BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR CANYONWALKER CONNECTIONS
Canyonwalker Connections Becomes a 501 c 3 and this is the Board under Executive Director, Kathy Baldock.
Richard was born and raised in Richmond, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco. Growing up in a loving Southern Baptist home, he was weaned from the baby bottle directly to the text of the Bible. An expert in technology, he chose to skip college and began a career at Bank of America in 1993 where he worked on post-merger technology integrations.
Since returning to California Richard has worked in the post-production industry, helping filmmakers manage the logistics of moving heaps of data around the world as they chase the latest production tax incentive. Always the glutton for punishment, he is also pursuing his MBA at The Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
Dean was born and raised on a family farm in eastern North Carolina. He grew up in a small Free Will Baptist church built by his great-grandfather on the farm, and it was there that he gave his life to Christ. After attending college at North Carolina State University, he moved to South Carolina, then Texas for a career in aerospace electrical engineering. In 2006, he moved back home to North Carolina and continued to work in the aerospace industry.
In 2007, with the help of a wonderful friend, Dean finally acknowledged that he was gay. Through months of prayer, counseling, and support, he came to reconcile that part of his life with his faith.
At the age of 16, She devoted her life and musical talents to Christian ministries. She traveled across the country, preaching in tents or Churches She had one message then, as now, to make Jesus Christ known to all people.
Throughout the years, She established churches; ran a drug rehab center, adopted 10 children from Mexico, and traveled with her singing group, Naomi and the Joyful Sounds. She could have been derailed and cursed God when she was attacked by drug lords which left her body broken; her home burned to the ground and 2 of her 10 adopted children murdered. She carried a gun to protect her family and through an unfortunate set of circumstances with an error in prescription medication and a PTSS event, She took a life. She was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for a second degree murder.
At age 40, She was in prison and forced to come to grips with her true sexual orientation. Her generation was taught that homosexuality was a sin and she knew she was committed to serve God, not sin against Him. She was ostracized by church and some of her family as she began the journey of reconciliation and understanding of God’s love for all his children, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered. When she was released from prison after 5 years, she began to reach out in a fully inclusive ministry.
Now, in her 70’s she is more committed than ever to preach Jesus to the entire world. She has recently begun a new ministry in Portland Oregon. She continues to travel around the country, ministering the full Gospel to everyone. The miracles of healing and transformation are told in her newly revised book: A Miracle Woman-the Naomi Harvey story. It is as told to Darlene Bogle.
Naomi can be contacted through www.Ingatheringharvest.ning.com; or my personal email: email@example.com
Lisa was born in Colombia, grew up in California and moved to Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s to start a successful career as a graphic designer and photographer. After living for 25 years as a devoted husband and father, Lisa was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. She had struggled with a gender identity that did not conform to her biological sex ever since she can remember. This diagnosis was both a blessing and a curse. Though it offered an explanation for her years of struggle, confusion and guilt, it did not offer any simple solutions. It would take another ten years before she could come to terms with the diagnosis. She first had to reconcile what the doctors said with her faith in Jesus Christ.
For years, she had used clobber passages in an attempt to correct the flaw and fight the spiritual battle. It was Jesus’ words on eunuchs that finally breached the gap between faith and her medical condition. This allowed her to begin the difficult process of transitioning from living as a man to living as a woman; transforming her body medically and surgically. She knew it would impact the most important people in her life, her wife and three sons. For years, she had shown her love for them by attempting to die to herself daily—suppressing who she was.
In 2007, she came to the point where the most loving thing she could do now was to choose life, even if this meant making hard choices. She began her transition in July 2008. “This is not what I wanted to do—it is what I had to do. There was no thrill in this. My decision had nothing to do with courage; it was an act of desperation. The alternative was dying,” she says. Lisa has recently published her autobiography “Transparently—Behind the Scenes of a Good Life,” which will be available through Amazon.com in July, 2011.
JAN and BOB BARE
Bob and Jan Bare were raised in typical conservative Christian churches, and were taught the typical anti-gay rhetoric. They were forced to re-examine everything they had been taught when God sent a young man into their lives who lived with them for six months before they realized that he was gay. During those six months, Roland became a part of their family, and was loved by Bob and Jan and their three children. Roland became a Christian soon after Bob and Jan met him, and obviously loved and was seeking a close relationship with God. Reconciling Roland’s sexual orientation became at times a difficult and confusing journey for Bob and Jan, especially because of the fact that his life had been obviously so transformed by his experience with God, and yet his orientation did not change.
Through this initial experience, Bob and Jan had to reexamine all the beliefs they had been taught, such as “is this a choice”, and “does reparative therapy ever work?” Bob and Jan began attending Grace Fellowship in Christ Jesus (now GFIC Jesus) in 1994, and are now actively involved as assistant pastors. GFIC Jesus is an inclusive, affirming church in Dallas, Texas, that welcomes anyone seeking a relationship with Jesus.
Michael Bussee was one of the originators of the “ex-gay” movement. In the mid-1970s, while working as a telephone counselor at Melody land Christian Center in Anaheim, California, Bussee co-founded the Ex-gay Intervention Team (EXIT).
EXIT later hosted an unprecedented conference of ex-gay ministries at which a handful of ministry leaders, along with approximately 60 delegates, voted to form a loose coalition called EXODUS.
However, by the end of the decade, Bussee began to doubt the efficacy and ethics of the ex-gay message. Bussee and his ex-gay colleague Gary Cooper made a dramatic departure from Exodus when they publicly declared their love in 1979. Their story is featured in the documentary “One Nation Under God”.
Since leaving Exodus, Michael’s “ex-ex-gay” story has been featured in several books including “Anything But Straight” by Wayne Besen and “Stranger At The Gate” by Mel White, on television (“Our America With Lisa Ling”, The Joan Rivers Show and the John Walsh Show), on radio — and in many newspapers and magazines; including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Weekly, Spin and the Advocate.
Michael hosts a Facebook support group for “ex-gay” survivors and their loved ones (“Ex-ex-gay”) and has been featured in a series of Youtube Videos produced by Daniel Gonzales. He is currently completing a book about his “ex-ex-gay” journey and the early history of the “ex-gay” movement.
In June of 2002, he survived an anti-gay hate crime that wounded him and took the life of his best friend, Jeffery Owens. Michael has a special interest in the area of advocacy and support of “Ex-gay Survivors” and their loved ones.
Michael has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from California State University Fullerton. In his spare time, he enjoys Hiking, Gardening and spending time with his three grandchildren
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook at Ex-ex-gay.
Samantha (Sami) Baldock graduated as Senior Scholar for the College of Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2010. Her honors thesis was done on non-profit organizations. After two years as a Research Analyst at Synergy Research Group in Reno, Nevada, Sami earned her Masters in Public Aministration from The State University of New York in Albany.
Sami is an Excelsior Fellow at Empire State Development in NYC.
She is a skilled leader, listener, and communicator who brings fresh ideas and understanding of the younger segments of society to the Board. Canyonwalker Connections has a distinct initiative to reach out to and interact with youth to educate them about LGBT issues and equality. How do we reach those younger straight allies, how do we engage them in the process, what are the most effective ways to help them understand the issue? This is an asset Sami will bring to the group.