2020 Faculty & Preacher

Faculty: Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Shane is an Elder in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, the author of three books, and a featured writer in various publications. He lives in Belleville, IL., with his wife Melissa. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Shane graduated cum laude in 1992 from Candler School of Theology. He received the Rollins Scholarship Award for his academic work and effectiveness in pastoral leadership at the St. James-Manchester Charge in Manchester, GA. From 1992-1997, he served in the Sumner/Beulah Charge in Sumner, IL., where he was presented with the Denman Evangelism Award in 1994. Since 1997, he has served as the senior pastor of Christ United Methodist church in Fairview Heights, IL. The worship attendance has grown from 200 in 1997 to over 2,000 a week now. In 2010, Shane was named “A Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church” by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism. Christ Church has received awards for Church Growth and Evangelism for Large Churches in 2002 and 2007-2018. It was recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the ten fastest growing United Methodist congregations in the U.S. over the past decade and one of the 100 fastest growing churches in the country in 2018.

You can read more about Rev. Shane Bishop at https://revshanebishop.com

Faculty: Rev. Karl Vaters

Karl is the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Orange County, CA. He has ministered there for over 27 years with his wife Shelley. He strives to help pastors of small churches lead well and take advantage of the benefits to pastoring a small church. He also encourages big and small churches to work together. He is the author of two books on small churches, with a third being published in March 2020. He also has a blog called Pivot and is the founder of NewSmallChurch.com.

To learn more, visit http://newsmallchurch.com/


Preacher: Rev. Grace Imathiu

Rev. Grace Imathiu is the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Evanston, IL, after serving at Community UMC; Brown Deer, WI; and Green Bay UMC. She has also served as a church planter in Kenya, a superintendent in Nkubu, and an urban minister in Nairobi. She loves people and wants to inspire communities to live out the prophetic story of Jesus. She advocates for diversity and the inclusion of all people. In addition to the places she has served, Grace has preached in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Togo, Liberia, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, and across the U.S. She was a speaker at the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women and preached at the World Methodist Conference in 2016. Grace is married to David Jones and together they have one son.

You can find out more at http://faithatfirst.com/welcome-pastor-grace-imathiu/