and leadership development issues led to Lilly Endowment Inc. awarding Leighton Ford Ministries a Thriving Congregations Initiative grant in 2020. In partnership with LFM donors, the seed money from this grant funds LFM’s work with smaller churches seeking to navigate cultural change and other transitions.
As a result of Kevin’s leadership, Leighton Ford Ministries also received a Thriving in Ministry grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., providing seed money for a new program increasing mentoring opportunities for pastors of small churches, congregations of color, and church plants.
A popular keynote speaker and facilitator, Kevin has spoken at conferences along with Jim Collins, Margaret Wheatley, Herb Kellerher, and Peter Senge. He has been interviewed and quoted by the Washington Post, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur, Business Week, and Wall Street Journal, among many others.
Kevin is a proud Tar Heel, earning a BA from the University of North Carolina, before switching coasts to earn his Master of Divinity from Regent College at the University of British Columbia. He and his wife, Caroline, live in Charlotte with one daughter still at home and their other daughter at Wake Forest University.
President, Leighton Ford Ministries
The Rev. Dr. Dave McKechnie served for 25 years as Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, one of the largest congregations in the denomination. Under his leadership, Houston Christian High School grew from a dream into a 50-acre educational institution serving 550 students, and the Houston campus of Fuller Theological Seminary was launched. Dave has served as Interim Pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian in Los Angeles, First Presbyterian in Houston, Eastminster Presbyterian in Wichita, and Carmel Presbyterian in Charlotte. He served as President of the Texas Theological Foundation and has a passion for educating and mentoring young pastors.
Retired Executive Chairman, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Jim Morgan is a Christian business leader who has led six different companies, including Executive Chairman of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Chairman/CEO of Wachovia Securities. He is on the board of Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc., The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, and Youth Commission International.
In helping lead Krispy Kreme’s successful turnaround, he said of his approach, “I wanted to be like Jesus to the employees. They just needed someone to love on them. That’s all I did.” Leighton and Jim are longtime members of the Leadership Breakfast Group in Charlotte.
Psychologist and Leadership Coach
Dr. Jim Osterhaus is the Senior Executive Coach at Leighton Ford Ministries with extensive experience helping ministry leaders and organizations move through change, conflict, and reorganization. He is co-author of Thriving Through Ministry Conflict (Zondervan, 2010) which deals with the ministry discord that so often derails people.
Jim has diverse and nationally-recognized experience, from facilitating the Organizational Culture Component of the U.S. Army Staff Redesign, to teaching seminars at major universities and seminaries, to directing the counseling centers for two churches, to being interviewed by Sam Donaldson of ABC News.
In addition to his coaching role, Jim has teamed with Leighton Ford to conduct leadership mentoring retreats in the United States and Canada.
President, Belhaven University and Chair of the Board, Leighton Ford Ministries
Dr. Roger Parrott is President of Belhaven University, one of the fastest growing Christian universities in the United States with 5,000 students on nine campuses. During his tenure, the number of full-time faculty has quintupled, undergraduate academic majors have dramatically expanded, and a general core Christian World View curriculum was created. Dr. Parrott also serves on the Executive Committee of the Lausanne Movement and on the boards of Mission America, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Chaplain, Boys Home of Virginia
Anne Grizzle is an author, family therapist, and retreat leader who also serves as Associate Faculty for the Shalem Institute for Spirituality, where she offers workshops on group spiritual direction. She is the founder and facilitator of the Strength for the Journey retreats for those facing hard life challenges. Anne has authored three books and been a featured speaker on national television programs, including Oprah and Donahue. She serves on the Leighton Ford Ministries Board of Directors.
Retired CEO, Technology Sector
Rick Noling is a passionate Christian business leader who has remained active in church ministry while serving as a C-Level executive for several technology companies. During his business career, he provided leadership that culminated in two successful IPO’s, three corporate mergers, and the revitalization of underperforming companies into market leaders. In his ministry career, he has served as Minister of Administration for two churches and led the Forest Home Christian Conference Center. Rick came to Christ at the 1963 Billy Graham Los Angeles Crusade and later graduated from Fuller Seminary.