This year’s speakers

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Abide 2021 theme

Martha Bailey

Changed by God’s Word

What would happen if we did more than just read God’s Word? What if we actually did what it says? James tells us we would be changed. We would be a different kind of Bible study girl. Join us in this session to hear a personal testimony of how God changed the hearts of women through His Word and the powerful impact it had on their community.

Read Martha's Bio

Martha Bailey teaches a community Bible study which is attended by women of various Christian faiths. She and her husband, Waylon, reside in Covington, Louisiana, where he has served as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church since 1989. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Martha is the author of three devotional books—Putting My Dress-up Clothes Away, It Hurts But I’m Okay, and Under the Umbrella of God’s Favor.

What are three words that describe you?

coffee, chocolate, and basketball fan

Emily Dean

Communicating God’s Word

Communicating God’s Word is essential for outreach and discipleship. Yet what are the most effective means to share the truth of the Gospel? This session will explore how to teach the Bible truthfully, passionately, and clearly to bring about life change.

Read Emily's Bio

Emily Dean serves as Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Dr. Jody Dean, along with their two precious children Lydia and James Robert, live in the New Orleans area where Jody serves as Associate Professor of Discipleship and Ministry Leadership at NOBTS. Passionate about preparing women for ministry leadership, Emily enjoys training women on how to study and teach God’s Word.

What are three words that describe you?

book lover, history buff, travel explorer

Tara Dew

Trusting the Bible

What makes the Bible different from other religious books? How can we trust that this is actually the Word of God? This breakout session will strive to answer these questions and more as we look at Jesus, the claims He made, and how we can trust that the Bible is God’s Word.

Read Tara's Bio

Tara has loved Jesus for as long as she can remember. She grew up in a Christian home, and even met her husband in the church youth group. Tara & Jamie have now been married for 20 years and have been blessed with two sets of twins, lovingly called “The Dew Krewe”. She has the privilege of serving NOBTS as President’s Wife, spends her days discipling her own kiddos, and teaches in the Ministry Wife certificate program.

What are three words that describe you?

Travel lover, DIY Designer & landscaper, & Homeschool Mama

Carolyn Fountain

Sharing God’s Word

The word of God is meant to be shared. God’s word is the foundation of who we are, what we believe, how we witness, how we minister, how we live. Sharing God’s word seems to be the natural next step for one who abides in His word and who allows His word to abide in her. Discover the joy!

Read Carolyn's Bio

I’m a home grown girl who was born and grew up in northeast Louisiana in the small town of Tallulah. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from Grambling State University, Teacher Certification in Linguistics from Texas Women’s University, Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Walden University, and began work on a Master of Christian Education Degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Leroy and I retired as church planter missionaries with the North American Mission Board after 30 years of service which took us to Georgia, Alabama, and Texas before moving to New Orleans to serve with the New Orleans Baptist Association. That service, along with women’s ministry, included 13 years as a collegiate minister; 4 years as early childhood development director; and 15 years as an elementary school teacher before coming back home to Louisiana.

Now I serve as Human Resource Director at Baptist Community Health Services, Coordinator of Women’s Mission and Ministry with New Orleans Baptist Association, and Louisiana State President of Women’s Mission and Ministry. I enjoy teaching, writing, leading conferences, ministering to women and children.

Leroy and I have 3 beautiful adult daughters and five precious grandchildren. My go-to scripture is Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

What are three words that describe you?

Shopping, grandchildren, hanging with Leroy

Christi Gibson

Armed and Ready – Hiding God’s Word in Your Heart

Let’s face it. Most of us don’t even know our loved ones’ phone numbers by heart anymore. Why memorize the Bible when we can find just about any verse in 10 seconds or less on our phones? Hiding God’s Word in our hearts prepares us to walk confidently through crises and challenge — and it will always prove to be profitable. In this breakout, we’ll discover some creative ways to develop the habit of Bible memory and we’ll learn a verse together to get us started!

Read Christi's Bio

Minister of Education at First Baptist New Orleans
Mdiv in Biblical Studies from NOBTS
Daughter, Widow, Mom, Teacher, Story-Teller, Encourager

Christi is a flawed but forgiven follower of Christ. She longs to teach the Word and share her story of brokenness and restoration to encourage the body of Christ. She grew up in the church and was saved at the tender age of five-years-old. God has been working in her ever since. He has taken her through disappointments, failures, traumas and losses to shape her into a woman he can use for his glory. When Christi’s pastor and seminary professor husband took his own life in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal, she and her children determined that their lives would no longer be shadowed by lies. Walking in truth and light has become the passion of her ministry.

