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Leadership

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LEADERSHIP

BRIAN BAKER

Brian Baker

Brian serves as the Vice President of the New York Bible Institute and Camps. The Lord used his time at the Word of Life Bible Institute to call Brian into the ministry. For 17 years he was a missionary with Word of Life Youth Ministries in North Carolina. The next 7 years were spent leading the Northeast region for Word of Life and then in December, 2021 Brian accepted this role with the Bible Institute. He is passionate about helping young people develop a biblical foundation to build the rest of their life on. Brian loves preaching, teaching and building into current and future leaders. Brian is married to the love of his life Lynn, and together they have 3 incredible children.

Rich Andrews

Rich Andrews

Rich Andrews serves as the Director of Word of Life Florida. He leads the Bible Institute, as well as the Florida Youth Camp and RV Park. He is a dedicated servant-leader, and a gifted speaker. Rich has a passion to connect with teens and young adults, and encourage them to reach their generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mark Strout

Mark Strout

Mark serves as Executive Dean of Global Campuses, giving his full attention to assisting the growing number of accredited campuses currently located in Canada, Korean, Uganda, Hungary, and Brazil. After graduating from the Word of Life Bible Institute in 1982, he later completed his MMin from Baptist Bible Seminary (Clarks Summit University). Mark is a sought-after speaker and teaches on all English and French campuses of the Bible Institute. He is passionate about bringing the Bible to life in the classroom and leads 1-2 trips to Israel every year.

Eric Messer

Eric Messer

Eric serves with the day to day operations of Word of Life. His areas of oversight include Culinary, Customer Service, Financial Aid, Enrollment, Health Services, IT, Property Services, and Security.

It is the aim of the operational teams to provide a distraction free and safe environment for students and guests to grow in the Lord. Eric is happily married with three incredible boys. He is an alumni of the Bible Institute and Liberty University (BS in Religion, MBA).

SAMUELLE CHAMPION

Samuelle Champion

Samuelle serves as the Operations General Manager for the New York campus. Her areas of oversight include culinary, customer service, health and security, and retail. It is the aim of the operational team to provide a distraction-free and safe environment where students and guests can grow in the Lord.

After completing the Freshman Word of Life Bible Institute program at the Florida campus, Samuelle completed her degree in Christian Counseling online at Liberty University while serving in student ministry at her local church. Samuelle’s heartbeat is for young people to grow in their relationship with the Lord. With counseling and discipleship as her focus, she served in student ministry for eight years before moving to New York to join the team. She sees the life of a Jesus-follower as a grand adventure, and she is loving life in the Adirondacks.

JUSTIN LOUGH

Justin Lough

Justin serves as the Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator of Word of Life Bible Institute, primarily focusing on institutional compliance with accreditation standards, institutional assessment and strategic planning, and student success. He completed both years of the Word of Life Bible Institute program and then transferred to Cedarville University, where he completed Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Biblical Studies. Justin came back to Word of Life Bible Institute shortly after completing his time at Cedarville and began serving in his current role in January of 2020. He is passionate about helping students understand the Word of God and equipping them to share the gospel with others. Justin is actively working towards earning a Master of Divinity degree. 

Justin married his lovely wife, Julia, in May of 2021 and revels in the opportunity to serve the Lord alongside her.

Todd Steltz

Todd Steltz

Todd serves as the Academic Dean of the Word of Life Global Bible Institutes. He studied at both the bachelor’s and the master’s levels. At the master’s level, he studied Christian Education with an emphasis in Administration at Clarks Summit University. Todd has been involved in Christian education as both a teacher and administrator for over 35 years. He has served as principal of four different Christian schools, including one internationally in Honduras, Central America. 

Todd and his wife, Mary, have two married sons and one seven-month-old granddaughter.

Daniel Fahning

Daniel Fahning serves as the Associate Academic Dean and professor on our Florida campus. Dan attended the Bible Institute for two years, after which he pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries from Liberty University and his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary. Daniel and his beloved wife, Lindsey, have two sons; Zakar and Clay.

JON LOUGH

Jonathan Lough

Jonathan Lough is the Assistant Professor of Theology at the Word of Life Bible Institute in New York. He teaches Systematic Theology, Apologetics, and Dispensationalism along with other classes as needed. Jon attended the Bible Institute for two years, served on a WOL traveling music team for a year, earned his bachelor’s degree at Cedarville University, and then graduated with his Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2022. He loves each and every student he teaches and looks forward to watching them grow in their knowledge of and love for God.

Jon serves alongside his amazing wife, Lauren, whom he married in 2020. Both of them count it an incredible privilege to be used by God as they interact with college students worldwide.

CHRIS TOMPKINS

Chris Tompkins

Chris serves as the Director of Financial Services for Word of Life Bible Institute. After three years of college in Michigan, Chris attended the Bible Institute for two years. Upon graduating, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Financial Planning through Liberty University.

Chris and his wife, Caroline, have enjoyed living in the Adirondack Mountains and serving the Lord with Word of Life since 2010.

Simon Hurley

Simon serves as the Business Manager at the New York Bible Institute. He supervises the business and financial transactions of Word of Life Bible Institute. In addition, he oversees student billing by assisting the student accounts administrator on the New York campus. Simon attended one year at the New York Bible Institute and graduated from Liberty University with an undergraduate degree in elementary education.

One of Simon’s greatest passions is reaching children with the gospel and teaching them to love God and others well.

JOHN YAROSH

John Yarosh

John has served with Word of Life since 2008 in various creative and leadership roles, all of which prepared him for his current role as the Marketing Director of Word of Life Fellowship. John graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Design. Shortly after, he completed a degree in Biblical Studies from New England Baptist Theological Institute. 

John and his wife, Laurie, have three children: Morgan, married to Nathan; Chelsea; and Elijah.

Drew Burtis

Drew serves as the Dean of Students on the New York campus of Word of Life Bible Institute. He facilitates discipleship on campus and connects students and staff together, with the goal of deepening each student’s relationship with Christ. After Drew attended the Bible Institute for two years, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Clarks Summit University. He then received his Masters of Divinity from Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana.

Drew has been married to his beautiful wife, Brittany, for 7 years. They have two wonderful children: Adeline and Judah.

JON BUBAR

Jonathan Bubar

Jon is passionate about ministry. Born just days before the opening of the first class at Word of Life Bible Institute in 1970, he grew up immersed in the ministry of Word of Life. Jon graduated from both years at the Bible Institute, completed his degree, and moved on to found Word of Life’s ministry in the Czech Republic. After spending the last 19 years in a successful sales career, Jon came ‘home’ to be the Dean of Ministries and Director of Family Camps and Conferences at the Bible Institute in New York. 

Jon and Cheryl have two adult sons, Daniel and Drew, and two young daughters, Eloise and Willow. As a blended family, the Bubars bring valuable life experience to the leadership team as well as the ability to relate to a wide variety of family situations.

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