Ambassador Club Profiles
The youngest of four children, John was born in 1933 to John and Jennie, struggling Depression-era farmers.
Following his older sister’s death, John recognized his need for God and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
While in his third year of ministerial studies, at the age of 20 John took on the role as pastor of a start-up church in a nearby community. After pastoring his second church for two years, he founded a non-denominational church and served as its pastor until 1962.
However, following several painful encounters with the behavior of “hypocritical self-professing Christians”, John’s faith wavered and he left the church – and God. Imler admits, “I was driven by pride, bitterness, self-determination, and the lure of worldly pleasures. I was determined to direct my own steps, thoughts, and actions.” He turned his attention towards the business world immersing himself in work – succeeding beyond his own expectations. Yet God never left John’s side.
While outwardly successful as the author of five books and a renowned consultant for the RV park/campground industry as well as a columnist in a national trade publication, Imler admits to a continuing emptiness. “There were still trials and tribulations and I found the same problems (hypocrisy) with people in the secular world. No matter what I accomplished, it was never enough to satisfy the real longing of my soul for my Creator.”
John renounced his faith for nearly 45 years before God intervened. In 2008, at age 74, John sought God’s forgiveness, reestablished his faith and dedicated his writing to spreading the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness. He found himself faced with the question posed by Jesus Christ in Mark 8:29 to his disciples: “Who do you say I am?”
Imler’s encounter with God has left him a changed man. “I am content. I have a love and concern for others that I did not have”, John says. “I am at peace with my Creator. I am aware of God’s presence in the world around me and I speak with Him often.”
Today he uses his gift of writing to encourage other believers. In his new book, It’s Never Too Late (Pleasant Word, 2009), Imler shares his journey back to Jesus and the lessons he learned from a patient, uncompromising and unconditionally loving God.
He prays readers will learn from his mistakes, challenges believers to seek God daily and encourages them to walk in faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. “I want readers to marvel at God’s patience, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness for one of His lost sheep and to realize that ‘It’s Never Too Late’ - as long as we have breath.”
John and Ruth have been married 55 years and live in Citrus Heights, California. They have two children, six grandchildren and two great-grandsons.
Read more about John Imler’s story Woodall’s Campground Management
A Navy retiree, he enjoyed a 23 year career in restaurant management with Howard Johnson’s, Bonanza International, Greyhound Food Management and J.J. North’s Restaurants.
While not raised in a Christian home per se., Floyd attended a Easter Sunday sunrise service in 1981 and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. In the years that followed God rearranged his priorities from focusing on profit margins to developing a passion to serve the people of the body of Christ.
The Lord used Floyd’s management experience to serve in leadership roles for ministries such as Men’s Fellowship Breakfasts, Central Baptist School Board in Pomona, Ca., Church Family Campouts, First Baptist Church San Antonio Heights in Upland, Ca., AWANA and Home Fellowship Bible Studies, among others.
Elvia, Floyd’s wife of 26 years, is by-lingual also speaking Spanish. An avid supporter of his ministry commitments, Elvia joins Floyd again now as a member of RVchuchesUSA’s Ambassador Club.
Now in their later years, and with retirement not being an option in Scripture; they see a tremendous need for the Gospel to be presented with Grace to the many travelers within the RV Community. They believe the Lord is leading them to come alongside RVChurchesUSA as they have more freedom to travel and to be of service.
Raised in a resort/camp atmosphere, he has developed an in-depth understanding of the needs and support that is needed to work with guests, staff and management.
Before entering the mission field, Bob and his wife, Barbara, owned a graphic art studio and local newspaper. They have been missionaries since 1996 and have traveled almost 200,000 miles in their motor coach serving missions, campgrounds and churches designing printed material, giving marketing advice and producing digital videos.
Bob believes we are a nation of “gas pedals” we travel, travel, and travel again and again. Many people are vacationing and working in RV parks, and what a better place to have a church?
Bob and Barb also consult with local churches on marketing positions in the community, outreach resources and work with church associations on various teaching projects.
Steve and Tracy, his wife, owned and operated a Bed & Breakfast in their home in nearby Union, Mich. Initially RVing in an old Class C motor home, they later sold both and purchased a Roadtrek camper van in 2003.
They travel with 2 dogs and 2 cats, traditionally limit their trips to spring and fall – when weather is optimal for their pets. Logging more than 30,000 miles, their trips have included the Southeast, Midwest Great Lakes, Canada’s Maritime provinces, a 6,000-mile roundtrip to Seattle, the Gulf Coast and areas within the Northeast.
