Below are profiles of people whom God has called out of Shores to serve Him full time on the mission field in strategic ways and places all across the globe.
Ben Bennett, CRU
Ben worked with the campus ministry of CRU for years and served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for Cru's sexual addiction recovery groups, supporting the health and restoration of men and women struggling with porn and sex addiction. He has recently launched a new Cru ministry with Christian apologist, author, and speaker Josh McDowell. This new ministry serves the global church by equipping ministries, churches, and organizations to help individuals meet Christ and find freedom from pornography use and sexual brokenness as they encounter Jesus and healthy communities.
Ben was born and raised in Virginia Beach and at Atlantic Shore Baptist Church. He says, “My relationship with the Lord developed gradually over the years but turned vibrant when I went to George Mason University and became involved in Cru.” He is also an author, speaker, and mentor. Find out more about him at his personal CRU page and on his website.
Nathan and Laurel Conrod, World Team
Nathan Conrod grew up at Atlantic Shores Baptist Church from age 11. He and his wife Laurel currently serve with World Team in Cameroon, Africa as church planters among the Baka people, a pygmy tribe living in the rainforest of southeast Cameroon. Nathan serves as team leader of the Baka Team and is also serving on the Africa Area Leadership Team, heading up their possible expansion into neighboring countries. The Conrods also desire to start a ministry training center in Baka.
Casey and Jennifer Cruciano, Christian Surfers
Casey Cruciano serves as the Director of Finance for Christian Surfers in South Africa. Christian Surfers exists to connect surfers to Jesus. Its mission will be achieved by awakening surfing Christians to spiritual awareness and mobilizing them to become active in the mission. Casey grew up at Atlantic Shores Baptist Church. He is married to his wife Jennifer and they have two children who are learning to surf and share the love of Jesus.
Stephanie Parker Foley, Child Evangelism Fellowship
Stephanie Parker Foley shares the love of Jesus Christ to military families and their kids in the Virginia Beach area through Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has started Good News Bible Clubs in nine area schools including Granby, Hermitage, Thoroughgood, Shelton, Anchor Christian, Norview, Suburban, Indian Lakes, and Rosemont Forest. She says, “God used Atlantic Shores Baptist Church and Christian school since I was in 8th grade to greatly deepen my walk with Christ and propel me into missions.”
Paul and Suzie Hardy, Recovery for Life
Dr. Paul and Suzie Hardy are founders of Recovery For Life and Transition Homes for Hope in Virginia Beach. They help troubled children, teens, and adults who seek freedom from addictions and compulsive behaviors. Dr. Paul provides substance abuse treatment that is ASAP, community corrections, and pretrial-approved. His services are therapeutic, family-oriented, holistic, and biblical.
Blake Phillips, Longwood University
Blake Phillips is a Campus Staff Minister at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. As a Campus Staff Minister, he trains students in leading witnessing, Gospel-reconciled communities on the college campus. He grew up attending Atlantic Shores and first received the call to ministry while attending summer camp with the church youth group. He studied Philosophy and Religion during his time at Old Dominion University and attended InterVarsity regularly as a student leader. Blake is passionate about seeing college campuses and churches changed through the transformative work of the Gospel in University students and faculty.