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Bill Taylor, Chief Meteorologist

Bill Taylor grew up in northern New Jersey and first moved south when he was 19. For most of his life, he thought "down south" was Virginia. Then, he found out about southwest Louisiana and the Cajun life. 
Between crawfish boils and Mardi Gras, he squeezed in a degree in journalism from McNeese State University in Lake Charles. Bill began his television career there, too, at NBC affiliate KPLC. Upon landing the weekend weather chair, he enrolled in the meteorology program at Mississippi State University. Then, it was on to Dixie and the state of Alabama. Following a four-year study of the skies over Montgomery, where he worked for WSFA-TV, he applied for a weekend weather position at KENS 5. 
"I've been privileged to serve the viewers of South Texas since 1996. The most important thing I do is keep people ahead of severe, life-threatening weather situations. But that's only at 5400 Fredericksburg. THE MOST important thing I do is serve three little girls as a dad," says Bill. "Carissa is 10, Kendall is 7 and Peyton is 3. I enjoy EVERY SECOND I'm blessed to spend with them. And, when we can, my beautiful wife Jamie and I really enjoy a round of golf and a good wine." 

Bishop-Designate Alfred D. Blue, Jr.

Founder and Senior Pastor of Family Life Christian Church, and the President of Hope Strategies, Inc. He and his wife, Veron, have been married for 23 years, and are the parents of two great sons, A.D. & Austin.  

Over the past 20 years, the inter-denominational ministry of Family Life Christian Church has literally touched thousands of lives through radio, television, missions, and outreach locally in San Antonio, TX, and internationally in the Bahamas, South Africa, and Nigeria, West Africa. His ministry is well known for helping the poor & needy, mentoring programs for youth, educational assistance, and substance abuse prevention.

Through the ministry of his local church, and the Hope Strategies Community Development Corporation, Bishop Blue has fostered successful partnerships with the Baptist Health Foundation, San Antonio Fighting Back, Bexar County Adult Probation, BEAT AIDS, Coalition, and many other social service agencies.

“God, Family, and Community” - are the passions that drive the Bishop’s many endeavors to serve. He and his wife Veron, are the catalyst for the “Manhunt Community Forum”, CHAMPSS (life skills development for troubled youth), Drug Education For Youth (D.E.F.Y.), Faith In Action Coalition, Church HIV/AIDS Prevention, Pillow-Talk (Mentoring Program For Girls), and Wheatley Courts “Family Fun Night, to name a few.

Bishop Blue sits on the Board of Directors of Alternative Life Moving Strategies, Inc., of San Marcos, Texas, and locally for the BEAT AIDS Coalition Trust. He is also a Presbyter in Covenant Fellowship International, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Marriage, family, and service to the community is the legacy he strives every day to leave for his children, his church, and his community.

Michael Franzese 

A Man With a Past Has Hope for the Future

Just a few years ago, Michael Franzese was "one of the biggest money earners the mob had seen since Al Capone, and the youngest individual on Fortune magazine's survey of the 'The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses,'" (Vanity Fair magazine), ranking #18, just 5 behind John Gotti. His autobiography, Blood Covenant, tells his story from the early days in the mob and rise to power through his damascus road experience that changed his life forever and led him to do the unthinkable, the unexpected, and by some, the unbelievable - Quit the Mob and follow Jesus.

The Born Again Don (Vanity Fair Magazine)

Today, Michael is a follower of Jesus Christ, dubbed "The Born Again Don" in a January 1991 feature article in Vanity Fair Magazine. He found his own Damascus Road that began with a beautiful woman, Cammy. The story of his conversion is a testament of God's willingness to reach into the heart of any man regardless of their past or the present condition of their lives. 

Law enforcement officials and mobsters say that the only way to leave the mob is in a coffin. However, God's Word has a different insight - It is said in Proverbs 16:7 that, "when a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, even his enemies are at peace with him." Michael is living testament to the latter. Over ten years ago, Camille led Michael to accept the Lord and it was at that time that he renounced his life in the mob. His conversion experience to a Christian faith completed the transition for Michael from a kingdom of darkness into a kingdom of light. One covenant bound him to the mob, the other, the covenant in Christ, set him free. Cammy's role in the transformation of Michael cannot be overstated, leading media to call her "the woman who changed the face of organized crime." Her role is a story of inspiration for women everywhere. That God used the power of love to penetrate the heart of a mafia captain, and be instrumental in Michael leaving the mafia and coming to Christ is nothing short of inspiring. 

Man on a Mission With a Message

Franzese is now a man on a mission. Determined to use the compelling experiences of his former life for the benefit of at-risk youth, professional and student athletes, corporate executives and for anyone seeking the inspiration to beat the odds and make positive changes in their lives, he has become a highly regarded motivator and a source of invaluable information. Franzese candidly describes how he survived dozens of grand jury appearances, 3 major racketeering indictments, 5 criminal trials, 7 years in prison and a Mafia death sentence. He tells how he engaged bankers, corporate executives, union officials and professional and student athletes in a wide variety of financial scams. His open and honest presentations are fresh and unique. Audiences are captivated by stories of his personal experiences in organized crime and genuinely affected by his powerful anti-crime messages and eye opening revelations, particularly Church and faith-based events who hear his testimony of faith. Whether on tour with SonicFlood, speaking at a Church, or through his ministry partnership with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Michael tells how there are two truths – You can’t escape the long arm of the law – and you sure can’t escape the longer arm of the Lord.

