The Christian Universalist Association was unofficially founded in January 2007 by Eric Stetson. He was soon joined by Kalen Fristad and together they invited others to join the effort. Most of those invited came to a leadership meeting in Washington D.C., May 16-17, 2007, where they approved Bylaws, Policies, and Statement of Faith and decided to pursue legal incorporation. On November 8, 2007, the Christian Universalist Association became a legal non-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it is recognized as a tax-exempt church association by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.
Here is a list of all people who have ever served on the Board of Directors of the CUA, listed in chronological order of when they officially joined the Board, along with offices they have held in the organization and when they held them.
Eric Stetson (Co-Founder of the CUA; Board member from May 2007 to present; Executive Director from May 2007 to December 2010). Eric is the author of a 2008 book, Christian Universalism: God’s Good News For All People. He has served in various capacities at Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington D.C., including as an adult study group curriculum developer and teacher, liturgist, and guest preacher. His spiritual journey has taken him through the Baha’i Faith, the Assemblies of God, Unity, and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Eric works as an editor for an interfaith book publishing company, and is the founder and president of Grantcoin, a charitable alternative currency that is distributed as a universal basic income.
Rev. Kalen Fristad (Co-Founder of the CUA; Board member from May 2007 through December 2016; Board Chair from May 2007 through December 2012; President from May 2007 through 2016) has been a United Methodist minister in Iowa for over 40 years. He is the author of the 2003 book, Destined For Salvation: God’s Promise to Save Everyone. Rev. Fristad traveled the country full time with his wife, Darlene, from 2003 to 2006, speaking at churches and other groups, proclaiming the hopeful message of salvation for all people. Following then, he served churches half time, while spending half time speaking on the road. He retired from the parish ministry in 2013, but continues to travel the country speaking on universalism. Over the years he has spoken at more than 300 churches of various denominations across our country, as well as Canada and England.
John Morgan (Board member and Vice Chair from May 2007 to June 2008). John is a retired minister who served the UUA for over 25 years as local church pastor, new congregation organizer, and extension minister charged with helping to renew older churches or begin new ones. One of his many books is A Testament of Devotion, the story of the earliest Universalist churches in America, many out of the Pietist heritage. His two new books include Daybreak and Eventide, a collection of prayers and worship services for individuals and small groups; and In the Shadow of Grace, the story of his grandfather, Evangelical preacher G. Campbell Morgan, with excerpts from his letters and sermons.
Brad Edwards (Board member and Treasurer from May 2007 to September 2009). Brad is a meteorologist in Des Moines, Iowa, who has written extensively about Christian Universalism and spiritual issues on his website, SaviorOfTheWorld.net. He comes from a Catholic background and considers himself a non-denominational Christian.
Lillie Mae Henley (Board member and Secretary from May 2007 to December 2009). She served for several years as the pastor of Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. This historic church was built in the early 1900’s as the national cathedral for the Universalist Church of America, a major Christian denomination, and it remains a Christian Universalist congregation today. Lillie also Henley pastored three other churches before UNMC and has a strong record of building growth in the communities she has served, including city-center urban settings. She is currently living and working in Wisconsin.
Dr. G. A. Roach (Board member from May 2007 to July 2009). He is the pastor of an independent evangelical church in Amarillo, Texas, and serves as a full-time hospital chaplain. His background was in the Southern Baptist tradition. He holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Charles Slagle (Board member from May 2007 to December 2010). He is an evangelist, former prison minister, and former leader of a nondenominational church plant in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the author of two devotional books: From the Father’s Heart: A Glimpse of God’s Nature and Ways, and Power to Soar. In his most recent book, Absolute Assurance in Jesus Christ, he shares his testimony of how the miraculous revelation of God’s unconditionally committed love freed him from decades of wrestling with addictive behavior and manic depression. Charles Slagle comes from the Pentecostal tradition.
