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Ana Newsum

Position: Staff Training Coordinator

About Me

I was born in NYC as a military brat and moved around for the majority of my life as a result! I got my first opportunity to put some roots down when I moved to Charlotte, NC & would call this home in a heart beat! I graduated in 2014 from the University of Mary Washington where I met the Lord as a sophomore. The depth of Christ I’ve experienced has largely been as a result of giving my life away in the ministry of Young Life as a volunteer leader & it is one of the greatest gifts of my life! 

I am passionate about the gospel being shared, leadership development, the enneagram, and creating/investing into a culture that is joyful and purposeful!

How & Why I became a MAI Missionary?

I got connected by a long-time friend of mine (our Executive Director, Cliff) & felt the Lord tugging my heart to enter into a season of surrender and joy! I always knew the Lord was going to have to call me into something specific for me to leave my previous job and it happened! I am beyond excited to be able to help equip, develop, and multiply leaders for the organization in order to increase & deepen our impact!

Ana Newsum

Staff Training Coordinator

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Caleb Loew

Position: Resident

About me
I am originally from the Allentown area in Pennsylvania and grew up with 3 brothers who all loved playing soccer. This love of soccer led me to Houghton College where I played four years of soccer as a goalkeeper as well as double majoring in Theology and Mathematics with a minor in Sports Ministry. This education has well-prepared me for working with the Eagles and I am excited to be a part of a great ministry.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
I have joined with the Eagles because of my call and passion for sports ministry. This originated from working with Torch Sports Ministry in the Bux-Mont area in PA and playing with their team where my call became apparent. The Lord then sent me to the Eagles so I can pursue this call and passion and continue to serve others through the sport that I love and to continue to develop my passion for people and for soccer.

Caleb Loew

Resident

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Cliff & Laura Wright

Position: Charlotte Executive Director

About me

I was adopted as an infant and grew up in Greensboro, NC graduating from Grimsley High School in 2002. I went to Centre College were I played four years for the Colonels and majored in Religious Studies while volunteering with and then joining part-time staff with Young Life. Following college I went on full time Young Life staff serving in Roanoke, VA, Fredericksburg, VA, and finally in the Greater Charlotte area. I married Laura (also on YL staff) in 2008 and we have worked side-by-side in ministry ever since. We have four amazing children (Keller, Asher, Pryor, and Ryder) and one poorly behaved dog (Levi). We live in the University City area of Charlotte and are members at Stonebridge Church Community.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I am inspired by the idea of seeing people meet Jesus and grow up in Him. The possibilities of one life, fully devoted to the Lord, are astronomical. The platform of sports, especially soccer, to reach people with the Gospel, build into them, and launch them into a life of service and impact is like a hand in a glove. MAI and the Charlotte Eagles are uniquely positioned to use the platform of soccer across racial, economic, georgraphic, and cultural lines to accomplish these goals like nothing else I have seen.

Cliff & Laura Wright

Charlotte Executive Director

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Collin Smith

Position: Neighborhood Coach

About me
Born in Houston but I call Charlotte home! I drink coffee like it’s water. I love Isaiah 25. I would rather be outside than inside. I could watch Sahara over and over again.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
I had the opportunity to be involved in few different branches of the Eagles during my time as a college student. God used the time spent with the PDL/USL2 teams as well as my time spent in neighborhood ministry to really shape me in meaningful ways. I love the game of soccer and have seen God use it to build relationships and form young people into disciples of Christ. I really believe Charlotte is better off with the work MAI does and I am excited I get to be a part of it. I also really love Eagles apparel and saw this as an opportunity to cash in.

Collin Smith

Neighborhood Coach

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Dan Miele

Daniel Miele

Position: East Charlotte Ministry Staff, Int'l Tours

About me

I am from Florence, SC and am 1 of 8 children. I went to the King’s Academy, a small Christian high school, and it was there that God showed me my love for missions. I have played soccer my whole life and during high school, God showed me that it is a tool that can be used to build relationships and spread the gospel. I enjoy playing and watching soccer and coaching. I graduated from Columbia International University with a degree in Global Business Development and Bible.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

The high school which I attended does something called missions week where the students raise money and have the opportunity to go on a local, national and international missions trip. I always chose international because I love to travel. It was during these trips that God showed me my love for missions and that my love for soccer can be used to glorify Him and spread the gospel. Through these trips God revealed to me that soccer can be used to build relationships and break down cultural and religious barriers. I knew that I wanted to do sports ministry after college but I did not know about any organization that was doing it until one of the leaders on a trip told me about the Charlotte Eagles. During my time at CIU I went on the Youth Tour to Brazil, did the summer academy in Chicago, and interned in Charlotte. I joined the Charlotte Eagles because I know that I am called and was designed to be a sports minister.

