Speaker Line Up

Main Session Speakers 

Pam Kanaly, while in the midst of a staggering blow of divorce, clearly sensed the Lord revealing to her a future single mothers ministry. Today, as co-founder of Arise Ministries, Pam is one of America’s leading advocates for single moms. She knows the challenges of single motherhood and invites moms to rise up and place Christ as the head of their household. Pam was named one of three National Mothers of Achievement in Washington, DC, and chosen as one of the Top 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma in 2016. Pam and Rich have been married for 28 years, and together they have nine grandchildren. Ask anyone—Pam loves life and it loves her right back.


Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. She is a former single mother using her personal testimony of God’s provision, healing, and restoration to encourage others who have encountered bumpy roads in life. Kim writes and speaks for Arise Ministries, where she is on staff as Director of Operations. She and her husband have four sons. You can follow Kim at www.themomexperiment.com.   

  


Shelley Pulliam loves friends, travel, and genealogy. A former teacher of hormone-filled eighth graders, she’s passionate about impacting the lives of our next generation. Her innovative teaching methods resulted in being named Teacher of the Year and Outstanding National Holocaust Educator. Shelley is a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons, where her record stands at six in one day. Shelley is single, never married. She is a co-founder of Arise Ministries and serves as Executive Director.


John Wohlgemuth is the Lead Pastor of Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Edmond. As a result of his parents’ divorce when he was a freshman in high school, he experienced firsthand being raised by a godly single mom. God used his mom’s diligent prayers and example to bring about redemption in John’s life while he was in college, and the Lord has done a mighty work in and through him since then. John played football at Oklahoma State University, where he met his wife, Emily. They’ve been married for 15 years and have three sons.


Stacey Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counselor at her private practice, The Purple Couch. She is the founder of Single_Space, a community for single women and is host of “The Girly Bliss Show,” a podcast for women. She seeks to encourage, equip, and empower women with truth bombs and practical tools. She will challenge you to own your true identity, embrace mindful living, and celebrate who you are right where you are. She aspires to awaken and encourage freedom in girls and women to bravely be themselves and pursue wholeness in mental, emotional, and relational peace. 


 Worship Leader

Lisa Leininger and her husband, Kris, are worship leaders based in Edmond who serve wherever God calls them. Growing up a small-town pastor’s kid, Lisa has been leading worship since she was a young girl. Her contagious joy in worship is born out of her love for the Father, with one goal—making much of His name. Lisa is a mom to four young children who help her see Jesus in the wild and wonderful.

 

 


Breakout Sessions 

Parenting with Your Children’s Father

A marriage can end because of divorce or separation, but the relationship doesn’t end when children are involved. It just changes. What exactly is co-parenting? How do you make co-parenting work for you, your ex, and your child? Co-parenting amicably with an ex can be a challenge, but this workshop will offer tips for becoming the best co-parent you can be. If you’re committed to co-parenting successfully and raising happy children, join Amy in this workshop.  

Amy Urbach grew up in a blended family and became a stepparent in her own blended family in 2006. While raising two children and three stepchildren, she began to realize the need for basic tools and resources to help blended families with the issues they face. That’s when Amy’s passion led her to create “Blended & Bonded” in 2011. Her mission is to connect blended families to professional resources that can help them. She resides in Oklahoma. Connect with her at amy@amyurbach.com and www.blendedandbonded.com.


Experiencing Freedom in the Midst of Financial Uncertainty

Managing finances can feel daunting and difficult to navigate, just like motherhood. Aubrey’s desire is to educate and empower women to push back the fear and take back their freedom in the midst of financial uncertainty. Many people think they lack motivation when it comes to finances, but what they really lack is direction. Come learn how practical steps toward understanding your family’s spending habits, creating a budget, and developing a financial plan that can give you the financial freedom you crave.

Aubrey Rich is an accountant by trade and an overcomer by experience. She is mom to 2-year-old Owen and 15-year-old Ella. In the gap between children came varying experiences as a working mom, including being a single working mom while going to school. Aubrey completed her studies in accounting and began working for private tax firms and later, a nonprofit. After having Owen and spending time with him at home, Aubrey realized she had the capacity to help individuals and small businesses with financial efficiency and created 405 Financial. Aubrey desires to free moms from the financial burdens that weigh them down. Aubrey and her husband live in Edmond with their two children and attend Henderson Hills Baptist Church. You can connect with Aubrey at 405Financial@gmail.com.


 The Facts of Loneliness

We all wear labels and titles, such as daughter, sister, or friend. Life and society hands out these labels to signify and define where we are and who we are. What happens when we end up with a title we never wanted? Is the label “lonely” synonymous with single-motherhood? We’ve all heard the narrative of the “lonely single mom” and the vulnerability associated with the stress of leading a household alone. Discover powerful ways to find the hope that leads to a love like no other and beats the trap of loneliness every time.

