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.
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.
Blake Rogers | Georgia State Director
Blake joined the Lifeline team in June of 2017. Originally from Milan, Georgia, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at Boyce College and then an Advanced Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
David Wooten | Florida State Director
David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Bible/Theology from Crichton College in Memphis, his hometown. He also has a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is an ordained pastor with twenty-four years of experience as a pastor.
Matt Laughlin | Director, (un)adopted
Matt’s heartbeat in ministry is empowering indigenous believers to spread the Gospel in their communities, bringing about transformation of lives and families. Matt and his wife Kadie have been married since 2001 and they have four children, Everett, Reid, Rylie and Knox.
Josh Caldwell | International Director
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.
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.
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.
Jessa Swearingen | Outreach Coordinator \ Safe Families
Jessa joined the Lifeline team as the Outreach Coordinator and Safe Families for Children 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.
Mary Beth Bragg | Social Worker & Pregnancy Counselor
Mary Beth holds a Bachelors in Social Work from Union University. She joined the Lifeline team in 2014 and is honored to play a small part in bringing the peace of Christ to women, children, and families. Mary Beth currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, Hunter.
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.
Angela Mains | Senior Family Therapist
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.
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.
Traci Newell | Education Coordinator
Traci Newell is a licensed social worker and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She serves as Education Coordinator 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.
Garth Thorpe | (un)adopted Education Manager
After college, Garth served as a missionary for two years in Bangladesh working with Muslim refugees, translating an unwritten language into oral Bible stories. After this he worked at an outdoor alternative educational school where he lived with troubled youth year-round outside teaching life-skills and planning various backpacking and canoeing adventures.