Compassion

Help us bless the people of Israel.

Rev. Dr. Jim Solberg

National Director

As USA National Director, Jim is the lead servant of the work of Bridges for Peace in the United States. He is vice-chair of the BFP-USA Board and a member of the BFP International Board of Directors. A graduate of St. Olaf College and an ordained minister, Jim hosts an annual tour to Israel, is a conference speaker, and regularly teaches and preaches on various Israel-related topics. He received his MA in Judeo-Christian Synergism and his DDiv from Masters International University of Divinity, and is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. Jim and his wife Sharon have 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren, and reside in Melbourne, Florida.

Dr. Bill Adams

Senior National Representative

As Senior National Representative, Bill assists in the development and growth of Bridges’ within the State of Florida, as well as national efforts. Through his rich Biblical teaching, he brings a greater awareness to the importance of what God is doing in Israel today, as well as the extensive humanitarian outreach of Bridges’ through its Assistance Centers in Jerusalem and Karmiel. He is widely known as a trusted bridge-builder within the Jewish community and an advocate for Israel among the churches. Bill earned his MDiv from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and received his MA in Judeo-Christian Synergism and DDiv from Master’s International University of Divinity. His undergraduate degree is from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Bill is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. He and his wife Lizzie have 7 children, 11 grandchildren, and resides in Rockledge, FL.

Rev. Dr. Lennie Allen

Senior National Representative

A pastor for over 30 years, Lennie first went to Israel in 1985 and has traveled around the world sharing the critical message of Biblically mandated Christian support for Israel and the Jewish people. He has been honored by Bnai Zion for more than 20 years of support to the Dallas Jewish community. Lennie received his BA from Southeastern University, an MA from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He completed a DDiv from Masters International University of Divinity and has also studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Lennie is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies and currently lives in Cocoa, Florida.  Contact information: (910) 545-1096  |   lallen@bfpusa.org

Dr. Randy Alonso

Senior National Representative and Partnered Pastor

Randy has served in full-time vocational ministry for over thirty years in various roles to include: Pastor, Leadership Coach and President for the International Ministerial Fellowship serving thirteen hundred Ministry Leaders worldwide. He currently serves as an Executive Pastor for Central Life Church in Melbourne, FL, and is Senior National Representative and USA Board of Directors member for Bridges for Peace. He became an advocate for the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people in 2001, and travels frequently to the Holy Land guiding groups on Study Tours. He is a conference speaker and travels extensively throughout the US and Israel as a teacher. He is a graduate of Baptist Bible College, Springfield, MO and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from Master’s International University of Divinity, Evansville, IN. He and his wife D’anae of 39 years reside in Rockledge.

Dr. John Anthony

Senior National Representative

John and his wife Connie pastored multi-lingual and multi-cultural communities in Israel for nearly 30 years, following his appointment there by the International Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. From 1973-2002 he was on the pastoral staff at Narkis Street Congregation and at Jerusalem Baptist Church. In 2002 John received Emeritus status from the IMB for his work in Jerusalem. When he joined the BFP-USA team, John brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience about Israel and her people. He received his DMin from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. John and Connie live near their children and grandchildren in the Dallas, TX area.  Contact information: (469) 688-1925   |   janthony@bfpusa.org

Rev. Melissa Harris

Development Director, Washington

Melissa has served in a variety of nonprofit and ministry leadership roles throughout her career. She graduated from the BFP Institute of Israel Studies and is passionate about sharing opportunities for Christians to stand with Israel. Melissa spearheaded a Senate resolution honoring Israel’s 70th anniversary. She has co-led a prayer group for Israel for over a decade and leads a BFP women’s retreat each summer. Melissa holds ministry credentials through International Ministerial Fellowship and is completing her Master of Arts in Judeo–Christian Synergism. She resides in Olympia, Washington.

Richard J Laplante

Operations Director

As Operations Director, Richard serves with some of the administrative aspects of the ministry. He came on staff in August 1995. If you spend any amount of time with him, you’re sure to hear him say, “I have the best job in the world!” While in Portland, Maine he received an Associates degree in Computer Science and in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma a Bible degree in Missions. He is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies and went on to complete his MMin from the Masters International University of Divinity, Evansville, Indiana. Richard and his wife Helen of 46 years have 2 children and reside in Florida.

Rev. Victoria Marmolejo

USA Field Director

Victoria is ordained through the International Ministerial Fellowship. She has served with Bridges for Peace for more than 11 years in varying capacities. She currently manages the National Prayer & Representative Network, which numbers over 1,000 members. Victoria penned both the Iron Dome prayer as well as the Leader’s Morning prayer. She is also the author of My Prayer Book ©†ספר†של†התפ’לה†), inspired by Jewish women praying at the Western Wall. She initiated A Woman’s Prayer Weekend across the US, connecting women to Israel by ministering to them through worship, rest and teachings. Victoria has lived in Greece, Spain, and Germany and enjoys traveling the world. She has been to Israel eight times and enjoys hosting tours that encourage a deeper walk with Christ through the Land where He has put His name forever (2 Chron. 33:7). Victoria is a USAF military veteran, has two sons, one daughter, three grandsons, and two granddaughters, along with a host of other “adopted” children she loves to call her own. She lives in Rockledge, FL.

