Lysa TerKeurst is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Uninvited as well as 20 other books. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa and her staff are passionate about teaching the Word of God in ways that get people excited to live the Bible out loud. With their First 5 app and Encouragement for Today devotions, millions of people are studying God’s Word every day with Lysa and her team. Lysa writes from her sticky farm table and lives with her family in North Carolina. Connect with her at www.LysaTerKeurst.com or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University, converted to Christ in 1999 in what she describes as a train wreck. Her memoir The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert chronicles that difficult journey. Rosaria is married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina, and is a homeschool mother, author, and speaker.
Raised and educated in liberal Catholic settings, Rosaria fell in love with the world of words. In her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBT advocacy, she adopted a lesbian identity. Rosaria earned her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, then served in the English department and women studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was critical theory, specializing in queer theory. Her historical focus was 19th century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBT student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBT aims alongside her lesbian partner.
In 1997, while Rosaria was researching the Religious Right “and their politics of hatred against people like me,” she wrote an article against the Promise Keepers. A response to that article triggered a meeting with Ken Smith, who became a resource on the Religious Right and their Bible, a confidant, and a friend. In 1999, after repeatedly reading the Bible in large chunks for her research, Rosaria converted to Christianity. Her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, details her conversion and the cataclysmic fallout—in which she lost “everything but the dog,” yet gained eternal life in Christ.
Rosaria’s second book, Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ, addresses questions of sin, identity, and repentance that she often encounters during speaking engagements. She discourages usage of the term “gay Christian,” and she disputes “conversion therapy,” in part because heterosexual sin is no more sanctified than homosexual sin. Her heart’s desire is for people to put the hands of the hurting into the hands of the Savior, who equips us to walk and grow in humility.
Rosaria’s third book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in our Post Christian World, blends memoir and theology to warmly invite readers into her home, sharing from her life and experience how “radically ordinary hospitality” can allow strangers to become neighbors, and by God’s power, those neighbors can be part of God’s family.
Rosaria is zealous for hospitality, loves her family, cherishes dogs, and enjoys coffee.
The Freeman Family
Caleb Freeman, 16, was seriously injured in a crash in December 2017. He has been recovering and has made remarkable progress. His father, Jeremy Freeman, pastor of First Baptist Church Newcastle, said, “He has a long way to go, but he has absolutely come so far. God has been working miracles in Caleb’s life and He continues to do miracles in his life every single day.” The Freeman’s story has captivated the hearts of others far and wide and we pray for Caleb’s complete healing. Join us at the 2019 Women’s Retreat to hear how God continues to heal Caleb and draw others to Himself through their story.
To follow Caleb’s continued progress and receive updates from the family, like the Facebook page, “Pray for Caleb.”