Biographies

  • Scott Arnold
    Executive Director

    Scott has been the Executive Director of Central Ohio Youth for Christ since 1997.    Scott is a graduate of OSU with a B.A. in Psychology, and has an M.A. in Biblical studies from Ashland Seminary.  He lives in west Columbus with his wife and two daughters. Scott is an Elder and ordained teaching pastor in Xenos Christian Fellowship where he has served in various leadership and teaching roles since 1985. He is on the national board of YFC/USA and is a member of the YFC/USA City Life team.  Locally, he is chairman of the board of Family Comes First, and a founding member of the Mission Columbus Advisory Team and a member of the Franklinton Partnership Advisory Team.

  • Sayuri Ayers
    JJM Franklin County Administrator

    Sayuri Ayers graduated from The Ohio State University with an MA in Foreign and Second Language Education.  She has worked as a scientist, writer, and ESL educator. Her role as Youth for Christ's JJM Administrator has taken her full circle to her passion for establishing and building community relationships.  In her free time, Sayuri writes poetry and creative nonfiction. She lives in Columbus with her husband and son.

  • Teri Alexander
    Events and Donor Relations

    Teri joined COYFC in 2014, and is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in Medical Communications. Soon after graduation she began volunteering with A Special Wish Foundation and has been passionate about serving children ever since. She has volunteered and and mentored at inner-city schools throughout Columbus including Buckeye Middle school, Avondale Elementary, Huy Elementary and Marion Franklin High School.  Teri will serve as our Events and Donor Relations Coordinator where she will work with the team to plan and implement all fundraising events.  She and her husband, Greg have five children, attend Vineyard Church of Columbus, and are actively involved with Beautiful Gate ministries in Zambia, Africa and Compassion International.

  • Bryan Brookes
    Leadership Development Director

    Bryan Brookes graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Linguistics (2006), and an M.A. (2008), and is a current M.A. student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  Bryan joined COYFC in 2009 as a part-time Volunteer Coordinator for the Franklinton Tutoring Program.  He currently serves as the Leadership Development Director.  In 2012, Bryan partnered with Mission Columbus to launch the Columbus Tutoring Initiative; and he also is the Point Break Central Ohio Coordinator.  Bryan is actively involved in his local church, and has many years of valuable discipleship and leadership experience.  On the side, Bryan teaches and plays Irish music.  He and his wife Elizabeth have been married for several years and have two daughters.

  • Reba Brookes
    Executive Assistant

    Reba has been at COYFC since March 2007as Executive Assistant to Scott Arnold.  Her responsibilities include administrative duties, web design and social media, and managerial tasks.  She graduated from Kent University then worked as an R.N. at Riverside Methodist Hospital for 12 years.  Then she decided to stay at home to raise her 2 sons.  She worked as an Administrative Assistant for a financial advisor, and Curriculum Coordinator and writer for Children’s Classes at Xenos Christian Fellowship previously. She and her husband co-lead small group bible studies and they are now grandparents.

  • Joel Fether
    City Life East

    Joel Fether graduated from Taylor University in 2004 with a degree in Christian Education.  He joined the staff of Central Ohio Youth for Christ in July of 2004 working in the high school outreach ministry on the east side of Columbus.  He still works in that ministry today, currently serving in the role of City Life staff person helping coordinate and run COYFC’s work in the east side of Columbus.  Joel’s past ministry experience includes two years working with Reallife, a ministry to elementary school students in Marion, IN; two summers working as a camp counselor at Miracle Camp in Lawton, MI; and serving one year as “discipleship coordinator” on his floor while at Taylor University.  Joel is passionate about reaching un-churched, un-saved students and teaching the Bible.  He and his wife Jessica have been married for seven years and have a one year old daughter. 

  • Marc Johnson
    Campus Life Area Director, Gahanna

    Marc Johnson has been working with students for over twenty years. He studied journalism at The Ohio State University and received his Masters in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. For 16 years, he helped lead the Jr. High ministry at Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus. He enjoys meeting people, teaching the Bible, rock climbing, playing guitar, riding motorcycles, listening to audio books, and traveling light with his wife, Charis.

  • Danielle Larison
    Donor Development

    Danielle joined the Development Team in August of 2016. Her experience has been in the Financial Industry with ties to Generous Giving.She has enjoyed volunteering her time to plan events that support Habitat For Humanity, St Jude's Children's Hospital and Directions for Youth and Families. She is looking forward to the opportunities to give her talents and skills to the Development Team. Danielle is a family of three, husband Mark, son Raymond and herself. They are originally Hoosiers embracing Buckeye country since moving here in spring of 2016. Mark and Danielle are HS sweethearts from Concordia Lutheran HS in Fort Wayne IN. 

  • Jeff Lashley
    Chief Financial Officer

    Jeff Lashley joined COYFC as CFO in October 2015, after retiring from Huntington National
    Bank. Jeff has a B.S. in Business Management from Franklin University. He and his wife Kari
    live in Gahanna, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

    Jeff has been involved in local and regional leadership in the Christian Service Brigade boys
    ministry for over 30 years, including many years as senior counselor at the Brigade summer
    camp at Stony Glen in northeastern Ohio. He is the Connections ministry leader at Karl Road
    Baptist Church in northeast Columbus where he serves (or has served) in several other
    teaching and leadership roles. He also is currently serving as Treasurer for Mission Columbus.

  • Sage Shahid
    Accountant

    Mr. Shahid joined COYFC having a heart for young people and a desire to see them following Christ as the best choice for their lives.

    With an MBA in Finance & Accounting, Sage has more than 10 years of experience in the fields of accounting, financial management, consulting, system development and training. He has worked with 20 Fortune 500 organizations all around the globe and has successful led over 30 system implementation projects and trained over 100 people.

    In 2016, Sage moved to the United States to reunite with his wife, to whom he has been married to for over 5 years. He is also an avid foosball player.

  • Catherine Tipton
    Mentor Coach

    Catherine (Cat) Tipton is a graduate from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Ohio. Cat is pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University. She joined the YFC team in August of 2015. While at SBU, Cat served as a youth leader in a relational youth ministry for at-risk youth and she was also a camp counselor at Kids Across America. Those experiences shaped how she now approaches ministry and it sparked her passion to serve at-risk youth and families.

  • Shelley Uptegrove
    Outreach Ministries Director

    Shelley L Uptegrove graduated with a BA in Christian Ministries from Asbury College.  She has been employed at YFC since September of 1995 and is currently the Director of Outreach Ministries for Central Ohio Youth for Christ.   Shelley has had experience at YFC in the position of field staff and the Eastside City Life Site Director.  Prior to working at YFC she was employed at Young Life as a youth minister and the YMCA as staff.  She and her husband live in Columbus along with their son.




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