Meet the Presenters

Friday (Spanish Only)

Pastor Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz
Presentation: Ser Cristiano/a es servir en la comunidad / Being a Christian is Serving in the Community

Alejandro sirve como lead pastor en Trinity Las Américas UMC una iglesia multicultural en Des Moines IA. Vive con su esposa María, profesora de sociología, su hijo Luca y su perro Mochi. Alejandro busca diariamente balancear su vida espiritual y su vida de activista para seguir el ejemplo de Jesús.

Alejandro serves as the lead pastor of Trinity Las Americas UMC, a multicultural church in Des Moines, IA. He lives with his wife Maria, who is a sociology professor, their son Luca, and their dog Mochi. Alejandro aims to daily balance his spiritual life and his life as an activist to follow the example of Jesus. 

Saturday (English Only)

Genevieve Carvil-Harris
Presentation: Worship & Art “Momentum Magnet”

Genevieve Carvil Harris is a capacity building strategist, philanthropist, passionate community developer and speaker who provides valuable and highly-effective growth strategies for individuals and small to medium ministries and businesses on a local, national, and international level. She has been involved with the worship arts arena since age 4, and she is known for producing theatrical community productions that have drawn thousands of people over the last 15 years. She was the reigning 2016 Mrs. Florida Plus America and used her crown to empower hundreds of youth through the arts and life skill training. She serves as the CEO of Access Lumas, Inc. and is the leader of DCLARE & DECREE Community Arts Ministry. She is happily married to Brian Harris.


Pastor VJ Cruz-Baer
Presentation: Reaching the Community Through God’s Graffiti– “Growing Momentum”

God in the Graffiti is an initiative of La Plaza United Methodist Church (Los Angeles, CA) made possible by a grant from the General Commission on Religion and Race. The initiative invites streets artists to develop their gift of painting as a theological practice. Scholars are invited to discuss a particular issue upon which the artists reflect and create a work of art.


Lynda Byrd
Presentation: The Laity Fix– “Momentum From the Pulpit to the Pew”

Lynda R. Byrd, twice retired executive from corporate and religious organizations, spent twenty-two years in corporate America. Positions in strategic planning, leadership development and training, and marketing highlighted her years at SBC, now AT&T. She served as adjunct staff at Discipleship Ministries, providing Stewardship leadership and consultative support. Lynda has served at every level of the church, from the local church to the general agencies, including fourteen years with the General Board of Global Ministries. Lynda’s book, The Laity Fix, chronicles the wealth of her experiences and insights gained as a lay person, with a clear view from the pew to the pulpit.


Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth
Presentation: Strategic Ministry Planning– “The Road Map for Greater Momentum”

Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth is founder of 20/20 Leadership Lessons, a consulting and coaching service. He holds advanced degrees from Pepperdine University (Doctor of Education degree in Organization Leadership) and Claremont School of Theology (Master of Divinity). He serves as Director of Academic Programs and Outreach and course instructor at University of La Verne’s Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies.


Larry Ray Hygh, Jr.
Presentation: Strategic Ministry Planning– “The Road Map for Greater Momentum”

Larry Ray Hygh Jr. currently serves as the Director of Communications for the California-Nevada Conference, overseeing communications for the 370 churches and 73,000 United Methodists in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Prior to this post, Hygh has been a communications director for the General Board of Global Ministries. He has also held communications positions in the California-Pacific, Mississippi, Baltimore-Washington, and New England Conferences. Currently, he is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Communications Studies department at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, California. Hygh, 42, who is a native Texan, has anchored and reported for the Crown City News, an independently produced cable newscast in Pasadena, California, and the San Gabriel Valley. In 2008, Hygh earned a Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University in Organizational Leadership. His undergraduate and Masters’ degrees are from Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, in Radio/Television and Mass Communications. He has also done additional study at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.