About

Leadership Team

Junius B. Dotson  |  Steve Horswill-Johnston  |  Cynthia A. Wilson  |  Janet Jamieson 
Michael Glenn Ratliff  |  Stephen Bryant  |  Jeff Campbell  |  Bener Agtarap  |  Brenda Lockhart  

 
 Junius B. Dotson

Rev. Junius B. Dotson
General Secretary

A recognized visionary leader in church revitalization, the Rev. Junius B. Dotson is the General Secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church. He began his tenure on July 1, 2016.

Prior to his present position, Rev. Dotson was pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, where he was instrumental in transforming the church into a 3,500-member multi-campus congregation.

Rev. Dotson received his undergraduate degree in political science, with a concentration in economics, at the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Dotson was ordained in June 1992.

Rev. Dotson served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Revitalization Taskforce of the Kansas West Conference (now part of the Great Plains Conference). He has served as facilitator for the Fitzgerald Program, a Discipleship Ministries program to equip pastors to begin start-up congregations. From 2009 to 2012, Rev. Dotson served on the Board of Directors of Discipleship Ministries where he was chair of the New Church Starts/Path1 division of the agency. Rev. Dotson also served on The Wichita Food Bank Executive Board and was appointed by the governor of Kansas to serve on the Kansas Sentencing Commission. 

Rev. Dotson’s ministry has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, religious journals and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File,” as well as on NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco.

 Steve Horswill-Johnston

Steve Horswill-Johnston
Executive Director of Communications & Brand Strategy

Steve Horswill-Johnston is a four-time Emmy Award winning director, producer, brand manager, and communications executive with more than 20 years experience in both non-profit and for-profit organizations in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Steve was the creative architect and executive director of The United Methodist Church's first network television advertising campaign; the first and largest Protestant effort of its kind. Beyond leading the office of communications at Discipleship Ministries, he’s the creator and producer of Chuck Knows Church.

Prior to arriving in Nashville, Steve earned his undergraduate degree in Film Production from San Diego State University, and holds an M. Div. from Claremont School of Theology, where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award.  He has written and produced programs for San Diego public television (KPBS), worked on the CBS episodic television series “Simon & Simon” and was a radio broadcaster in the San Diego and Los Angeles markets for 10 years. 

 Cynthia A. Wilson

Cynthia A. Wilson
Associate General Secretary
Leadership Ministries

Rev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson became Associate General Secretary of the Leadership Ministries unit in February 2017. She is an ordained deacon under extension ministry appointment in the Great Plains Annual Conference.

Prior to joining the Discipleship Ministries staff, Wilson served as Assistant Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary. At Garrett-Evangelical, Wilson launched the Center for Music and Worship in the Black Church Experience, a one-of-a-kind North American institute that provides training in the sacred music of the black church and beyond to musicians and worship leaders.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education at Dillard University, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Liturgical Studies degree from Garrett-Evangelical.

 Janet Jamieson

Janet Jamieson
Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer

Janet Jamieson, CPA, leads the agency's financial and operational areas, including accounting, human resources, building services, and information technology. In addition, she provides general oversight of the agency's fiscal affairs.

Prior to joining the Discipleship Ministries staff in 2016, Jamieson served as the chief financial officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Her experience also includes roles as auditor, college professor, writer, and speaker.

Jamieson is the co-author with her husband, Philip Jamieson, and the Rev. Ken Sloane, of the United Methodist denominational Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: Finance - Handling God's Money in the Church (Abingdon Press, 2016), as well as Ministry and Money: A Practical Guide for Pastors (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2009).

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, and a Master of Science in accounting degree from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Janet and Philip are members of Brentwood United Methodist Church.

 Mike Ratliff

 

Michael Glenn Ratliff
Associate General Secretary
Division on Ministries with Young People

Michael Glenn Ratliff was named associate general secretary of the Division on Ministries with Young People, effective January 1, 2007.

Created by the 2004 General Conference, the division works with local churches, annual conferences, jurisdictions, and central conferences on issues related to young people.

Ratliff was previously an associate pastor with youth and their families at Saint Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where he served since 1995. His work there involved a large staff and volunteer team ministering to hundreds of youth every week. He also directed Crossties, a leadership consulting and training initiative, for those who minister with young people. He has served in similar positions in churches in Georgia and Florida.

Ratliff has worked in youth and young adult ministry for over 30 years, served as faculty teaching youth ministry courses at Iliff School of Theology for three years, and has taught a variety of courses for the Perkins School of Youth Ministry.

An accomplished author, workshop leader and curriculum developer, Ratliff's writings include the books Sacred Challenge and Sacred Bridges and articles in Church Leader, Youth Net, Circuit Rider, Children's Leader, and various web resources.

He has also developed curriculum for Faith and Sexuality, Let's Be Real, Confirmation Times, and Combos.

