Past staff photo
The Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference would not be possible without many dedicated volunteers who work behind the scenes. These volunteers work throughout the year promoting the conference, and contacting speakers, editors, and authors. During the conference they are always busy. They shuttle our faculty and registrants to and from airports, set out a wonderful table of goodies for our breaks, host our session rooms, and make sure the book store runs without a glitch. They are dedicated to making sure your conference experience exceeds your expectations.
We want to say thank you to our volunteers, and look forward to what God will do in the lives of our writers this year.
2017 Staff – Alphabetically
Lieza Bates, Social Media & Marketing Director
Lieza loves Jesus, braids, make up, photography, design, shoes, and her family. (Not necessarily in that order.) She is the daughter of a King, a sister, a mom to three beautiful littles, and wife to an amazing husband. She is passionate about connection, both with the Lord and others. She attended the Writers’ Conference for the first time in 2016, and immediately loved the experience. She’s looking forward to helping to make this one of the predominant writers’ conferences in the country.
Kathy Bruins, Prayer Coordinator
Kathy Bruins believes everyone has a story to tell. She also believes in the power of prayer. She has been in touch with every leader and every participant, asking for their prayer requests, and praying for them as they prepare to come to the conference. You can read more about Kathy’s writing on the Faculty page. Kathy will be taking one-to-one appointments & praying with people.
Bonnie Emmorey, Conference Administrator
Bonnie is the administrator of the conference, so you have probably already met her through email. While her degrees are in Speech & Education from Cornerstone University & Calvin College respectively, she is a problem solver, and loves to see things work smoothly. Bonnie is the director of the Speak Up Conference and has been on their teaching team since its beginning. She also directs Speak Up For Hope, a non-profit ministry serving prisoners & their families. Bonnie & Ron have two grown sons, two awesome daughters-in-law and three delightful grands.
Marge Faber, Bookstore Manager
After teaching French at the high school level and at Hope College, Marge took a break to raise three children and later returned to the workforce producing printed and audio-visual training materials, first at Haworth (office furniture manufacturer) and later at Amway. She also taught Freshman English courses at Kellogg Community College. Since retiring in 2009, she has supported MCWC in a variety of ways. Her current interests are family, travel, photography, and reading.
Judith Farnsworth, Hospitality & Snacks
Judy received her Bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters Degree in Elementary Administration from Central Michigan University. She enjoyed a career in education including both teaching 1st grade and as school principal. Judy’s heart for children is shown in her desire to write children’s books. Currently, she is working on a daily devotional book. She credits attending MCWC for her writing success. Judy lives in Grand Ledge, MI. She has 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Andrew Hamlet, Technician
Andrew Hamlet lives in Grand Rapids with his wife and four children. He works at Apple Inc and in his spare time loves to write, sing and work on cars. He loves Jesus and Michigan football, in that order. Having grown up as the son of a youth pastor he has a passion for helping youth of today to find their hope in Jesus. He and Kate, his wife, dream of owning a small farm and expanding their family through adoption. He hopes to have his own book, a science fiction novel about creation and the fall of Satan, published in the near future.
Sherry Hoppen, Administrative Assistant
Sherry Hoppen is a Christian wife, mother, and grandmother and resides in Zeeland, MI. Sherry is also a speaker and blogger about her journey through recovery and wants to empower others to surrender it to God and live in freedom from addiction. She started attending the MCWC in 2015 and became a volunteer in 2016. “I look forward to this event every year now as a participant and as a volunteer, truly one of the best writers’ conferences you can attend!”
Verna Kokmeyer, Advisor
Verna Kokmeyer taught English, writing, and speech as a secondary education teacher. Her desire to effectively communicate Scripture led to writing object lessons and skits to introduce sermons in worship. Her published materials include object lessons, devotions, contributions to Vacation Bible School curriculum, and dramatic sketches for worship. Verna was the director for this conference for ten years, and now acts as advisor and mentor.
Rebecca Morehouse, Bookstore Assistant
Becky is a busy mom who wears many hats. Although she is the office manager for her family’s business, she also enjoys literature and art. Dabbling in her hobby of shabby-chic furniture re-purposing, Becky likes to take cast-off furniture and remake it into something new and inspired. She is also a home school mom who is intentionally raising a twelve year old while cheering on three adult children from the side-lines. Happily neck-deep in family events-school, sports, youth group and a steady flow of teen-age friends, Becky finds herself simply satisfied with the life of “adventure” God has given to her.
Mary Morgan, Conference Hostess
Mary is a busy woman. She is a Pastor’s wife, church secretary, and children’s worker. She and her husband, Randy, have two married adult children and two grandchildren.
Mary first attended Maranatha in 2008 and then used what she learned in her writing and marketing. Mary has a passion to write, travel and do photography, so when the idea of writing a mystery series for children presented itself, she fell back on her personal experiences and began writing the National Park Mystery Book series set in places they had visited as a family. Mary will probably be the one to greet you when you arrive.
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