Awaken is a growing network of like-minded women and men committed to encouraging women to discover and use their God-given gifts in mutual ministry within the body of Christ.

Awaken’s Team

Awaken is led by the Leadership Team and Regional Partners. The Leadership Team is made up of members who give leadership to the network-wide vision and mission. Regional Partners extend hospitality to new women joining a regional conference.
Maureen Brown
Director

I am Maureen and currently serve as the Worship and Communications Pastor at New Life Community, Carlisle, PA, where I have been working alongside my husband Ryan in pastoral leadership since 2002. Before this assignment, we both served on staff in Ryan’s home church, at Stayner, Brethren in Christ Church, in Ontario, Canada. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of leading worship, teaching, and mentoring for my entire adult life thus far.

The call to ministry came clearly when I was 15 years old, while on a short-term summer mission trip. That encounter led to ministry involvement in my home church, and ultimately the pursuit of a ministry degree. I graduated from Emmanuel Bible College with a Bachelor of Religious Education in Professional Studies, with a double minor in Christian Education and Music, in 1996, and then I married Ryan—the love of my life. Together we have two adult children and the recent addition of a son-in-law, all serving Jesus in their various gifting and calling.

It is a great honor to serve as the Director of Awaken, working with the church to encourage and equip women who are discerning the call to ministry leadership. I am excited as we pursue greater breakthroughs in diversity and unity in our churches, building a goodness culture that radiates the heart of God.

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Heather Beaty
Team Member
Hello, my name is Heather Beaty. I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher. I grew up in the BIC church and have spent the past twenty years as a pastor and bishop’s wife.
Presently, I teach Spanish online full-time, run two teenage children around to their many activities, and serve in the Susquehanna conference with my husband, Bob.
I delight in being a child of God, reading a good book, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee. You will often find me outdoors gardening, hiking, or playing a game. I love serving with Awaken as we encourage women to use their gifts to serve the church in various capacities. We need women who are gifted, called, trained, and mentored to share their gifts in leadership and ministry!
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Ryan Showalter
Team Member

Ryan and his wife Jen moved to Pasadena five years ago from Lancaster, PA. Ryan graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with Master of Art degrees in Theology and Inter Cultural Studies. With a background in youth ministry (YFC) and missions (Eastern Mennonite Missions), Ryan currently is the Associate pastor at Solid Ground Church and the Director of Emerging Leaders for Pacific Conference BIC.

Ryan is passionate about many things, including coffee, soccer, running, traveling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. I love the diversity of Southern California, including the mountains, beaches, but most of all the people. I believe each person uniquely reflects the image of God, and when I experience something new, I often marvel at God’s creativity, and wonder what these people might have to teach me about God. 

I am excited to work with Awaken, because of the many amazing women who have lead me and invested in my life. The Gospel was first proclaimed by women, and they served vital roles in the early church. I’m excited to see the church be a stronger, safer, and more creative body as we embrace the diversity of the gifts God has given to the body to lead.

Great Lakes Representative
Vicki Podjasek
Team Member

Rev. Vicki Podjasek is a pastor in the Brethren in Christ denomination, and currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Pastors of Excellence at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS). She is also the Director of Adult Education and Small Groups at New Vision Brethren in Christ in Pewaukee, WI. Vicki and her husband Jeff are both cancer survivors. They spent approximately a decade ministering to children as licensed foster parents, which led to the adoption of their daughter, Alexis, who is now in college.

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Allegheny Regional Partner (2018-)
Allegheny
Jill Thompson

Jill is  a professional educator, librarian/information literacy specialist, published author and speaker. Recently, she became a licensed pastor and now serves as a member of the pastoral care and counseling team at the local hospital.

For the Allegheny Conference, she has served on the Evangelism and Ministry Councils, as well as the Board of Directors. Locally, Jill is a member of Hollowell BIC Church, where she serves as a teacher for adult Sunday school electives, maintains the adult and children’s libraries, initiated a men’s and women’s inspirational reading program, and created GYM (God’s Young Moms) Class, a ministry to young mothers.

Jill looks  forward to participating with those in Awaken, to encourage women of faith to be creative about realizing ministry opportunities, and to energize those seeking to pursue their God-given calling.

Jill has a M.Ed. from McDaniel College and a B.A. in religion and elementary education from Lycoming College. She and husband Wally have been married 43 years, have 5 grown sons, and 7 grandchildren. They live with their dog Libby and Nick the cockatiel.

