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BAREFOOT REPUBLIC STAFF

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Angela Anderson

Program Staff Care &
Alumni Coordinator

I am a child of God who loves to listen to people, see them for who they are, and let them know they are loved. I have 7 children of my own who I love to spend time with--talking, playing games, watching movies, being outside, traveling, working, and worshipping together.

 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love the mission of Barefoot and the opportunities it provides to learn about, connect with, and walk alongside people from all different backgrounds who come together in Jesus.

 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memories are of connecting with people through worship and sharing. I love hearing other people's hearts and stories and discovering how God is working and moving in our lives even when we can't see it.

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Matt Black

Kentucky Operations Director 

I came to Barefoot in a full-time capacity over five years ago from Illinois where I served my community as a high school teacher. Prior to becoming full-time with Barefoot, I served each summer at our Overnight Camp. This summer will be my 15th summer serving at camp. 
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

The reason I love Barefoot is that I have grown to call this place home, and the people here have become family.

 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite Barefoot memory would be watching movies on the wiffle ball field while eating popcorn.

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Meagan Bourne

Camp Logistics Coordinator

I am a born and raised Okie who just transplanted to Tennessee. I have a Bachelors and Masters in Political Science from Oklahoma State University! Go Pokes! I am a pet parent to 2 cats and a dog who I am healthily obsessed with. In my free time I enjoy camping, hanging out with my roommate, playing board games, traveling and yelling at my TV as loudly as possible whenever OSU is playing.

 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Ensuring that every child has the chance to come to camp is one of the best missions ever! Camp, in my opinion, is the best place for kids to hear the Gospel and come to know Jesus. Since Jesus didn't sacrifice His life for us to pick and choose who should come, we shouldn't do the same at camp! Barefoot makes sure that every kid has the chance, just like Jesus made sure we all had the chance!

 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Watching my old campers compete in swimfin Slip n Slide races and dizzy bat races! Nothing is better than serving the Lord while laughing at a kid falling over!

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Adanna Brown

Barefoot Artistic Director

I'm a Nashvillian, Vanderbilt alumnus, coffee addict, board game enthusiast, and lover of all things music and theatre. I grew up coming to Barefoot with my 9 siblings, which sparked my love and passion for performing arts and youth ministry.

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?
I love Barefoot because it introduced to me a very vivid picture of the body of Christ at such a young age. It's an image of heaven on earth that has simultaneously brought me through the hardest moments of my life and provided me with some of the brightest experiences. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Although there's nothing quite like cleaning oatmeal and spaghetti noodles from your ears after old school style Braveheart, I would have to say that I LOVED my first experience with the Barefoot lantern ceremony. It was the first time in my life that I remember feeling true freedom in Christ and wholeheartedly supported by those around me. It's one of those key "Barefoot moments" that can really change you if you let it.

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James Brown

Executive Liaison

I started going to Barefoot's Overnight Camp in 2012 and returned every summer until I graduated! Since 2018, I have been honored and blessed to serve on staff in various roles and areas, from Overnight Camps, Day Camps, Family Camps, and retreats. I'm your encyclopedia for all things Barefoot Republic! When not running around at camp, I have the privilege of serving in worship ministry and the U.S. Army TN National Guard. My life mission is to help people have genuine encounters with Christ through my God-given abilities and passions.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot Republic because its concept goes beyond the programs and people that comprise it. It's a reflection of our Great Commission and a mission that brings together all nations, tribes, people, and tongues. Time and time again, I have seen the Barefoot mission imprint a legacy on my life and so many others' lives. I am confident that God has me here to live out that mission and continue seeing life change.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Fireworks.

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Tim Brown

Facilities Director

Bio Coming Soon!

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Aucretia Carey

Sr Director of Kentucky Operations

Hey Family! I relocated back to Tennessee a little over seven years ago, and have been with Barefoot for over six of those years.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Because of the intentional ministry of reconciliation amongst the body of Christ.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

I have so many memories of Barefoot that it is hard to choose. However, if I had to narrow it down to one, then I would say my favorite memory was being in New Jersey and worshiping in the Spanish, Chinese, and American languages in such a beautiful way.

