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Our Team

We believe in a team approach to doing ministry, and thankfully, we are blessed to have one of the best teams around! Listed below are bios and pics for the amazing women who make the work and ministry of SAGE happen day in and day out, or click on a specific name to skip to an individual profile.

Executive & Administrative Staff:
Merritt Johnston, Executive Director
Kristi Hvidbjerg, Office Administrator

Event Team: Shelly Ballou, Rebecca Bradford, Meghan Charles-Goad, Heather Daniel, Amy Duncan, Sami Elder, Lori Flowers, Laura Hargrove, Meagan Harvey, Kristy Tyler, Evie Miller, Kelli Mrazek, Abby Neinast, Ree Reinhardt, Kayla Romero, Natalie Stary, Alyssa Weaver, Jenny Worsham

Merritt Johnston


Merritt has been serving in full-time ministry since college when she co-founded SAGE Ministries, where she now serves as President. When Merritt is not traveling with SAGE, she has served on staff at several churches, including four years as the Director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church. The leadership of Lake Pointe, recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the 100 largest churches in America, facilitated Merritt’s ministerial licensing service in 2005.

In addition to speaking, Merritt has continued to pursue her love of writing. Her work has been featured in publications like Leading Student Ministry and Devozine, and she has self-published two Bible studies in a series entitled Godly Girl Revolution.

In January 2010, Merritt began serving as the pastoral care coordinator at Scott and White Hospital-Brenham, where she oversees a team of volunteer chaplains and provides spiritual care for both patients and staff.

Merritt and her husband, Jeremy, make their home in Brenham, TX, where they are currently raising two rambunctious sons named Josiah and Silas and two renegade dachshunds named Aidan and Adelaide.



Shelly Ballou

Event Team & Minister's Wives Specialist

Shelly has been serving the Lord with her husband Walter since 1993, most currently at Green Acres Baptist Church where he is the student pastor. The area where the Lord is stirring her heart right now is in ministry to ministers’ wives. Recently she had an opportunity to speak at a retreat for military wives and enjoyed discovering the similarities between life in the military and life in the ministry. When she is not traveling with SAGE, Shelly is a homemaker and home educator for her two children, Taylor and Seth.


Rebecca Bradford

Event Team & Resource Development


Rebecca has been traveling with SAGE Girls Ministry for the past ten years helping lead conferences for teen girls. She also trains girls’ ministers and volunteers to create girls’ ministries within the local church. For the past eight years, Rebecca has been the part-time Director of Girls Ministry at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas. She is passionate about serving in the local church and helping guide teen girls to healthy, growing relationships with Christ. Rebecca’s husband serves along with her as the High School Pastor. Rebecca and her husband have the joy of raising two handsome boys named Jacob and Judson.




Meghan Charles-Goad

Event Team & Marketing Specialist

Meghan has been active in church ministry throughout college to present day. She is currently serving as the 6th–12th grade Girls Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Meghan also travels with SAGE Girls Ministry creating a buzz all around the United States about girls impacting their world with the love of Jesus Christ. She has enjoyed being able to minister to thousands of middle school and high school girls and their leaders. Meghan is also a newlywed who enjoys spending time with her husband, John, who serves with her within the Green Acres Student Ministry.


Amy Duncan

Event Team

Amy is a young, vibrant single woman that loves life and what God has called her to do. She graduated from Baylor in May 2008. She had a great college experience and has been plunging full force into ministry where God has called her.  She served in several ministry positions during her summers off from college, and it was through these experiences that she realized she has a HUGE heart for girls ministry. In the summer of 2008, Amy spent time in Guatemala serving the orphans and the least of these. It was here that her heart began passionately beating for young orphans and troubled teens all over the world. She is currently seeking her degree in law at Liberty University in order to be able to advocate for women all over the world that need someone to speak out for them.


Sami Elder

Event Team

Sami has been joyfully serving on the SAGE Team for several years. She's had a heart for teenage girls ever since Christ stole her heart away for Him in 2005. Sami recently married a wonderful man of God, and she is currently working as a pediatric nurse at a hospital in Lubbock, TX. She says, "God has given me a heart to encourage and serve others. I absolutely love where I am, and I'm excited to keep growing in Christ. I am truly blessed to be able to serve alongside the other SAGE girls and to be involved in this ministry."



Laura Hargrove

Event Team & Esther Project Director

Laura has been traveling with SAGE for nearly ten years, serving most of that time as a part of the worship band. When not traveling with SAGE, she serves the students of UMHB as a professor in the biology department and a lab coordinator in the chemistry department. She is married to Bob, who works as a jeweler, and they reside in Temple, Texas.


