Forward together
Interministries Summit
Children’s Ministries - Family Ministries - Women’s Ministries

Speakers of the Summit

Marius Munteanu

Marius Munteanu

Marius Munteanu currently works at the Inter-European Division, as Education and Chaplaincy Director. Over the years, he served as local church pastor, chaplain, departmental director, Conference President, Practical Teology teacher and president of Adventus University - Cernica (Romania), and the Romanian Union President. Happily married to Loriana (Language and Literature Teacher), both of them have a 17 years old daughter, Cezara.

Heather Dawn Small

Heather Dawn Small

Heather-Dawn Small presently holds the position of director for Women's Ministries at the General Conference of SDA. Heather-Dawn is the wife of Pastor Joseph Small and the mother of a daughter Dalonne and a son Jerard.

Prior to coming to the General Conference in 2001 she held the position of Children's and Women's Ministries Director for the Caribbean Union Conference located on the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago for five years.

Heather-Dawn loves air travel, reading, embroidery, scrapbooking, and stamp collecting and she enjoys ministry to women. As she travels the world she has three passions - to see more women involved in evangelism, to encourage women to be involved in ministry to others – especially young women, and to share the joy that God has given her in spite of life's many challenges. Her favorite word is "JOY" and her favorite saying is "Don't let anyone steal your joy."

Katia Reinert

Katia Reinert

Dr. Reinert is a family nurse practitioner and public health clinical nurse specialist. She holds a PhD in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University with focus on research in Interpersonal Violence in the Family and health outcomes among adult survivors of childhood trauma. She serves as Health Ministries associate director for the General Conference and coordinates the Adventist Recovery Ministries Global and Youth Alive programs. She enjoys volunteering as a primary care clinician at Shepherds clinic in Baltimore, MD, serving vulnerable families and immigrants. Dr. Reinert is the host and content producer for Speak Up, a TV show focusing on mental and emotional health produced by Hope Channel. She has published scientific research articles, books, periodicals. She has an interest in mental health and preventive medicine and a passion is in helping people experience healing, reaching their full potential in Christ.

Frauke Gyuroka

Frauke Gyuroka

Frauke Gyuroka is currently living in Vienna, Austria’s beautiful capital. She holds a degree as a state certified translator for English and Arabic and is working as a self-employed translator mostly for the church. In 2016, she started a M.A. in Islamic Studies at the Adventist Middle East University in Beirut, Lebanon. She enjoys making new friends and is growing in her own faith through this experience. She is married and has two adult children.

Raquel Arrais

Raquel Arrais

Raquel Arrais presently holds the position of Associate Director for Women's Ministries at the General Conference of SDA. Raquel Arrais is the wife of Pastor Jonas Arrais who is the Associate Ministerial Secretary at the General Conference and they have two sons, Tiago and Andre, two daughters' in-law, Paula and Natalia and a grandson, Benjamin. Raquel grew up in a pastoral family and is a third generation Seventh-day Adventist.

Prior to coming to the General Conference Raquel was Women's Ministries and Shepherdess associate director for the South American Division (2000-2003) and Children's Ministries director (2004 – 2005).

For 20 years Raquel worked as an educator and administrator in Brazil. In 1997 she received her master's Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Andrews University.

Raquel loves reading, walking, playing the piano, and collecting pictures of women's faces. She enjoys spending time with women, ministering to them, and learning from them. She has a desire to see more women accepting God's call and being involved with the mission of the church.

Eliza Spătărelu

Eliza Spătărelu

Eliza Spătărelu is wife and mother of three children, two of whom are adults. She holds a bachelor's degree in Theology and one in Pedagogy at Adventus University, a Master in Education Sciences at the University of Montemorelos and a Doctorate in Education Sciences at the University of Bucharest. She served in the Youth Department at the Muntenia Conference and the Romanian Union and in the Women's Ministries Department at the Muntenia Conference. At present, she is lecturer and director of the Department of Theology - Social Assistance - Education Sciences at Adventus University in Romania.

Roberto Iannò

Roberto Iannò

was born in Sesto S. Giovanni, MI (Italy), raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and baptized when he was 14 years old. He is married with Anna Calà, a kindergarten teacher, and has two sons: Gianluca (27) and Daniele (24).

He is a SDA minister since 1991—ordained in 1998—and a former Italian Union Executive Secretary.

