Media Speakers

Ben Courson

Ben Courson is the founder of the Hope Generation, has a global TV and radio program, is the author of three books and is a gifted and nationally-renowned speaker based out of Applegate Christian Fellowship. Ben’s humorous, uplifting and high-energy style, coupled with a gift to communicate God’s heart, is done in a hugely impactful way. Ben gave his first message in 3rd grade, started a weekly home Bible study at age 16 and became a full-time pastor his senior year of high school.

Ben Crawford

Ben Crawford was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He went from waiting tables to becoming an expert card counter at the Blackjack table. He organized a Christian card-counting team that was backed by investors and won millions from casinos. His story was captured on an award-winning film entitled, Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians. He went on to co-found an internet communication startup, and was awarded Cincinnati Entrepreneur of the Year. Ben lives in Northern Kentucky with his wife and 6 children.

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in education, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Since founding the international arm of Back2Back in 1997, they have hosted thousands of guests on the ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013), and Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014). Beth is the recipient of the the 2013 International Network of Children’s Ministry Legacy Award and the Cincinnati Christian University Salute to Leaders Award for her and Back2Back’s impact on children internationally. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary and parent of nine children for illustrations of biblical concepts.

Brad Cousino

Brad Cousino overcame a childhood of significant abuse to become an NFL linebacker, speaker, author, business owner, consultant, mentor, life coach, husband, dad, and papa.

Chad Hovind

Chad Hovind graduated from Moody Bible College in Chicago, majoring in pastoral ministry as well as communication (radio/television). His love for ministry and creativity can be seen in many forms: leading teams, motivational speaking, expository teaching, and experience as an actor, director, and video producer. He's served as pastor at two high-impact church start-ups in Georgia: Cumberland Community Church and New Community Church. Chad received his master's degree from Moody Graduate School in 2008. His Masters of Arts in Ministry specialized in teaching and communication. He loves volleyball, movies, and hanging out with his wife, Beth, and their three children.

Chad Hovind w/Chad Williams

Chad Williams is a former US Navy SEAL who served his country proudly on the battlefield. He is a best-selling author and frequent guest on major news networks. Having presented to Fortune 500 companies, educators, military and law enforcement, Chad draws upon his experience and training as a Navy SEAL to teach others the way SEALs acquire and execute goals, overcome adversity, lead, innovate, maintain killer instincts and survive in the worst of conditions.

Chris Watson

As Chief Operating Officer, Chris Watson is responsible for leading the team and managing operations at Horizon Community Church. Chris grew up in Columbus (Worthington) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Horizon, he had a career in banking before entering ministry. Chris was most recently Executive Pastor at a church in Savannah, GA. When not at Horizon, he can be found at the gym, reading, hanging out with his kids or at a local coffee shop. He and his wife, Amy, have 6 children (Peyton, Ellie, Micah, Sammy, Millie, and Titus) and live in the Milford area. They are thrilled to be back in the Midwest close to family and friends.

Chuck Mingo

Chuck Mingo is Campus Pastor for the Oakley location of Crossroads Church where 12,000 people worship together every weekend. A native of Philadelphia, he now calls Cincinnati home and even roots for the Bengals on occasion. Prior to working at Crossroads he spent 9 years in Sales at Procter & Gamble. He has been married to his wife Maria for 15 years, and they have two boys, Nathan and Samuel, and one daughter Isabel. Chuck is passionate about his relationship with Jesus, his family, running, and most importantly about being part of what God is doing to transform Cincinnati through the "big C" church. A few years ago during a spike of the racial tension in America, Chuck heard a calling to unite Cincinnati and beyond. The UNDIVIDED experience was born, and has since been reapplied across the nation, internationally e.g. South Africa, and in prison ministries. The principles of UNDIVIDED also hold true corporately, driving organization capability and speed of development.