Dr. Ed Smelser

Senior National Representative

A church pastor for 30 years, and a former Bible college faculty member, Ed and his wife Bonnie served for more than 4 years as Chaplain for the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. His years in Jerusalem have given Ed a unique understanding of Israel which he shares in many forums such as churches, synagogues, classrooms, and the media. He received his DDiv from Masters International University of Divinity, and is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel studies. Ed and Bonnie have one daughter and 2 granddaughters and reside in Vancouver, Washington.  Contact information: (360) 606-8500   |   esmelser@bfpusa.org

Rev. Scott Sober

Stewardship Director

Scott is a veteran church planter who bridges generational gaps with ease. As the lead on California speaking and developmental venues, Scott effectively communicates God’s covenantal commitment to His people Israel. He holds a degree in Community Ministry from Geneva College and is nearing completion of his M.A. in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University. He is an ordained minister through International Ministerial Fellowship and is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. Scott and his wife Dawn live in Satellite Beach, Florida with their 2 daughters.

Rev. Andy Benedick

Regional Representative, Florida

As a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God, Andy has pastored for over 10 years and served the land and people of Israel 8 times, his first trip there being in 1989. He is a skilled teacher of Bible prophecy and the roots of the Christian faith from a Biblical perspective. Andy is also a talented musician and worship leader who has performed at many Christian, Jewish, and interfaith events in Israel and the US. He is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies and is studying in the Master of Arts in Judeo-Christian Synergism program with Master’s International University of Divinity. Andy and his wife Sarah have 3 children and reside in Melbourne, Florida.

Rev. Jay Christianson

Regional Representative, Minnesota

Pastor Jay has been serving in pastoral and teaching ministry for the last 22 years.  He first became excited about the Jewish Roots of Christianity in 1986. Since then, his studies have led him to become a teacher, speaker, tour leader, Jewish-Christian Dialogue participant, and outspoken advocate for Israel and the Jewish community.  Pastor Jay holds a M.A. in Judeo-Christian Synergism from Master’s International University of Divinity, a B. A. in Pastoral Studies from North Central University, and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.  He’s led tours and participated in two intense three week training sessions in Israel.  He is known for his work in interdenominational cooperation and interfaith understanding, specifically between Christians and Jews.  Jay and his wife Jeanne have four children and they currently reside in the Twin Cities (Burnsville), MN.

Rev. Laura Invergo

Regional Representative, Illinois

Laura, and her husband Tony, met while attending a Jewish prayer focus at Moody Bible Institute where both were students. They were first introduced to Bridges for Peace while directors of a pioneering ministry effort in Jewish/Christian relations in England. Now Laura volunteers at events in her local Jewish community and teaches the Christian community about Israel, the Jewish people, and God’s eternal love for them. Laura is an ordained minister through International Ministerial Fellowship. She and her husband are both graduates of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. Tony and Laura have 3 children and live in Hebron, Illinois.

Dr. Frank Lenihan

Regional Representative, Montana

Frank and his wife Debbie pastor Lustre Mennonite Brethren Church, in rural Montana. Frank received his Doctor of Divinity and his Masters in Judeo Christian Synergism from Masters International University of Divinity. He is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies and regularly leads tours to Israel. Frank is passionate about building lasting relationships between Christians and Jews and for teaching Christians about the Hebraic roots of their faith. He currently serves in a Representative position on the BFP-USA Board.

Megan Renick

Regional Representative, Florida

Megan has been zealous for Zion ever since her first encounter with Israel through Bridges for Peace. With a heart for Israel and the Jewish people she enjoys educating people about the truth of events in Israel and the Middle East. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the BFP Institute of Israel Studies, Megan is involved in developing partnerships between area pastors and BFP and facilitating “Israel Connection” meetings in local churches. Megan, her husband Jack, and their daughter live in Rockledge, Florida.

Rev. Jim Shuman

Regional Representative, Ohio

Jim and his wife Judy are the pastors for Suffield Fellowship Church in Mogedore, Ohio. For many years Jim was also a faculty member of a Bible college. A graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies, Jim has taught Christian Leaders Forums and helps lead the BFP Men’s Prayer Weekends in Washington DC. He is also a regular contributor to the Bridges for Peace Christian Torah Devotions. He currently serves in a Representative position on the BFP-USA Board. Jim and Judy have 3 sons and 9 grandchildren and live in Hartville, Ohio.

Dr. Joseph Wehrer

Regional Representative, Pennsylvania and New York City

Joe has extensive experience teaching theology and the Hebraic roots of Christianity in Bible colleges and has also been in ministry to the homeless of New York City. He received his DDiv from Masters International University of Divinity, and is a graduate of the BFP Institute of Israel Studies. Joe especially enjoys visiting Israel with groups of his students, most of whom are experiencing Israel for the first time. He and his wife Monica and their 2 children live in Lititz, Pennsylvania.