He holds a Certificate of Practical Theology and Youth Ministry from Princeton Seminary, a Master of Arts in Christian education from Scarritt College, and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Georgia Southern University. The Reverend Ratliff is an ordained deacon, certified minister of youth, and certified minister of education from the Rocky Mountain Conference.

 Steve Bryant

 

Rev. Dr. Stephen Bryant 
Associate General Secretary for Central Conference Relations and Resourcing
Discipleship Resources, International

Rev. Dr. Stephen Bryant is Associate General Secretary for Central Conference Relations and Resourcing and serves as team leader for Discipleship Resources, International, which is a division of Discipleship Ministries. Previously, Steve served as the World Editor and Publisher of The Upper Room (1997-2009), Executive Director of Upper Room Program (1992-1997), The Upper Room’s Director of Spiritual Formation and International Spiritual Director of the Walk to Emmaus movement (1986-1992).

Steve is an ordained clergy member of the Rio Texas Annual Conference (formerly Southwest Texas) where he served as associate pastor and senior pastor for two congregations before joining The Upper Room and Discipleship Ministries. Steve teaches the Friendship Class at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and offers leadership for various learning experiences, retreats, and ministries as called upon.

Steve is the founder and co-creator of Companions in Christ (28-week small-group study) and contributed significantly to several of the Companions series short-term courses including Exploring the Way, The Way of Forgiveness, The Way of Blessing, The Way of Prayer, and The Way of Transforming Discipleship. He also authored The Upper Room Handbook on Emmaus, What Is Emmaus?, and Group Reunion, and was a regular contributor to The Upper Room devotional magazine for twelve years. Steve’s written various articles and ministry tools including “The Five Fold Path: Conversations in Congregational Spirituality” and “Discernment as Worshipful Work: A Step by Step”.

 Jeff Campbell

 

Rev. Jeff Campbell 
Executive Director, Conference Relationships

Jeff Campbell joined Discipleship Ministries in 2013 and now serves as the Executive Director of Conference Relationships. In this role, he connects with conference leadership to strengthen intentional disciple-making across the connection. Jeff coordinates the listening, research, and evaluation systems to ensure that Discipleship Ministries continues to meet the discipleship needs of the local church. He also teaches intentional discipleship systems as an intensive seminary course, and as workshops at the district and conference levels.

Jeff is an ordained elder of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference where he served for 13 years as a senior pastor prior to coming to Discipleship Ministries. In the GNJAC he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry, taught Basic and Advanced Lay Servant Training, and coordinated the Probationary Elder Program.

Rev. Campbell received his undergraduate degree in English, Linguistics, and Speech from the University of Mary Washington. Prior to his call to ministry, he worked for the Limited Inc. managing Communications and Store Operations. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School, where he was awarded the Alton Raynor prize for Town and Country Ministry.

 Bener Agtarap

 

Bener Agtarap
Associate General Secretary
Executive Director, Path 1 / New Church Starts

Rev. Dr. Bener Agtarap, a native of Manila, Philippines, is an ordained elder in the California-Nevada conference and has served the UMC more than 30 years as a seasoned church planter, church administrator, project manager and executive officer of the church. Prior to joining the staff of Discipleship Ministries, he was Superintendent for Congregational Vitality in the California-Nevada Annual Conference.

Agtarap started his ministry in the Philippines at age 22 as a lay church planter, organizing a local church in five years with trained leaders and sufficient financial capacity to support its mission and ministry. In the following six years as a local pastor, he led two congregations in planting five new faith communities that later became regular local churches. Under his watch as district superintendent in the Philippines, 52 churches were tasked to give birth to new communities of faith.

Agtarap previously held positions at Discipleship Ministries from 2007-2012 as director of conference and ethnic church stewardship and New Church Starts recruiter. As a new church strategist, he led Path 1’s Lay Missionary Planting Network (LMPN) in collaboration with his colleagues.

Agtarap earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management and Accounting at Philippine School of Business Administration, a Master in Divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary – Philippines, a Master in Business Administration degree at Philippine School of Business Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in development administration at Philippine Christian University.

 Brenda Lockhart

 

Brenda Lockhart
Executive Assistant to the General Secretary

Brenda has worked closely with the General Secretary's Office since 2008 when she became the General Administrative Coordinator and then the Executive Assistant upon another's retirement. Previously, she was the Grants Administrator in Young People's Ministries and was among the first staff of that division when it was newly formed after the 2004 General Conference. She began her career at Discipleship Ministries as an administrative assistant with the former United Methodist Youth Organization.

She is active in her local church, Hermitage United Methodist Church, currently serving as a Lay Member to the Tennessee Annual Conference. Lockhart has served on the Boards of Directors for both the Nashville Emmaus and the Nashville Chrysalis Communities.

Brenda holds an Associate of Science in Business and Commerce and a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Middle Tennessee State University.