Surprisingly, they seldom spend more than one night at the same campsite! “We’ve camped at more than 100 campgrounds in 35 states and five Canadian provinces. Branson, MO is about the only destination where we’ve gone more than once”, Steve says.
Since leaving the Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Steve has been freelance writing for RV Business magazine and Woodall’s Campground Management magazine. He has been named WCM editor in May 2006. He now joins RVchurchesUSA as a regular contributing author and serves in our Ambassador Club.
Tracy and Steve enjoy walking and hiking in natural settings. As members of the Audubon Society they enjoy watching birds in their backyard as well as while on RV trips.
They are active members of the Winding Waters Brethren Church in Elkhart and supporters of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Campaign for Working Families.
Tracy and Steve have two grown children and four grandchildren. “My favorite pastime is playing duplicate bridge and rooting for my college alma mater, Indiana University!”
Steve is Editor of Woodall’s Campground Management website
Ed and Donna both grew up in Christian families. Soon after meeting in a church, they were married and became youth pastors in their local church. The Lord called Ed and Donna to pioneer a church in rural Tennessee. A short time later they established a Christian ( State accredited) college preparatory school as an outreach ministry of the church.
Donna is quiet and sensitive while speaking words that inspire and encourage others with God’s promises. Her gifted and anointed singing speaks directly to the heart of every listener.
In 1996 the Eubanks adopted their first daughter, Mercee, from China. Then on September 15, 2001 they returned to China to adopt their second daughter, Abby. For the past 12 years Ed has traveled to China almost every year sharing Good News.
Ed and Donna, along with the two girls, are embarking on a new phase of their ministry. God has touched their hearts to minister to “mobile America”.
In a dream, God revealed the faces of a mother with her little children living in a car. Ed’s heart was instantly filled with God’s compassion for others living in similar scenareos. Thus Mission USA was born – a ministry for the mobile community, restoring hope one life at a time.
The Eubanks come to us from Greenfield, TN. Visit Ed and Donna’s ministry MissionUSA.org
Bill worked 25 years in private industry in the areas of bookkeeping, food service, education and hotel management, among others
“I grew up attending religious services in New England and had always known of Jesus Christ but was missing the personal relationship with Him”. On October 25, 2002 Bill was given God’s call of assuring his salvation and began a personal relationship with Christ as Savior and Lord of his life.
At the age of 40 in 2003, Bill was immersed in baptism and began serving in the inner city environments primarily with children and youth. He continues to shepherd small groups of teenagers preaching and teaching God’s whole council of His Word. Recently, the Lord has placed a passion and burden for America’s current generation and their salvation in Christ.
Bill resides in Charlotte, NC and continues to pray for opportunities to use his 1979 Fleetwood Tioga while ministering and impacting the hearts of youth for Christ via email, texting, MySpace and even Facebook!
They were married in 1985 just prior to accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Shortly thereafter he and Judy joined the Fishermen’s Club (an evangelistic ministry) as Bus and Visitation Pastors.
After being “called” to preach in 1987, Bud immediately enrolled at Massillon Baptist College while earning a degree in Theology from the Fundamental Baptist Theological Seminary (Ohio) in 1990. Bud then served as Pastor for churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Both have attended the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.
Since the summer of 2007, Bud and Judy have served as Campground Chaplains. Together, the Davis’ founded B&J Campground Ministries (http://pastorbud.webs.com/)
Pastor Bud would like to pastor a small church.
A christian since 1977, Chris (Patti) have been attending Grace Baptist Church for the past 30 years. Chris is a Board Member and current Adviser to the South East Youth For Christ Executive Director, resides on the Board of Kings and Priests (Kingdom Builders) while serving as an Elder at their church. They have been Sunday School Adult Teachers for 10 years and Small Group leaders (25 years) among others.
In 1989, Christ and Patti founded the Marina Minisitry – a church for mariners located on-site at Reefpoint Marina of Racine, Wisconsin. The church presently continues as a model for other marina ministries in the Lake Michigan area.
Chris is President and CEO of CCB, Inc – a leading national, authorized technology solutions provider that works with Ministries, Churches and NonProfit Charties.
Patti served as Teaching Leader for Bible Study Fellowship for women in Racine for 22 years before recently retiring. He now serves on our Board Of Directors.