Telling the World

Michael's compelling story of transformation has been featured through both Christian and general high profile media. Most recently, he was featured on the 700 Club * 100 Huntley Street * Billy Graham's Decision Today Radio * Family Network "Open House" * Daystar Network * LeSea Broadcasting "Harvest" * TBN Praise the Lord & Damascus Road * Life Today with James Roberson. He has also been featured in Life Magazine * Fortune Magazine * Vanity Fair * Sports Illustrated * GQ * L.A * Times * 48 Hours * The Today Show * Nightline * ABC Primetime * NBC Nightly News * ESPN * HBO Real Sports * Jim Rome Show * PBS "All Things Considered" * the prestigious "The Eleventh Hour" for PBS, with guests Dennis Weaver and Jeb Magruder and was featured in the March 2003 issue of Cigar Aficionado. 

"As a sworn member of La Cosa Nostra, I knowingly took an oath, a blood covenant, that obligated me to live my life in conflict with both the laws of God and of man. Although the Lord Jesus was known to me, at the time, I chose to give authority over my life to the boss of the Colombo crime family. Today, there is no doubt in my mind that I was doomed to spend an eternity in hell had I continued to reject the authority and live outside of the grace of my true boss, Jesus Christ. Mark 14:24 tells me that the blood of the covenant of Jesus set me free from the covenant with the mob."

Rander E. Draper

The Lord gives many gifts to His people and the greatest of these is love. Pastor Rander E. Draper possesses and dispenses love by the heaping handfuls. You need only to hear him sing about his first love to know how much he loves Jesus. And can he sing! But his love goes deeper than a song. It rolls up its sleeves and goes to work to make sure that people not only have their spiritual needs met, but their physical, material, family, and health needs met as well. Just as his parents gave him a good foundation, he has likewise given his church family, Maranatha Bible Church in Converse, Texas, a good foundation through sound doctrine. He states, “Sound doctrine is everything because it restrains sin and the work of Satan. It breaks the spirit of confusion; it stabilizes, strengthens, matures and liberates the saints from bondage.”

Steve Coker

Steve is in his seventh year of service as a Pastor in the San Antonio area. He leads monthly Renewal and Healing Services, is a trained Stephen Ministry Leader and the Chaplain of a local chapter of The Order of St. Luke the Physician. Passionate about pastoral care and preaching, Steve’s conversational style relates the Word of God to the human condition in a way all can understand. Steve is the founder of Light Shine Ministries, a non-profit human services organization and is the co-founder of Men of Light Conferences. You’ll recognize Steve’s passion for the Lord and for all men to know Jesus Christ!

Richard Britz

Richard G. Britz was reared on Jesus and John Wayne in the short grass country of West Texas. He is the quintessential action/ adventure guy, that has worked on a chemical weapons project on the most isolated atoll on planet Earth and served as a Team Doc on a Weapons of Mass Destruction hunting detail in Iraq. In his travels, he has seen the Southern Cross and North Star at the same time and sat in the lion’s den in Babylon. “I am my brother’s back” is not just a saying to him, it is his life.

Brad Tuggle

Brad Tuggle is the former Adult Ministries Pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. He has a heart to see men assume their roles as God’s “designated hitters” in their families and the workplace. Brad’s 15 years of management experience in a Fortune 50 environment prior to entering vocational ministry gives him a unique perspective into the challenges facing men today. He has a heart for spiritual growth to communicate God’s truth in a relevant way. He now works with churches all over the country as head of Church Relations for Upper Room Technologies. He and Cheryl have been married 24 years, and they have two daughters.

Stuart Perryman

While a native San Antonian, Stuart’s call to ministry has taken him to another continent. In responding to Christ’s call, Stuart stepped out in faith with a missionary heart and traveled to two countries in Africa where he served at the Maranatha Christian Academy in Uganda and the Africa New Life Ministry in Rwanda. His passion for helping youth achieve their God-given potential is evidenced in his work where Stuart is the Youth Pastor at the Maranatha Bible Church since 1999, and ministered at the San Antonio Christian Schools, and the Judson Independent School District elementary and high schools as well as many local churches. Stuart has been blissfully married for 15 years to his lovely wife Bridgette and God has blessed that union with three beautiful daughters, Patrice, Alexandria, and Sydney.

John Valenzuela (Coach Val)

John Valenzuela (Coach Val) lives the credo of “make a positive impact in a young person’s life.” You find it in his home and at his job; it is his passion. Coach Val has been blessed to be in a position to have daily contact with young people; in the classroom for 23 years, on the basketball court as the boys’ head basketball coach at Madison High School in San Antonio, TX, and as the Pastor of CBC Latino–an English speaking worship with Latino flair.

