Leadership

Peniel Bible Conference celebrates more than 80 years of ministry to the body of Christ. When you come you become a part of Peniel’s history, ministry, and future.

Peniel Bible Conference’s entire ministry is directed by the Prayer Council, made up of fourteen members who are historically or presently involved in Peniel’s ministry. Members are termed and committed to the preservation and promotion of Peniel’s ministry.

Prayer Council Members:

 

Jan Goodwin - President

Home State:  Arizona    

Church Affiliation:   St. Mary's Episccopal, Lake Luzerne

Education:  Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Masters in Elementary Education, Masters in Counseling.  

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference:   Peniel is my spiritual home. I want to be a part of it's ministry and continuing influence in young people's spiritual walk. 

Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 - "He knows his plans for me - I need to free myself to trust that He knows what is best."

Interests or Hobbies:  Reading

Bio:  Midwestern upbringing, came to Peniel as a college student, now a retired teacher, Married, 2 wonderful children. 

Important message for Constituents:  Peniel has been a major part of my life, sometimes very challenging, sometimes very painful, always resulting in blessings. I would invite everyone to come and expect to see God "Face to Face". 

 


 

 Hilliard Davis III - Vice President

Home State:    New Jersey

Church Affiliation:   Calvary Gospel Church, Newark, NJ

Education: Calvary Christian School, Pre-K-8th grade; Eastern Christian School, high school; B.F.A., Kean College/Univ., Union, NJ

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: Calvary Gospel Church and my parents have a long relationship with Peniel, and I began attending summer camps here from about age 10 or 11, and was involved as a high school worker and counselor, general staff, a Young Adult Weekend staff member, Memorial Day weekend volunteer, and in varied ways, including Dining hall director and in maintenance.  I lived on site for over a year (including 2014).  My parents were, themselves, moved by the Lord to aid New Jerseyans in getting to Peniel. Churches from different parts of the state often sent their children to Peniel via the family van(s). My Mother also served on the Prayer Council. I have experienced a close and growing relationship with God at Peniel and have a heart for sharing the Gospel.

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23, verse 6:  "Surely goodness and love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Interests or Hobbies:  As a student of fine arts, I don't want to narrow this down to specifics, but just say that "I like to make beautiful things."

Bio:  I am one of four siblings who grew up with Christian parents committed to Calvary Gospel Church in Newark, NJ,  and to Peniel's ministry.  I accepted Jesus as my Savior at age 4 and was involved in children's church, teen ministry, and later as a Sunday School teacher.  I taught for 12 years at Calvary Christian School, in Newark.  I also spent years doing open air evangelism as a part of Calvary Gospel Church(CGC)'s ministry and a part of Calvary's Conquerors' Club Gospel Team.  Whatever I do, I try to see where God is guiding and can use me to share the Good News of God's Love and plan for our lives.

Important message for Constituents: God seems so close to us at Peniel that we have to remind ourselves and others that God is EVERYWHERE ELSE as well as Peniel. 

 


 

Beth SweeneyBeth Sweeney -  Secretary

Home State:   New York  

Church Affiliation:   Adirondack Christian Fellowship, Saratoga Springs, NY

Education:  Diploma, Amsterdam HS

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference:    I want to join God in what He is doing to change the lives of those that come to Peniel by meeting Him Face to Face.  Our family became aware of Peniel when my daughter Katiebeth worked for a summer as a LAMP counselor. We have been here ever since.  Because both my husband and I have a heart for serving, we were drawn to join the volunteers at Peniel.

Favorite Bible Verse:  The 23rd Psalm.  It has brought me closer to God since I was a young child by teaching me of God's protection, provision and love for me.

Interests or Hobbies:   I enjoy sewing, embroidery and I am interested now in learning how to knit and crochet.  I am part of a worship dance ministry called The Glorious Praise Dancers here in Lake Luzerne.  Dancing and praising God brings me closer to Him.  My most important hobby is being a Wife and Mother and I am very blessed by my husband and my children as God daily teaches me how to serve them.

