The Rev. Dr. K. Jason Coker is the national director of Together for Hope, the rural development coalition of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is also the Field Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi. After nearly two decades of life and ministry in Connecticut, Coker returned to his home state of Mississippi to work for peace and justice in areas of persistent rural poverty. The lessons of human compassion and equality he learned as a minister guide his work in poverty relief.

He is the author of James in Postcolonial Perspective: The Letter as Nativist Discourse (Fortress Press, 2015) and Faded Flowers: Preaching in the Aftermath of Suicide (Smyth & Helwys, 2020), which was just released in August! He also is the co-editor of Bible and Theory: Essays in Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Stephen D. Moore (Fortress Academic, 2020). He is currently working on The Corporation of God: A Biblical Critique of Global Capitalism (Cascade Press, 2021) that will be released early 2021.

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Rachel Gunter Shapard is the Regional Vice President for Together for Hope, Black Belt. She is also a co-founder of Pastors for Florida Children, a public education advocacy group in the Sunshine State that was formed in 2019. Previously, she served as the Associate Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from June 2012 - March 2020; as an Eldercare Advocate at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL from 2009-2012; as a Hospice Chaplain for VistaCare Hospice in Lubbock, TX from 2006-2009; as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Outreach at FBC Gainesville, GA from 2000 - 2006; and as an Admissions Counselor at McAfee School of Theology from 1998 - 2000.

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L Nicole Stringfellow is the Regional Vice President for the Delta with Together for Hope with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Her professional and academic background includes a 19 year career at Delta State University where she was the former Regional Director for the MDSC/AmeriCorps*VISTA program at Delta State University and served 5 years in an interim capacity as Director for The Center for Community and Economic Development. L Nicole has a diverse education with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Mississippi Valley State University, and Master’s in Criminal Justice from Delta State University, a Master’s in Human Capital Development from the University of Southern Mississippi and is also a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council (New York).

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Keith Stillwell is the Together for Hope Regional Vice President for Appalachia, residing in Danville, Kentucky. While serving with Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, Danville, Keith was actively involved with Together for Hope from the beginning, leading CBF Kentucky’s Mountain Hope Task Force work in Owsley County, McCreary County, and the community of Nada in Powell County. Lexington Avenue Baptist Church developed a partnership/friendship with the Nada Community which they maintained for 15 years. Keith has a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia and Master of Divinity Degree from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. He is currently working on a Certificate of Appalachian Studies with the University of Kentucky.

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Grace seeks to cultivate engagement and partnerships with individuals, organizations and churches new to CBF, and also works within Familia, CBF’s Latino Network, to ensure the growth and belonging of Latinx persons within the Fellowship. Grace is a bridge builder serving those new to CBF and those who have been around a while by connecting them to all CBF has to offer. A graduate of Gordon College with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries and Sociology, Grace loves to connect individuals from different backgrounds to create partnerships for God’s work together. Nourishing and forming relationships with churches is at the core of her work, and she works to make CBF feel like home to all Cooperative Baptists.

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