Dr. Ken R. Vincent (Board member from May 2007 to November 2008). He is a writer whose books include The Golden Thread: God’s Promise of Universal Salvation, The Magi: From Zoroaster to the “Three Wise Men”, and Visions of God from the Near Death Experience. He is the webmaster for the Universalist Herald (Universalist-Herald.net). Dr. Vincent is retired from teaching Psychology including the Psychology of Religious Experience at Houston Community College. He has over 100 publications in the fields of psychology and religion. Dr. Vincent is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the International Association of Near-Death studies, and the Alister Hardy Society (for the study of religious experience). A long-time Universalist, he currently attends Covenant Church, an American Baptist church that bills itself as “An Ecumenical, Liberal Baptist Congregation.”
Rick Spencer (Board member from May 2007 to October 2009). He is an evangelist and former pastor who organized the “Restoration Nation” and “Inclusion” conferences in the mid 2000s, which attracted several hundred Christians who believe in the all-inclusive love of God. He has worked to encourage the founding of new house churches based on this teaching, and to network believers from a variety of theological backgrounds and geographical locations. Rick Spencer has been involved in mission work in Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India, Jamaica, Kenya, and Sri Lanka, and has founded seven different food pantries in the Central Texas area. He is an independent charismatic Christian.
Dr. Cecil E. Bohanon (Board member from May 2007 to June 2008). He is a Professor of Economics at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He has served as President of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship and was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Muncie. He currently finds fellowship in the Episcopal Church.
Rev. Felicia Urbanski (Board member from May 2007 to June 2008) had been a Unitarian Universalist parish minister from 2001-2010, serving churches in Missouri and Oklahoma (U.S.) and in Waterloo and London, Ontario (Canada). She served on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship from 1998-2008. Felicia Urbanski’s prior career was as a symphony violinist and music teacher. She emigrated to Canada in 1988, and was later ordained with the United Church of Canada in 2010. She has served United Churches in Inglewood, Ballinafad, and in Erin, Ontario, and is currently serving the newly amalgamated congregation in Erin. Erin United Church
John Gavazzoni (Board member from June to August 2007). He is a non-denominational Christian theologian and evangelist from Thousand Oaks, California, whose ministry has included service as a Youth for Christ evangelist, a pastor, house church leader, and now minister-at-large, board member and featured writer for Greater Emmanuel International Apostolic Team Ministry. Since 1980 his primary focus has been on replacing corrupted theologies with correct understandings of the Biblical message, centered on two essential tenets of early Christianity: universal reconciliation and the divine sonship of all people. John’s illuminating writings and inspirational speeches have made him a favorite teacher of many Christian Universalists.
Rev. Rhett Ellis (Board member from September 2007 to December 2010; Vice Chair from June 2008 to December 2010). He is the pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mobile, Alabama. Before becoming a Unitarian Universalist he served Southern Baptist churches for 14 years. He is the author of five spiritual-themed books and owns his own publishing company, Sparkling Bay Books. He has also served as a Christian youth minister, taught at a junior college, and worked as a newspaper reporter.
Woodrow Lucas (Board member from June 2008 to July 2009). He is a non-denominational charismatic Christian who has been involved in various types of ministry since the late 1990s. His ecumenical journey of faith has led him through Episcopalian, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Disciples of Christ churches, and he currently serves as a lay leader in the United Church of Christ. He holds Master of Theological Studies and Master of Business Administration degrees from Vanderbilt University. Woodrow Lucas is also a poet and prophetic voice, and the author of two spiritual fiction books based on his own life story. He strives to reach out to people of all spiritual traditions and diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds with the Universalist Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Susan Smith Walker (Board member from July 2008 to December 2015). She is an assistant pastor at Exodus Missionary Outreach Church, a progressive non-denominational multi-ethnic congregation in North Carolina that emphasizes outreach to marginalized people. She is also the assistant executive director of Exodus Homes, a private non-profit faith-based United Way agency that provides 94 beds of supportive housing for homeless recovering addicts, alcoholics, and formerly incarcerated people, and she serves on the board of directors of Catawba Prison Ministries. She was a certified sign language interpreter for over 20 years. Susan Smith’s passion is to share the Good News of God’s unconditional love and hope for all people, in order to transform hurting and broken people’s lives today.