Bio:  After graduating from Amsterdam High School in NY State just west of Albany. I attended Siena college in Latham NY for a year and a half before I left to get married to my husband Tom. I have served several Churches as a member of the Board of Christian Education, I have directed several children's Musical Melodramas, VBS musical melodramas, I have taught Sunday School, organized Women's retreats and organized a nursery program. I currently volunteer at my church in the nursery. I am working as a study hall and lunch monitor at the King's School in Hadley, Luzerne where my boys attend school. I have been married to Tom Sweeney for 36 years come this June of 2017 and God has blessed us with three lovely children.  Our oldest is Katiebeth who is now 22, James who is almost 15 and John who will be 14 in the fall. We moved to Peniel from Mechanicville, NY in the winter of 2014 and it has blessed our family in many ways.  When we moved to Lake Luzerne it cut out all the travel time and gave us an opportunity to be more support to the team of volunteers who perform the day to day operations of the Peniel ministry.

Important message for Constituents:  As I look back over my life, I do not have a miraculous account of how I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I was baptized in my teen years but my first memories of knowing there was a God came to me when I was a young girl in Kindergarten and 1st grade in the later 60's when the Bible and the name of Jesus were still allowed in schools.    In school we sang of this Jesus that loved the little Children no matter what color they're skin was.  When we moved to Amsterdam, I was drawn to attend a church and learn more about Jesus and His love for me.  That is when I was introduced to the 23rd Psalm.  In those years, my family was not affiliated with a Church.  As I think about it, I realize that maybe my journey to faith in Christ is more of a miracle then I used to think because a few more years and I may have not known that there was a God who loved me when they took God out of schools.  My faith walk has been a continual walk in learning more and more of who God is and that Jesus died for my sins.


 

Kristen Coltart - Treasurer

Home State: New York

Church Affiliation: Church of the Nations, Non-denominational

Education: M.A. Degree Special Education. Roberts Wesleyan College & Niagara University

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: I want to spread the workd of God and his good news of salvation to children. I also love having my children involved in this Ministry. 

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 37:4-5 - "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:"

Interests or Hobbies: Camping, travel, game night with friends, teaching children, missions.

Bio:My husband, Philip, and I have three children. We live in the Lake Luzerne area. I grew up near Peniel. My mother workedin hte kitchens of Peniel in the 90's. When the children's camp at Peniel were being revivied I decided to get involved with my children once again. I earned my teaching degree at Roberts Wesleyan College and I currently teach at Kings, a private Christian School. Philip and I also work with a mission in Kenya, Africa. 

Important message for Constituents: My family is very involved with Hope for Kenya. This is a non-profit organization started by a small group in our home church. We work to bring the gospel of God's salvation & love for the people there through providing clean water and education for orphaned and at risk children. Our daughter has gone with us and our hope is to get our tow younger sons there soon! My passion is to see children here and abound come to know our savior! 


 

TLK Tobias Kipp - Council Member & Director  

Home State: New York  

Church Affiliation: Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church, Lake Luzerne 

Education: Diploma, Chazy H.S. 

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: Because I feel like God has call me to be in this ministry due to my childhood experiences growing up and living at a christian camp. 

Favorite Bible Verse: John 14:3 - “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Interests or Hobbies: Hunting, Fishing, Building things, Music  & Family time.

Bio: Born in Cambridge N.Y., Raised in West Chazy N.Y. My parents were the caretakers of the Champlain District Wesleyan camp ground. After graduating from Chazy rural school I worked as a manager at McDonald and then went into construction. After learning the trade I then moved to a multiple management positions in the plastics and automotive fabrication industries. After gaining more management training I re-entered the construction industry and began my own business, which eventually lead me to being the caretakers at Peniel Bible Conference.

Important message for Constituents: What is really important to me in life is that everyday I live in Gods will and try to be honest in my heart in front of the Lord.


