Teaching Faculty

Jeff Bonzelaar
Jeff Bonzelaar serves as the Executive Director of Life Challenge of Southeastern Michigan and has been employed with the ministry for over 26 years. He oversees both campuses in Detroit and Flint, Michigan. He is passionate about helping those struggling with addictions as he himself grew up at a Teen Challenge center and saw firsthand what Christ can do in a broken life. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and holds a Masters Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Bachelors Degree from Southeastern University. He is a school board member at Franklin Road Christian School. He has served as a sectional Secretary/Treasurer and Presbyter for the Assemblies of God, Michigan District. He and his wife Lori have been married for over 24 years and have four incredible sons.

• B.A. – Southeastern University
• M.A. – Fuller Theological Seminary

Christian Service:
• Ordained Minister, Assemblies of God
• Executive Director, Life Challenge
• Bible College Faculty, Central Bible College, Detroit, MI
• 22 years of Christian service
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Ken Keene
Ken Keene is enrolled in the Masters of Divinity (MDiv) program at Moody Theological Seminary – Michigan. He is due to graduate in 2017 with an emphasis in Pastoral Studies. In 2008 he obtained his Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE) from the same institution. Ken has labored as a church planter and as a department director at Life Challenge for over 15 years, all in the city of Detroit. This, as well as his efforts in the classroom are motivated from a passion to see the true gospel and right theological instruction penetrate the darkness in broken lives and bring restoration to them.

• Biblical Certificate – Central Bible College, Detroit
• Bachelor’s of Religious Education (BRE) – Moody (Michigan) Theological Seminary

Christian Service:
• Assemblies of God Church Planter – 3 years
• Director of Education, Life Challenge
• Director of Mens Division, Life Challenge
• 20 years of Christian service

Sheila Burrell
Sheila serves as the Director of Women and Assistant to the Executive Director. She received her Doctorate of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary and her Masters Degree in Counseling and Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences from Spring Arbor University. She is a Certified Advanced Addictions Counselor as well as a credentialed minister with the Church of God. She is married to Brian and has 2 grown daughters and five grandchildren.

• B.A. – Spring Arbor University
• M.A. – Ashland Theological Seminary
• D.Min. – United Theological Seminary

Christian Service:
• Ordained Minister
• Associate Pastor, Abundant Life Church
• Director of Development, Life Challenge
• Director of Women’s Division, Life Challenge
• 12 years Christian service

John Richardson
John Richardson serves as our Director of Development. He has taught at the University of South Dakota and the University of Toronto. He is the founder of ad agency Eidos Group, Inc., the new media services company Digital Chicken, and president of Xynapx, a new media consulting company. John is married to Brenda and is the father of two boys.

• B.A. – University of South Dakota, Philosophy and History, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
• Post Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
• Owner, Eidos Group and Digital Chicken, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Christian Service:
• Taught undergraduate Philosophy, University of South Dakota, 2 years
• Teaching Fellow, University of Toronto, 2 years
• 18 years of Christian service

David Pace
Dave Pace has been a minister of Michigan District Assemblies of God since 1953 and was ordained in 1963. Served as Sectional Presbyter and was District Home Missions Director from 1982 -1992 after he had retired from Ford Motor Company in December 1981 having worked there for 35 years. He is presently Chairman of the Board for Life Challenge of Southeaster Michigan (in Detroit and Flint) and the Michigan District Director of the five Teen Challenge/ Life Challenge Centers. He completed the required subjects for ministry through CBC correspondence in Springfield, Missouri. He is on staff at Taylor Christian Center, in Taylor Michigan. Because of his ministerial background and experience he is capable of teaching the Epistles for the applications of today’s lifestyle to students at Detroit Life Challenge. His desire is to impart the Word of God into the lives of the students to help them live a life that is pleasing to God.

• Biblical  Studies – Global University

Christian Service:
• Ordained Minister, Assemblies of God
• Michigan District Executive Director for Teen Challenge
• Michigan District Prison Ministry Director
• Michigan District Bible Inst. Teacher
• 61 years of Christian service

Norm Frechette
Teaches Middle Growth courses.



• B.A. – Tyndale University
• Biblical Studies – Global University

Christian Service:
• Associate Pastor, Brightmoor Christian Church, Novi, Michigan
• Missionary, 25 years

Steve Swaggerty
Teaches Lower Growth courses.