He is the director of the Family Ministries Department as well as the Education Department. Besides, he is an Adjunct Professor at the Italian Adventist University “Villa Aurora”, teaching Christian Education and Theology of Family.

He holds a MA in Education, a MA in Religion and a MA in Family Counseling. He is currently studying at Andrew University for a DMin in Family Ministry.

Willie and Elaine Oliver

Willie and Elaine Oliver

Willie and Elaine Oliver are directors of the Department of Family Ministries for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters since June 2010.

An ordained minister, Willie Oliver holds a Ph.D. in Family Sociology; an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling; an M.A. in Sociology; and a BA in Theology. He is an adjunct professor of Family Ministries at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, and of the Adventist University of Africa. Willie Oliver is the former Director of Family Ministries for the North American Division, the Atlantic Union Conference, and the Greater New York Conference. He also served as a lead pastor in New York City.

Elaine Oliver holds an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; an M.A. in Counseling Psychology; an M.A. in Higher and Adult Education; and a BS in business management and accounting. Elaine Oliver is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. She is an adjunct professor of Family Ministries at the Adventist University of Africa. Prior to her current position, she served as a university administrator and as a marriage and family consultant for several organizations.

The Olivers have conducted marriage conferences, retreats, relationship seminars, and leadership training conferences around the world. They are founders of From This Day Forward marriage conferences, Journey Toward Intimacy marriage conferences, authors of the Relationship Rx column in Message magazine, the Real Family Talk column in Adventist World Online. They are editors of the annual Family Ministries Planbook, and authors of two books, Real Family Talk: Answers to Questions About Love, Marriage, and Sex, and Hope for Today’s Families—the world missionary book for 2019. The Olivers also produce and host a weekly family strengthening program on the Hope Channel called Real Family Talk with Willie and Elaine Oliver.

Willie and Elaine Oliver have been married for 34 years and are the parents of two young adults -Jessica and Julian. In their spare time, they enjoy taking long walks, beach vacations, gardening, exotic cuisines, and spending time with family and friends.

Fabiana Bertotti

Fabiana Bertotti

Fabiana Bertotti is a journalist, author of 6 books, mother of little Theodooe and pastor’s wife. In recent years she has dedicated herself to studying human behavior and the relationship with the internet, and she herself has a strong and influential social network where she shares her faith and lifestyle with thousands of followers. Third generation of  Adventist family, she studied at Unasp and worked at the Ellen White Research Center, where she learned to deeply research the writings of the prophet and apply them to the Christian modern life. Her hobby is being in family and to read a good book.

Marjukka Ostrovljanovic

Marjukka Ostrovljanovic

Marjukka grew up in Finland, surrounded by lakes and forests. Her teenage years were rough, and she struggled with drugs, alcohol and anxiety. All of it led her to a point where she had to choose between life and death, and choosing life meant also choosing God. He guided her through years of struggle, rooted her in His Church and led her to study Theology in order to know Him better. During her Theology Studies she discovered a deep passion for the Biblical Hebrew language and the Old Testament Narratives. Translating and studying the Old Testament in Hebrew became her way of learning more about God, His plan and His will. Through this intensive study of the Word grew also the wish to share her journey of discovering the strange, uplifting, encouraging, puzzling and life-changing texts of the Bible. That’s how their Vlog, The Treasure Hunt, came into existence. Currently she is working as a pastor in Bavaria, South Germany.

Rick Chromey

Rick Chromey

DR. RICK CHROMEY is the founder and president of MANNA! Educational Services International, a non-profit faith-based organization that creatively inspires and equips leaders, teachers, pastors and parents. Rick is the author of over a dozen books, including Thriving Youth Ministry in Small Churches, Sermons Reimagined and the forthcoming GenTech: An American Story of Technology, Change and Who We Really Are.  He's been a pastor and professor of church ministry for nearly four decades, and enjoys connecting people, collecting experiences and building the Kingdom of God. www.mannasolutions.org

Karen Holford

Karen Holford

Karen Holford is the Family Ministries Director for the Trans European Division.

  Karen’s first qualification was in occupational therapy, and she worked in brain injury rehabilitation. Karen gained an MA in Educational and Developmental Psychology whilst Bernie was studying for his MDiv at Andrews University. When she stayed at home to look after their young children she began to write books and articles about Christian family living. She has written books for Pacific Press and Autumn House about creative prayer, family worship, Bible verse memorization, Sabbath activities, parenting and marriage.