 

Tim Timothy Woodruff - Council Member

Home State:    

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Important message for Constituents:


 

Jeanette2Jeanette Powell - Council Member

 

Home State: New York

 

Church Affiliation: Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church, Lake Luzerene,

 

Education: BS Ed Major was elementary education with concentration in music.

 

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: When I retired from teaching 2010, I asked God to show me how I might serve Him. Peniel was one of the doors that opened for me. It started when a friend asked if I would help in the kitchen and I've been actively involved since that time.

Favorite Bible Verse: Roman 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Interests or Hobbies:  I enjoy reading and music (singing, playing clarinet, guitar, and piano). During the nice weather I enjoy camping and sitting on the beach in Maine. I've just started taking horseback riding lessons at a local stable.

 

Bio: I was raised in the lower Hudson River Valley of New York in the town of Walden. I attended college I the western part of New York in Fredonia and student taught in Hamburg during one of the worst years of lake effect snow on record. After college I married my husband, Keith, and we taught in the small town of Andes in the Catskill Mountains for about 3 years. At that time, our son, Andrew was born. We moved to Corinth where I finished my teaching career of 33 years. Now that I'm retired I spend my time volunteering at our church(especially in the music ministry), work at the local food pantry in Lake Luzerne, and continue to work in the kitchen at Peniel for events.

 

Important message for Constituents:

 



 




 

AlissaAlissa Weaver - Council Member 

Home State:    

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Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference:   

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Diane PCDiane Babcock - Council Member

Home State: Florida

Church Affiliation: Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Education: Nurse

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: My late husband Paul Babcock, and I desired to serve Peniel over the years of our marriage to continue the teaching that had enriched and encouraged our life in Christ. I serve to advance God's Kingdom and serve Him as my Lord.

Favorite Bible Verse: Ephesians 2: 10 = “For we are His (God's) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Interests or Hobbies:   Music, Walking 5Ks, Travel, Visiting Family, Connecting People

Bio:  I have been active in the church since I was a child. It has been my joy to sing in children's, youth, and adult choir. Youth programs, Church sponsored camps, Christian Study programs were my delight. I was invited to be a guest at Peniel in 1978, I returned the next summer to work as the Camp Nurse. I met my husband Paul Babcock, at Peniel that summer and the rest is history!

Important message for Constituents: I have been on Prayer Council for one year. I think my role is helping with fund-raising to continue Peniel's existence. I would like to ask for prayer for guidance in my role as a prayer council member.


PhilPhil Allen - Council Member

 

Home State: New York

Church Affiliation: Community Church of Conklingville

Education: Pastor of Community Church of Conklingville

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: To help out the Kingdom of God in anyway possible and to bolster local ministry.  

Favorite Bible Verse: James 1:22 - "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Interests or Hobbies: World travel, Agriculture, Business, Ministry

Bio:My wife Laura and I are lifelong residents of the area. I am the owner and operator of a small construction business. 

Important message for Constituents: Life is short, Live without regrets. There is nothing so satisfying as serving God.  


 

Faith GrossoFaith Grosso - Council Member 

Home State: Pennsylvania

Church Affiliation: Presbyterian

Education: B.A., The College of Wooster, OH;  M. M., the Cleveland Institute of Music (in Vocal Performance); 3 yrs. doctoral studies in Music, UNC-Greensboro; Lay Pastor certification, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: In 1987, While working in NC on a doctorate in music, I was invited by my future husband to go with him to a Ministers" Conference at Peniel as a great way to get to know each other!  It took more years of long-distance letters before I knew that I loved Peter, but I immediately fell in love with PENIEL:  the teachings, the people, the prayer times and singing.  I believed I had met God face to face & hoped that I could return again, whether or NOT I married a pastor!  I've been back to over 20 conferences and even delivered 4 papers with my husband, Pastor Peter..  I've also volunteered to sing, compose, worship lead, and play piano, and would love to keep making these talents available for God's use in Peniel's ministry.  Peniel is special!