Marquis D. Hunt (Board member from July 2008 to December 2016). He is the founder and Spiritual Director of the LifeXchange, Center for Truth and Inner Peace, an innovative spiritual initiative fostering disciplines of love, relationship and creativity based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a life coach, musician and recording artist, and former church pastor. He has traveled extensively as a conference speaker as well as doing seminars in New Thought Christianity, artistic innovations and prophetic communication. Marquis Hunt considers himself a professional listener and sacred activist, using music, poetry, and prophetically streaming conversations to ignite new and fresh perspectives on living a life of love. He embraces each conversation with unique presence and speaks of God and Humanity with compelling tenderness.
Logan Geen (Board member from November 2008 to October 2011; Secretary from December 2009 to October 2011). He holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Cornell University and works as an assistant physician practice manager, and is also pursuing a law degree. He is a prolific blogger, writing from both a creedal Christian “generous orthodoxy” and mystical perspective. Formerly an independent Catholic, he now attends an Episcopal church. In recent years he has become more orthodox in his theology and, while currently agnostic about universal salvation, calls himself a “hopeful universalist.”
Rich Koster (Board member from July 2009 to December 2016; Treasurer from December 2009 to December 2010; Coordinator from January 2011 to April, 2017). Now retired from full-time church leadership, he has been a pastor or interim minister for ten churches, both Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ. He received B.D. and Th.M. degrees from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He has also worked as a chaplain, teacher, and truck driver. He served as editor-in-chief of The Universalist Herald magazine for ten years. He currently resides in Kentucky.
Steven Rowe (Board member from September 2010 to December 2016). He has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and spent 30 years as a counselor, first for troubled youth and then in adult mental health services. He has a blog about the history of the Universalist Church in the southeast U.S. Currently he is secretary in his local church, chair of the Universalist Herald board, and vice president of the Universalist Convocations for 2010-2011. A native of South Carolina, he currently lives in New Mexico.
Sharon McCauley (Board member and Treasurer from December 2010 to January 2015). She was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and served as a children’s Catholic Education teacher. Later, she joined a Disciples of Christ church in Winterset, Iowa, where she directed the children and youth program, sang in the church choir, and was leader of the Christian Women group. She was involved with a street ministry in Des Moines for many years. Before retiring, she was employed by Principal Financial Group for 30 years.
Rev. Fred Howard (Board member from December 2010 to July 2011). He is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta, Georgia. In addition to his ministerial work, he is also a board certified physician and practices emergency medicine part time. He has special interest in the psychology of human spiritual development, and his interest and research in this field caused him to gravitate toward Universalism. He is on the board of several non-profit organizations, including Project Harvest Hope, which works for sustainable economic development in Transylvania, and Peacemakers, an organization that fosters world peace by teaching children ethical values common to all religions and denominations in a summer camp program.
Mary Keller (Board member from December 2010 to present; Vice Chair from September 2011 to December 2012; Chair from January 2013 to December 2016). Mary lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has led 12-step classes for people with addictive and other issues during the past decade, as well as directing worship services with a focus on recovery. She does hospice volunteer work. She enjoys interfaith spirituality, such as the Dances of Universal Peace.
Doug Torkelson (Board member from December 2010 to December 2011). He is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center. Trained as a software engineer, he owns a software development company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Doug shares his journey from nondenominational, charismatic fundamentalism to universalism. He discusses the struggles he experienced with friends, family, and his church’s doctrine, and how he came to embrace universalist principles and became a student of A Course in Miracles.
David Spatz (Board member from February 2011 to July 2012). He was a Sailor in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years and served in a number of positions at base chapels and as a Chaplain’s representative. He led Bible studies, a recovery group, and was involved in youth and children’s ministries in Japan before returning to the U.S. where he finished his B.A. in History from the University of Maryland and his M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling. He has served as a Sunday School teacher and in other roles at his local church. He desires to help others find fellowship with like-minded believers in our God who is Love. Originally from Salem, Oregon, David currently resides in Pasadena, Maryland.
