Matthew Sleeth, MD – Executive Director
A former emergency room physician, Dr. Matthew Sleeth resigned from his position as chief of the medical staff and director of the ER to teach, preach, and write about faith and the environment. Since founding Blessed Earth, he has spoken at 1,000 churches and schools throughout the country. Dr. Sleeth is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine and has two postdoctoral fellowships. He is the author of Serving God, Saving the Planet: A Christian Call to Action, the introduction to The Green Bible, and 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. Contact Matthew!
Nancy Sleeth – Managing Director
As co-founder and Managing Director of Blessed Earth, Nancy Sleeth travels throughout the U.S. speaking and writing about faith and the environment. Prior to heeding this spiritual and environmental calling, Sleeth served as communications director for a Fortune 500 company and as an educator and administrator, most recently at Asbury University. Nancy is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a masters degree in journalism. She is the author of Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life. She also authored Go Green, Save Green, the first-ever practical guide for going green from a faith perspective. Nancy and Matthew Sleeth have been married for more than 30 years. They live in Lexington, KY, near their grown children, Clark (a physician preparing for medical missions) and Emma (creation care speaker/author for teens and young adults). Contact Nancy!
Dr. Guy Brewer – North Carolina Sabbath Living Program Director
Dr. Guy Brewer is a disciple of Jesus Christ who has served in vocational ministry for thirty-three years as a pastor, chaplain, and seminary professor. Dr. Brewer holds degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.S.), Emory University (M. Div), Asbury Theological Seminary (D. Min), and Graduate Theological Foundation (Ph. D).
An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Guy served congregations in Georgia and Florida, including serving as the founding pastor of Edgewater United Methodist Church in Port Charlotte, Florida. Guy’s ministry in higher education included appointments as Wesley Foundation Director at the University of Miami and as college chaplain at Sweet Briar College. He has served as a faculty member in the graduate counseling department at Liberty University and for the past eleven years as Professor of Pastoral Theology at Anderson University School of Theology.
Dr. Brewer’s areas of scholarship and research include spiritual formation, pastoral preaching, and pastoral care in the postmodern context. His book, The Poet-Gardener: A Soul Care Model of Preaching, has been used in master and doctoral preaching classes in seminaries across the United States.
Guy and his wife, Rena, have been married forty-three years and have four sons, seven grandchildren, and one cat, Nuzzles. Guy is a fitness enthusiast and a member of the “1,000 Mile Club” as a swimmer. Contact Guy!
Lisa Bachman – North Carolina Sabbath Living Program Manager for Laity
Lisa Bachman is a Deaconess of The United Methodist Church, a lay order of women (Deaconesses) and men (Home Missioners) who are called by God to make a lifetime commitment to full-time ministries of love, justice, and service. Since her consecration in 2010, Lisa’s ministry has been to lead and work with laity in discerning God’s call on their lives through preaching, teaching, speaking, and working with individuals. Lisa has served in many different lay leadership roles in her denomination, including Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries. In addition, Lisa works with churches and organizations to develop health and wellness teams and health initiatives. Lisa lives in Hillsborough, NC, and has been married to Bob for 34 years. They have two children, Nik and Christy, seven grandchildren, and one great grandson. Contact Lisa!
Rev. Suzanne Dornsmith, Lead Sabbath Chaplain (Partnerships) for NC Sabbath Living Program
A native of Tampa, FL, Suzanne now calls North Carolina home and is currently living in Charlotte. She splits her time between serving as Associate Pastor at Forest Hill UMC in Concord, NC, Coaching Pastors and Lay Leaders through Passion in Partnership, and helping to coordinate the Sabbath Chaplain ministry with Blessed Earth. She is grateful for the diverse ways in which God is using her to share God’s love in the world through the church. She shares her life with her husband Eddie and their daughter Seren.
