Our staff at Lifeline is comprised of passionate and experienced ministry leaders and professionals who desire to share their knowledge and expertise with you, your church staff, other network professionals, etc. Below is a picture and brief bio for staff that you may wish to invite to share with your congregation on the needs of, and ministry to, orphaned and vulnerable children. In addition, you will find several professionals who are available for specialized trainings relating to: caring for children from hard places, wrapping around families who are adopting or fostering, and a host of other trainings focused on attachment and/or medical special needs.
Herbie Newell | Executive Director
Herbie’s passion for the gospel is the driving force for his leadership at Lifeline to reach orphaned and vulnerable children with the light of eternal hope. He is a regular speaker for the National Council for Adoption, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Together for Adoption and Care-Net.
Rick Morton | VP of Engagement
At Lifeline, Rick shepherds the ministry’s outreach to individual, church, and organizational ministry partners as well as the ministry’s commitment to publishing resources that aid families and churches in discipling orphans and vulnerable children. Most notably, Rick ha co-authored and authored multiple books on adoption and orphan care.
Josh Caldwell | VP of International Ministry
Josh has served on staff at two churches in the Birmingham area and one Christian School, working with children, youth and families for the past 10 years. His passion is to live out James 1:27 on a daily basis and help others find ways they can do the same.
Blake Wilson | VP of Operations
In his current role, Blake focuses on internal operations as he works closely with our Executive Team, State Offices as well as the Human Resources Department. Blake and his wife Shae have three children through the miracle of adoption.
Angela Mains | Program Director, Lifeline Counseling
Angela is experienced in working with children on the Autism spectrum, adults and children experiencing anxiety, attachment difficulties, trauma, grief, depression, and anger, as well as marriage and parenting help. Angela is passionate about attachment and is excited to work with families who have welcomed adopted and foster children into their homes.
Ashley Yeager | Family Therapist
Ashley is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) Practitioner and uses Theraplay® principles in her therapeutic work with children and families. She has also been educated in principles of Corrective Attachment Therapy, Play Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Attachment-Focused Therapy. She has counseled families related to international and domestic adoption as well as foster care.
Christie Mac Segars | VP of Domestic Programs
Christie Mac has served as the Vice President of Domestic Programs since March of 2013. She is passionate about taking the gospel to hurting families and the ministry of reconciliation and redemption that exists in the various domestic programs. She and her husband Croft have three daughters, Ila, Elizabeth, and Harris.
Christy Harmon | Program Director, Pregnancy Counseling
Christy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. She has enjoyed being on the Lifeline team since October of 2013. She is thankful to be a part of the amazing work that God is doing through Lifeline, and especially enjoys sharing the hope of the gospel with women facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Jana Lombardo | Eurasia Program Director
Jana has been serving Lifeline for over twenty-two years and serves Lifeline as the program coordinator for Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Kyrgyzstan. She helps to oversee the Bulgaria and Hungary programs as well. This encompasses all of Lifeline’s Eastern European Countries and Kyrgyzstan.
Meredith Campbell | Haiti, India, Africa Program Director
Meredith’s passion for orphan care and overseas ministry grew as the Lord began opening doors for her to travel to Europe, Latin America, and South and Central Asia in order to work with vulnerable children in need. Meredith is thankful for the opportunity to serve families and our in-country partners on the ground as Lifeline ministers to children through the Gospel of Christ. (Focuses on India, Haiti, Africa, Taiwan, and Hong Kong program).
Karla Thrasher | China Program Director
Karla began working with Lifeline in 2001. She currently serves as our China Program Director and is a crucial liaison and help for prospective adoptive parents—everything from advocating for children in our program, to walking through travel logistics with families! Karla finds joy through our growing program and seeing families some together as a part of God’s perfect plan.
Lynn Beckett | Education Specialist
Lynn received her bachelors of social work from the University of Georgia in 1981. She worked in the area of foster care and adoption in Georgia and Virginia before joining Lifeline staff in 1989. Lynn feels that it is an incredible privilege to be able to be a part of this ministry that is so committed to the care of orphans both here in the states and around the world. Lynn is married to Brian and they have two daughters.
Traci Newell | Program Director, Families Count & Education Specialist
Traci Newell is a licensed social worker and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She serves as Education Specialist at Lifeline and is responsible for the development and implementation of education initiatives within the foster care and domestic adoption departments. Traci’s desire is to share the grace of Christ through these ministries.