Dan Martin

Dan Martin is the Parenting Associate for pureHOPE and the Campus Pastor of his local church, Chase Oaks – Sloan Creek. In addition to his pastoral role, Dan is a frequent speaker on topics addressing Family, Parenting, Marriage, Christian Leadership and Technology. He is a regular part of the pureHOPE conference team with over ten years of ministry and speaking experience. Dan undergirds truth with grace and helps parents and leaders do the same. He earnestly believes God has the better story—we have the better story—and we can communicate confidently, peacefully, and effectively with our kids and our community. Dan lives in the Dallas area with his wife Kathie. They have three adult children; he has parented his way into empty-nester status, and picked up a few things along the way.

David Nasser

In 1979, 9-year-old David and his family were forced to flee their home country of Iran amidst a bloody revolution, seeking asylum in America as refugees. At age 18, after years of difficult assimilation to a new culture during a time when Iranian-American social and political tensions were high, David found hope and redemption through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Having served as the pastor of the world’s largest collegiate ministry, David now lives with his wife, Jennifer in Nashville where he leads the non-profit For Others Collective. David is a highly regarded, engaging and humorous communicator who speaks on the topics of cultural development and leadership across the globe.

Doug Daily

With over 20 years as a pastor and speaker with FamilyLife Conferences, Doug Daily brings a wide range of experiences to Horizon. He holds degrees from Mississippi State and Dallas Theological Seminary and received his doctorate from Bethel Theological Seminary. He is the author of Stress in Marriage and is a frequent speaker on leadership and men's topics. In addition to pastoring high-impact churches in Colorado and Arkansas, Doug was on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. Doug will be a champion of spiritual development at Horizon, launching a new men's ministry and supporting Chad as a speaker at our adult services. He and his wife, Patty, have three grown children.

Dr. Kathy Koch

Dr. Kathy Koch, the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, TX, has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, and other events. She has authored six books including four published by Moody Publishers. Her practical, relevant, and results-oriented concepts and engaging, honoring, and humorous speaking style draw enthusiastic raves from children, teens, parents, and educators. Dr. Koch earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.

Dr. Mark Green

After graduating from West Point with a degree in business, Mark Green served as an infantry officer, eventually commanding a rifle company in the famed 82nd Airborne Division. While in command, his father's life was saved by a surgeon, profoundly impacting him and leading him to seek a degree in medicine. Following his residency in emergency medicine Dr. Green was assigned as the flight surgeon for the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). There Mark served alongside some of the nation's most elite warriors on two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and one in Operation Enduring Freedom. He participated in planning and providing medical coverage for some of OIF and OEF's most covert operations. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star, The Air Medal with "V" device for Valor, The Air Medal, and the Combat Medical Badge.

Drew Thorwall

Drew is a Pastor at Horizon and his responsibilities include working throughout our Equipping Ministry in small groups, weekend service teaching, leading our local and global serving opportunities, and creating study resources that complement Horizon’s message series.Drew previously served as Associate Pastor at Faith Church of Grayslake in the suburbs of Chicago. He holds a Master’s from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In his spare time, he loves to play basketball and is passionate about helping teens and parents navigate the often murky waters of video games. Drew and his wife, Melissa, have four children: Belle, Axel, Obed, and Simeon.

Eddie Degarmo

Eddie DeGarmo has sold millions of records as an artist in a genre he helped to invent, millions as a record label executive and entrepreneur, and impacted hundreds of millions of people as a music publisher. Throughout his over fifty years in music, DeGarmo has had a storied career with success as an artist, songwriter, producer, and businessman. He was one of the leading pioneers of contemporary Christian music as part of rock duo DeGarmo & Key, which was recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He started mixing his newfound teenaged faith with rock and roll, the only music that felt natural to him, long before most churches were ready for drums and amps. His band, DeGarmo & Key, slogged it out on the road for years, taking arrows from both the sanctified and the secular before breaking through as one of the most successful bands of the genre. During his 17 years with D&K and a successful solo endeavor, DeGarmo sold millions of albums and garnered 9 Grammy nominations and dozens of Dove Award nominations. He went on to co-found ForeFront Records, where he developed multi-platinum selling and Grammy-winning artists such as dc Talk, Stacie Orrico, Audio Adrenaline, Geoff Moore and the Distance and Rebecca St. James. He was then recruited to lead the largest faith-based music publisher Capitol CMG Publishing. Under his supervision, the company went on to change the face of “Modern Worship” music. He with DeGarmo and Key was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame on the same day as his Memphis hometown hero, Johnny Cash. Eddie and Susan enjoy their daughters, son in laws, and grandkids in Nashville, TN.