 The Five Love Languages

There’s more to us single moms than just scheduling and juggling chores. Our families are complex systems set to provide for each person’s wants and needs. Perhaps you’ve heard of Gary Chapman’s five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Each one is important and expresses love in its own way. Deyonka applies the wisdom of love languages to singles and parents to find the perfect fit for you as a single mom.

Deyonka Brown-Geeter, a graduate of Southern Nazarene University, serves as the Sr. Associate Pastor at Emerge Church, Albuquerque, NM. Deyonka was raised in a pastor’s home by two dutiful parents, where discipleship and family togetherness were staples of her childhood. As a single mother of two, Deyonka clings to her faith in God as her co-parent while raising her boys—one with autism—in a changing world. She teaches and mentors women and girls through “The Be Made Whole Movement,” sharing her journey to wholeness in pursuit of a life dedicated to serving God.


Getting Healthy—The Struggle Is Real

One word describes a single mom—exhausted! So how do we pursue health when we are being so many things to everyone around us? As women and moms we try to be everything to everyone, often putting our health and wellness on the back burner. This session will show you simple and small changes to make that can have significant impacts on your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Need quick meal ideas or tips on changing your mindset? Need to learn how to reflect or to set sustainable health goals? Then this session is for you.

Stephanie Ryker, mom of three—ages 7, 10, and 17—uses her personal experience of getting spiritually, physically, and mentally healthy to inspire others to do the same. She’s a church office manager by day, a mathematics coach in the evening, and a wellness coach on the weekends. Stephanie is also a full-time student at Northeastern State University pursuing an education degree. She has survived struggles and challenges along her journey to health, losing over 80 pounds. She is most proud not of the pounds she lost but the joy she gained. Her greatest desire is to lead other women to take back their health, so they can find the same joy and love of life.


How to Train Your Dragon: A Guide for Surviving the Teenage Years

You survived the terrible twos and the squirrelly elementary years, and now you’re living with a strange human that’s stuck in that scary place between childhood and adulthood. This dark and lonely cave called “the teenage years” is home to an unpredictable dragon we know as “the teenager.” This season might just be the most challenging period of parenting, but if you have the right tools, the challenge becomes a lot less terrifying. In this session, you’ll learn how to use tools to train this wild, unpredictable, and downright scary dragon one day at a time!

Melissa Hiett, High School Pastor at Crossings Community Church, Oklahoma City, lives to equip students to become independently dependent on Christ. She also loves to walk alongside and equip parents to find Jesus in the midst of parenting. As a former single mom, she understands the perspective of raising children alone and is thankful for how God shaped her during that season. Melissa and her husband live in Edmond with their five children.

 


Legal Documents for Single Moms

In this session Jonathan will thoroughly explain and help you complete three legal documents:  1) a power of attorney for somebody to act for you if you can’t act for yourself, including the power to make medical decisions, 2) a will with a trust in it for a trustee to take care of your children if you should die and who the children will live with, which isn’t necessarily the same as the trustee, 3) a document to discontinue life support if you will never regain consciousness or fully recover from an accident or illness. Notary services will be available. Before attending the session, decide who will care for your kids if you can’t, who will handle their inheritance until they can, and who will make healthcare decisions for you if you’re unable to.

 Jonathan D. Reiff is an attorney with Rubenstein & Pitts, PLLC, in Edmond and has practiced trust and estate law in Oklahoma City since 1981. He has prepared these documents for hundreds of single moms at previous Arise conferences. He has law degree from Wake Forest, a tax degree from Southern Methodist University, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. 

 

 


Living below the Waterline

Depression and anxiety are realities even among Christians. Many of us fight these battles in silence because we feel like there’s no place to turn. We feel like all we’re doing is putting one foot in front of the other and barely hanging on. Deborah calls this living “below the waterline.” But that’s not the end of the story. God has gifted His followers with biblical tools to weaken depression’s grip. Come discover how to rise up and live a life of fresh air and victory. Are you ready to breathe? Then join Deborah for this session.     

Deborah Coplin is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. Having come to Oklahoma from Jamaica in 1986, she had no idea where God’s call would take her in this foreign country. After experiencing a painful divorce, Deborah became passionate about emotional issues women face as they try to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. All who know Deborah would say she’s passionate about Jesus. On Sundays you’ll find her leading worship at Crossing Community Church, Oklahoma City. Deborah is the mother of two grown children.


More Than a Sunday

You’ve made it to Sunday! But what happens when you face Monday? Tuesday? Or any other day of the week? In the midst of our busy lives and chaotic moments, God wants us to hear from Him, to sit with Him, and to allow His Word to direct our hearts and our lives. Studying God’s Word can be so much more than a weekend sermon, but where do we start? In this session, you’ll learn practical ways to study the Bible that will be simple for anyone, regardless of your season of life.