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Brenda Chandler

Camp Registrar

I am a lifelong resident of Allen County. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have a horse, a miniature pony, four goats, three dogs, three cats, and a pot-belly pig! This will be my third Summer with Barefoot. I have worked as a Camp Registrar for children's camps for the past eight years. 
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Our mission; all campers are all equal, no matter what their race or economic status is.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

The year of A Soldier's Child, a couple of girls were practicing a song about their father. The song was so beautiful. I  complimented them, only to find out that one of the girls wrote it after losing her father in the line of duty.  She was kind enough to send a copy of the song to me.

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Angie Cornwell

Camp Operations Director

I joined the Barefoot family, feeling a call to the ministry after a 20+ year career with Chick-fil-A as a Corporate Event Planner and Community and Culture Director.  I spend my time outside of Barefoot with my husband Stephen, three adult children and their families. I especially enjoy time spent with my two sweet grandchildren, Lucas, and Lila.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because Jesus heals hearts, and through shared hope with others different than us, heals communities. Both of these things happen in abundance at Barefoot Republic Camp.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Last summer during testimony night at senior high camp, a young man was sharing what God had done in his life by being super vulnerable with something that was hard to share. EVERY single young man stood up during his testimony and stood next to him on both sides of the stage.  After he finished sharing, the fellas gathered around him in prayer and the ladies surrounded them also. a beautiful picture of the heart of God for us.

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Dan Edwards

Barefoot Athletics &
Day Camp Site Director

I am originally from Detroit, Michigan. I have been married for 23 years. We have 3 boys and an Aussiedoodle. My favorite sports team is the Michigan Wolverines. I love serving people, especially kids, by creating the best atmosphere for them to be engaged. 
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love working at Barefoot because it gives me the opportunity to fulfill what God has called me to do: Teach, Love and Serve.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My best camp moment is always
the next one!

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Ricky Howard

Day Camp Director

I am a native of Alabama. I am a former collegiate basketball player and former collegiate statistician. I love all-things-Alabama athletics, the Dallas Cowboys, and fantasy sports.

My wife Morgan and I met in college and we’ve been married for almost seven years and have two sons and have a baby girl due this spring. Together we run Like Home Pet-Sitting, and we love all animals!

 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

The community. With our culture, we are able to build bridges that connect us and aim to tear down the walls that divide us. 
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMO
RY?

My favorite camp memory is getting slapped in the face with a tortilla by one of my leaders. It felt GREAT!

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Kelley Johnson

Barefoot at the Farm Director

Born in Cali, raised in Bama and still a Nashville native at heart! I came to Barefoot in 2015 through work connections and praying for ministry opportunities. Through my hardships, trials and disability (I'm deaf!), the Lord has shown me that all things have purpose and all things can be used for good when a commitment to relationship with Him comes first.

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?
I love Barefoot because of the opportunities I have to pour into the mission of reconciliation and diversity. Being different from others has created a longing in me to create space for God to heal and bring together people and children who are often unseen and disregarded. We often think that diversity is only skin color or financial status. I love having the chance to be different in a different way and use my skills for the kingdom of God and Barefoot welcomes those skills in every way!

WHAT IS YOUR 
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

I can't narrow down a favorite camp memory! Every little moment of clarity, blessing of worship, connection with my kids and staff members or inside joke has a special place in my heart for Barefoot Republic Camp. Every day is a challenge and an opportunity to grow closer to God!

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Ileana Friese

Camp Logistics Coordinator

I have been in the camp/outdoor education industry for the past 6 years. I have a B.S. in Psychology and a M.A. in Education in Natural Science and Environmental Education. I have a dog named Canyon who is a hot mess and a cat named Papaya who loves attention! 
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love that Barefoot focuses on bringing every child to camp no matter their circumstances. I firmly believe that every child deserves to go to camp and I love that Barefoot also believes that. I also love that they take it even farther because they know that bringing kids to camp could mean bringing them to Jesus and then they can take Jesus back home with them. 
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't at camp! I started going to summer camp when I was 8 years old and have only ever spent 2 summers of my life since then not at a summer camp! One of my favorite camp memories was when I was working as a counselor during college and my camp got the chance to spend the night in an aquarium! It was such a great night for the kids, but also for the counselors and CITS! We played a huge game of sardines after all of the kids had fallen asleep and it is still one of my favorite camp memories!