What are three words that describe you?

fan of laughter, addicted to story, lover of food

Heather Johnson

Unlocking the Context of Scripture

Understanding the context of Scripture leads to rich, meaningful, transforming time in God’s Word. During this session, we will dig into familiar and unfamiliar Scriptures to unlock the power of understanding context and witness the Scripture come alive. Join us for tips, tools, and a fun time. You will leave that with tools you can use and pass on to others.

Read Heather's Bio

Heather holds tight to God’s love and cherishes her roles as wife to an amazing husband and mother of 4 engaging children. She cares deeply about the Word of God and helping women and families develop into all God has called them to be. She recently earned a Masters of Arts Christian Education with a specialization in Women’s Ministry from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and continues her education in biblical studies. She gratefully serves in ministry alongside her husband as the Pastor’s Wife at Edgewater Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA, and treasures the opportunity to serve ministry wives.

What are three words that describe you?

Family Girl, Walker, Lover of Books

Kelly King

Building Your Women’s Ministry Based on the Word

Connecting women in your local church begins with the basics of building community centered on God’s word. Discover how to develop small groups and creative ways to engage women not with a discipleship program but a discipleship lifestyle.

Read Kelly's Bio

Kelly King is the Manager of Magazines/Devotional Publishing and Women’s Ministry Training for LifeWay Christian Resources. She is the author of Ministry to Women: The Essential Guide to Leading Women in the Local Church and is the co-host of the {Marked} podcast. She is passionate about equipping women to fulfill the Lord’s calling on their lives.

What are three words that describe you?

Coffee Shops, Restaurants: Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A

Elizabeth Luter

Praying God’s Word

Praying is not an option. It is an absolute necessity. We will spend time in Psalm 119 to find encouragement to develop our prayer lives. We will walk through the Scripture to develop a posture of prayer and commitment to consistency . The Scripture will remind us to pray without ceasing. Join us to discover the rewards of developing this spiritual discipline.

Read Elizabeth's Bio

Elizabeth Luter is a pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, and retired pharmacist, has a passion for women in the areas of spiritual growth and divine calling. A 1980 graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy, she has also taken several courses at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. As director of Women’s Ministry at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, she developed a successful curriculum for women’s classes based on spiritual gifts. Elizabeth also has a written work in the Lifeway Publication entitled “Transformed Lives”, Chris Adams, author. She has served as intercessor and counselor at Lifeway Women’s Living Proof Live events. Elizabeth teaches women’s courses at Lifeway Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC annually. She and her husband Pastor Fred Luter, Jr. have been featured on the cover of Homelife magazine entitled “A Faith-Full Marriage.” Elizabeth is married to the love of her life, Pastor Fred Luter, Jr., and they have two adult children Kimberly, Fred, III (Chip), a son-in-law, Howard, a daughter-in-law, Jasmine and two grandchildren, Fred, IV (Drew) and Zoe Grace.

What are three words that describe you?

Wears Many Hats, Nurturer of the Flock, Loves a Good Bible Study

Stephanie Lyon

Studying the Bible on Your Own

God’s Word is living and active, and speaks Truth into our lives that will change us when we read and study it. Together, we’ll look at some key tools that anyone, anytime, anywhere, can use when approaching the Word of God, to begin to draw out the meaning of the text and how it applies to your life. Come learn some practical tips that will transform your daily Bible reading to help you discover God’s intent and power behind His Living Word and how it will transform your heart and life each time you study it.

Read Stephanie's Bio

Stephanie has been serving in women’s ministry leadership for over 20 years. With a passion to teach the Bible, disciple other women, and serve in her local church and overseas, Stephanie has also served as a church-planting pastor’s wife. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Dr. Larry Lyon, the VP of Enrollment and Associate Professor of Ethics at NOBTS and Leavell College, for over 18 years and they are the adoring parents of three daughters, ages 15, 12, and 6.

What are three words that describe you?

Foodie, Travel-Lover, Girl-Mom

Diane Nix

H.E.A.R.T. Healthy: Feasting on God’s Word

Has anyone offered you a Snickers bar lately? Were you hangry and taking it out on friends or family? Why is it we will not miss meals but rarely notice if we miss time in the Word of God? Feasting on God’s Word daily is imperative if we are to live empowered, spirit-filled lives that encourage and bless those around us. Join Diane as she challenges you to be H.E.A.R.T. healthy!