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Atlantic Represenative
Atlantic (West Lancaster County)
Dawn Groff

Dawn Groff is the Campus Pastor at CrossRoads BIC Church, Maytown.  Aside from her role at CrossRoads she enjoys almost all outside activities, especially yard work, taking walks with her husband – Steve, baking, and shopping.

Awaken is important to her because she is passionate about growing the local church, and she sees Awaken fulfilling this mission through it’s work to Empower, Encourage, and Equip women for ministry.  As Christ followers, both women and men who boldly follow God’s call upon their lives to serve and to lead, have the privilege of seeing relationships grow, and lives changed. Together we can!

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Global International Representation
Global Ministries
Pam Arnold

Pam has been part of the BIC since 1995. Her family served with BIC World Missions in Zimbabwe and prior to that, they worked in educational projects in Indonesia and Uganda. Pam has worked in the BIC offices since 2003, serving in the general church and now with BICWM. Pam and her husband attend Mechanicsburg BIC and help lead a Bible Fellowship group for new believers, serve in the healing prayer ministry, and in At the Cross Recovery.

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Great Lakes Representative
Great Lakes
Vicki Podjasek

Rev. Vicki Podjasek is a pastor in the Brethren in Christ denomination, and currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Pastors of Excellence at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS). She is also the Director of Adult Education and Small Groups at New Vision Brethren in Christ in Pewaukee, WI. Vicki and her husband Jeff are both cancer survivors. They spent approximately a decade ministering to children as licensed foster parents, which led to the adoption of their daughter, Alexis, who is now in college.

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Midwest
Margaret Engle

Margaret co-pastors the Abilene BIC church part-time with her husband. Her husband, Dale is primarily responsible for preaching, weddings, and funerals whereas Margaret cares for visitation, administration and Christian Education. Margaret is the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor; she attended Messiah College where she met Dale. Margaret has taught school for nearly 30 years mostly working with at-risk teen-agers. Dale and Margaret have 6 children (3 by birth and 3 adopted through marriage) Heather and Bob Beaty (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), Jen and Matt Bierlein (Columbus, OH) and Matt and Amber Engle (Abilene, KS). Margaret and Dale have 6 grandchildren: Roc, Tyler, Sterling, Alana, Emmett and Anna.

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Pacific
Elisha Hankins

I am a graduate of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with a Bachelor of Arts in Music & Culture. I currently work at UCR as a coordinator where I hire, train and mentor career and student employees. I serve as a deacon at Solid Ground Church, and have served alongside my husband, Nicholas Hankins, for over 13 years in youth ministry.

I’m passionate about God, people, and animals! I enjoy sharing life with family & friends. I love music, deep conversations, foodie-adventures, exercising, and escape rooms. My favorite moments are when I spend time with my best friend/hubby and our fur babies. We have been married for 10 joyous years (thus far); team NICKISHA for life!

I’m excited and humbled to be a part of Awaken, to serve alongside other great leaders and advocates. I believe Awaken has a unique opportunity to engage, affirm, and cultivate women in ministry and leadership through prayer, encouragement, dialogue, relationships, mentoring, and servant leadership. I look forward seeing how God moves through this wonderful ministry!

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Southeast
Teddi Rodgers

Together with her husband, Teddi planted and pastors at Grafted Church in Lawrenceville, GA
She is passionate about helping others to realize their identity in Christ and to develop an intimate relationship with Him. She loves teaching others about the Lord through preaching, children’s ministry and personal discipleship. Most of all, she believes in recognizing and unearthing super heroes for Jesus, both in her personal and church family. Teddi is excited to be part of the Awaken Network to help encourage and activate women to walk in their God-given calling.

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Susquehanna
Heather Beaty
Hello, my name is Heather Beaty. I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher. I grew up in the BIC church and have spent the past twenty years as a pastor and bishop’s wife.
Presently, I teach Spanish online full-time, run two teenage children around to their many activities, and serve in the Susquehanna conference with my husband, Bob.
I delight in being a child of God, reading a good book, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee. You will often find me outdoors gardening, hiking, or playing a game. I love serving with Awaken as we encourage women to use their gifts to serve the church in various capacities. We need women who are gifted, called, trained, and mentored to share their gifts in leadership and ministry!
Email Susquehanna