Lead Presenters, Verlon & Melodee Fosner have been in church leadership for 35 years, and for the past 18 years have served a 93 year-old church in Seattle, Washington. In 2004, when their long effective church began to decline, they felt called plant an Agape’ Feast Church in a nearby urban neighborhood. Within a year, they had hundreds of Seculars as friends, gathering around their tables, and talking about Jesus. What began as an urban Dinner Church spread into a multi-site Dinner Church, and then expanded into a national Dinner Church Network. In 2014, Verlon received a Doctoral degree for his research on “The Dinner Church of the Apostolic Era”, and has written three books on the subject – all of which are available on this website. Then in 2016, Verlon and Melodee joined the Fresh Expressions US team to lead the DinnerChurchCollective initiative. Verlon and Melodee have three married children, five grandchildren, and two grand-dogs.
The DinnerChurchCollective is an initiative of Fresh Expressions US, and has an advisory board that helps direct its growing influence. The visionary members of this lead team are Dr. Chris Backert who is the Lead Director of Fresh Expressions US, Dr. Don Ross who is the Superintendent of the Northwest Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Jorge Acevedo who is the lead pastor of Grace Church in Southwest Florida, Shannon Kiser who is the Director of Training for Fresh Expressions US, and Steve Pike who is the Director of national multiplication initiative called Urban Islands Project. Regaining the power of the dinner table, such as Jesus used it is a timely message for the church, and this team feels a certain call to steward it well to enrich the expansion of the body of Christ, especially in challenged neighborhoods across the country.