The Gospel Coalition

Regional Conferences
The Roots Urban Ministry Conference
November 5, 2011  |  Phoenix, AZ  |  Phoenix Regional Chapter

Training church leaders and urban artists for effective gospel-centered urban ministry.

Conference verse: 

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Reddit Andrews III

Gospel Coalition Council Member. Reddit Andrews III was born in Hartford Connecticut and dramatically converted to Christ in December of 1987, seven months after marrying Nadine Cook of Jamaica. They have two children, Felice Brionne and Shannon Nicole.


As a student, Reddit has enjoyed an active academic career, serving as student chaplain, spiritual life advisor, Dean of Chapel at Trinity International University, Deerfield Campus, and as President of the Association of Believers for Black America in Illinois. Reddit also founded Coram Deo, a student fellowship that ministered to halfway houses, rescue missions and prisons throughout South Florida. Reddit was awarded a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University, South Florida Campus in 1997 and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois in 2000.


Reddit has served as Assistant Pastor at First Baptist Piney Grove, Fort Lauderdale Florida, and Assistant Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Georgia. In November 2001 

Vermon Pierre

Roosevelt Community Church Lead Pastor. Vermon is a graduate of Princeton University and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. After Trinity Vermon served as a pastoral intern at Camelback Bible Church before being called to serve as lead pastor of Roosevelt.


Vermon is also the first generation of his family born in the United States. Both of his parents were born in Haiti. He grew up in a Christian home and was blessed to come to know Christ at an early age. Vermon is married to his wife, Dennae, who are the parents of three wonderful children. Dennae is a frequent contributor to Together for Adoption's blog.

Vocab Malone

Roosevelt Community Church Pastor and Teacher. John-Mark Rieser ("Vocab Malone") is a semi-retired Christian hip hop recording artist who occasionally dabbles in urban poetry at open mic nights. If he’s not updating his apologetics web site, blogging, or hosting the apologetics radio program, then he may just be supplying a guest rap verse during Roosevelt's praise and worship.


Along with pursuing a Master’s Degree at Phoenix Seminary, Vocab spends his free time drinking espresso with his wife Nicole and reading comics with his son Malachi. John-Mark and his wife Nicole have a passion for orphan care and currently have two foster children in their care.

Jeff Durbin

President and Founder of Apologia Christian Ministries. Jeff is considered by many to be a powerful communicator of the Bible and defender of the faith. He has been involved in ministry to the cults for over 12 years; ministry that has spanned the nation from Washington D.C, Los Angeles to Phoenix.


Jason 'Json' Watson was born and raised on the north side of St. Louis, MO. One of the most impacting events in his young life was the loss of his father, which left his mother to raise him alone. Though Json's mother loved him deeply her addiction to drugs affected their relationship and led Json to look for guidance in the streets. Throughout his adolescence and teenage years Json was exposed to the drugs and violence that are so common to many urban areas. He also indulged in and abused a lot of these drugs including, heroin, marijuana, and alcohol. At 15 Jason experienced the loss of his best friend Gaylon, and the pain of this event sent his life into a downward spiral. By the age of 16 Jason had been kicked out of school, served jail time, and become a member of a local gang. Being fully immersed in this lifestyle he couldn't imagine life no other way. At 18 Jason caught a drug case that left him incarcerated for several months and this is when God began to deal with his heart.


Once Jason was released he did not immediately relinquish his old activities, but he understood that God was real and knew there was more in life than what he had been used to. Jason continued to experience everything that comes with a life that isn't completely surrendered to Christ. At 19 he met LaWanda Childress. Through this relationship Jason would hear God's call and then answer it. Neither Jason nor LaWanda knew at the time that this was God's providence because later they would both surrender their lives to Christ and join in Holy Matrimony.


Json has been saved for 5 years now. He now uses his many talents and gifts to exhaust himself in the things of God. Along with being a husband, father, minister, & teacher, Json is also a Gospel Rapper. In being a gospel rapper Json uses the art form of rap set to a beat to relay the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gift of rap has been a lifelong passion of Jason's. And just as he put all of himself in everything he did in the world Json does that now also. And whether that's teaching, preaching, evangelizing or rapping it's all done to the Glory of God.