2018 Camp speakers

John Spencer | YOung Teen 1

I am someone who grew up in the church, but did not know Jesus until I was 17.  One of the biggest influences in my life and my faith was at a camp in rural Oklahoma, which is why I am overjoyed to spend a week at Durley.  I grew up in Oklahoma but left to go to college in Greenville, Illinois.  Greenville College is where I earned a degree in Youth Ministry, but more importantly it is where I met my wife, best friend, and partner in ministry (Carrie).  We have been married for six years and have two very different but loveable daughters, Hannah (3) and Eliza (18mo.).  We have spent most of our time in St. Louis, MO pursuing my call to work in youth ministry.  It is also where I received my M.A. in Theological Studies at Covenant Seminary.  I am currently working at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church as the Director of Student Ministries and celebrating my 10th year working in Youth Ministry.  We could not be any more sure that this is where God has called us to be.  We are very passionate about St. Louis and the opportunity to minister to students in the area.  

Jesse Tyrell | Guide camp

Jess resides in Greenville with his better half Rachel and their dog Honey. Jesse moved to Greenville from Loveland, Colorado in 2010 to attend Greenville Colllege. While at GC, Jesse studied Pastoral Ministries and played football for all 4 years. 

Following graduation, Jesse was hired as director of Greenville's very own youth ministry known as The Simple Room. After 3.5 years there, Jesse was hired full-time working with Greenville University's football program. 

In his free time, Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle and attempting small novice carpentry projects. He is passionate about investing in young people and helping them understand the love God has for them and their peers.

Hannah cowman | day camp

Hannah is a Greenville native, currently living in East St. Louis with her husband Matt.  She is in the middle of her 4th year working with children and youth at The Simple Room. She enjoys being outside, playing games and sharing meals with her neighbors.  Hannah loves to garden and is excited about the theme GROW!

YVI Martin | trailblazer


Grant Claunch | young teen 2

Hey, I'm Grant! 


Starting when I was in middle school every Sunday or youth camp we went to I always dreamed of growing up to be a preacher - I don't know many middle schoolers who do that. Growing up, I had, what was for me, the best possible church. It nurtured and challenged me, gave me a safe place to ask questions and worship, and stoked the fire of ministry that God placed in my belly so long ago. As soon as I graduated high school I became a small group leader at our youth group for the middle school guys. Two years ago I was ordained as the Youth Pastor of my home church, Newsong Fellowship in Edwardsville, Illinois. One year ago I switched from leading middle school guys to leading high school guys in small group. 


I'm overjoyed that every week I'm able to tell middle school and high school students about the God who so fiercely loves them and get to challenge them to follow and love like. The seventh grader in me still can't believe I get to do what I dreamed of for so long. 


I can't wait to spend the week at Durley and marvel at all the things God has in store for all of us!

Chris smith | senior teen weekend

I am excited to come back to Durley Camp and speak with the teens and staff at Sr. Teen Weekend.  I grew up in Illinois and am thrilled to back after spending the past 11 years working at Central Christian College of KS, working as their Campus Pastor and V.P. of Student Affairs.  Prior to my time in KS, I was privileged to work at my alma mater Greenville University where I had earned a degree in Youth Ministry.  GU helped me earn a Masters Degree in Education with and emphasis in College Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University.  I am the Minister of Family Life at the Emmanuel Free Methodist Church in Alton, IL. and my wife, Leah, and I have 3 kids, Sawyer (10) Lucy (8) and Maddie (6).  We love going to Cardinals games, going to St. Louis to hang out and eating Thai and Indian food.  


Through my years of working with teens and college students I have been blessed to live out a calling to "Pass on the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, that God loves us, and to tell others how that love is changing us".  I am looking forward to seeing what God does during our time together!