NBA XPLOR Expands with New Residents, Host Sites in 2015-16

The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is pleased to welcome the 2015-16 cohort of NBA XPLOR Residents. Seven host sites are opening their doors to 24 Residents, doubling the size and span of NBA XPLOR in its second year.

NBA XPLOR is a prophetic movement of and for young adults who are discerning lives of care and service. The 10-month Residency provides professional development and vocational discernment opportunities for young adults ages 21-30 to live simply in community and engage in direct service and justice work. Through NBA XPLOR, Residents are partnered with Disciples host congregations, regions, general ministries, and wider communities – positively impacting all involved.

NBA XPLOR host teams include a rich collaboration of partners, including Disciples’ churches, regions, affiliated higher education institutions, and historic care providers. Host locations for 2015-16 include:

Returning Sites:

  • North Hollywood, CA – a partnership with Hollywood Beverly Christian Church, First Christian Church in North Hollywood, the Pacific Southwest Region, and All Peoples Community Center, with support from Week of Compassion
  • Hiram-Mantua, OH – a partnership with Brighter Day Christian Church, Hilltop Christian Church, Hiram Christian Church, Mantua Center Christian Church, and Hiram College
  • St. Louis, MO – a partnership with Union Avenue Christian Church, with Webster Groves Christian Church serving as a community engagement site

New Sites:

  • Tucson/Marana, AZ – a partnership with Capilla del Sol Christian Church, Community Christian Church of Marana, First Christian Church of Tucson, Saguaro Christian Church in Tucson, and the Arizona Region
  • Golden Gate/Bay Area, CA – a partnership with Forest Hill Christian Church in San Francisco, Lafayette Christian Church, Mills Grove Christian Church in Oakland, Christian Church Homes, Oakland Peace Center, and the Northern California-Nevada Region
  • Quad Cities, IL/IA – a partnership with Cedar Memorial Christian Church in Davenport, First Christian Church of Davenport, First Christian Church of Moline, the Illinois and Wisconsin Region, the Upper Midwest Region, and Eureka College
  • Dallas, TX – a partnership with East Dallas Christian Church, Juliette Fowler Communities, and the North Texas Area of the Southwest Region

The 2015-16 NBA XPLOR Residents, listed with their home towns/churches, are:

Tucson/Marana, AZ

  • Caleb Baker (First Christian Church; Granbury, TX)
  • Sarah Bates-Scott (Allisonville Christian Church; Indianapolis, IN)
  • Lydia Dettwyler (Salem First Christian Church; Salem, OR)
  • Nick Smith (Glen Oak Christian Church; Peoria, IL)

Golden Gate/Bay Area, CA

  • Melissa Hurley (First Christian Church; Sterling, IL)
  • Eula Pagdilao (Filipino Christian Church; Los Angeles, CA)
  • Rachel Thomson (Farmville Church of Christ; Farmville, VA)

North Hollywood, CA

  • Elsie Almodovar-Reyes (Hampton Park Christian Church; Toledo, OH)
  • Ryan Felber (Galileo Church; Mansfield, TX)
  • Jack Veatch (First Christian Church; Stow, OH)

Quad Cities, IL/IA

  • Sarah Page Jones (Fairview Christian Church; Lynchburg, VA)
  • Cristian Marin (Iglesia Cristiana Del Este Whittier; Whittier, CA)
  • Anna Westin (United Christian Parish, Lakeport, CA)

St. Louis, MO

  • Lauren Frato (Friendship Alliance Church; Chagrin, OH)
  • Kim Guy (Hiram Christian Church; Hiram, OH)
  • Jesus “Jay” Jimenez (Missiongathering, San Diego, CA)
  • Evan Stanfill (South Hills Christian Church; Fort Worth, TX)

Hiram-Mantua, OH

  • Wilber Argueta (Iglesia Cristiana Del Este Whittier; Whittier, CA)
  • Sarah Dowd (First Christian Church; Monroe, LA)
  • Christopher “CJ” Dyer (Salem First Christian Church; Salem, OR)
  • Alanna Hunter-Crump (Cairn Christian Church; Lafayette, CO)

Dallas, TX

  • Natalie Clark (Salem First Christian Church; Salem, OR)
  • Caleb Wang (Sinapi Seed Fellowship; Palo Alto, CA)
  • Derek Wilkerson (South Elkhorn Christian Church; Lexington, KY)

(Read more: 2015-16 NBA XPLOR Resident Bios.)

Residents will work up to 30 hours a week with nonprofit, social service sites learning about issues such as affordable housing, hunger and food security, after-school programs for children, faith-based advocacy efforts related to fair labor and environmental justice, day programs for adults with autism centered around agricultural learning, to name only a few. Each Resident will also work with a Disciples host congregation for up to six hours a week, engaging around worship, theological learning, and other mission initiatives within that particular Disciples community. Residents will observe a weekly Sabbath day, which will include group and personal work with a Spiritual Companion, as well as time for rest, renewal, and fun.

Additionally, NBA XPLOR is committed to the solid foundation of diversity as a major component of intentional community living. Ongoing anti-racism, cross-cultural communication and anti-oppression training are integral components of NBA XPLOR spiritual and leadership development.

The development of NBA XPLOR is part of the NBA’s strategic plan that involves initiating new collaborative partnerships around health and social service ministries. NBA XPLOR will soon begin accepting applications for the 2016-17 Residency. For more information, visit or contact

About the National Benevolent Association
The National Benevolent Association (NBA) serves as the health and social service general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The NBA partners with local congregations, regional and general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers. The NBA initiates, incubates, and connects partner ministries and organizations that provide direct care to those in need.

NBA XPLOR is a 10-month, faith-based service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve.

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