Wayne & Joanne have a unique relationship with several ministries. Although not boaters, Wayne has served as teaching pastor for the Marina Ministry Association based in Racine, WI. for many years. He also manages an on-line prayer alert to the Reefpoint and Southport Marina church communities interested in praying for requests presented each week during services.
Remarkably, they are a part of a new church plant called A & D Biker Ministries. They are affectionately referred to within the biker community as “cagers”, because they ride in a conventional vehicle (a car) which motorcyclists refer to as a “cage”. Wayne also manages their prayer alert to the church as well.
It seems natural, as non-RVers, that they become involved with our Ambassador Membership team! “We are thrilled to see the progress RVchurchesUSA is making in ministering to RVers,” Wayne says. “We are privileged to be invited to serve in any capacity.”
Wayne & Joanne live in Racine, WI and are blessed with two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Jack has been involved in various State, Federal and youth Prison Ministry since 1998. In 2002Donna began serving with Jack at the state and federal levels.
Since 2006, the Hortons have also been involved in Teen FLOW Youth Ministries as youth ministers (grades 7 thru 12).
Currently, they are non-RVers but, Lord willing, plan to join the RVing Community soon.
“I felt God calling me to minister in camp grounds while sitting in a west Texas prison several years ago”, Jack says. “And until I became aware of RVChurchesUSA, I didn’t really know what to do about that calling. We both look forward to this new ministry and want to serve in any way possible.”
Married for 27 years, Jack and Donna now live in Midland, Texas . They have 5 children and 9 grandchildren.
Daron and Judy have been part of a Marina Ministry Church – a unique ministry devoted to the mariner Community – serving as Marina Ministry Ambassadors as they welcomed guests, host pre-service devotionals (Daron) and lead in other administrative capacities.
They are world-wide travelers, skiers, “deep sea” divers – and now avid 5th-wheelers – and spread the Good news of Christ and His Word to all they meet.
“We love our ‘RV road cottage’”, Daron says. “Now Judy and I have additional opportunities to fulfill our passion to serve the Lord”.
Having recounted the many personal ways in which the Lord has blessed their lives thus far, they believe and encourage others to “count their blessings” as well while creating opportunities to greet and “do unto others” in His name. “Don’t ever be afraid to help someone, for you never know when you might be entertaining an angel”, the Mackeys say.
Both Daron and Judy are retired.
The Mackeys reside in Zion, Illinois and have a grown son (Jeff)
At age 12, God used Steve’s love for music to draw him into a summer outdoor service of a neighborhood church.
“Before I knew it, I was attending Youth Group meetings and eventually was asked to come to an ‘Evangelistic’ meeting and bring some friends and family. Salvation came to my mother, brother and myself at that meeting. God used a Domino effect to save the many in my immediate and extended family - not to mention my folk’s 13 grand children!”, Steve says. However, 4 years later, he dropped out of school starting a 20 year hiatus “searching for a peace and joy that didn’t exist outside of Christ”
During that period of his life, Steve worked in various sectors including construction trades, as a professional musician, restaurant cook, audio/visual and automobile sales.
After a long struggle with “self”, God drew him back into a personal relationship with Christ in 1996. “I believe my life experience has equipped me in a unique way to serve my Lord. I am grateful for His long suffering with me and have seen Him open many doors of opportunity for me to minister to others,” Steve recalls.
Since then, The Lord has used Steve to serve in jail ministries, Senior homes, camp ministries, short term mission to Ireland and new Orleans and as Associate Pastor for a congregation in Northern Ontario. he recently completed a term as Senior Pastor of a community church on Vancouver Island, BC.
“The way I act and react with others can make or break my effectiveness in any ministry. I am convinced that a constant diet of God’s Word, and relying of the Holy Spirit for the implementing of it in my own life, is the only effective way my Lord would have me serve Him.”
He has served the Lord in many roles including Youth Director in Torrance, California, Pastor of a church in Sutherlin, Oregon, Assistant Pastor at Anaheim Baptist Church in Anaheim, California, among others.
He then became an entrepreneur of several successful businesses in Iowa, the last of which took him and Leta to the west coast. “We needed an RV and that was the beginning of our 6 years of RVing,” Larry says.
The Hargrove’s recently moved back to the family farm in Iowa where they are providing full-time care for Leta’s 93 year-young mother. They both receive encouragement and confidence from Larry’s life verse – Philippians 4:13.
Leta has worked as an Executive Assistant for several large corporations including Beatrice Hunt Wesson and Northwest Airlines. She enjoys music and has participated in the church choir as well as special music groups over the years. Leta claims her life-verse, Proverbs 3:6, as she praises God and strives to do His will.