• B.A. – Central Bible College

Christian Service:
• Former Children’s Pastor, Brightmoor Christian Church, Novi, Michigan
• 18 years of Christian service

Adam Simnowitz
Adam is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He and his wife have been ministering in Dearborn, MI, especially among its sizable Arabic-speaking population since 1995. His ministry involvement includes evangelism, teaching/preaching, church-planting, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), training, and writing. Adam holds a Bachelors Degree from Central Bible College and is close to completing his course work for his Masters degree from Columbia International University. Adam has been teaching the Gospel of John at Life Challenge since the Summer of 2007.

• B.A. – Bible and Missions, Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri

Christian Service:
• Ordained minister and Home Missionary, Assemblies of God
• 17 years of Christian service

Denise Giovannini
Denise Giovannini is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. She has her Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Central Bible College and continues to further her education. Denise has served in a variety of roles at Northville Christian Assembly, including Christian Education and ministry to women, with an emphasis on small groups and leadership training. She currently serves in an administrative role at the Assemblies of God, Michigan District. Her teaching efforts in the classroom, both at Life Challenge and her local church, reflect her passion to teach biblical truth and make disciples of every generation, empowered by the Holy Spirit to go out with the gospel – locally, nationally and abroad.

Leland (Gus) Flaherty
Leland (Gus) Flaherty has earned a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He served as Director of Christian Education with Fairlane Assembly of God Church (Now Detroit World Outreach) and also served as Lead Pastor of Fair Haven Assembly of God for nearly 20 years. Currently he has been working as a Hospice Chaplain. Gus brings a good balance of education and personal pastoral experience to the learning environment at Life Challenge, helping students engage in the learning process and integrating the Biblical concepts into their daily lives.

• B.A. – Evangel University, Biblical Studies
• M. Div. – Fuller Theological Seminary
• D. Min. – Fuller Theological Seminary

Christian Service:
• Youth Minister – Arlington Foursquare Church (California) 2 years
• Director of Christian Education – Fairlane Assembly of God (12 years)
• Lead Pastor Fair Haven Assembly of God (19+ years)
• Served as Sectional Treasurer
• Served as Sectional Presbyter

Mahlon Heatwole
Mahlon Heatwole graduated from the University of Michigan Flint (B. A. 1972) and Eastern Michigan University (M. A. 1976) with a degree in mathematics education in each case. He taught mathematics at Grand Blanc High School for 34 years. He was ordained as a minister in the Mennonite Church in 1972, serving there as associate pastor from 1969-84. Since that time he has served as a teacher, small group leader, mens ministry leader, mentor, and elder in other churches. He has taught at the Flint L. C. campus for four years. His passion is to see lives changed by the transforming word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew Sheppard
Matthew Sheppard currently serves as the Education Coordinator and as the instructor for classes in Levels 2 & 3 (students in months 4-6 & 7-9 respectively). He earned his Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethlehem Seminary and his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. A native of Minnesota, Matt started working for Teen Challenge in Minneapolis at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. He has been teaching for several years but began his teaching career as a music teacher. In addition to teaching at Life Challenge, Matt also teaches guitar in Plymouth and Westland. Matt and his beautiful wife Bisi have one infant daughter, and they attend Highland Park Baptist Church.

Ronald Horton
Ronald Horton, a native Detroiter, is the father of five children, and the grandfather of six grandchildren. He and his wife Connie (deceased) were married For over 36 years. He is a graduate of William Tyndale College holding degrees in Urban Studies (A.A.), Religious Education (B.R.E.), and Master of Art in Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. At present Ron is Director of the Moody Bible Institute- Michigan Regional Class Rooms, a ministry of Moody Theological Seminary-Michigan.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart is a Life Challenge instructor who teaches a course entitled “Sacred Work”. He is a self-employed consultant who spent 30 years at Ford Motor Co. Tom is pleased to leverage his Christian faith and 37 years of work experience to better prepare Life Challenge students to reenter the workforce when they graduate. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Detroit – Mercy and a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom and his wife Valerie have been married for over 27 years and are blessed with three wonderful children.

• Bachelors of Science Mechanical Engineering – University of Wisconsin – Madison
• Masters of Business Administration – University of Detroit Mercy

Christian Service:
• Instructor, Life Challenge
• Orchestra, Brightmoor Christian Church
• 25 years of Christian service

William (Bill) Lichty
William (Bill) Lichty is actively involved in developing leaders and helping people grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and ability to apply biblical principles. Not only is he a skilled communicator; he also is an effective mentor and counselor. His ministry spans 50 years and includes pastoring, teaching and counseling roles. He has a B.A. from Central Bible College and a Master’s degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. His experience as the director of Stability Ministries, Inc., professor for Central Bible College-Detroit, teacher at Detroit Life Challenge and most recently the Director of Congregational Care in Mission Viejo, California has given him the skills and wisdom needed to enrich the learning experience for his students.


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