Paul Lawler

Immersion School Founder

Paul Lawler is a husband, father, teacher, pastor, and church planter. He began serving as the Senior Pastor of Christ Church Birmingham in June of 2007. Prior to serving Christ Church, Paul was the founding Pastor of a church plant he served for 16 years in Huntsville, Alabama. He often speaks at conferences and events and has taught in locations ranging from Ocean Grove Camp in New Jersey to Dave Ramsey’s Lampo Group employees, to the Upper Room Chapel in Nashville. He is a graduate of Asbury College, and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

In addition to serving as a pastor, he continues to be involved in equipping church planters, helping churches vision for maximum effectiveness, and helping Christian movements establish initiatives that touch cities and the unreached people groups of the world. He has been involved in leading local churches to engage in planting over 300 churches on four different continents in which over 30,000 people have made first time professions of faith. Paul is married to Missy, who has also served on church plant teams in the nations of Paraguay, Costa Rica, Russia, and India. Paul and Missy have four children. As an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church, UMs in North Alabama honored Paul by giving him the Denman Evangelism Award for his servant-leadership in reaching new people for Jesus Christ. In his spare time, he enjoys family time, hiking, water-sports, reading, and a well brewed cup of coffee.

Jimmy Aycock

Associate Director

Jimmy Aycock is the Associate Director for training for International Leadership Institute. His focus area of responsibility is the 10-40 Window, and in particular the nations in which the Gospel is restricted and the Church is persecuted. He is an ordained Elder in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, having served as a pastor for over 30 years. Jimmy and his wife Ann have been married 33 years. They reside in Carrollton, Georgia, where International Leadership Institute is headquartered. Jimmy and Ann have 4 children and 8 grand children. The Aycock’s also serve as foster parents.

David Kaufmann

David Kaufmann is the pastor of City Church Network. He is married to Rebekah, his high-school sweetheart, and has 4 amazing and wonderful children (William, Gracie, Belle, and Noah). His heart for church planting comes from over 10 years of prayer, experience, and study in the ministry. He first began as youth pastor in Huntsville, AL and then moved on to E3 Partners Ministry (, to become the International Director for Students. After traveling to 15 different countries spanning four years and training international leaders, David received a call to serve as a pastor with Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Antioch, TN. David has been graciously blessed by the eldership at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship to embark on this new kingdom vision. His heart is to see renewal and awakening come to Nashville. In fact, David has moved his family to the heart of Woodbine, a community in great need of the gospel. This place is known primarily as a hub for migrants, and refugees. David’s hope is that someday, this place will be known as a light unto the nations (Isaiah 49:6).

John Riddle

John completed college and seminary here in Birmingham, AL. John was the Discipleship Director and Counseling at Covenant PCA church for many years. Now he mentors and trains Church Staffs in Discipleship. His ministry is Shadowlands.

John and his wife, Olivia, live in Birmingham, Alabama They have been married for 48 years and have one son

Al Henson

Founder and Executive Director of Compassionate Hope, Director of Discipleship & Church Planting Movements

Dr. Alfred G. Henson (Brother Al) graduated with an agricultural engineering degree from The University of Tennessee and a Masters and Doctorate of Divinity from Liberty University.

He founded Lighthouse Baptist Church and Ministries in 1978 and served as the lead pastor for 33 years. His leadership and service to the Antioch community has developed a highly diverse and effective Christian School which he remains as President. Al has founded many sister church plants, and several dozen full time ministers throughout the country and around the world.

As a gifted communicator, Brother Al spends much of his time encouraging and equipping the church, pastoring pastors, and sharing his passion for the nations and the persecuted church. Through Al’s burden for missions, he founded the Compassionate Hope Foundation. For over 30 years, Al has served the nations through building partnerships with trustworthy, national servant leaders in Southeast Asia. There he serves the underground persecuted church, widows, fatherless and families of believers imprisoned for their faith. CHF’s Northern Thailand focus is not only equipping but also serving to help rescue and prevent human trafficking of children and young people. One key factor for human trafficking in this area of Thailand is because education stops at 6th grade. Al’s compassionate heart is leading the way in the building of a CHF Christian School for 1,000 students. Al, along with the CHF team and supporting partners are believing together to change an entire region with the gospel.

Nancy Markham

Nancy Markham serves as Christ Church’s Discipleship Minister, and she has been a part of the staff for 14 years. Her love for the Lord and for discipling others was cultivated through 14 years in Bible Study Fellowship. She is married to Rob and they have 2 grown children. For fun, she enjoys reading, hiking, snow skiing, biking, and hanging out at the lake.

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