2019 SPEAKERS & TOPICS
Legendary Football Coach, Ret.
Read Bobby's Bio
Bobby Bowden served as an assistant football coach and head track and field coach at Howard College (now known as Samford University, currently in the FCS football division) in Birmingham, Alabama from 1954–55. He left his alma mater to become Athletic Director as well as head football, baseball, and basketball coach at South Georgia College from 1956 to 1958. Bowden then returned to Howard as head coach, where he compiled a 31–6 record between 1959 and 1962. In 1962, Bowden went to Florida State University as an assistant coach under Head Coach Bill Peterson. Two other coaching legends who worked under Coach Peterson during this time were Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs. Bowden left Florida State in 1965 to go to West Virginia University as an assistant under Jim Carlen. When Carlen left following the 1969 season to become head coach at Texas Tech, Bowden replaced him. Bowden then compiled a 42–26 record at WVU before returning to FSU as head coach in 1976.
During Bowden’s first year as head coach at WVU, the football team of the state’s other top-division school, Marshall University, fell victim to a tragic plane crash. Bowden asked NCAA permission to wear Marshall jerseys and play Marshall’s final game of the 1970 season against Ohio, but was denied. In memory of the victims of the crash, Mountaineers players put green crosses and the initials “MU” on their helmets. Bowden allowed Marshall’s new head coach Jack Lengyel and his assistants access to game film and playbooks to acquaint themselves with the veer offense, a variation of the option offense which aids teams with weak offensive lines. Lengyel credits Bowden with helping the young Thundering Herd recover. Bowden reportedly became emotional while viewing the movie We Are Marshall, and has said that he was the original candidate for the Marshall head coaching job vacated by crash victim Rick Tolley.
Bowden became the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles because the climate was warmer than in Morgantown, and because Tallahassee was closer to Birmingham, Alabama, where his mother and mother-in-law both lived. The team had a 4–29 record over the previous three seasons, and Bowden planned to stay only briefly before taking a better job, perhaps as head coach at Alabama.
During his 34 years as Florida State’s head coach he had only one losing season–his first, in 1976–and declined head coaching job offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. From 1987 to 2000 the Seminoles finished every season with at least 10 wins and in the top 5 of the Associated Press College Football Poll, and won the national championship in 1993 and 1999.
Coach Bowden has spent much of his life after coaching college football either on the golf course, making appearances throughout the country or with his wife Anne. Coach remains very active, sometimes doing as many as five appearances a week. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
In recognition of his career achievements and faith, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) awards The Bobby Bowden Athlete of the Year Award (started in 2004) each year to a Division I FBS football player who epitomizes the student-athlete and conducts himself as a faith model in the community, in the classroom and on the field. Nominees must have 3.0 GPA or better and must have the backing of his school’s Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.
Coach Bowden speaks monthly to numerous Christian groups (churches, FCA, colleges etc.) throughout the country giving motivational speeches.
Award Winning Head Football Coach
Read Tommy's Bio
From an outstanding student-athlete at West Virginia University, to the two-time ACC Coach of the Year at Clemson University, to widely sought after motivational speaker, Tommy Bowden has dedicated his life to making a difference in others’ lives.
He started two years as a wide receiver at West Virginia University
After spending several years as an assistant football coach at Florida State, Duke, Alabama, Kentucky, and Auburn Universities, Tommy Bowden became the head coach at Tulane University in 1997.
In just his second season with Tulane, he led his team to an undefeated season, a Conference USA Championship and a win in the Liberty Bowl. Tommy was also named Conference USA Coach of the year.
In 1999, Tommy took the head coaching position at Clemson University. In that first season, the Tigers set or tied 41 school records, including 26 on offense.
He was named Conference Coach of the Year in 1998, and ACC Coach of the year in both 1999 and 2003. In 2006, Tommy received the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coach of the Year Award.
Over the last four games of the 2003 season, Bowden defeated two coaches that had already earned 200 career wins – to become the first coach in NCAA history to accomplish the feat in just a month’s time. (Those coaches were his father, the legendary Bobby Bowden, and Lou Holtz).