Emily Sandul

Emily Sandul is responsible for helping women at Horizon get connected through groups, serving opportunities, and other events. Emily is a seasoned marketing and non-profit professional. She has over 20 years of experience helping companies develop their marketing strategies and execute marketing plans. In addition, she has worked in the non-profit sector as the Director of Community Affairs for the Boys & Girls Club of Cincinnati and Venture Director for Growing Sound, a division of Children, Inc. She has been involved in ministry work in a variety of capacities leading study groups, organizing fundraisers, and volunteering at Horizon. She enjoys playing tennis, golf, pickleball, boating, and traveling. Emily and her husband Jim, and their sons, Jack and Joey, have attended Horizon for 7 years.

Ergun Caner

Ergun Caner (D.Theol.) is the founder of the Center for Global Apologetics in Weatherford, Texas. For over twenty years, he served as President or Vice President of three Christian colleges. Along with his two brothers, Mark and Emir, he converted from Islam in 1982, and was subsequently disowned by his father. Since that time, all three Caner boys have earned doctorates and a combined five Masters degrees. Ergun has authored or contributed to 24 books in eleven languages, including the Encyclopedia of Apologetics (Harvest House, 2015). He resides in Willow Park, Texas, with his son Drake (13).

John Kirby

John Kirby graduated from Miami University with a B.S. in Marketing and holds a fellow in Church Administration from the National Association of Church Business Administrators. John served in church administration for 20 years, he joined Horizon in 2001, and was named Horizon's Connections Pastor in 2007. John lives in Madeira with wife Rachelle and sons, Ben and Joseph.

Josh McDowell

World-renowned speaker and author Josh McDowell will speak at all three services on Sunday, March 17th. McDowell is a world renowned speaker and author who has been reaching the spiritually skeptical for almost five decades. Since beginning his ministry in 1961, McDowell has delivered more than 26,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-author of 138 books, including More Than a Carpenter and New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century and selected as one of the top 13 books that have shaped evangelical thought. His books are available in 88 different languages. McDowell will be at Horizon to kick off a new Exploring series called Change the World.

Kenn Kington

Kenn Kington is not only a successful stand-up comic, Kenn is also a respected Bible teacher and communicator. As the creator of The Ultimate Comedy Theater, he tours the country with other top comics, appearing in front of thousands at churches and other venues. His successes include several best-selling books and video projects. Kenn lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children.

Laura Smith

Laura L. Smith speaks truths into the hearts of women and teens around the country through raw and relevant stories delivered through writing and teaching. She is the author of six novels: Skinny, Hot, Angry, It’s Complicated, It’s Over and It’s Addicting. Smith brings light to tough topics by sharing real stories that teach and inspire her audience. She lives in Oxford, Ohio with her husband and four children. You can learn more about Laura at her website at

Mark Whitacre

Mark Whitacre is an Ivy League Ph.D. and the highest-ranked executive of any Fortune 500 company to become a whistleblower in US history, and is responsible for uncovering the ADM price-fixing scandal in the early 1990's. Whitacre holds the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of Operations at Cypress Systems, Inc. His undercover work with the FBI during the ADM scandal was the inspiration for the major motion picture, "The Informant," starring Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre. Drawing from his unique history, Mark provides one-of-a-kind insight into corporate ethics, corporate greed, and the warning signs of a flawed corporate leadership