The Hargroves have been married 21 years, have 8 children and 13 grandchildren.
Tom graduated from the New Covenant Church and School of Ministry in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he served in the Music ministry and as a Sunday School teacher.
Both Tom and Gladys had previous spouses that have gone on to be with the Lord. They say that “All things work together for the good of them who are the called, according to His purpose.”
They both share the distinction of being licensed Ministers with Evangel Ministers Fellowship of Columbus, MS, of which they serve as secretaries. Prior to meeting Tom, Gladys had served as guest speaker at various churches and also ministered by singing. She has also ministered on radio in the Columbus, MS area with a program called “Sweet Anointing”.
After marrying, they have ministered at several churches together (traveling in their RV). Tom says, “Sister Gladys may deliver the messages, but I deliver Sister Gladys!” Tom plays the guitar and they both sing. “The Word says make a joyful noise to the Lord, so that qualifies me.”
The Whartons minister at every opportunity God provides as they pray that their sincere passion to become full-time Ministers will soon be realized – within His will.
Gladys has four children and 12 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Tom mentions, “My wife and I have been married since May, 1999. Ironically, I have the same number of children, grand-children and great grandchildren as Gladys …….. except mine are all step! ”
In addition to ministering in prisons, they have ministered in churches, home groups, pastor’s conferences, prayer breakfasts, and have participated in three mission trips to Guatemala and Nicaragua.In 1989 they finally launched their own ministry, Living Praise Ministries.
They have taken their praise and worship services to 3 countries, 12 states, and countless federal, state, and county facilities while participating with other ministries in evangelistic/revival crusade services.In 1996, they began full-time RVing as a way of ministering according to God’s leading without time constraints.Their hearts’ desire is to simply “feed His sheep” wherever He provides opportunities.
Following a 35-year career in the financial world, Tom graduated from Bible college/seminary and later served as lay-pastor for a church in Oregon. Among other experiences including financial adviser for Pastors (advanced degree in Christian Counseling), volunteering for the Vista organization and serving as a Certified Grief Recovery Counselor in disaster stricken areas, Tom also taught Rick Warren’s “purpose Driven Life” seminars.
Tom and Traceye feel that since their past has been forgiven and they have a purpose for living to reach their ‘home’ in heaven, they “refuse to waste time and energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting or faithless worrying.” Instead they wish to “magnify the Lord, grow to maturity in Christ, serve in ministry and fulfill their mission in the membership of His family”.
The Mullins say “to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: However, whenever and whatever you ask us to do, our answer in advance is ‘yes’! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, we are ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway!”
Tony recently retired from a 23-year career in law enforcement and continually searches for opportunities to serve the Lord in whatever way He leads. He was drawn to the mission of RVchurchesUSA and believes that serving as a member of our Ambassador Club is one way to fulfill God’s command for all Christians (Matt 28:19).
Tony and Nelda enjoy camping in their trailer at every opportunity. Tony shares that, “While we don’t have the resources to go to ‘all nations’, we do have an RV!”Tony and Nelda live in Benton, Louisiana, have three adult children and four grandchildren. The blessings they have experienced inspire a their life verse found in Luke 6:38.
However, in 1980 God led Dick to return home to The Dalles to become associated with The Fellowship of Christian Cowboys (FCC). He served as President of the local FCC Chapter several years and frequently preached at the cowboy Church Services at rodeo’s in Washington and Oregon, for 16 years. Then in 1994 ,Dick was ordained as an itinerant minister by Cross Country Ministries in central Oregon.In 2001, Dick and His wife (Dot) embarked on a 13 month, 33,000 plus mile trip criss- crossing the US several times after which they visited Alaska and spanned Canada.
Each time they entered a campground on a weekend, they would offer to provide an on-site church service, if the campground did not offer one.On the final leg of their cross-country trip, the LaFevers stopped in Quartzsite, Arizona to experience the world’s largest garage sale. While camping, in the desert close to a BLM outdoor shelter, God prompted Dick to offer church services to the RVers camped in the area. The first service started in the winter of 2002 and continues yet today.Following the 2002-3 season, God led Dick and Dot to visit the Connecticut prison housing their former son-in-law who earlier had murdered his wife – the Lafever’s youngest daughter. The purpose of that visit was to offer him forgiveness, as willed by God.