Beth McClain, Director of Women’s Ministry and Community Groups at Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Edmond, desires to encourage women in their daily walk with God and each other. She has organized, written, and taught different Bible studies, breakout sessions at conferences, and retreats both nationally and internationally. She has a passion to teach women the importance of God and His Word and for women to know their significance in the church and in this world.   


Online Dangers: Protecting Our Children in the Digital World

Parents of the 21st century face vastly different challenges than those parents experienced in the 1980’s and 90’s. Our children now grow up with technology infused into their daily lives. In this session, we will discuss social media, dangerous apps, digital citizenship, and the problems plaguing children online.

Detective Sgt. Jason Kushmaul has been in law enforcement since 1998 and has been with the Edmond Police Department since 2001. He is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division as a Digital Forensics Investigator. He investigates many different types of crimes, including homicides, counterfeiting, sexual assaults, and insurance fraud. Additionally, he is a Task Force Officer with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, where he spends most of his time pursuing perpetrators exploiting children online.


Pamper Yourself (Disclaimer: No diapers needed for this class!)

Being a mom can be overwhelming at times, especially when you’re single. How in the world are you supposed to take care of yourself between being a cheerleader, coach, referee, nurse, counselor, cook, housekeeper, storyteller, bookkeeper, manager, dietitian, and disciplinarian…and you haven’t even left the house yet?! Join Chiquita in this fun-filled session and learn why it’s important to make time for yourself and how to refuel and not burn out. Every mom needs pampering—especially single moms! 

Recognizing Relationship Flags

How many times have you been down that road? You know the one. After you’ve invested too much time in a relationship it ended up going nowhere. Or how many times have you found yourself dealing with the same horse but a different color? This session offers practical tips to help you recognize red flags early in the dating process and to eliminate further frustration and disappointments once you see them.

Dr. Chiquita Miller is a single mother of three children, all married, and a proud grammy to three grandchildren. In addition to being the founder of God’s Girl Ministries, she is also the Continuum of Care Coordinator for First Coast Women’s Services, a pregnancy resource center in Jacksonville, FL. After 22 years of marriage, six separations, and two divorces (to the same man), 11 years ago Chiquita finally had the courage to leave a toxic relationship for good. Since then she has become a Certified Coaching Specialist and received an honorary doctorate for her service to others. For more information visit GodsGirlMinistries.org.


The Power of Your Words

The words we mothers speak to our children shape their view of themselves and their place in this world. Yet, we often fail and forget this powerful truth. How can you continually speak words of love and encouragement? Is it even possible? Discover simple, practical ways to elevate and empower your communication with words of life and identity, no matter your child’s age.  

 Robin Meadows is the wife of one and the mom of many. Having raised seven children of her own, she knows just how overwhelming motherhood can be. The best part? All nine of them lived to tell about it and still all like each other! Her prayer is that by sharing her own experiences, other mothers will be blessed and encouraged to cling to Jesus and serve their families with joy.

 


Sparking Joy! Mom Hacks to Get Organized

The idea of getting your home organized and knowing how to get started can feel daunting and overwhelming. The playroom with Legos just waiting for you to step on them. The closet you’ve shoved things in and pray nobody opens. The pantry that probably has some food that expired in 1996. There is NO shame here, Mama! This session will offer life hacks and budget-friendly tips to help your household run a little smoother and keep it that way. Come sample the joy of being organized—for both your children’s sake and yours—and restore order and peace in your home through organization.

Melody Hoppers, a Physical Therapy Assistant and Professional Organizer, has a passion for helping people heal both physically and emotionally, as well as providing tips for making life easier as a mother through organization. As a mom of two young daughters, she knows the importance of making those chaotic school mornings run as smoothly as possible and the benefit of teaching children the skills necessary to develop autonomy. Melody has made it her God-given mission to help make people’s lives more efficient and more joyful through the gift of organization and would love to share her insider tips with you!


Yam or Sweet Potato? How Culture Shapes Your Parenting Perspective

It doesn't take long to figure out there is no one way to raise a child. What works for one parent may not work for another. We could probably agree there are some things all parents should be doing and some things no parent should ever do. Through the lens of culture, this session will explore what parenting skills work for certain people, why and how they work, and what you can learn about those skills to make them work for you.

Derrick Sier, born North Tulsa, was raised by parents who simply wanted to love people. Whether those people were family or random neighborhood kids who needed clean clothes and a hot meal, giving love was their primary focus. In fact, Derrick’s first memory as a child was of himself stumbling through a house packed full of people who were laughing, eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company. Every significant memory that follows has the same feel—loving on people. Today, loving people has remained at the core of everything Derrick does. From his bachelor’s degree in recreation management to his master’s degree in theology to his company, OMOS Team Building, which means One Mind One Spirit, Derrick sincerely believes and has spent his life proving “growing together is better.”