Milan and Kay Yerkovich

Milan Yerkovich, ordained minister and pastoral counselor, has devoted himself to working with families and couples for over thirty years. Milan holds his master’s degree in Biblical Studies and his California teaching credential. He loves teaching the Bible, and lecturing on relational theology. He was a pastor for thirteen years, and previously worked as a pastoral counselor with the Center for Individual and Family Therapy. Kay Yerkovich is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She enjoyed her role as a stay-at-home mom for many years, and completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling in 1993. Her specialty is treating couples using attachment theory as the foundation of her work. She is a popular speaker and lecturer in the areas of parenting and marriage relationships, and she supervises and trains other therapists. Married in 1972, Milan and Kay have four children. When they aren’t writing and speaking, they enjoy their five grandchildren. They are coauthors of the book How We Love.

Nancy Beach

Nancy Beach is most known for her groundbreaking ministry to more fully unleash the arts in the local church, and for leading artists with grace, wisdom, and skill. For over 20 years she served as the Programming Director of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, building a community of artists who sought to create transformational moments in weekend church services. Nancy also served as a Teaching Pastor, periodically bringing the weekend message. She invested five years as a leadership team member of the Willow Creek Association, an organization that exists to envision and inspire church leaders all over the world. In over 26 countries and on 6 continents, Nancy has shared her passion, teaching at conferences and workshops. In her book, An Hour on Sunday, Nancy expresses the core vision and values which she believes are foundational to any effective arts ministry. Nancy's second book is titled: Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church. Nancy and her husband Warren live in the village of Barrington, Illinois with their adorable dog, Beanie. Their two daughters, Samantha and Johanna, are both artists.

Peter Borchgrevink

Peter Borchgrevink is the North American Demand Planning Operations Leader at P&G. He is originally from Lansing, MI and received his degree from Michigan State University. He moved to Cincinnati in 2012 to take his position at P&G and he has attended Horizon for six years. While he enjoys his job at P&G, he also has a passion for public speaking and has been involved in youth ministry for almost a decade. He is honored and humbled to be guest speaking at Horizon. Peter and his wife, Kristen, have a daughter, Ellie.

Peter Lillback

Peter A. Lillback, Ph.D., is the president of The Providence Forum, the non-profit scholarly organization committed to preserve, defend and advance the faith and values of America's founding and founders. He is also the president of Westminster Theological Seminary, one of the world's leading institutes of higher reformed theological education. He has also been Professor of Church History at Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. Lillback holds degrees from Cedarville University (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and Westminster Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). He is the author of the USA Today, Washington Post, and #1 national bestseller "George Washington's Sacred Fire," representing the culmination of 20 years of primary-source research and scholarship on the life of George Washington.

Ryan Ventura

Ryan VenturaAbout Ryan:Ryan is the Director of Student Ministry responsible for 5th-12th grade ministry and student ministry volunteer development. Ryan has his BA in Youth Ministry from Eastern University. Prior to joining Horizon, he spent 16 years on staff with Young Life and eight years in part-time positions in various churches. Ryan enjoys golf, playing the guitar, reading and mountain biking. He is a native of Cincinnati and recently moved back to the area with his wife, Becky, and their four children, Lily, Sydney, Jackson and Finnley.

Sandra Richter

Horizon is excited to welcome Sandra (Sandy) Richter, Ph.D., to the Chapel stage! Dr. Richter is an Old Testament scholar, author, international speaker, and professor. Sandy has the ability to bring the Old Testament to life by exploring the real people and real places from which it comes. She is best recognized for her study, The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament.

Sarah J. Beal

Sarah J. Beal (PhD) is a developmental psychologist who conducts research at Cincinnati Children’s and an associate professor at UC Department of Pediatrics. Her career has been focused on adolescent development and the factors that shape the health and well-being of adolescents into adulthood. Sarah and her husband, Ben, reside in Cincinnati with their two children.