Throughout his tenure at Clemson University, his teams were not only among the elite in the nation on the field, but also in the classroom. Nearly 80% of all seniors earned their degrees during Tommy’s 10-year career at Clemson. In 2005, Clemson’s 94% graduation success rate was fourth-best of all 119 Division IA football programs. Each of the top-eight semester team Grade Point Averages in Clemson history, were recorded under Bowden.
Since retiring from Clemson in 2008, Tommy Bowden has become one of the nation’s most sought after motivational speakers. He appeared frequently as an expert college football analyst on ESPN television and radio and currently is the co-host of two football television shows, one with FOX Sports and one with the ACC Football Network.
Tommy married his high school sweetheart, the former Linda White, and they have two children; Ryan and Lauren.
David Burton Ministries
NFL Defensive Tackle Retired
Community Evangelist | Enid, Emmanuel Baptist
Read Abraham's Bio
Abraham was born and raised in Oklahoma and only left the state when he played football in college for the Colorado Buffaloes, and then in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. He was raised by a hardworking, Christ-centered, single mom. After turning to Jesus in 2002, Abraham has felt a calling to share God’s truth. It started with leading Bible studies with teammates in college. After graduating college in 2006, Abraham began to speak with more frequency. After the early deaths of his father, and his grandfather due to preventable diseases, he wrote the book “Wake Up,” a beginner’s guide to optimal health, to encourage people everywhere in simple ways that healthy living can be for them.
When given the opportunity, Abraham loves to share about the hope in Jesus Christ that changed his life!
Abraham is married to Marjorie, and has two daughters, Trinity and Bailey. He presently serves as the Community Evangelist for Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma.
Read Vern's Bio
“Brother Vern,” as he likes to be called, grew up with an alcoholic father and had a sister die at the age of 39 due to alcohol and drugs. As a teenager hailing from “the Westside” of Tulsa, Vern was following suit. Vern was a high school dropout, in trouble with the authorities and living an immoral life. An African American preacher by the name of Jesse Joyner witnessed to the 18-year-old and invited him to church. In the summer of 1990 and in a little store front church, Vern, broken by the power of the gospel, gave his life to Jesus.
God confirmed Vern’s call to preach at the age of 19, after a trip to Falls Creek. The same trip, in which, Vern also met his future wife, Jennifer. Vern hit the trail immediately and was greatly used in evangelism, witnessing many professions of faith. In 1997, the GED graduate entered Oklahoma Baptist University and started his formal educational journey. After graduating from OBU, Vern would go on and earn an M.Div. at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. During these years of formal education, Vern continued his evangelistic ministry, preaching and teaching in prisons, schools and churches to various races and in various parts of the world. As a Native American, Vern has also been greatly used with his own people across the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In all, Vern has more than two decades of itinerate evangelism experience.
Vern also has more than six-years’ experience teaching “text-driven” and “evangelistic” preaching as a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and continues to serve in an adjunctive role with both Southwestern and the Haskins School at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Vern has several years’ experience as an interim pastor and has been the Senior pastor of a tremendously growing church just outside of Oklahoma City. Vern weds scholarship with evangelistic pathos as he seeks to expose the text of Scripture to his hearers.
Vern and “Jen” celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary recently. After 20 years of marriage, “the camels came” for Vern and Jen as they adopted from birth a boy they named “Christian,” after John Bunyan’s famous character in Pilgrims Progress. Christian turns 5 in January of 2019. Christian is the joy of Vern’s life and also his number one disciple. Vern’s hobbies include running, in which, he has completed several full and half marathons, cross fit style exercise, and watching Oklahoma Sooner, Dallas Cowboy football, as well as Los Angeles Laker basketball. He is in the slow, sanctifying process of becoming a Thunder fan. He elicits your prayers for this.
