Staff & Leadership


Office Staff

The staff coordinates and organizes the work of GCN, including all official events, content production, and programming throughout the year.

 


Isaac Archuleta

Interim Executive Director

Bio

As a young boy, Isaac often felt odd, like a broken boy. After years of being teased within his religious and academic environment, Isaac started to hate himself. Growing up in a religious home filled him with both hope and deeply entrenched shame. After surveying his religious beliefs and sexuality, Isaac found a resting spot that felt holistically authentic. He has since spent his life’s work addressing the reconciliation between sexuality, gender, relationships, and spirituality. Isaac has spent time as a seminary professor and now owns a counseling practice devoted to the LGBTQIA community and their religious families, specifically to help those navigating the road he’s journeyed.

Isaac’s work focuses precisely on our relational repair – whether that be establishing wholeness within one’s relationship with their self, another, or God. Isaac has a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is invited to speak at conferences, churches, and forums across the nation, contributes to The Huffington Post, and hosts weekend seminars for couples, individuals, and religious parents of children in the LGBTQIA community. He has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and comes to GCN with a wealth of knowledge. Isaac’s pronouns are he/him/his.


Constantino Khalaf

Director of Operations

bio

Constantino found Christ in his early 30s and he is amazed by the grace God continuously shows him. He grew up in a secular family and came out of the closet at 20, making a life on the East Coast. In the summer of 2011 he received a fellowship to traverse the country interviewing people about what it means to be an American. He spent five months walking from Manhattan to Alabama, and somewhere along the way, he started hearing the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Much to his surprise, he began to pray. The still, small voice led him to the gospels, and reading them, he fell in love with Jesus—that 33-year-old carpenter who died to teach us the ways of God. He has been involved with GCN as a volunteer since his conversion.

Constantino graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a degree in American Studies. He practiced journalism for fifteen years before joining the world of LGBTQIA Christian advocacy. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his husband, David. They are active members at Pearl Church, where they serve in leadership with the home group and local outreach ministries. Constantino’s pronouns are he/him/his.


Kyle Franklin

Programs Manager

Bio

Kyle reconnected with Jesus at the 2016 GCN Conference in Houston, where he encountered deep fellowship and genuine worship. Life has exposed him to a variety of Christian faith traditions: he was raised in a Baptist home and was later confirmed in the Lutheran Church while he was in college. Prior to joining GCN, he worked extensively with the United Methodist Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He studied History and Religion at Pacific Lutheran University and later completed his Master’s of Arts in Religious Studies at Gonzaga University, where his focus was on the LGBTQ experience of scripture and eucharist.

Kyle lives just south of Seattle with his two (rescue) Boston Terriers, Winston and Lila, and is a member of Calvary Lutheran Church, where he serves as Council President and is leading conversations about LGBTQIA inclusion. Kyle is an active runner, having completed the Adidas Marathon in Dublin, Ireland, along with several local events. He also enjoys brewing craft beer and his identities as a Seattleite and a Lutheran are confirmed by the amount of coffee he drinks! Kyle’s pronouns are he/him/his.

 
 

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors oversees financial and organizational aspects of the ministry. Board members serve three-year terms and hold elections each year.

 


Susan Shopland

Chair

Bio

Susan is a licensed psychologist who has worked in the mental health field for more than 30 years. She is also the biological mother of two children and the informal foster mom of three more (all adults), as well as the grandmother of two. Susan grew up as the daughter (and granddaughter) of Presbyterian missionaries in Egypt. The challenge of adjusting to life in an American high school when her family returned to the U.S. taught her an enduring empathy for those who don’t “fit in”. She graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia in 1977, earning an interdisciplinary B.A. in literature and psychology. She earned an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 1984, and a PsyD in 1995. Susan joined GCN in 2010 at the suggestion of her gay son, with whom she has co-led workshops for families at GCN Conferences. She lives in Indiana, PA with her husband, Mark.


