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FP Podcast Episode 19: The two reasons a bank president would hire FP student leaders

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Adam Robertson, President Commercial Bank

Adam Robertson currently serves as President of Commercial Bank located Harrogate, Tennessee.  In his 22 years at the bank, he has served in various capacities throughout the bank. During his tenure, the Bank has grown from 7 offices to 27 and the Bank’s assets have increased dramatically from $150 million to $1.3 billion. In addition to his duties at Commercial Bank, Adam is a small business owner and developer.

Adam is a graduate of Belmont University and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.  He and his wife, Cindi, reside in Speedwell, Tennessee with their two children, Olivia and Noah.


FP Podcast Episode 18: Engaging students with the Gospel

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Associate Director, First Priority of America

Mark Roberts serves as Associate Director for First Priority of America. He spends most of his days equipping and training pastors to start First Priority chapters and working with the team that serves the local communities across the country. He was part of the team that developed the first major FP local city over 25 years ago in Birmingham, AL. He has an extensive background in student leadership training through organizations like: Student Leadership University, N.A.M.B., and Northpoint Community Church. He has spoken to thousands of teenagers and adults over the years, sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the call to be a missionary on their school campus.

Mark currently resides in Saint Petersburg, Florida with his wife, Tonya. They have two sons, Hayden and Cole.

FP Podcast Episode 17: How prepare week teaches students to share their faith story

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Phillip Cole, FP Director Arklatex

Phillip has worked in student, music, and evangelism ministry in both local and traveling organizations in Louisiana and Mississippi since 2002. He was first introduced to First Priority as a high school student in 1999, then as a campus coach in 2010, and joined the First Priority ArkLaTex staff in January of 2015. Phillip loves to network with ministry leaders and equip students to become missionaries to their local schools. Phillip lives in Shreveport, LA with his wife Alisha and their three sons, Dylan, Jude, and Shepherd.

FP Podcast Episode 16: How to help students overcome obstacles of identity, views of God, and sharing faith.

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Joel Rowland, FP Director Front Range

Joel Rowland has been the Director of First Priority Clayton, NC for the past four years. Joel, along with his wife Amber have felt the call of God to move their family to Colorado to answer their passionate calling to revive and rebuild the First Priority Front Range Region. 

Joel and Amber have been married for 12 years. They love playing music, exploring the outdoors, reading, and finding joy in the simple things of life. Lincoln is 4 years old. He loves baseball (Colorado Rockies), Superheroes, the Zoo, and anything he can explore outdoors. Lincoln has an Aussie named Zuma (his very own dog from Paw Patrol!). 

Joel and Amber have been serving and leading faith-based organizations since their teenage years. They have also experienced some life-changing tragedies including the death of Joel’s parents at 20 years old, the loss of Amber’s Father as a child, and the loss of their own child. Their hope and joy were found in Jesus through these tragedies. 

Joel is currently on the journey of becoming a Hebrew Scholar with a Master of Hebraic Context of the Bible and Biblical Linguistics through the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer for the John Maxwell Team and holds a certificate in Apologetics with the Ravi Zacharias Institute of Ministry. He has also enjoyed time studying abroad in Israel and serving in Ecuador with Samaritan’s Purse. Amber is currently developing her ministry skills through the Vineyard Institute. 

FP Podcast Episode 15: Natalie Kenney

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Natalie Kenney, Area Director, Permian Basin First Priority

Natalie has served alongside her husband Shane in youth ministry for the past 20 years. She has a burden to reach lost people with the Gospel and uses that passion to train students to be missionaries on their campus.

FP Podcast Episode 14: Jeff Grenell

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Jeff Grenell, founder ythology

After 4 decades of Youth Leadership, Jeff Grenell founded ythology to raise the level of Youth Leadership. ythology exists to educate, resource, and inspire youth and to train youth leaders to prepare the NextGen to lead in the Church and the world. Jeff has also written the book, #IfJobHadTwitter: When Hardship Hits the Palace

FP Podcast Episode 13: Jeff Stanford

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Jeff Stanford, Lead Director FP Palm Beach County

Jeff Stanford is the Lead Director for First Priority in Palm Beach County. He is a 20 year student ministry veteran, having served 12 years full time in the local church and the last 8 with First Priority. He also serves as a middle school guys group leader at Coastal Life Church in Palm City, FL.

