Co-Founders and Staff

The Center for Christian Civics was born out of the friendship of two political opponents with a shared commitment to seeing the church resist conforming to the patterns of the world.

Rick Barry

Co-Founder, Executive director

As Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, Rick helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

Daniel Leiva


Daniel was born into a family with a rich legacy of full-time ministry. A former staffer for Republican House Leadership, Daniel Leiva left the Hill in 2014 having developed a deep desire to see the church clearly and compellingly witness to the brokenness of political culture. He currently lives in Austin, TX, with his wife and daughter.

Melissa Fett Musser

Operations Coordinator

Melissa is a public policy professional whose passion is socioeconomic justice and health equity for all citizens. She studied public policy at Olivet Nazarene University and nutrition and dietetics at The University of the District of Columbia, working to close the gaps in access and education in the food and healthcare system. She has firsthand experience working in both the U.S. Senate and the low -income neighborhoods in our nation’s capital. Melissa lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two cats.

Executive board

The Christian Civics executive board is responsible for overseeing our work and ensuring its long-term viability.

Rev. Charles Drew

Pastor and author

Rev. Drew recently retired from Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in New York City, a ministry with a particular focus on Columbia Univeristy, nearby schools, and the local poor. He is the author of several books, including Body Broken: Can Republicans and Democrats Sit in the Same Pew?. He and his wife live and minister in New York City, where he continues to teach and preach.

Erin Creasy Ferree

Career and leadership consultant

Erin is a career and leadership coach with a passion for supporting accomplished and emerging leaders in the public square. She has served as a Career Coach at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Graduate Career Center, the Partnership for Public Service and in the federal government. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two young children.

Sarah Kerner

Founder, CivStart

Sarah is a nonprofit management and partnerships professional passionate about helping government most effectively serve its citizens. For the past 8 years, she’s worked for organizations with a range of missions from ending world hunger to improving government data and transparency. Sarah is currently the Director of Partnerships for the Data Coalition and Data Foundation, and recently co-founded the nonprofit CivStart. Sarah lives in Washington, DC, is originally from Rochester, NY, and received a bachelors degree from Wheaton College (IL).

Nathan Leamer

Policy Advisor

Nathan serves as a policy advisor at the Federal Communications Commission. He previously worked at a think tank and, before then, on the Hill. While Nathan is a graduate of Calvin College and caught his political bug in Michigan, he has never lost his fanaticism for the sports of his hometown, the City of Brotherly Love.

Conlan Northcutt


Conlan was born in DC, raised in Texas, and returned to DC five years ago to make Capitol Hill her home. Growing up, her parents taught her the importance of civic duty, volunteering, and Christian fellowship. As a member of the CXC board, she brings unique perspective through her background in teaching and event planning. She holds a BA in Political Science from Baylor University and a MA in Interior Design from Marymount University and works as an Interior Designer in the Federal market sector at HDR. She is a member of Grace DC Downtown and enjoys biking, cooking, and hosting dinner parties.

Stacey Scholl

Election Lawyer

Stacey Scholl, a Christ-follower since childhood, is an attorney who specializes in election law and administration. She is currently building a consulting and law practice of her own, having previously worked for Democracy Fund, a private philanthropy, and the Federal Voting Assistance Program within the Department of Defense. Stacey is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Drake University Law School. She is married to Jacob and has a toddler son named Declan. She and her husband are members of Restoration DC Church. In addition to supporting the work of the Center for Christian Civics, Stacey serves as North DC Young Life’s Committee Chair.

Thomas TUrner

International Justice Mission

Thomas serves as the Regional Director, Business Intelligence & Analytics for International Justice Mission, the largest anti-slavery organization in the world. Previously, he worked in Ethics & Compliance for KPMG LLP. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, son and daughter.

Advisory Council

Our Advisory Council leverages their wide range of expertise to inform and strengthen our products, programs and strategy.

Ben o'dell

Office of Faith-Based Initiatives
Advisory Council ChaiR

Ben has worked with the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (formerly the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives) for over 14 years. Over the past two administrations, Ben has had the opportunity to advise and support partnerships between the federal government and faith and community partners. He resides in Centreville, VA, with his wife and their two daughters.

Dr. Vincent Bacote

Director, Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College

Dr. Vincent Bacote is Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. He is the author of The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life (2015), The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper (2005), and has contributed to books including On Kuyper (2013), Aliens in the Promised Land (2013), Keep Your Head Up (2012) and Prophetic Evangelicals (2012). He is a regular columnist for Comment Magazine and contributes to other magazines, including Books and Culture, Christianity Today, Think Christian, Christian Scholars Review, Urban Mission and the Journal for Christian Theological Research.

Gina Lohr

Health Care Consultant

A health care consultant and public policy wonk, Gina’s diverse background combines professional work in health care research and nonprofit management with personal interests in social justice and human flourishing. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and son.

Rev. Dustin Messer

Pastor and Author

Dustin Messer and his wife, Whitney, live in Dallas, TX where Dustin leads young adult and college ministry at All Saints Dallas and teaches theology at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, TX. Dustin serves on the board of directors at the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion. Before starting his doctoral work at La Salle University, Dustin graduated from Boyce College and Covenant Theological Seminary and completed a fellowship at the National Review Institute.


Executive Director of city expansion


Dr. Bruce Ashford

Professor of public theology and missiology

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


Associate director for global gender policy & advocacy

Save the children international

Dr. Mike

Pastor/Director of Asian-American Leadership

Grace Downtown / Reformed Theological Seminary