Executive Director | TrueNorth Ministries
Read Trey's Bio
Trey is a native Oklahoman, born & raised in the Oklahoma City area. For 16+ years Trey was a financial advisor until 2015 when he sold off his private wealth firm and went full-time as the Executive Director of True North Ministries. Since that time True North has grown significantly with branches in Okc, Yukon, Stillwater, Ardmore and Hendersonville, Tennessee, reaching thousands of men all around the country. True North’s purpose is to lead men to WALK | ENGAGE | LIVE. WALK with God, ENGAGE in the larger story, LIVE free!
Trey is a licensed Pastoral Counselor, focusing on marriages and affair recovery. He also host’s a Facebook Live broadcast each week called Monday Motivation which has been viewed by tens-of-thousands all around the world. Trey is passionate about leading men to walk in their spiritual authority and helping them to truly live FREE in Christ.
He is a father of three boys and a husband to his high school sweet heart, Amy, for 20+ years.
Teaching Pastor, Houston, The Met Church
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Daren has been speaking to groups for over 20 years. His compelling story telling and dry wit brings the Bible to life in a very unique way. Daren has been a student pastor, a church planter, and he’s currently the Teaching Pastor at The Met Church in Houston, Texas. He lives there with his wife of 18 years and their three kids, Hudson, Max, and Reese.
Pastor, Tahlequah, Crescent Valley
Pastor, Mustang, First
Pastor, Skiatook, First
Campus Pastor, Tulsa, Community Baptist
Read Adam's Bio
Adam Mask is the campus pastor for First Baptist Broken Arrow’s Coweta campus, Community Baptist. Adam has served in that role for 4 years now having previously served as the Young Adults pastor for First B.A. for 2 years. He is married to his beautiful wife Grace and they have 3 children, Jadyn – 13, Ava – 5 and AJ – 1. Having spent the majority of his life in drug addiction and pursuing the things of the world he ended up in a Texas State Penitentiary for nearly 2 years. After being released from prison his life was radically transformed by the grace of God on May 16, 2010 when through faith in Jesus Christ he was born again. Adam started a ministry not long after that going into the Tulsa County Juvenile Detention Center on Sunday mornings and preaching and ministering to the youth there. In March of 2012 he answered God’s call on his life to full time vocational ministry. Adam has a love for sharing the gospel with all those he encounters and has a passion for the preaching of God’s word. His great desire is to engage the lost with the love of Christ, to expose the lie of Satan with the truth of God’s word and to equip the saints to do the same.
Coach, Edmond North High School
U.S. Army (Ret.) | CEO/COO, Storm Inc.
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George Shafer is a highly decorated veteran and retiree of 15 years from the United States Army. George struggled with addiction for 22 years, but now is a national speaker who has employed a multifaceted and strategic approach to his recovery, which he now shares with others. SFC Shafer has devoted a majority of his adult life to defending freedom, and currently targets the epidemic of addiction and seeks the complete and total eradication of the epidemic this nation now faces.
George is the co-founder, co-CEO and COO of STORM (Strategic Treatment Options and Recovery Ministries) Inc. He also co-hosts the STORM Shelter on Crossover Radio on Mondays at noon CST, sits as an Associate Member on the Veteran’s Council of Oklahoma, and serves as a Chaplain on the Oklahoma City Police Department as an Addiction Specialist.
George lives in Edmond, OK with his wife of 8 years, 4 children, and his service dog, Charlie.
Businessman and Marine Corp Veteran
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David Trusler is a husband, father, business consultant, Marine Corps Veteran, and passionate follower of Jesus Christ. His testimony inspires and encourages, igniting a burning desire to live for Christ no matter how difficult the situation may seem.
Senior Pastor, Lawton, First
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Pastor Patrick Latham is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma. Prior to his arrival in Lawton, Patrick pastored in his home state of Georgia. He is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Laura Latham of Marietta, GA. Together they have three children — Julianne (11), Will (10), and Levi (7). Patrick has a strong passion for teaching God’s Word and for leading ministries that lead people into a deeper relationship with Christ. In his free time, he loves reading, learning, and cycling.