The Rev. Dr. K. Jason Coker is the national director of Together for Hope, the rural development coalition of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Previously, he also served as the Field Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi. After nearly two decades of life and ministry in Connecticut, Coker returned to his home state of Mississippi to work for peace and justice in areas of persistent rural poverty. The lessons of human compassion and equality he learned as a minister guide his work in poverty relief.

He is the author of James in Postcolonial Perspective: The Letter as Nativist Discourse (Fortress Press, 2015) and Faded Flowers: Preaching in the Aftermath of Suicide (Smyth & Helwys, 2020), which was just released in August! He also is the co-editor of Bible and Theory: Essays in Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Stephen D. Moore (Fortress Academic, 2020). He is currently working on The Corporation of God: A Biblical Critique of Global Capitalism (Cascade Press, 2021) that will be released early 2021.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Rachel Gunter Shapard is the Regional Vice President for Together for Hope, Black Belt. She is also a co-founder of Pastors for Florida Children, a public education advocacy group in the Sunshine State that was formed in 2019. Previously, she served as the Associate Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from June 2012 - March 2020; as an Eldercare Advocate at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL from 2009-2012; as a Hospice Chaplain for VistaCare Hospice in Lubbock, TX from 2006-2009; as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Outreach at FBC Gainesville, GA from 2000 - 2006; and as an Admissions Counselor at McAfee School of Theology from 1998 - 2000.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Rev. Charlton L. Johnson is the new Regional Vice President for the Delta. Born in Greenville, MS, Charlton has been an itinerant pastor in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for twenty years. He has served congregations in Tennessee, Arkansas and across Mississippi, including two different churches that are located in the Mississippi Delta (Indianola and Anguilla). Having worked as a hospice chaplain with AccentCare and most recently as a hospital chaplain with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS; Charlton’s personal and professional experiences with people and communities who are troubled by life and circumstance has equipped him to fulfill this unique leadership role with Together for Hope. To work collaboratively towards a life free of poverty.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Keith Stillwell is the Together for Hope Regional Vice President for Appalachia, residing in Danville, Kentucky. While serving with Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, Danville, Keith was actively involved with Together for Hope from the beginning, leading CBF Kentucky’s Mountain Hope Task Force work in Owsley County, McCreary County, and the community of Nada in Powell County. Lexington Avenue Baptist Church developed a partnership/friendship with the Nada Community which they maintained for 15 years. Keith has a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia and Master of Divinity Degree from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. He is currently working on a Certificate of Appalachian Studies with the University of Kentucky.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Shayne Kinloch is the Director of Programs and Partnerships for Together for Hope, Black Belt and a dedicated advocate for community empowerment and social change. In addition, she is the visionary founder of a stewardship firm that specializes in providing guidance to nonprofits and foundations, with a particular focus on those in rural areas. Her expertise lies in fostering organizational resilience and effectiveness, ensuring that every entity she works with can navigate challenges and seize opportunities with confidence.

In a past role, Shayne served as Program & Operations Manager for South Carolina’s nonprofit membership organization. There, she played a pivotal role in strengthening, uniting, and advancing nonprofits across the state. Shayne holds a Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science and a Master's degree in Organizational Change & Leadership from Columbia College. At the core of Shayne’s life journey is a steadfast commitment to serving vulnerable communities and advocating for their empowerment. Through her work, she strives to amplify the voices of those often overlooked and marginalized, ensuring that they have the resources and support needed to thrive.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Katie Fletcher is the Alabama State Manager for the Black Belt. She is currently working to support Together for Hope, Black Belt by recruiting potential partners, managing existing partners, and implementing systems and structures. Katie also serves as the Director of City Ministry at her local church. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Mississippi College and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Katie is currently a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). In 2019, Katie served with Together for Hope in an intern role with the Delta Region. She also has previous experience in working in mental and spiritual health with children and families in both the school and church settings. She is passionate about seeing communities thrive through holistic and strengths-based approaches. Katie considers it a privilege to work alongside incredible individuals and communities for the flourishing of the Black Belt region.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Sebrena Williamson is an Appalachian storyteller, choreographer, writer, and digital marketing strategist from Huntington, West Virginia. Currently, Sebrena works in many fields, with a primary focus on the arts and community development. In 2018, she co-founded Saltare in Elementis Dance Collective (SIEDC), where she now serves as Co-Founder, Choreographer and Director of Written Strategy. In 2021, Sebrena organized SIEDC’s debut film Terra (2021). Terra was filmed in WV’s Ohio River Valley and explores young Appalachians' experiences around climate change and industrial disasters.

As a proud product of the community that raised her, Sebrena is dedicated to universal rural advocacy and to Appalachian culture. Reflecting this, Sebrena brings her love and loyalty to Appalachia in all of her work. As a true collaborator at heart, Sebrena hopes to help create change in Appalachia that comes from a love of environment, people, and community.

Contact Info: [email protected]


Harold Tessendorf serves as the Senior Advisor on Housing and Social Enterprise at Together for Hope. 

Harold is a seasoned housing and social enterprise professional with a Master of Arts in Political Science (Conflict Resolution) from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa and, a Masters of Science in International Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University in the USA.  When he is not busy advising Together for Hope and its members, he can be found teaching undergraduate and graduate students at the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business at Mercer University in Macon, GA.  Here he teaches courses in Social Business, Ethical Leadership, Organizational Behavior, and Management and also leads teams of students to work with social enterprises in South Africa.

Harold Tessendorf has mediated and facilitated enduring outcomes since 1989. A native of South Africa, he is an experienced executive-level leader, negotiator and mediator with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit and social enterprise sectors in South Africa, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Haiti and the USA.   This includes two decades leading Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Georgia and well as serving on the boards of established and start-up nonprofits, including a credit union. 

Harold acquired extensive negotiation, mediation, and facilitation experience during South Africa’s democratic transition from apartheid to democracy during the late-1980s through mid-1990s.  In addition to his graduate studies in conflict management and community economic development, Harold has been trained by the Harvard Negotiating Project and Mennonite conflict management experts. His three decades of working experience have equipped him with skills in Nonprofit and Faith-based Management, Housing Finance, Board Governance, Strategic Planning, Community Economic Development, Micro-finance, Volunteer Management, Team Building, and Fundraising. 

Contact Info: [email protected]