Hope Mackey | Social Work Supervisor
Hope has served families through individual and group therapy, worked on church staff and also served with other non-profit ministries. She has also been trained as a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) Practitioner through the Karen Purvis Institute for Child Development at Texas Christian University. Hope is married and she and her husband Jamie have two children.
Sherry Starling | Central Alabama Case Worker
Sherry has over 20 years of experience working with families and children, including 10 years working with foster families and foster children through a therapeutic foster care agency. Sherry joined Lifeline in February 2012 and is a Central Alabama Case Worker. She works with birth mothers, domestic families, international families, and crisis pregnancy centers. Sherry is married and has three precious boys, Will, Josh, and Drew. She feels very blessed to have the opportunity to join such a wonderful ministry that serves God’s children and families.
Jason Sampler | Georgia State Director
As the Georgia State Director, Jason leads in developing church partnerships, fundraising, and expanding the reach of Lifeline in Georgia. He loves the opportunities he has to shepherd churches and families to actively care for vulnerable children. His family’s commitment to orphan care, theological training, and ministry experience have equipped him to forge relationships with pastors and churches to help them disciple children in need of Jesus.
Scott Brown | Texas Director of Development and Partnerships
Scott joined the Lifeline team in February of 2018 as our Texas State Director. He is originally from Amarillo, TX and attended school at the University of Texas at Arlington where he received his BBA in Accounting. Scott has been married for over 40 years and has three children and twelve grandchildren (one child and six grandchildren came to them through adoption). In his free time, Scott loves to spend time with his family. His favorite thing about working at Lifeline is supporting the mission of equipping the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children.
Tim Crist | Manager of Church Partnerships
Originally from Ohio, Tim and his family live in Sylacauga, AL about an hour south of Birmingham. Tim received his B.A. in Leadership Ministries from Southeastern Bible College and his Certificate in Pastoral Leadership from Samford University’s Ministry Training Institute. Tim’s role as the Manager of Church Partnerships is to assist Lifeline in engaging local churches and ministry partners in creating disciples among the nations and embracing orphan care ministries within their communities. Tim finds joy in cooking, yard work and weekend getaways. His favorite traveling companions include his wife, Deanna, and their three children.
Whitney White | International Education Counselor
In her role as International Education Counselor, Whitney has developed training and curriculum for the ministry, counseled adoptive families, and trained caregivers around the world in international children’s home settings. Whitney has experience working with children and adults facing attachment challenges, trauma, anxiety, grief, depression, anger, and marital difficulties.
Jessa Swearingen | Outreach Coordinator \ Harbor Families
Jessa joined the Lifeline team as the Outreach Coordinator and Harbor Families Specialist in 2016. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from Oklahoma Baptist University. Jessa and her husband, Cullen, have a heart for youth and spend their time serving in their home church, Western Hills in Topeka.
Cathy Leeke | South Carolina State Director
As the SC State Director, Cathy has the opportunity to meet with churches and pastors, families, and community partners and see how we can serve alongside them in the ministry of orphan care. Her very favorite part about working at Lifeline is when a family hears the calls and nudges of the Holy Spirit and in obedience says “YES!”. For her, seeing a family walk in obedience to the Lord is amazing!
Michelle Barrett | Tennessee State Director
Michelle served as Executive Director for another non-profit, adoption and orphan care agency for 12 years – both in Florida and Tennessee. Michelle and her family are excited to be a part of a Gospel-centered ministry and look forward to how God will lead them to share His Word in caring for the most vulnerable children around the world.
Levacy Smith | North Carolina State Director
After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Levacy felt led to the field of adoptions and has remained for her entire social work career (over 17 years). She believes wholeheartedly that every child deserves a family. Levacy has worked in foster care and adoption, conducting home studies, and counseling in our domestic birthmother programs. She has served on staff with Lifeline since 2012.
Megan Sims | Marketing & Communications Director
Megan Sims serves as Lifeline’s Marketing & Communications Director. She currently lives in Birmingham, but grew up in a military family stationed at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Megan graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from The University of Alabama. She and her husband, Cliff, have been married since 2010 and are currently pursuing adoption from Colombia. They are also proud parents of a shih tzu named Minnie Muffin Sims. Megan‘s simple joys are coffee, dessert, and all things Harry Potter. She loves to travel and has served on short-term mission in North America, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. As the Marketing & Communications Director, Megan is tasked with overseeing all of Lifeline’s marketing and communications efforts including web, print, social media, and email. Megan brings over eight years of experience in the digital communications field to our team and counts it a privilege to work at Lifeline on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children all over the world.