Rev. Cynthia Vaughan, Lead Sabbath Chaplain (Affinity Groups) for NC Sabbath Living Program
A native of rural northeastern North Carolina and a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, Cynthia enjoyed thirty plus years in Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, she earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Ohio State University and her MDIV from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. After working for nearly twenty years in management at BellSouth, Cynthia left the corporate world to enter the ordained ministry of the United Methodist Church. As an Elder in the North Georgia Conference, she served as Associate Pastor on the staffs of two major UMC churches–one near the Atlanta University Complex and the other on the campus of Emory University. She continued to follow her call to Extension Ministry at the Emory Center for Pastoral Services where she was an Intensive Care Chaplain and oversaw pastoral services at Wesley Woods Continuing Care Community. She currently serves as a Clinical Pastoral Educator (CPE Supervisor) at a Level I Trauma Center in Wilmington, NC, a position that brings together her love of education, business, people, and faith/spirituality. She believes that God uses all of one’s life experiences in one’s ultimate call to ministry. Having traveled widely and intentionally engaged varied professional and multicultural life experiences for half a century, Cynthia sees working with Sabbath Living as an added dimension to her calling to care for God’s people.
Ivy Parker, Lead Sabbath Chaplain (Student Discipleship) for NC Sabbath Living Program
Following a career as a software analyst and serving God in many areas as a lay person, Ivy is answering a call to ordained ministry and is a Duke Divinity School graduate (MACP 2015). Ivy feels called to lead the body of Christ in serving God through their unique gifting and call to ministry, and to guide others to a place of healing and wholeness in Christ. She serves as the Discipleship Director at a United Methodist church in Cary, NC. Ivy grew up surrounded by strong role models who embodied lives fully devoted to serving God and nurturing their relationship with Christ through daily Bible study, serving others, and enjoying God’s creation. She and her husband Kenneth have two young adult children.
Rev. Bill Hughes – Sabbath Living Program Manager (KY)
Adam York – Administrative Coordinator
Adam grew up outside of Charlotte, NC. At eighteen years old he was transformed by the grace of Christ and quickly felt called to vocational ministry. Adam attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Masters of Divinity, a Masters of Arts in Christian Ethics, and a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics. His dissertation is entitled A Critical Analysis of the Relationship between Beauty and Human Flourishing: Using the works of Thomas Aquinas and Jonathan Edwards to Order Properly the Concept of Beauty in the Person of God. He managed a franchise hotel and taught adjunctively at the College of Southeastern for four years before joining Blessed Earth. He married Kathy in 2001, and together they have two sons. Contact Adam!
Dr. A.J. Swobada – Director of Northwest Operations
In addition to his work at Blessed Earth, A.J. is a professor, author, and pastor of Theophilus in urban Portland, Oregon. He teaches theology, biblical studies, and Christian history at George Fox Evangelical Seminary and a number of other universities and Bible colleges. His doctoral research at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) explored the never-ending relationship between the Holy Spirit and ecology. A.J. is the author of several books, including Tongues and Trees: Toward a Pentecostal Ecological Theology and Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology. He and his wife, Quinn, have a four-year-old son, Elliot.
Emma Davis – Special Projects Coordinator
Emma, a graduate of Asbury University, is the author of It’s Easy Being Green. When not speaking to high school and college students about creation care, she assists other members of the Blessed Earth team with research, writing, and design projects. She and her husband, Zach, lived three blocks away from each other in Lexington for years, but never saw each other until they were both at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Earth Day 2012. Contact Emma!
Ryan Bennett – Co-Director, Blessed Earth Southeast
Ryan holds a Master’s in Divinity from Asbury Seminary and pastors a large church in Tennessee. Along with his wife, Heather, a communications professional who has a passionate interest in environmental stewardship, Ryan has taken a lead role in his denomination’s creation care efforts.
Heather Bennett – Co-Director, Blessed Earth Southeast
Heather has a master’s in sustainability from Lipscomb University and served as manager of social media communications for the United Methodist Church denomination. Contact Heather!