Read Diane's Bio

Diane is the director and founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him, a network of encouragement to ministry wives around the globe. Offering “Free Refresh Retreats” and a safe place for ministry wives to share their hearts with other like-minded women. Thirty-six years ago, she married her husband, pastor/professor, Dr. Preston Nix. He is a professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching at NOBTS. They have two biological daughters, two spiritual-grown daughters, two special grands, and two son’s in-laws.
Growing up, Diane’s life was marked by addiction, abuse, loss, and dysfunction. She remembers being drawn to spiritual things. Searching for the One who could bring peace, she found her Savior, Jesus Christ! And soon after her salvation, she surrendered to ministry. She has never looked back!

Diane has lost all material possessions on two different occasions. Once by a house fire and another by Hurricane Katrina. She has survived a life-threatening illness, with after-effects that still impact her today. A speaker and author of the book, When God’s Woman Wants to Give Up! Diane sheds light on “never giving up” in the midst of trials. She is also a contributing author to LifeWay’s Ministry to Women blog, and most recently Broadman and Holman’s Daily Devotional for Women and The Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women. She is an author, speaker, vlogger, and blogger.

What are three words that describe you?

Tex Mex Lover, Sea Shell scavenger, & Coffee connoisseur

Micah Putman

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

When we want to learn about the nature and the character of Jesus, our natural inclination is to head straight to the New Testament; yet Jesus told his followers that the words of the Old Testament pointed to him (John 5:39). In this breakout session, we will dive into the Old Testament–the scripture that Jesus himself read–and see how the promise of the Messiah is evident from the first verses of Genesis to the last verses of Malachi.

Read Micah's Bio

Micah is wife to Rhyne and mom to Bennett (8) and Anne Kathryn (3). She holds a master’s degree in Christian Education from NOBTS and is currently working on her PhD in the same area. Micah served alongside her husband at NOBTS and First Baptist Kenner until last August when God called them to minister to college students as part of the administration and faculty at Williams Baptist University in northeast Arkansas. Micah is passionate about studying and knowing the Word and mentoring and discipling young women to grow in the likeness of Christ. She loves reading, exercising, taking pictures of her kids, writing everything down in her planner, and supporting her husband’s love of Mississippi State athletics.

What are three words that describe you?

reader, planner obsessed, workout junkie

Karla Rossi-Gonzalez

Prioritizing God’s Word in my Daily Life

Métodos y Sistemas para la hacer la Palabra de Dios Una Prioridad requiere disciplina. Estaremos concentrándonos en establecer un sistema rutinario para establecer nuestra prioridad en la lectura y profundizar en Su Palabra.

Read Karla's Bio

Women’s Ministry Director for 12 years
Women’s Ministry and Missions Coordinator for Miami Baptist Association for 7years
Women’s Ministry and Missions Regional Consultant for Florida Baptist Conventions 5 years.
Pastor’s Wife and grandmother of 5 precious girls.

What are three words that describe you?

1. Fun Loving and adventurous

2. Love a good laugh
3. Coffee lover, with a warm blanket in front of a fire place with my man!

Kathy Steele

Comforting Others with God’s Word / Consolando a otros con la Palabra de Dios

God’s Word gives us great comfort, and can be a source of wonderful comfort for others. Sensitivity to what we share, who we share it with, and how we share is a crucial part of the effectiveness of comforting others with God’s Word.

Read Kathy's Bio

Kathy has been a part of the NOBTS Counseling faculty since 2005. Before coming to New Orleans, she and her family served with the IMB for 20 years in Central America. She has a passion for discipleship and for helping hurting people. Kathy has two children, Kristi Steele Griem and David Steele, and three grandchildren.

What are three words that describe you?

playful; chocolate lover; foreign food cook

María Wetzel

Compartir La Palabra de Dios

Hablaremos sobre cómo usar la Palabra de Dios mientras compartimos nuestra fe durante nuestra vida diaria. Discutiremos como superar cualquier obstáculo al compartir la palabra de Dios. Te irás con una renovada confianza en querer contarles a otros acerca del amor de Jesucristo.

Read María's Bio

A Pastor’s wife for over 27 years and a Missionary for most of her life. She is married to Mike Wetzel, NOBTS VP of Institutional Advancement. She loves encouraging women to live their lives for Jesus and has done so in India, Haiti, Cuba, and North America. Born to Cuban immigrants, days after their arrival to the US, María loves all things Cuban and enjoys speaking Spanish whenever she can.

What are three words that describe you?

Beach Lover!!
Hallmark (I love happy endings!)
Spreading Joy!!….Bringing a smile to others

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