Jeff has been married to Brandi for 20 years and has 2 kids Courtney (17) and Austin (12). He is a proud alum of Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary. His passion is helping students get equipped, encouraged and engaged in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FP Podcast Episode 12: Paul Penley

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Paul T. Penley, PhD Managing Director, Research Division, Excellence in Giving

Dr. Penley evaluates charities for Excellence in Giving clients donating a combined $51 million annually. He manages the deal flow for the Kingdom Giving Fund launched in 2019 to invest transformative gifts of $1-$5 million in professionally vetted ministry projects that accelerate measurable and sustainable impact. He has refined methods for nonprofit due diligence and completed on-site evaluations in a dozen countries around the world. Dr. Penley specializes in designing outcome measurement systems for internal and external reporting of program effectiveness. He is a regular contributor to philanthropy magazines like the Stanford Social Innovation Review and a speaker at venues like the Yale Philanthropy Conference or Christian Leadership Association. Dr. Penley’s ability to identify indicators of mission failure or success allows those he advises to support high-performing charities making the difference they want to fund. Learn more about his work at www.ExcellenceinGiving.com. And read the book he wrote about Reenacting the Way (of Jesus) based on his PhD in the historical context of the Bible or the blogs he writes at www.ReenactingtheWay.com.

FP Podcast Episode 11: Jeff Deyo

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Jeff Deyo, worship leader, author, recording artist

Jeff Deyo (@jeffdeyo) is a worship leader, author, recording artist, songwriter, speaker, podcaster, and professor who could eat Mexican food for every meal! He is known internationally as the former lead singer of the Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning group, Sonicflood, and lives to help people grow closer to God.

He recently released his first book, Awakening Pure Worship, worldwide through Destiny Image Publishers, and he is the creator of the Pure Worship Podcast and the Pure Worship Institute, a refreshing worship conference designed to equip and empower singers and musicians. He holds the high honor of being a professor at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, and he is one of the worship pastors at Celebration Church in Lakeville, MN. He travels extensively leading worship, speaking, and coaching worship teams, and he has been happily married to his college sweetheart, Martha, since 1992. Together, they have four beautiful children, Roman, Evan, Channing, and Clara as well as two pet leopard geckos, two beta fish, and one mouse named Raton.


FP Podcast Episode 10: Scott Emerine

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Scott Emerine, Co-Founder Branding Iron Marketing

Scott Emerine, M.Sc., is Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Branding Iron Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, a full-service agency with expertise in financial, health care and aviation marketing. As Co-Owner of Branding Iron, Emerine manages media relations and public relations for clients throughout the world. Emerine’s clients have been featured in some of the largest media outlets in the world.

Scott received his Master of Science Degree in Health Care Communications in 2010 from Boston University and was in the inaugural graduating class. He received his undergraduate degree in Marketing from Oral Roberts University. 

He resides in Bristol, Tennessee with his wife Joy and their three sons, two of which are First Priority leaders. He is a Church of God Ordained Bishop and serves as Associate Pastor at Covenant Fellowship in Bristol, Virginia. He has served as the President of the American Advertising Federation of Northeast Tennessee Board of Directors, served as Chair of Public Relations for the American Advertising Federation District 7, was Chairman of the Board for the Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Board for First Priority Blue Ridge.

Emerine currently serves on the executive board for the United Way of Bristol TN/VA, is Chairman of First Priority Blue Ridge, serves as the Bristol TN/VA Area Director for First Priority Blue Ridge and the Bristol Morning Rotary Club. He also serves as the Vice Chairmen of the Board for Covenant Fellowship. 

– Music by Ron Sorbo, Antioch, TN