Listee Features — Religion

Barbara Lang


Barbara Wilson Lang celebrates more than four decades as a community spiritual leader, teacher, and the chief executive officer of West Street Baptist Church. Ms. Lang attended Jarvis Christian College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and psychology in 1972, and began her work in religious services shortly after. She was named chief executive officer of West Street Baptist Church in 1978, assuming responsibility for the church’s business operations and financial record-keeping, but her commitment to building and strengthening community ties has been a lifelong calling. In addition to her work for West Street Baptist Church, Ms. Lang dedicated 44 years to her role as the senior residential administrator of Clausen House, a community for adults with developmental disabilities.

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Holding considerable expertise in physical therapy, Rev. Marleena Ann Debrough was inspired to her profession during her early nursing studies when she was exposed to the physical therapy at the hospital she as working at in 1989. Initially unfamiliar with the field, she did some research and found it perfectly suited to her love of helping people. Spending nine years working as a physical therapist assistant, she earned her Master of Arts in physical therapy at Old Dominion University in 2000 and has worked as a physical therapist for the past 20 years. In her current work, she excels in both general and geriatric care, serving a wide range of individuals and providing home therapy services. Additionally, Rev. Debrough attained

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Linda Philabaun


For more than 40 years, Dr. Linda Philabaun led a successful career in Ministry and the thoroughbred horse business. A graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, she earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Palliative Care. She secured certificates in clinical pastoral education from the Cancer Treatment Center of America. There she utilized the holistic approach of care for many of the patients. Dr. Philabaun witnessed miracles there and developed a passion for cancer care and research. Moreover, she completed two residencies a Northwest Community Hospital with a focus in oncology hospice work. Since 1994, she has served in the Ministry for various Presbyterian Churches beginning as an Associate Pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Round Lake, Illinois. From

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Myrtle Veach


Having accrued three decades of inimitable experience as a religious educator and consultant, Myrtle “Myrte” R. Veach garnered a laudable reputation as a youth manager on behalf of Lifeway Christian Resources between 1977 and her retirement in 1994. In her earlier years, she found success with Memorial Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, as a youth education director. She was subsequently hired by the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1969, where she excelled as a youth consultant. Additionally, Ms. Veach maintained the Veach Youth Ministry in Brentwood, Tennessee, where she was both the president and a consultant between 1994 and 2000. During the course of her extensive career, Ms. Veach often

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Kathryn Ransom


With decades of experience to her credit, Kathryn A. Ransom has excelled as an author and educator, having published her first book, “Ransom Notes: Moments of Reflection, Courage, Engagement, Worship and Humor,” through WestBow Press in 2019 at the age of 83. Prior to this accomplishment, she flourished as an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities throughout Illinois. She was employed with Springfield School District Number 186 as a teacher, the director of the reading program, and later as the supervisor of the English and Reading Department for the district. For two years, Ms. Ransom worked as a consultant for a textbook publishing company as a reading consultant for schools around the United States. Following retirement from the school

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Prior to embarking upon her professional path, Mary J. Auerbacher pursued an education at the University of Redlands in California, earning a Bachelor of Arts in biology in 1944. When she first began attending university, she had previously come from a congregational church in Los Angeles, where she sang in their choir. Following this accomplishment, she began her career as a first grade teacher at the Migratory Camp in Indio, California, between 1944 and 1945. Concluding her academic efforts at the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Music in organ performance in 1947, Ms. Auerbacher subsequently founded the Valley Preparatory School in Redlands, California, in 1958, where she also worked as a music teacher from 1960 to 1976. One

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After working in Texas as a registered nurse for many years, Dr. Bellany Brisbon was called by the Lord to give glory to Him through music. In 2014, she became a pastor for the Hear Jesus Network, a ministry that puts the word of the Lord first through a variety of networking and community events, Bible studies and church services, among others. In addition to her work with the Hear Jesus Network, Dr. Brisbon channels her love of God into her work as a speaker with Glory 98.5, where she began in 2016. Before being called upon by God, Dr. Brisbon earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and became an associate registered nurse through Francis Marion University in 1996

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Vida Buckley


A Christian, wife, mother and author, Vida Buckley has found success with such written works as “Broken Beyond Belief,” “I Feel Like Popcorn” and “That Ain’t Christian.” She writes self-help books from her very own life experience in order to help someone else move forward in their day-to-day life. Since 1997, she has also dedicated herself to her community as a minister. Apart from her religious and writing endeavors, Ms. Buckley has gained valuable expertise in contract coordination as a contract coordinator for AbbVie Inc., where she has held a number of positions including as a contract coordinator II and clinical project assistant. In her current role as a contract coordinator, Ms. Buckley manages all inbound requests for contract processing,

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Inspired by the example of her mother, Bernice L. Frazier was encouraged to pursue a career in community service, culminating in her current work as the president and chief executive officer of the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation, Inc. An experienced executive with considerable expertise in nonprofit organization management, philanthropy, policy analysis, volunteer management and more, she gained valuable expertise in the field as the vice president of L&B Enterprises between 1996 and 2011. Moreover, Ms. Frazier is certified as a grant writer. Before entering the nonprofit industry, Ms. Frazier worked as a manager of transportation for Dayton Public Schools, where she served between 1996 and 2000. Additionally, she excelled as a student advisor for Senegalese students attending universities in the

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Alice Eckardt


Alice L. Eckardt became involved profession upon learning the many horrors associated with the reign of Hitler and the Holocaust. As a college student witnessing those atrocities, she was immediately inspired to pursue providing education in Jewish studies. At the start of her career, Ms. Eckardt began her teaching career as a lecturer in the religious studies department of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1972, as an assistant professor from 1976 to 1985, as a full professor from 1985 to 1987 and as professor emerita upon retirement. She served additionally as the co-founder and co-director of the university’s Jewish studies program from 1976 to 1985. In preparation for her career, Ms. Eckardt pursued a formal education at Oberlin College,

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