Paula Williams

Board Member

Bio

Rev. Dr. Paula Williams serves as a pastor, pastoral counselor, coach and church consultant. She works with OPEN, a network of progressive evangelicals, is a coach with the Center for Progressive Renewal, and directs the Church Planting team at Highlands Church in Denver. For 35 years Paula lived in New York, where she worked with the Orchard Group, one of America’s largest church planting ministries. She served as Chairman/CEO for 25 years, and during her tenure the ministry grew from a budget of 167k per year to 4 million per year. She also served as the editor-at-large and a weekly columnist for a large leadership magazine, was on the preaching team at two different megachurches, was a host on the overnight programming of PAX-TV, and served an adjunct seminary professor. Paula has two Master’s degrees and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care.


Danny Cortez

Board Member

Bio

Pastor Danny Cortez is a co-pastor of New Heart, a church that has adopted a Third Way approach on disputable areas of theology and practice. He co-founded My Refuge House, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit ministry that restores survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and abuse. He also works with Sanctuary to help pastors who are navigating discussions around LGBTQ inclusion in the church. He serves regularly as a hospice chaplain with Evergreen Hospice. He earned his M.Div. at Talbot Theological Seminary and is a graduate of Arrow Leadership, BC, Canada. Danny was born in the Philippines but moved to the US at a young age. He seeks out multi ethnic spaces and desires to elevate minority voices. Danny lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Abby. They have four children: DJ, Derrick, Drew and Alyssa.


Otto Elkins

Board Member

Bio

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Otto was raised in the Pentecostal tradition. He has always been very active in the church including teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir and on the praise team. He received his BA in Sociology with a minor in Biblical studies from Lee University. While at Lee University, Otto participated in the Russian Studies Program and spent and semester in Nizhini Novgorord, Russia. He earned a law degree in 2001 and practiced healthcare and corporate law prior to accepting an in-house position with a Fortune 500 company. Otto started listening to the GCN podcasts and exploring the boards in 2005. In 2007, he attended his first conference in Anaheim, California. Otto attributes GCN with being an important part of his Christian development, and he is very excited to be part of the organization.


Bukola Landis-Aina

Board Member

Bio

Bukola is a first generation Nigerian-American who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She grew up attending youth group and Pioneer girls in Baptist and nondenominational churches. As a young adult, she was also a member at Pentecostal and Presbyterian churches. Denomination was never a focus for her. Just Jesus. Bukola is a patent attorney, having studied Chemical Engineering at MIT and law at NYU. She was very active in Intervarsity at both schools. She is ordained as a deacon in her church, Riverside Baptist, where she leads the fellowship and social events team. Joining GCN in 2012, she found a rainbow-hued oasis that reflected the fullness and diversity of the Gospel. Bukola can often be found playing tackle football, skiing, mentoring high-school students, bringing people together, eating skittles, hosting weary travelers and planning her next getaway. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her wife, Tonetta, and their son, Temitayo.


Ben Mann

Board Member

Bio

Ben Mann is an expert in nonprofit management, fundraising, and social justice campaigns. He is Deacon Emeritus at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and is a Presidential Scholar at Central Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS). Ben's day job is a Project Manager for Cook Ross, Inc., an international management consulting firm specializing in diversity and inclusion solutions for Fortune 70 companies, governments, nonprofits, and universities. He is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in International Studies, as well as the University of Missouri with a Masters degree in Public Administration. During and upon completion of his Master in Divinity, Ben's calling is to help faith communities become better at addressing issues of diversity & inclusion (D&I), as well as at pursuing justice in more substantial—sometimes uncomfortable—ways. He received funding from the Lilly Foundation through CBTS to bring his D&I work to faith communities.


Darren Potter

Board Member

Bio

Darren was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in a Pentecostal church. Over the years, he has been involved in teaching Sunday School, children’s church and vacation bible school. Darren was also a member of the church choir for many years and led his church’s food pantry activities. He currently attends a Presbyterian church in Cleveland, Ohio, and sits on the board of a local non-profit organization. Darren received a bachelor of arts degree in European history from Cleveland State University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University. He has been employed in the accounting field for more than 15 years and currently works for a fortune 500 company based in Cleveland. Darren sees GCN as a key influence in his Christian faith and is eager to give back to an organization that has offered so much to him.