Religious Liberty? Everyone is talking about Religious Liberty these days. Yet, what does it mean? What is its significance for modern society in 2023? This Religious Liberty weekend will focus on the deep biblical and theological roots within early Adventism that provide the spiritual foundation for this critical ministry as we approach earth’s final hours.

James Rafferty

James Rafferty is Director of Discipleship Ministry for 3ABN. He is an ordained pastor, evangelist, and author of several books. He and his wife Risë have been married for 34 years and are blessed with two adult children. 

Jonathan Zirkle, Esq

Jonathan Zirkle, JD, is an attorney from Loma Linda (California) and the Vice-President for Legal Affairs of the Liberty and Health Alliance. He started his career as a prosecutor with the San Bernardino DA’s office, spent 10 years representing the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs in employment law trials and other healthcare matters and now is in private practice focusing on non-profit law, federal employment law, and religious liberty. He is a former Director of AdventHope in Loma Linda and the President of Word Radio, FM107.3, an Adventist radio station transmitting from Yucaipa California. 

Conrad Vine

Born into a pastoral family, Elder Vine grew up with his twin brother and two sisters in homes across the UK. After graduating with a business management degree (1995), he served int he UK public healthcare system before God led him to ADRA (1996). Initially serving in Azerbaijan, Elder Vine served with ADRA through 2002 in a variety of roles worldwide. Following seminary training at Newbold College (2002-2004), he and Luda began their pastoral ministry in London, UK. After serving as Secretary-Treasurer in the Middle East Union, they transitioned to pastoral ministry for 4 years in Minnesota before Elder Vine answered the call to serve as President of Adventist Frontier Missions ( Conrad and Luda were married in December 1999, and regard their marriage as a personal blessing from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Dr. Marisol Quintanilla

A namatologist by profession at Michigan State University, Dr. Quintanilla studies nematodes (little bugs) that parasitize plants. Dr. Quintanilla grew up on a farm in Chile, studying in both Chile and gaining her undergraduate degree in Agriculture from Andrews, her masters and doctoral degrees from Michigan State, and has worked as an Entomologist/Nematologist in the Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, and Michigan. Over the years, she has become a strong advocate for liberty of conscience, and has strongly refuted and rejected any Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ideology such as gender theory that is diametrically opposed to biblical teaching. Her writings on this topic in a Substack page called Heterodx Stem have led to intense opposition from those who would reject Scripture. Recently, Dr. Quintanilla won a national award for her from FIRE, The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression for her brave and principled stand for truth, free-speech and liberty of conscience. 

Ricky Kearns

Born in arpartheid-era South Africa, Ricky Kearns brings a unique blend of personal experiences of expertise to the history of liberty of conscience as a naturalized United States citizen. Since graduating with a Masters in Divinity in 2004, he has been a medical missionary and church planter with his wife Carmen and children Eliana and Tobin. Guided by the Great Controversy theme and a growing appreciation or the Adventist Pioneers, he navigates roles as a husband, father, nurse, and student of scripture, history, and prophecy, shedding light on the foundation of personal beliefs and societal freedoms rooted in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Witnessing arpatheid’s consequences firsthand, he draws parallels between historical struggles and ongoing quest for autonomy in a Covid world, intertwining his experiences, theological reflection, historical insights, and a newfound prophetic perspective. With empathy from nursing and a conviction forged in the past three years, Ricky Kearns highlights the importance of safeguarding individual rights and beliefs in the face of adversity, connecting his own journey with the cosmic conflict and emphasizing the enduring significance of liberty of conscience. 

Jonathan Cherne, Esq

Jonathan Cherne is an attorney and CPA. His law practice focuses on helping those who have suffered Religious Discrimination in the workplace, as well as Estate Planning. Mr. Cherne was one of the attorneys that represented Gerald Groff in his Supreme Court case against the Postal Service. Mr. Cherne also serves as the Associate Director of American Christian Ministries-a ministry dedicated to spreading the 3 Angels Messages without compromise.  

Ron Duffield

Ron Duffield grew up in the northwest, worked as a Respiratory Therapist in Walla Walla for several years before attending Weimar College where he met his wife Cherie and spent nearly 15 years working in the NEWSTART program and as College Librarian. In 2004, Ron and Cherie and their three daughters moved to Dixie WA where Ron currently works in the local hospital. He has authored two books, Return of the Latter Rain and Wounded in the House of His Friends, and presents seminars on Adventist history and liberty of conscience subjects. 

Jon Gusky

Jonathan Gusky grew us as a Seventh-day Adventist. He began studying the Bible and Ellen White’s writings as a young boy. He served his church in McKeesport, PA starting as a deacon at age 16, giving his first sermon at 19 when he became an elder. Jon has continued serving the church in many capacities and devotes many hours a week studying scripture, preaching in various churches and helping his local church as needed. When he has time, Jon enjoys gardening, restoring automobiles, reading and time with his family. 

Bryce Bowman

Bryce Bowman presently serves as pastor of the Stevensville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Stevensville MI. Bryce has a degree in management of information systems and worked for many years managing information infrastructures in the healthcare industry. More recently, he is a graduate of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, earning an MA in Religion with emphases in church history and systematic theology. During his 14 years of pastoral ministry, he has served in the Indiana, Oregon, and Michigan Conferences. He and his wife Sandy have been married for twenty-two years and reside in southwest Michigan with their three children; Kaitlyn, Caleb, and Micah. 

Ron Knott

For the past 24 years Ronald Knott has been the director of Andrews University Press, the primary academic publishing house to serve the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist Church, publishing, among many other things, the Andrews Study Bible and the Andrews Bible Commentary. He has also worked in higher education public relations, in grant writing for ADRA International, and in private publishing where he produced the “College Faith” series, and two volumes for the North American Division titled “Over and Over Again: 150 Adventists Share Faith Stories about Stewardship.” Ron is the author of “the Makings of a Philanthropic Fundraiser: The Instructive Example of Milton Murray,” published by Jossey-Bass, noted for some time as the only book published by a major secular publisher about a living Seventh-day Adventist. He was a writer and executive producer of the feature-length film documentary “The Midnight Cry: William Miller and the End of the World,” released by the General Conference in 1994. Ron is married to Esther Knott, Long-time associate pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church, and now Associate Director of the North American Division Ministerial Association. Until very recently, the Knotts had been members for several years here at the Village Church.