Our Ministry Leaders

It takes a lot of work to keep a ministry the size of Jesus Film Project running smoothly.
Here are the Jesus Film Project ministry leaders.

 

Josh Newell: Executive Director

Josh brings a range of experience to the role of executive director of Jesus Film Project. Shortly after graduating from Indiana University, he and his wife Holly joined staff of Campus Crusade for Christ as part of the first Jesus Film short term recording team. Through that experience, they developed a heart for the Muslim world, and worked with Bible translation partners in the Middle East to translate new versions of the "JESUS" film.

After moving their family to serve in the North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia area, Josh began to lead the Global Church Movements for Campus Crusade for Christ. Simultaneously, Josh helped to launch two leadership teams to more effectively serve the thirty countries in the area, then served as Director of Leadership Development for North Africa and the Middle East.

In 2013 Josh received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and joined the Jesus Film Project in as Director of Marketing of Communications and U.S Strategy. In 2018, Josh became the fourth Executive Director of Jesus Film Project, succeeding Erick Schenkel.

He and Holly have been married for twenty years and have four children.

Scott Pendleton: Chief of Staff

Scott grew up on a farm in Kansas and attended Kansas State University, class of 1985, earning a bachelor's degree in speech and theater education. He then joined the staff of Cru serving in the U.S. Campus ministry followed by service with Jesus Film Project. Scott played a central role establishing partnerships within the Bible translation community that helped lay the groundwork for translating the "JESUS" film into multiple languages. He is a change agent dedicated to increasing the ministry's ongoing operational effectiveness and global strategic impact.

Scott's wife, Cindy, serves as a financial administrator and a coach for new staff members and interns. They have two married sons and a growing number of grandchildren.

Deborah Andree: Chief of Staff

Deborah is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics. She joined staff mid-career after spending twenty years in Corporate America in the employee benefits insurance industry. Deborah has a desire to see people everywhere receive the message of Christ in a way that they understand. She served as a trip leader with Jesus Film Mission Trips for 6 years before stepping into her role as Chief of Staff.

When Deborah is not traveling internationally to share her faith, you will find her with family and friends on Florida's northeast coast enjoying the Spanish colonial architecture of Saint Augustine.

Tom Meiner: Chief Operating Officer

Tom joined Jesus Film Project in 1997. Previously, he worked as a civilian engineer and project manager for the U.S. Navy. With Jesus Film Project, Tom served as the partnership coordinator for fourteen years prior to taking the role of COO in 2010. He graduated from Michigan State University, class of ‘82, with a degree in Materials Engineering.

He and his wife, Julie, have three grown children.

Matt Thiessen: Director of Development

God spoke to Matt at a Las Vegas Grateful Dead concert in 1993. Following that experience, Matt became a follower of Jesus, and his life was radically changed. He met his wife, Liz, at one of the Torchbearers Bible Schools in Austria and married her in 1995. They have two children, Levi and Lexi. Matt holds degrees from Colorado Christian University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He served in the campus ministry of Cru from 2000–2013 before taking on the role of director of development for Jesus Film Project in 2014.

Matt desires to reach every person on earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has poured hours into the new case statement which will be used in all areas of Jesus Film Project to help change lives forever.

Keith Bubalo: Director of Global Expansion

Keith has been a ministry strategy leader and mission mobilizer for almost 40 years with Cru. He led local campus ministries at the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University for thirteen years. He also helped launch new campus ministries in East Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe through sending students on a variety of short and long term mission trips. As the Director of Cru's Campus Global Missions efforts, he has been involved in sending thousands of students to serve Christ around the world for more than twenty years.

As the co-director of Global Expansion, he is now focused on the goal of planting 5 million churches among those who have the least access to the gospel, using Jesus Film resources in partnership with the body of Christ.

Keith is married to Kim, and they have two children and four grandchildren. He graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is the author of "Go Do Say Give: The Freedom and Fruitfulness of Surrender to Jesus."

Kim Bubalo: Director of Global Expansion

Kim's passion, since her involvement with Cru as a student at the University of Missouri, has been to see lives changed by Jesus. She led a variety of local campus ministry initiatives with Cru for seventeen years at the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University. For the next two decades, she helped in Cru's global effort to send thousands of students to more than eighty countries.

In 2017, Kim joined Jesus Film Project to bring focus to global strategies that reach out to those with the least access to the gospel. She is the co-director of the Global Expansion team that, in collaboration with others in the body of Christ, seeks to develop and implement effective evangelism and church planting strategies around the world using Jesus Film resources.

Kim graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Medical Dietetics. She and her husband Keith have two children and four grandchildren.

Nick DeCola: Director of Human Resources

Nick started ​with the​ Campus Ministry ​of Cru at Syracuse University in 1985. Since 2001 he's served at Cru's headquarters in Orlando in a variety of Leadership Development/Human Resource roles. He enthusiastically joined the Jesus Film team in 2017​.  His driving passion is to see people grow in their assimilation of the gospel in their own lives and in their capacity to bring the gospel to others.

He and his wife Debbi have four sons. He enjoys umpiring youth baseball and running.

Gabe Handy: Interim Director of Digital Strategies

Gabe has a passion for seeing how technology can open new doors for people to learn of Jesus's love for them. Before joining Jesus Film Project, Gabe earned his degree in Computer Science and worked for several years in the marketplace working with various technologies. Since then, he has helped modernize the ministry's digital technology offerings and continues to look for opportunities where technology can help accelerate the completion of the Great Commission. Gabe lives in Orlando with his wife Emily and their three children.

Jamie Wagner: Director of Global Mobilization

Jamie got involved with Cru in college at the University of Missouri. Upon graduating she and her husband, Ryan, joined staff as campus staff at Mizzou in 2006. Over the years Jamie has served at the University of Missouri, University of Colorado, and as Director of Conferences & Events for the region. In 2014 Jamie and Ryan moved their family to Florida to work with Jesus Film Project on rebranding and reaching media sophisticated audiences. 

Jamie has two children, Jack (5) and Evelyn (3), and enjoys serving with her husband Ryan, the Marketing and Communications Director for Jesus Film Project.

Partner with us!

There’s plenty of room on our team of passionate ministry experts for your church or organization. We’ve set an ambitious goal of reaching 5 billion unreached people by 2025, but we need your help. Your organization might be the the element that makes this goal a reality!