Shawn grew up in Kendallville, Indiana, where he lived most of his life. He graduated from Grace College as a youth ministry major, served as a member of an OB team in 2010 and then led an OB team in 2013. Shawn married his wife, Alex, in May of 2014, and they look forward to many more years together serving the Lord as a married couple. Shawn was the interim youth pastor at First Christian Church in Kendallville, Indiana, is currently involved in the young adult ministries at Grace Gathering in New Haven Indiana, and has just been hired as the full time youth and associate pastor at Community Grace in Warsaw, Indiana. He is very excited to see what God is going to do through Operation Barnabas this summer and cannot wait to see the way He works in the lives of the students and other adult leaders. Shawn is an avid sports fan, cheering for the Michigan State Spartans and current Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots. He loves coffee, Mountain Dew, and gummy bears, as well as cool ranch Doritos and Cheeze Its.
Nicole is originally from Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. She is an Operation Barnabas alum and is excited to come back and serve in a ministry that had such a large impact on her relationship with the Lord. She is so excited to get to know the students, and she cannot wait to see all the amazing things God is going to do this summer. In the fall, she will be entering her third year in the nursing program at The Ohio State University with a potential minor in art. She is involved with Cru (Campus Crusade) as a Bible study leader for freshman girls. Nicole also serves with 1st to 5th graders in the children’s ministry at Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio. She loves drawing, music, coffee, and sitting down with a good book.
Sam is from Akron, Indiana, and a biblical studies major at Grace College. Though this will be his first summer leading Operation Barnabas, he has a passion for disciplining others to a fuller, deeper, and more joyful relationship with the Lord. Sam states, “I have benefited so much myself by men mature in the faith who took the time and energy to invest in me. I am excited to see how the Lord is going to build and mature your son or daughter’s faith this summer and I feel blessed that I can be a part of it.”
Meredith is from Delaware, Ohio, and is currently a student at Bowling Green State University, majoring in special education. On campus, she is involved with Cru and works as a workforce assistance at the Wood County Job and Family Services in the OhioMeansJobs Department. She is an OB alum and also was a leader on CE National’s west coast City Life team last summer. As a student, OB helped her to grow as a follower of Christ and she is extremely excited to see what the Lord has planned for this summer.
Alex grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, most of her life. She has been involved in campus life ministries for a number of years and also children’s ministry in her home church Grace Gathering in New Haven, Indiana. Alex and her husband, Shawn, will be celebrating their one year anniversary May 17th. She is a medical assistant with an orthopedic office in Fort Wayne. She is also currently involved in a young adults group with her church and loves hanging out with people who have a heart for the lost. Alex is a huge fan of Carrie Underwood, coffee, and flip flops. She also loves playing the piano, singing, and pretty much anything musical.
This will be Brandon’s fifth tour as a leader with Operation Barnabas and his second as an administrative leader. He is an alumnus from 2007 and is so grateful to have the opportunity to serve with such an awesome organization that Jesus CLEARLY uses to draw people to Himself. He’s so excited to see the Lord stretch and grow him alongside Operation Barnabas 2015. Brandon is originally from Harrah, Washington, but moved to Delaware, Ohio, in 2012 to partner alongside the ministry of Delaware Grace Brethren Church. Brandon leads a small group for junior boys at DGBC and volunteers on the youth staff and with the worship arts ministry when he can. Brandon was a theatre major at Seattle Pacific University with a minor in communications and after went on to intern as youth and worship coordinator at Goldendale Grace for a summer. Brandon is currently praying about where the Lord would have him go next. Exciting things are on the horizon but he is excited that the present ministry he has as a remedial reading tutor allows him to see students encounter the gospel in radical and unique ways that have been more than he could have ever asked or imagined. Brandon loves all the cliche’ things like movies, music, laughing and coffee.
Marc Anthony Baldwin is from Buena Park, California. When Marc went as a student on Operation Barnabas, one of his leaders was Brandon Riel and Marc is now really excited for the opportunity to assist students in such a growing stage of their life. He states, “The Holy Spirit changed me when I went on OB and I want to invest in the students this summer to help them see how the Holy Spirit can use them in their lives as well.” Marc is at Grace College, studying to become a mechanical engineer. He is also a student mentor for incoming freshman and a growth group leader. Some of his hobbies include surfing, watching his favorite soccer team, Paris-St. Germain, taking pictures and customizing them, and trying new things. Some of his favorite music artists are About A Mile, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Switchfoot, and Sara Bareilles. And, Captain America is by far his favorite superhero!
Taylor is from Dublin, Ohio, but currently lives north of Dayton and works as a long-term substitute teacher at Troy Christian Schools. In December 2014 she graduated from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in music education and now teaches 5th through 12th grade band. Taylor attends Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio, and volunteers with the children’s ministry. She loves working with middle school and high school students and hopes to one day minister to youth internationally. In the fall Taylor will be moving to Sebring, Florida, to attend The Great Commission Bible Institute. This is Taylor’s second year leading OB and she is so excited to have the opportunity to do so again. She is an OB alum from 2009 and an OBI Philippines alum as well. As a student, OB helped her grow as a follower of Christ and she can’t wait to see how the Lord works again this summer.
Andrea is from Kendallville, Indiana, but is currently living in Winona Lake and studying youth ministry at Grace College. She has a heart for youth ministry and a desire to build up the next generation towards Christ. She is currently involved at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, working in the Axis youth ministry program. As an alum from 2010, she is excited to return as a leader to help the student develop their leadership skills and walk alongside them as they grow in their relationship with Christ. Andrea loves biking, cooking, drinking coffee, and traveling