Coach Val subscribes to the Biblical teaching of focusing our minds with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy and not on thoughts that are impure and wasteful which are rampant in everyday life. (Philippians 4:8) And nowhere does Coach Val exemplify these Christian traits any better than in his home where he and his with Rosanne have embraced God’s call and adopted six children; Yvonne 10, Moses 8, Meagan 8, Brian 8, Timothy 7, Sean 5.

Jim Rackley

Jim is an American Football Coach. He is the head football coach of Judson High School, one of the most storied football programs in the history of Texas High School Football. In seven years as the Rockets’ head coach, Rackley has amassed a record of 69-23, including an astounding 18-4 record in the state playoffs.

His teams have reached the playoffs in five of his seven years at the helm. In 2002, he led Judson to its sixth state championship. His 2004 team reached the state semi-finals and his 2005 and 2007 teams reached the state finals. In all, Judson has advanced to the state finals a record-tying eleven times in the last 26 years, winning six state championships. Listen to Coach Rackley interview on KSAT Instant Replay.

Sonny Melendrez

Sonny is in the business of making people happy. He has delivered his dynamic message of kindness at over 5,000 events around the world in the last 30 years. Twice named Billboard Magazine’s National Radio Personality of the Year, he was recently inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Top 100 Radio Personalities of All-Time and received a Grammy nomination for creating the children’s version of the song, We Are The World, benefitting starving children in Africa and now, earthquake victims in Haiti.

His faith in God continues lead him down a path of giving back through benevolent projects and daily inspiration on, SonnyRadio.com, his site dedicated to “feeling better about being alive”. The City of San Antonio named The Sonny Melendrez Community Center on the West Side to honor his commitment to youth and countless causes benefitting the less fortunate. It is estimated that he has been directly responsible for helping charities raise over 100 million dollars in money, goods, and services during his career.

Ken Freeman

With the ability to connect to people of any age group, culture, or background, evangelist Ken Freeman lives with a passion to bring people to know Christ and to make a deeper, more intimate, commitment to Him.

Ken has been blessed with a beautiful wife, Debbie, two beautiful children, and six beautiful grandchildren. He has a passion for his ministry and he’s had an enormous amount of opportunities to do what he loves most, lead people to Christ. All of this being said, it’s important to note, Ken’s life has not always been this way.

The son of an alcoholic mother and an absentee father, Ken’s life was filled with abuse and neglect. Often times he and his sister would be left for days while his mother satisfied her addiction to alcohol and possible other drugs. Other times she’d leave them with a boyfriend who would physically and sexually abuse them. There were times he thought about suicide. Other times he thought about murder. His life seemed out of control. Ken spent his life running, trying to survive. He was bitter, hurt, and alone.

Jimmy Parks, Jr

With over 25 years of criminal trial experience, is one of the most prolific trial attorneys in South Texas. He is widely respected as an authority and frequent lecturer on criminal trial strategy. In addition, Jimmy is used regularly as a legal analyst on KTSA, ESPN and was the co-host of the radio and TV show ‘Legally Brunette’. He has appeared on ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’, ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and ‘Lou Dobbs’. Jimmy is active in many youth organizations in the San Antonio area and teaches in several church classroom settings.”

Danny Padron

Danny graduated as the Class President of the first senior class of John Jay High School, THE CLASS OF ‘69. Danny was also John Jay’s first starting quarterback – #12! Danny went on to be a long-time coach in the San Antonio area. Coach Padron was an assistant football coach at Clark in the mid to late 80’s and an assistant football coach at Judson during part of their remarkable reign as the premier program in the state. He also did his time in the classroom, teaching higher level mathematics courses. Former Judson students proclaims that Coach Padron was the BEST TEACHER they ever had. Currently, Coach Padron is the head football coach at TLU and is regarded as one of the top football coaches in the area.

Pastor Robert Emmitt

With a mission to reach, teach, and help people in Jesus’ name, Pastor Robert Emmitt and 100 believers met in a small meeting room in San Antonio in 1990. As a result, Community Bible Church was born. CBC now welcomes 11,000 worshippers each weekend, has established 10 satellite locations, sponsors hundreds of small groups, and supports ministry initiatives across the globe.

Robert is living life to the fullest, and his experiences include skydiving, construction, 18-wheelers and race cars, and even a jaunt as a rodeo clown.

Jon Sheptock
Special Guest Appearance

Rather than discovering his calling as an artist, Jon Sheptock’s calling literally discovered him. Born with severe birth defects that left him with no arms and one leg significantly shorter than the other, he was only 3 when he learned that he possessed a remarkable gift – a singing voice that was undeniably God-given.

Through a series of miracles that punctuate his incredible story, and the faith of his extraordinary adoptive family, Jon’s testimony is brimming with courage, perseverance, and an indomitable spirit of hope. He now sings and shares his inspiring story across America, demonstrating the truth of Romans 8:28, ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…”

Men of Light
2295-5 Bulverde Road
P.O. Box 193
Bulverde, Texas 78163
Telephone: +1 830 438 8483
E-mail: stevecoker@lightshinetexas.org
2012 Men of Light Conference
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