Leaders have been announced for Operation Barnabas, the annual discipleship program sponsored by CE National, which will be held June 8 to July 11. This year, the Atlantic Team will be centered in southeastern Pennsylvania and will be led by Pastor Christian McAllister, youth pastor at Palmyra, Pa., Grace Brethren Church. Plans for this team include attending StreetWise youth conference at Urban Hope Training Center. The Hoosier Team will be centered in northern Indiana and led by Timothy Kurtaneck, the director of youth leadership training at CE National. Orientation will be held in Winona Lake, Ind.
Christian and Rebecca McAllister
Christian and Rebecca come to us from Palmyra, Pa., where Christian has served on staff at Palmyra Grace Brethren Church for the past seven years. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Christian is an Operation Barnabas alumni, having participated as a high school student in 1990. Over the years Christian has encouraged many students (including his oldest daughter) to participate on OB teams. He has seen first-hand the tremendous impact this training ministry has on the local church and the lives of the student participants. Rebecca grew up in Worthington, Ohio, and has had the pleasure of discipling many young women as they seek after God. She has a passion to see teen girls make Christ the central focus of their lives and overcome issues of self-worth. Christian and Rebecca met as camp counselors in high school and have been married for 24 years. They have worked together in ministry for more than 14 years leading children, teens, and short-term mission teams both in the states and abroad. They are the proud parents of seven children, Victoria (2016 OB alumni – 16), Tyler (14), Eben (13), Calum (11), Caitlynn (9), Liam (7), and Fiona (4). They’re excited to serve together and invest in the lives of students this summer while getting to involve their whole family in this life-changing discipleship process.
Jessie is from Johnstown, Pa., but is currently studying in Lynchburg, Va., completing her senior year at Liberty University. She will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and a cognate in Global Studies. While in Lynchburg, Jessie attends Thomas Road Baptist Church where she serves as a seventh-grade girls’ small group leader and is a peer mentor at Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment. She has a heart for youth and cross-cultural ministry and is excited for the opportunity to serve on OB this summer and watch students grow closer to their Father. In the future, Jessie is praying about and planning to serve in the Philippines working with at-risk youth. This is Jessie’s first time leading OB, but she is an OB alum from 2012 and attended City Life in 2013. A few of her favorite things are cats, Netflix, Panera, and Dr. Pepper.
Andrea is from Kendallville, Ind., and is a graduate of Grace College with a degree in Youth Ministry. Andrea attends Legacy Church in Kendallville and helps with 909 Student Ministries in Warsaw where she adores investing in her middle school girls and is also involved in various leadership roles with other ministries. Andrea was an OB student in 2010 and this will be her third year as a support leader. Andrea has a heart for the next generation and is looking forward to helping the students develop their leadership skills and walking alongside them as they grow in their relationship with Christ. She enjoys drinking coffee, the theater, biking, and her two cats: Maddie and Chloe. Fluent in puns and movie quotes, she is excited to return this summer.
Tristan is from Kendallville, Ind., and is double majoring in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies at Grace College. Tristan has a heart for people and for seeing them grow to love Jesus Christ. He works as an office assistant at Community Grace Brethren Church in Warsaw, Ind., and serves as an adult leader for 909 Student Ministries. This will be Tristan’s second time leading on Operation Barnabas, and he is overjoyed to be a part of a program that continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of students. In addition, Tristan enjoys making waffles, playing music, and the Muppets.
Timothy Kurtaneck (aka. TK) will be leading the 2017 Hoosier OB team this summer. This will be TK’s 18th tour with Operation Barnabas. TK has been on staff with CE National since 1995 and is the director of Operation Barnabas and youth leadership training. TK and his wife, Dana, have been married for 26 years and their children are Bekah (OB 2010; leader 2013 and 2014) and Nick (OB 2012). TK says, “I have had the opportunity of a lifetime to be involved with Operation Barnabas through the years. I am as committed as ever to seeing the next generation trained and equipped in ministry and to see God use them in great ways for His glory. OB 2017, here we go!”
Taylor is from Dublin, Ohio, but currently lives in eastern Ohio where she teaches middle and high school band and theatre. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in music education in 2014 and then from The Great Commission Bible Institute in Sebring, Fla., in 2016. Taylor has worked with a variety of ministries and she is extremely passionate about working with and discipling youth. This is Taylor’s fourth year leading OB and she is so excited to have the opportunity to do so again. She is an OB alum from 2009 and an OBI Philippines alum as well. As a student, OB helped her grow as a follower of Christ and she can’t wait to see how the Lord works again this summer.
Caleb attends Western Reserve Grace Church in Macedonia, Ohio, near Cleveland. He is the youth worship leader and loves working with students. He also helps students and adults, who struggle with drugs and alcohol, get clean. He is a 2014 OB Alum and then served in 2016 as a student intern. His favorite part about Operation Barnabas is watching what God does in the hearts of the students on the trip. Caleb says, “I believe that God is worth it when it comes to taking risks for Him and I am so excited to see what He is going to do for our team”.
Devon is originally from Pickerington, Ohio, and is currently a student at University of the Cumberlands, majoring in Information Technology Science and Christian Ministries. He attends Cornerstone Community Church in Williamsburg, Ky., and serves as a leader in the campus ministry Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is very excited for the opportunity to be a first-time leader and looks forward to witnessing how God will work in both OB teams this summer and see the impact that will be made in the communities they serve! Devon’s passions include apologetics, hammocking in his ENO, and Raising Cane’s fried chicken.
Chelsea was born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., and is currently pursuing a BA in Spanish Studies through Arcadia University. She just returned from studying abroad in Spain and attended the International Church of Barcelona while there. Seeing Jesus represented in the diverse congregation and in different languages was a highlight from her time in Spain. Her home church is Grace Church in Lititz, Pa. Chelsea has been involved in children’s ministry both at Grace and Camp Conquest for several years. She’s excited to be a first-time leader on Barnabas, having spent the summer of 2013 on OB as a student. Her coffee go-to is a double shot of espresso, but she’ll drink any form when in good company.
Click here for more information about Operation Barnabas.