Meet Our Encouragement Team

Dave and Lori Ford

Dave and Lori Ford

Dave and Lori Ford

Dave and Lori Ford

Dave and Lori Ford are the founders of Inflate Ministries. Their hearts' desire is and has always been to encourage, motivate, and lift people up, whether it be through international outreach, serving as pastors in a local church, or ministering one on one.

Early on, Dave and Lori toured the United States and Canada producing and directing the drama Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames, where thousands made a decision for Christ.

Dave and Lori answered God's next call on their lives and founded WeatherStone Church in southeastern Wisconsin. The couple served faithfully for 24 years and grew WeatherStone from three families meeting in a home into a dynamic, powerful, and life-giving church.

They believe that God has now called them to build a pastoral encouragement team. In essence, Dave and Lori's passion is to build a network of coaches around the world to encourage and uplift pastors and their spouses.

Dave and Lori have two children, four grandchildren, and reside in northwestern Wisconsin. 

Ron and LaDon Held

Ron and LaDon Held

Ron and LaDon Held

Ron and LaDon Held

Over the years Ron and LaDon Held have filled a number of leadership positions in the church. They currently serve as District Directors of the 50+ (senior) Adult Ministries for the Wisconsin/Northern Michigan Network. In this role, they conduct 50+ rallies and direct the annual 50+ Adult Retreat. The Helds pastored the Assembly of God church in Racine for 21 years and led the congregation through two building programs. Ron retired from active ministry as the District Secretary for the Wisconsin/Northern Michigan Network. Earlier on he also served for five years as the Director of the District Youth and Christian Education Department and as head of the National Sunday School Department out of the Assemblies headquarters in Springfield MO for 11 years. While there he authored two training books for teachers and education leaders and wrote articles for various denominational publications. Ron also led Teacher Enrichment Clinics for the national Discipleship Ministries Agency.

Ron and LaDon have spoken at senior adult retreats and have conducted marriage and family enrichment seminars across the country. LaDon has served as coordinator and speaker at local church and district prayer retreats. She directed the women's ministries at their church in Racine, WI.

A graduate of North Central University, Ron also holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education from Wheaton College Graduate School. The Helds have three grown children, all of whom are engaged in vocational Christian ministries. They are very proud of their six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Joe Oby

Joe Oby

Joe Oby

Joe Oby

Bruce and Ann Fredrickson

Bruce and Ann Fredrickson

Bruce and Ann Fredrickson

Bruce and Ann Fredrickson

Bruce and Ann Fredrickson have strong roots in Christian pastoral ministry. Bruce served his country first with the U.S. Marines, followed by a lengthy career as a Chaplain with the U.S. Army, retiring as a Colonel. He is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For five years, Bruce and Ann lived in Germany during his last active duty assignment, traveling throughout Europe. After returning to Wisconsin, he served as a board-certified chaplain for Mayo Clinic Health System. Bruce and Ann now reside in Eau Claire, WI, and have two adult children.

Chuck and Joy Apple

Chuck and Joy Apple

Chuck and Joy Apple

Chuck and Joy Apple

Ron and Hedi Auch

Ron and Hedi Auch

Ron and Hedi Auch

Ron and Hedi Auch

Gary and Cheryl Bell

Gary and Cheryl Bell

Gary and Cheryl Bell

Gary and Cheryl Bell

Joe and Dorothy Bridger

Joe and Dorothy Bridger

Joe and Dorothy Bridger

Joe and Dorothy Bridger

Kellen Brooks

Kellen Brooks

Kellen Brooks

Kellen Brooks

Julie Burmeister

Julie Burmeister

Julie Burmeister

Julie Burmeister

Jeremy and Beth Carlin

Jeremy and Beth Carlin

Jeremy and Beth Carlin

Jeremy and Beth Carlin

John and Stephanie Cowles

John and Stephanie Cowles

John and Stephanie Cowles

John and Stephanie Cowles

Robert and Diane Derheim

Robert and Diane Derheim

Robert and Diane Derheim

Robert and Diane Derheim

Ken and Joyce Ellis

Ken and Joyce Ellis

Ken and Joyce Ellis

Ken and Joyce Ellis

Ken Ellis played professional football for ten years in the National Football League and was voted all-pro three times while playing with the Green Bay Packers. He played in Super Bowl XIV with the L.A. Rams. Ken served as Associate Pastor at Bethany Church in Louisiana from 1983-2011. He currently serves as Chaplain for LSU's Football and Track teams, Southern University's Football team, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department, and the Hospice of Baton Rouge.