Mikal N. Rasheed (Board member and Vice Chair from January 2013 to October 2015). He is a Professor of Social Work and Department Chair at a Chicago area university. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical social work from Loyola University Chicago. In addition to many years as a social service practitioner, social service agency and college administrator, he along with his wife maintain a private practice in individual, marital, and family therapy. He has spoken on numerous occasions on the topic “Social Work as a Ministry of Racial Reconciliation.” His spiritual journey, which began as a Presbyterian, included a sojourn through Islam and the Baha’i Faith. Even as he returned to Christianity about 20 years ago, he has found his theological and spiritual home in Christian Universalism. He was ordained as a Christian Universalist minister in September 2011.
Judy Sheriff (Board member from September 2011 to September 2015).
John Licitra (Board member from January 2012 to January 2015).
Sheila Hansen (Board member from March to August 2012).
Stan Seidner (Board member from March 2012 to March 2015). The last of a line of Orthodox rabbis, Stan Seidner’s spiritual journey has taken him through Maronite Catholicism and Christian universalism. With doctoral and postdoctoral degrees in military studies and history, psychology, statistics, and theology, Stan is a retired academic dean, professor, psychologist, statistician and evaluator. In addition to his retirement from the University of Texas, Stan’s tenure was at Columbia University, among other postsecondary institutions. He has also worked for a number of government agencies and served on national, state, university, seminary and local boards. In addition, he has also served in several armed forces both here and abroad. He was ordained a Christian Universalist minister in September, 2012.
Boyd C. Purcell (Board member from September 2012 to January 2016). He is a Board Certified Chaplain, a National Board Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and an Honorably-Retired Presbyterian Minister (PCUSA). Educationally, he has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Comprehensive Social Studies, a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling, a Master of Divinity Degree in Biblical Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in the integration of psychology and theology. Experientially, he has over 40 years of experience in counseling: agency, clinical, pastoral, psychiatric hospital, school, substance abuse, private practice, teaching counseling courses in the Counseling Department of Marshall University Graduate College, and chaplaincy, providing spiritual care at the end of life for hospice patients. Dr. Purcell is also the author of Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb and Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal Mental/Emotional/Physical Health.
Richard Rossi (2018) earned Bachelors and Masters pastoral degrees from Liberty University where he met his wife, Sherrie, and theater and film degrees at L.A. Valley College. Richard planted several multi-cultural churches. He loves to preach, lead worship, and train others. Richard writes and directs films sharing the gospel. His film work is Academy Award-considered and includes Sister Aimee (2008), Baseball’s Last Hero (2013), and Canaan Land (2018). Richard & Sherrie planted and lead Eternal Grace, a church in Hollywood to support those making a journey towards grace. Richard hosts a radio program, “Richard Rossi Live,” with an international audience. Richard and Sherrie have two children, Josh, a musician, and Karis, a graduate theology student at Princeton.
Charlane Stead Leslie joined the board in 2015. An accomplished violinist, with extensive involvement with various orchestras, she is also a retired attorney with many years of service with local and state government. Charlane has been active in churches her whole life, teaching, leading worship, and serving on ministry teams. A graduate of UNLV, she received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law and studied for several years at Kings College.
Greg Rupert was raised in the Methodist Church in Boulder, CO, but had a “receiving Christ to be born-again and be saved” experience with Campus Crusade for Christ at UNC in Greeley. Four years later he married into the Southern Baptist denomination. Being a junior high/high school band, choir, theater director, he spent the next 40 years in some aspect of music/youth ministry in Evangelical Christianity. Eight years ago he met a young man who turned his world upside down assuring him that his dad was NOT burning in an unconscionable, unfathomable, abominable HELL. Thus began his intense and comprehensive study of the Bible, it’s translations, the Greek Septuagint, secular and Christian history, Calvinist/Arminian church fathers, current “fathers,” and “universalist” church fathers, and Christian leaders. Discovering CUA, he immediately determined to be actively involved. Greg resides in Dubach, LA with Elaine, his soul mate and life partner of 45 years. They have one son, Sean Christopher, a grandson, Ryder Elway (YES! Sean is a HUGE Bronco fan!) and a dream daughter-in-law Windy Renee. His mom, Dorothy Rupert, a Colorado State Senator is 92, lives in Boulder and is still traveling the world!