Favorite Bible Verse: My pastor grandfather named my aunt "Faith," and my Mom passed the name on to me, so I especially like Hebrews 11:1  "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV) My favorite hymn is “The Church's One Foundation”.

Interests or Hobbies: music (singing, playing piano & organ, composing), drama, research and writing, public speaking, ping-pong, miniature golf, watching baseball with my husband.

Bio: As a shy little girl in the Cleveland suburbs, singing and doing drama were my way of coming out of my shell.  I was active in church and school choirs and plays, studied piano and found my first voice teacher at high school music camp. From there, I became a voice major and sang in operas while working on bachelor and master's degrees in Voice.  Altogether I studied voice 15 years, taught voice lessons over 30 years (including the Voice majors at Limestone College, SC), was a professional church soloist/chorister at least 10 years, and church choir director 7 years, and directed cantatas and five children's musicals, one of which I wrote and composed (along with some choir anthems).  My biggest vocal honor was being a regional finalist in Met  Opera Auditions, and the success of former students Jennifer Check, leading lady of the Met (NYC) ,and pop singer Marsaisa Byrd in Los Angeles.

While single, I worked on a radio show project on the history of hymns and gave several talks at churches on hymnody.  As a pastor's wife, I grew in my commitment to doing ministry: becoming a deacon, president of the Women''s Association, being the drama lady in VBS, helping lead Youth Group, retreats, going on mission trips, and then becoming an elder and training as a Lay pastor.  At one of our churches, I substituted as church secretary, as organist, and as guest pastor, while already being the choir director.  God has worked wonders in a  young girl who used to be too shy to answer the telephone!

Important message for Constituents:  Never underestimate what the power of God can do in our lives and in this ministry!

 

PPeter Grossoeter Grosso - Council Member 

Home State: Pennsylvania

Church Affiliation: Presbyterian (retired Pastor)

Education: B.A., Dickinson College; M. Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Why I volunteer at Peniel Bible Conference: Over the years, God has met me at Peniel in life-changing ways--guiding and empowering me to serve in Christian ministry.  Since my teens (in the 60's), I have come to Peniel most summers: in youth camp, as a high-school worker, as a college camper, at 20+ Ministers' Conferences and several Growth-in-Truth Conferences.  I served on Peniel's Finance Committee after the 2008/09 Great Recession, and, as a pastor, delivered papers at Ministers' Conferences and Growth in Truth.  I feel called to give back to this ministry that has given so much to me.

Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NIV)

Interests or Hobbies: history, hiking, research, and global finance and geopolitics

Bio: Early time with God in the Church and at Peniel led me to start a "Bible club" in high school, to major in Greek and history in college, and then to go to the seminary where Dr. Richard Lovelace (who introduced me to Peniel) was on the faculty.  Before serving in full-time ministry, I worked with the Fellowship Foundation and National Prayer Breakfast ministry in DC (helping establish the C.S. Lewis Institute). After "tent-making" ministry in New Jersey, I became an Associate pastor in Pittsburgh (1 block from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), and then solo-pastored four other PA churches (city, rural, small town and suburban) in 3 counties.  I enjoyed leading Youth Group ministry, helping VBS, Young-Adult and Couples ministries, and small groups, with an emphasis on discipleship.  I've also had fun as a tenor and actor/narrator for my wife Faith's choirs and dramas.  My last church assignment included live weekly televised ministry and planning annual 3-hour live-telecast Community Good Friday services in east Pittsburgh.  I am now enjoying retirement while managing rental property.

Important message for Constituents: We live in dangerous and divisive times; confusion and anxiety abound.   Peniel is where I first understood the need for and power of prevailing prayer warriors, who can stand strong in committed faith against dark spiritual powers: worldliness, idolatry, lies and deceit, and our own spiritual and moral weaknesses.  I am excited about spreading the light of God's love, forgiveness, and power in these challenging days! 


 

The constituency of PBC have a vital place in the considerations and operations of its ministry. The Prayer Council is open and sensitive to all responsible input from the body.