She also studied Family Therapy and graduated with an MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy (family therapy) in 2005. Karen worked as a family therapist for four different non-profit organisations in Scotland, and also as a freelance writer, trainer and publicist, before being invited to work for the TED.

Karen and Bernie have three adult children, Bethany, Nathan and Joel, and three grandchildren, Zara, Leo and Max. 

Karen has been passionate about inspiring and supporting families for more than three decades, and she is excited about nurturing families by providing resources, training and inspiration.

Francesca Mencaroni

Francesca Mencaroni

Francesca Mencaroni is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist. She works at her private practice in Rome and Viterbo, Italy.

She is an Online Trainer at Erickson Study Center in Trento, Italy. She deals with training courses for teachers and parents about the Developmental Psychology and everything that concerns the Emotional Education. She uses to work for European Projects (Eumoschool) about dropout prevention. The main work topics are wellness promotion and general anxiety prevention for children and teenagers, with a particular attention to aggressive behaviour and pathological addiction. She leads the parents of a pressure therapy Support Groups for Pathological Dependencies Service in Civita Castellana (Viterbo).

She worked as an expert tutor at Training School, Psychotherapy Specializing in Cognitive and Behavior Therapy (CBT) in Rome (Scientific Direction: Paolo Meazzini).

Sonja Kalmbach

Sonja Kalmbach

Sonja grew up in Freudenstadt, Germany, and studied at the University of Tübingen. She has lived in Sweden since 2001, where she has worked as a teacher and editor and now as a pastor. She studied Theology at Newbold College in England. In addition to her pastoral duties Sonja is also Women’s Ministries Director and member of the media board for the Swedish Union Conference. She has a burning desire to share the Kingdom of God in a language that is understood today. Sonja loves the outdoors and everything creative. If she had to pick two activities it would be knitting and kayaking.

Linda Mei Lin Koh

Linda Mei Lin Koh

A native of Singapore, Dr. Linda Mei Lin Koh is currently serving as the Director of Children’s Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She has twenty-four years of teaching experience both in Singapore and in the United States. Prior to her appointment to the General Conference, Linda has served for nine years as Director of Children’s, Family, and Women’s Ministries at the Southern Asia-Pacific Division based in the Philippines.

Dr. Koh obtained her Ed. D degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from Andrews University. She enjoys writing and has co-authored two books and has also contributed many articles for the Adventist Review, Adventist World, Elder’s Digest, Vibrant Life, Kids Ministry Ideas, and other church publications. She loves children and is a strong advocate for children, often seeking to bring awareness of the need to put children first in our church so as to nurture and disciple them for Christ.

She is married with two adult sons and six grandchildren.

Gabor Mihalec

Gabor Mihalec

Gabor Mihalec is a pastor and couple therapist in Hungary. Working with couples he won deep insights into the dynamics of marriage in different life stages. He is convinced, that by knowing the unconscious patterns that control the relationship, one can get the power over the trajectory of the relationship. His goal is to grant this power to the couples. He holds a PhD in pastoral psychology. Together with his wife Dora they have two children (Viktor and Bogi).

Sophia Nicholls

Sophia Nicholls

Sophia Nicholls has been involved in the Disability field for over 25 years as a parent of a young man with severe learning disabilities, as a University lecturer and as a Disability Awareness Trainer in faith based and non faith based organisations.

Sophia is a qualified health care profession with a degree in Podiatric Medicine. She also has MSc in Physiology and an MA in Education and Inclusion. Her work as senior lecturer at the University of Reading, Brighton and then as Eternal lecturer has equipped her for her role as an educator in the church and community. She is a co- Founder of the registered user- led charity Adventist Special Needs Association (ASNA).

Sophia is the South England Conference Disability and Diversity Director of the SDA church.

Belinda É. Samari

Belinda É. Samari

Belinda É. Samari is a psychologist who specialises in creative modes of expression. She commonly lectures and holds workshops on psychology, creativity, philosophy and biblical studies. She is fascinated by the human being, both practically in terms of what makes us tick, and theoretically, how our deeper parts affect various aspects of our lives.

18-22 September 2019

You will be touched but also energized

There will be workshops on relevant topics, different kinds of inputs, life stories and presentations by very interesting and powerful speakers from around the world. It will be another great opportunity to enrich your spiritual life, make new friends and learn how to share the good news with your friends and neighbours. 

Register now