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Cathy Lafitte

Business
Development Director

I am married to my husband of almost 29 years, John. I have two children, Sarah and Colby. I also have two grandbabies, both boys, Becks and Boone.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because it feels like home to me. I have never worked at a camp before, but I love the atmosphere, especially when I see how much fun the campers and retreat attendees are having.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory is when I make new friends and learn songs about Jesus.

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Tammi Gray

Marketing  & Communications Director

I am a soccer mom who loves Jesus, my husband, my 2 kids, coffee and dogs!
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I’ve been sending my kids to Barefoot for years! I love that they get to have fun doing the activities they love while learning about Christ and experiencing community with kids from different backgrounds! There’s no other camp like it!  
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory is from a Christian camp in California I went to in 6th grade. Everything from the devotionals to the worship and the mountains made me feel so incredibly close to God that I remember being so afraid when I got home that feeling would go away. 

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River Neal

Facility & Program Coordinator

I’m a graduate of Campbellsville University. While attending, I was a two-sport collegiate athlete playing soccer and bowling. When I’m not at work, I really enjoy working on and producing music.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because it’s set up so that everyone feels like they have a place to belong and that they have multiple outlets where they can express what means the most to them through Christ-centered activities.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory is the staff vs. camper basketball games!

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Olivia Mays

Bridge Program 
Coordinator

Barefoot has been a place I've called 'home' since 2012 when I started working here. I recently moved to southern Kentucky with my husband to work at Barefoot full-time after working remotely from Florida the past 18 months. I am excited to help pioneer the Bridge Program and see young adults discover their full-potential in Christ.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Everyone is accepted no matter your background or where you are from. I love seeing the diverse family of Jesus coming together. It lifts 
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Seeing Tommy Rhodes pick up a chicken breast outside of the Braveheart field and throw it back in while yelling 'I FOUND CHICKEN!' with the biggest smile on his face. It was my first year at camp in 2012 and I'll never forget hearing him say that.

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Stephen Mays

Bridge Program
Coordinator

I was born and raised in Chattanooga TN. I grew up in church and fell in love with youth ministry where I served for over 15 years. Through God opening and closing doors I met my wife, that is how I was introduced to Barefoot.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because of the mission to look like Heaven. Everyone is on the same page that we want to point campers to Jesus.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Watching 200+ students and leaders worshiping together.

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Mark McFerran

Director of Development

I am honored to have worked with faith-based nonprofits my entire career serving as a mouthpiece for good causes. Music and movies are where I spend my extra time. I am married to Melody, and we have two adult children, Taylor and Mikayla.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Barefoot brings kids and families together from all different zip codes under the umbrella of Jesus Christ in a camping experience.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

Camp Challenge was a Christian camp in Central California that I attended with my family for many years. I loved that we always had homemade ice cream and a campfire on the final night. Such great memories at this camp!

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Kendall Osman

Development &
Event Coordinator

I was born and raised here in Nashville. I graduated from Lipscomb University, and I am so excited to be a part of the Barefoot team! I love outdoor activities, sports, reading, and Mexican food.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because I believe what we are doing is truly Kingdom work. So much of the modern world divides and highlights people's differences and shortcomings, but Barefoot is focused on our similarities and bringing people together. We all come from a wide variety of backgrounds, walks of life, and experiences, but at the end of the day, we are all human and long for connection. And what a better way to do that than through playing paintball, writing a song together, or belly flopping in the lake!
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

One of my favorite camp memories is getting to climb Mt. Shasta in Northern California! 