That bold and incredible act of reconciliation led to the writing of a book entitled, “Ultimate Betrayal- A Testimony of Forgiveness”, which chronicles Dick’s journey from hate to forgiveness. Once again, God provided Dick speaking/preaching/teaching opportunities – this time about the principles Dick learned about God’s authentic unconditional forgiveness as a model for himself.
Romans 8:28 is Dick’s favorite scripture verse and has shaped his spiritual journey. The tragedies experienced by the LaFevers have served not only to strengthen their own faith-walk with the Lord, but to enable them to be a source of comfort and inspiration to others experiencing tragedy as well.
Dick and Dot have been married 45 years and continue to reside in The Dalles, Oregon. They have two grown children, one grand cat and two grand dogs.RV Ministries – offering worship service and Bible studies including teaching, prayer and Pastoral counseling.
From their early beginnings Becca was very active with young people while Glen had been a DJ for a Christian radio station. Together they developed a group of young people – both from church and their community – to “do music” and learn more about God’s unconditional love and grace.
Through their RV ministry, Glen (a retired Episcopal priest) and Becca (a software engineer) offer workshops on prayer, worship resources and music while traveling in their RV – connecting with old friends and meeting new ones.Glen says, “Whether holding a nondenominational worship service, bible study, discussion forum, or sitting around the campfire or coffee pot just ‘chewing the fat’, we focus on our love for each other as well as simply sharing joy, support and just plain fun.”
The DeShaws have been married for 40 years, have 2 daughters, two grandchildren and a dog named “Ginger”. They and their younger daughter live with in Bellevue, WA.
During their first twenty-two years of ministry, Chuck served several great churches across Texas as a youth minister. From 1993 until 2012, he was senior pastor of Live Oak Community Church in Lubbock, TX – a church he and Ann founded with a community of 12 believers who formed the “planting team”.In January 2012, Chuck retired from that church – Live Oak Community Church in Lubbock, Texas.
Since that time Chuck and Ann have been traveling in their RV and working part-time as “workampers” within various campgrounds/resorts across America.Chuck says, “This new lifestyle has given Ann and me a chance to witness how God is at work as we experience a variety of churches as well as appreciating this wonderful country of ours”. Their desire to be a part of an excellent and purposeful team dedicated to a worthwhile mission, and the confirmation of the Holy Spirit led them to align with RVchurchesUSA.
Chuck and Ann are avid enthusiasts of the Rt. 66 – the famous highway from Chicago to Los Angeles. Pastor Chuck has written a book entitled “Eternal Route 66: Get More Than Kicks”, which is a traveler’s guide to that historic route with a Biblical twist! The book uniquely unwraps life-changing passages in each of the 66 books of the Bible while relating them to stops along the 2,400-mile highway spanning the USA.
Their ministry website can be found at www.eternalroute66.com.Chuck and Ann are very positive in their attitude and passion to serve Christ as they bring people/relational skills, encouragement, and sincere passion to serve others as Ambassadors of this ministry.“We love meeting and greeting people – always seeking to discover the true desires and needs of people and pointing them to Jesus for fulfillment!”Chuck and Ann call Lubbock, TX home.
They have one son and daughter-in-law and are looking forward to becoming grandparents in November 2012!
Joe continued in his profession as an electrical engineer while Patsy worked “full-time” as mother to their three children. In 1980, Joe started his own company in the engineering field but his greatest passion was to teach God’s Word. God led Joe and Patsy to lead/teach small Bible study groups in homes and Sunday School classes. Following the sale of their business, Joe and Patsy were called to pastor a small country Bible church near their home.
“It was both a humbling and joyful experience as we endeavored to ‘feed and tend’ God’s sheep at the little church”, Joe quips. Their ministry continued for nearly ten years during which the Holy Spirit nurtured a passionate love for small Christian groups and churches where God was worshiped and His Word studied.
Early in 2006 they were introduced to the RV lifestyle. Since then, the Flahives continue to experience great joy as they travel across the USA. However, while away from home, opportunities to fulfill their passion – to find RV campgrounds offering on-site Christ-centered worship services – seemed few and far between.
“We both felt this was one aspect of RVing where the ‘fields were white unto harvest.’” Joe and Pasty realized there are great opportunities to “come along side the campground owner/managers, connecting them with pastors of evangelical churches in their area to establish such Sunday and even weekday services.”
“Amazingly God has provided just such a ministry as He directed us to RVchurchesUSA which helps fulfill our passion to serve God in a unique manner”.
We are proud to have Joe and Patsy join our Ambassador Club.
The Flahives have three married children, six grandchildren and live in Bastrop, TX.