Kristi Hvidbjerg

Office Administrator

Kristi has worked in all aspects of a non-profit organization, from program implementation to fundraising and administration. She joined SAGE in 2009 as the Office Administrator.  She comments, "God has orchestrated His plan so wonderfully for me to be part of SAGE. My desire is to honor His faithfulness by using my skills to move SAGE forward for His glory."  In addition to SAGE, she is the PTO President at her daughter's school and facilitates a women's Bible study at her church. She lives outside of Burton, Texas, on a windy hilltop with her husband Søren, their daughter Samantha, and their rambunctious dogs, Casey and Charlotte.


Kristy Tyler

Event Team & Resource Director

Kristy has been involved in girls ministry since college. She has traveled extensively with SAGE over the past 10 years and enjoys teaching girls the truth found in scripture in practical ways.  She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Counseling and is licensed as a Professional Counselor in the State of Texas.  Kristy lives in Waco, Texas, with her four-legged children (two dogs and two cats).


Evie Miller

Event Team/Worship Leader

When Evie was eight years old, she made the most wonderful and significant decision of her life.  She accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Savior, and invited Him into her heart.  Since that time, they have journeyed together through both blessed and difficult times.  God is still working on her, and teaching her how to become more Christ-like.  For the past ten years, she has had the amazing opportunity to share her passion for worship and girl’s ministry through SAGE. She also serves as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at her community hospital in Houston.  Each day brings a new challenge to share the love of Christ with co-workers, patients, and their families. Evie and her husband, Kevin, are blessed to serve the community of East Houston and their church body. God has also blessed them with two beautiful children: Lexi Grace and Zane Blaze.


Abby Neinast

Esther Project Team Member

After a feeling called into youth ministry at the age of 18, the Lord began to grow a passion in Abby to minister specifically to girls and the struggles they face. Through interning with a church during her college years, she was able to serve middle and high school girls and help them learn their identity in the Lord. It was during this time that she attended a SAGE Conference and learned of the ministry's heart. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve on a team so passionate about sharing the Word of God. Currently Abby is a college recruiter for Hardin-Simmons University and will graduate with her Master of Arts in Family Ministry in May 2010. She and her husband, Cody, live in Abilene where he serves as a youth minister.


Heather Daniel

Event Team

Heather Daniel has served in youth and music ministry for over 10 years.  She has two children and lives in the Austin area.  She feels her greatest call is to affect one life at a time for the call of Christ by being a sincere leader and sharing her passion for the Lord in all that she does.


Kayla Romero

Esther Project Team Member

Kayla has been a part of SAGE since she was a student herself, participating in two SAGE global missions and multiple conferences. She is now serving on the SAGE team as a part of the Esther Project.


Ree Reinhardt

Esther Project Team Member

Ree grew up in Tifton, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Georgia. After college, Ree received a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  Two of her favorite things are Bulldogs and Beignets. In both Georgia and Louisiana, she served in youth ministry positions ranging from volunteer youth worker to youth intern to youth minister.  In 2006, she moved to Texas to work as the Girls Minister at First Baptist Church of McKinney, Texas, and so began her career as a Texan. Currently, she works with McKinney Sports Connection as their Director of Operations. Her first year to work with SAGE is the 2009-2010 conference season, and Ree loves getting a chance to minister to teenagers through SAGE events.


Natalie Stary

Event Team

Natalie has been serving in Student Ministry for the past 10 years.  She has served in the local church, for a state convention, and has been involved in mission trips all over the world for the past 5 years.  Natalie has a huge heart to make the name of Jesus famous to this generation of students. She is also a newlywed and enjoys spending time with her husband, Tim, who serves as a student minister in Brownwood, Texas.


Alyssa Weaver

Event Team

Alyssa is a recent college graduate of Dallas Baptist University. After spending her last year working in a coffee shop, she realized the avenue it opened for building relationships. Due to her passions for ministry, ladies and coffee, Alyssa took a volunteer position in Valley Brook, Oklahoma, where she will serve coffee with a loving smile to those in the community. Her special focus is on building relationships with the strippers that abound there. "As a part of SAGE, one of the biggest things I have learned is that I will not have something in common with every girl, but the love that the Lord allows in me is universally captivating and that bridges any differences. I plan on resting in that philosophy while in Oklahoma."


Jenny Worsham

Event Team & Finance Director

Jenny Worsham has been traveling with SAGE Ministries for ten years and also serves as the Finance Director and Accountant for the ministry. Jenny is a Certified Public Accountant and a Tax Manager at an accounting firm in downtown Dallas but loves teaching and serving teenage girls in her spare time. Jenny has been married to her husband Trent for seven years and enjoys serving beside him at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, where he is a Student Pastor. Jenny and Trent reside in Rowlett, Texas, with their Shih-tzu named Sadie and are expecting their first child, Noah, in December 2009.


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