Keynote Speakers

D.Z. Cofield

D. Z. Cofield is a native New Yorker, who travels the world, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He earned a Masters Degree in Theology at the Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry Degree at Faith Evangelical Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Cofield currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the historic Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.  Since that time, Good Hope has grown from a congregation of approximately 150 members to an active membership of more than 3,000. Under Pastor Cofield’s leadership, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church has developed several outreach programs:

Hope for Families, a non-profit organization with the express purpose of rebuilding urban communities by rebuilding families through innovative and creative programs to address many of the economic and social needs of people in the urban core of our society.

The Hope Educational District: established for the express purpose of developing and implementing creative and innovative education strategies to educate children to become positive, contributing members of the global community.

The Barbara Jordan International Preschool, a state licensed preschool teaches children in English, Spanish & Mandarin.


Lisa Trevino Cummins

Lisa Treviño Cummins is founder and President of Urban Strategies, an organization dedicated to tooling, equipping, and resourcing faith and community based organizations to serve vulnerable children and families.  In the organization’s 14 year history, Urban Strategies has designed and implemented more than $100 million in programming that has impacted thousands of lives.  

Urban Strategies portfolio of work is broad and includes family strengthening, responsible fatherhood, working with adjudicated and refugee youth, early child development and health and well-being.  While their efforts are diverse, the common thread that connects Urban Strategies work is its emphasis on life-transforming relationships at the community level.

Prior to founding Urban Strategies, Lisa served as Associate Director in launching the White House Faith and Community-Based Initiative and completed a twelve-year stint as Senior Vice President with Bank of America Community Development Banking.  A native Texan, Lisa is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio and the University of Texas in San Antonio.  She and her family reside in Washington, D.C. with their oldest daughter attending Baylor University.



Stephen Klineberg

A graduate of Haverford College, with an M.A. from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Harvard, Stephen Klineberg is a Professor of Sociology at Rice University. In 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Kinder Houston Area Survey,” now in its 36th year of tracking the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents.

The founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, he is the recipient of twelve major teaching awards and a much sought-after speaker in the Houston community and beyond. He has completed a series of published reports on this ongoing research, and is at work this year on a book exploring the national implications of the Houston findings.

For 36 years, the annual “Kinder Houston Area Survey” (1982-2017) has been measuring the continuities and changes in demographic patterns, life experiences, attitudes, and beliefs among successive representative samples of Harris County residents. No other metro area in the nation has been the focus of a long-term longitudinal research program of this scope. Few other cities more clearly exemplify the three remarkable trends that are refashioning the social and political landscape across all of urban America.


Bob Lupton

Bob and his wife Peggy and their two sons sold their suburban home and moved into the inner-city where they have lived and served as neighbors among those in need.  Their life’s work has been the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods where families can  flourish and children can grow into healthy adults.

Bob is a Christian community developer, an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. Through Focused Community Strategies, he has developed two mixed income subdivisions, organized a multi-racial congregation, started a number of businesses, created housing for hundreds of families and initiated a wide range of human services in his community.

He is the author of several books including the widely read, Toxic Charity,  Theirs Is the Kingdom, Renewing the City, and the widely circulated “Urban Perspectives”, a monthly reflection on the Gospel and the poor. Bob released a brand new book in July 2015 titled Charity Detox which draws on his many decades of experience, and outlines how to structure programs that actually improve the quality of the life of the poor and disenfranchised.

Bob has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia. He serves as speaker, strategist, and inspirer with those throughout the nation who seek to establish God’s Shalom in the city.


Ikki Soma

Ikki Soma serves as the Servant Pastor of City of Refuge Church, one of the most diverse churches in America.

He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and Dallas Theological Seminary.

He is on and has been on the board for several urban ministries.

He was the chaplain for the University of Texas at San Antonio football team and is currently one of the chaplains for the Houston Rockets.

He and his wife Tara are the parents of two daughters Evetta and Grace.

In his free time he enjoys going out to lunch with his wife, watching his daughters play volleyball, reading, and running.



Matthew Stanford

Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D. is CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute in Houston, TX and adjunct professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston.

A fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, he is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. His research on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith has been featured in such national publications as The New York Times, USA Today, and Christianity Today, as well as many news websites including Fox, MSNBC, Yahoo, and US News & World Report.

Dr. Stanford is the author of two books, Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness (InterVarsity Press, 2017) and The Biology of Sin: Grace Hope and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped (InterVarsity Press, 2011).

Michelle Warren

Michelle Warren is the Advocacy and Strategic Engagement Director for the Christian Community Development Association, based in Chicago, IL. She has been working in Christian community development for 24 years utilizing her skills as an educator, non-profit manager and public policy specialist.

Michelle earned her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cedarville University and later earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. She is an immigration, education and human service policy specialist. Michelle is an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary in their Justice and Mission’s program, teaching, Political Advocacy, Doing Justice in the Public Square.

Michelle is a consultant for the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, DC based immigration advocacy organization as the Western Regional Consultant for their Bibles, Badges & Business campaign.  Michelle’s immigration work has been featured in local markets like The Denver Post and Colorado Public Radio as well as national Christian and secular media outlets like The L.A. Times, the PBS News Hour, Christianity Today, CBN, Christian WORLD magazine and numerous others.

She is the author of, The Power of Proximity, Moving Beyond Awareness to Action. She is married to David Warren, Executive Director of Open Door Ministries. They live in Denver with their three children, 21, 19 and 15.