Ken and his wife, Joyce, reside in Baker, Louisiana. They have four children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Jared and Hillary Furnish

Jared and Hillary Furnish

Jared and Hillary Furnish

Jared and Hillary Furnish

Wendy Hoekstra

Wendy Hoekstra

Wendy Hoekstra

Wendy Hoekstra

Jason and Monica Janich

Jason and Monica Janich

Jason and Monica Janich

Jason and Monica Janich

John and Jessica Kilde

John and Jessica Kilde

John and Jessica Kilde

John and Jessica Kilde

Mark and Suzanne Larson

Mark and Suzanne Larson

Mark and Suzanne Larson

Mark and Suzanne Larson

Larry and Kelli Mederich

Larry and Kelli Mederich

Larry and Kelli Mederich

Larry and Kelli Mederich

It was 1984. Not the George Orwellian 1984, but the "plain" Larry and Kelli Mederich 1984. We had graduated from Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, CA, and had been very involved in a small home missions church doing everything from leading worship, teaching Sunday School, and doing the financials. We knew what helping a small church looked like, but we were always helpers. Now, we were heading out to do it ourselves. We were moving to Sandwich, IL, to plant our first church.

Before considering Illinois, we had talked with the pastor in the closest AG church to Sandwich, and he had told us that he would stand with us in the church plant. The District agreed. We were filled with lots of vision and excitement! When we got there, things were different. The pastor we had spoken to had moved on, and the District had lost our paperwork. I remember the feelings so well — feelings of confusion and wondering if we were going to make it. We felt very alone — like we'd been abandoned.

When feeling abandoned, we can choose to move forward or backward. In 1984, feeling alone and having unmet expectations, we chose to go forward. We felt that "When God calls you, come hell or high water, you are moving forward! You are finishing the race! Situations may not be what you had hoped for, but God…"

It has now been almost 40 years since we planted that first church. Two more now exist, despite us being us (LOL!). God has been so faithful! He has been so good! We have seen His hand move so many times, and yet when we were going through difficulties, it was sometimes tough to see. This is one of the reasons we are so blessed to be involved in Inflate Ministries. We, along with many others, want to come alongside ministers, their spouses, and even their children to help them to the finish line and hear the words, "Well done!"

Inflate Ministries is a newer ministry, but I believe it has been in the heart of God for a long, long time. With the way things are in the world, we need each other more than ever! We are here for you at NO COST! If you have needs or concerns, we pray that you will reach out. There is a long list of ministers and wives here to help you. The Kingdom of God is so big and so great, and HE, more than anyone, wants YOU to do well. You CAN do well. Please believe that! YOU CAN DO WELL! We love you and are praying for you!

Sheldon Miles

Sheldon Miles

Sheldon Miles

Sheldon Miles

Bob and Sharon Ona

Bob and Sharon Ona

Bob and Sharon Ona

Bob and Sharon Ona

Paul and Christine Pierquet

Paul and Christine Pierquet

Paul and Christine Pierquet

Paul and Christine Pierquet

Carlos and Lisa Rodriguez

Carlos and Lisa Rodriguez

Carlos and Lisa Rodriguez

Carlos and Lisa Rodriguez

Steven Schroepfer

Steven Schroepfer

Steven Schroepfer

Steven Schroepfer

A few years ago, I asked myself this question: "What would have been helpful to my family and me during those many years (40+) of serving as a pastor?"

Although there were many privileges and blessings that came with being in the ministry, we also faced many of the challenges that most pastoral families experience. The pressures on our family at times seemed so intense. I tried to power through those difficulties and often felt that the ministry was damaging to my family. Who could I talk to on a very personal level about my or the church's struggles?

Becoming part of the Inflate Encouragement Team was very important to me. I have had the opportunity to be an encouraging voice in other pastors' lives. My heart's desire is to provide encouraging and positive words/notes/texts, maybe a meal or a weekend away for the pastor and his family, prayers, and, of course…a listening ear. WOW, what a privilege we ETMs have!

"I cannot not do this." (Rosa Parks)

Curt and Andrea Thomassen

Curt and Andrea Thomassen

Curt and Andrea Thomassen

Curt and Andrea Thomassen