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Tommy Rhodes

Executive Director

Barefoot Republic Camp and Retreat Center began as a vision in 1991 when Tommy Rhodes, the founder of Barefoot Republic, served as a 19-year-old camp counselor at Camp Mac outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Tommy witnessed for the first time how God could use his life to impact the lives of others. This powerful redemption led to a restoration of hope within a young man scarred by a life filled with bad choices. Tommy left that summer with a God-sized dream and burden on his heart to provide similar opportunities to youth like himself who could not afford such experiences.

Tommy felt led to leave his Ph.D. program and sell his baseball card collection in order to secure the land and initiate Barefoot Republic Camp and Retreat Center.

Tommy is married to Lane and they have two high schoolers who grew up coming to Barefoot.

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Thomas Rose

Worship Arts Director

My wife, Dita, and I have been married for 20 years, and we have three amazing children.  I have been a worship leader for over 25 years, and have led in places all over the United States as well as internationally in our band The Rose Factor.  I am blessed to have been a part of the Barefoot family for over 18 years now.  My desire is to create a space for all people to worship God through music, song, arts and authentic life experiences.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

Barefoot Republic is one of the only places on the planet that brings people together from every background, ethnicity, and social upbringing to celebrate unity and oneness in Christ.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite memories of Barefoot have come from seeing kids arrive at the beginning of the week shy, stand-offish and very hesitant to interact and by the end of camp, they are hugging and standing side by side singing praise to our God together in worship like they’ve known each other forever!

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Hannah Shannon

Retreat Support & Housekeeping Coordinator

I am originally from Breckenridge County, Kentucky, where I graduated from Lindsey Wilson College with a B.A. in Christian Ministry and Communication. I have worked at Barefoot since the summer of 2019.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because, to me, it is family.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory was being able to feed Buddy, our camp dog, and seeing him jumping up and down whenever I saw him. Buddy touched the life of many, including mine.  
 

He made me feel protected and safe while I lived here at camp. He was the best hiking partner. He was a true best friend, and he will be missed.

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Jake Stovall

Facilities Coordinator

I have been with Barefoot for about three years as a summer camp counselor, a contract worker and as an intern. My passion is in youth ministry and have worked with youth for roughly six years.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because of the importance placed on diversity. Barefoot breaks down barriers between people, youth and adults alike. They build bridges between people and gives them the opportunity to meet new people and step out of comfort zones. 
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory is of being a counselor back in 2020. We made words to highlight their most amazing characteristic. For my cabin, the moment was incredibly emotional and one that I look back on often. 

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Alex Walling

Camp Logistics
& Retreat Coordinator

I have a passion for students and the next generation. The calling on my life is to help the next generation know, love, and serve Christ with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength so that they can live out their faith.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because of its intentionality in bringing campers from all different walks of life to the same week of camp where they can bond with each other, become lifelong friends, and take the next step in their walk with Jesus together. And, because… CAMP LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE!
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

I worked at a camp for two summers, and Monday nights were my favorite night. On Monday night, the camp founder always shared the gospel and gave an invitation for students to respond, and we would see about 100 students every week on night one give their life to Jesus. It was such a blessing to see students raise their hands, stand up out of their seats, and commit their life to Jesus in front of all their peers, friends, and youth leaders.

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Hallie Wilk

Executive Assistant

I am a Nashville native, and attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. I have a Master’s Degree in American History from Middle Tennessee State University, and love anything related to genealogy and research.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

I love Barefoot because it is a place where everyone belongs. Everyone is included and made to feel a part of the camp, community, and Christ-centered environment.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memories are just getting to spend quality time with friends and making new ones.

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Scott Williams

Finance Director

After working for 35 years in the Corporate and Self Employed worlds I felt led to join Barefoot and be part of an organization that serves to bring people to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through our Camp and Retreat Center. I look forward to serving others in this new chapter of life.
 

WHY DO YOU LOVE BAREFOOT?

As a father and a grandfather, Barefoot's mission hits close to home. Barefoot serves families and kids with love and shows them that no matter who you are or where you are from you can have a personal relationship with Christ.
 

WHAT IS YOUR
FAVORITE CAMP MEMORY?

My favorite camp memory is from my childhood. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a church camp where the counselors introduced us to Devotion time. I have great memories of that time and what God did through our counselors.

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