Daniel Miele

East Charlotte Ministry Staff, Int'l Tours

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Dave & Carolyn Urban

Position: CEO | HR Dir. (Interim)

About me

We are originally from the Philadelphia area and moved to Charlotte in 2013. I spent over 20 years in the field of higher education overseeing enrollment and building strategic partnerships with various different organizations. I also co-founded and am partner in Charter Oak Research, which has provided marketing, research, executive search, strategic planning, and consulting services to over 50 clients, including Christian and private schools, colleges, and seminaries in addition to several other business organizations. I hold both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration from Eastern University. My wife Carolyn graduated from Eastern University and spent 11 years coaching the women’s lacrosse team there, prior to stepping away to raise our three children.

How and why I became a MAI missionary

I started playing soccer at the age of 5 and had the privilege of being coached by my dad until going off to college. The foundation of teaching I received had a significant impact on my life. During my college years I came to know Christ as my Savior through the environment of my college soccer team. I went on to coach at both the HS and Collegiate level which further prepared me for a role that I did not know would be in my future. When the opportunity came up to be a part of the ministry of MAI, who’s mission is to glorify God and see lives transformed by sharing the message of Jesus Christ through the global environment of soccer, it was a natural fit.  The mission of MAI is what drew Carolyn in too, because she saw first hand the impact that sports can have on the lives of players through the environment of a team. Carolyn has the privilege of serving in Staff Care in the Charlotte office.

Dave & Carolyn Urban

CEO | HR Dir. (Interim)

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Drew & Maria Yates

Drew & Maria Yates

Position: USL2 Asst Coach/Asst. Boys DOC

About me

I played four years of collegiate soccer at University of Maryland. I then was drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2010 but ended up signing in the second division to play with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. I played six seasons professionally in various cities. After retiring in 2015, I started coaching for various clubs, spanning from Missouri to central Virginia. I am a husband to Maria and a father to Evelyn (19 months) and Eden (almost two months). And a faithful follow of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

How and why I became a MAI Missionary

I was offered a contract with the Charlotte Eagles professional soccer team in 2013. I was a little hesitant to play for a “Christian” organization at the time, but the Lord used injuries and shortcomings in my career to bring me to Charlotte. During a discipleship conference the Gospel was presented to me and I chose to follow Jesus. Later that season, through the Lord’s leading, my future wife chose to follow Jesus as well! Since we left Charlotte, we have been longing to be apart of a community like the Eagles and believed that the Lord was calling us back to Charlotte.

Drew & Maria Yates

USL2 Asst Coach/Asst. Boys DOC

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Isabella & Alex Miller

Position: Asst. Registrar & East Charlotte Liaison

About me

I grew up in a small town called Mentor, just outside Cleveland, Ohio, where my parents and four siblings still live. I came to Charlotte in 2014 to attend UNC-Charlotte and to play for the women’s soccer team. During my sophomore year, an injury and a broken identity led me to the cross where I gave my life to Christ. Since then, I have learned what it means to be a daughter of the Highest King, what a relationship with the Lord looks like and how to glorify Him above all things. After graduation from UNC-Charlotte in May 2019, I married my husband, Alex, who has been the greatest blessing of my life. We cannot wait to see what the Lord is going to do through MAI and the Charlotte Eagles!

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

During my time as a student-athlete at UNC-Charlotte I was involved in FCA where many friends from the women’s soccer had played for the WPSL Charlotte Lady Eagles’. Their constant pursuance after me led me to be a practice player for the Lady Eagles for two summers. I also interned in 2018 with a similar ministry in East Charlotte who serves the neighborhood youths. Through my short experiences in the Eagles’ ministry, neighborhood outreach, and through the sports ministry of FCA, the Lord brought to light my desire to use soccer as a platform to speak the Gospel to youth.

Isabella & Alex Miller

Asst. Registrar & East Charlotte Liaison

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James and Hope Miler

James & Hope Miller

Position: East Charlotte Ministry Staff, CESC Coach

About me

My name is James Max Miller, I am from Harrisburg, NC. My wife, of almost a year, is Hope Miller. Together we have a passion for missions and desire to see people come to know Jesus Christ. I graduated from North Greenville University in 2018 with a B.S. in Sport Management with an emphasis in coaching and Hope is a nurse.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I was first connected with the Charlotte Eagles when I interned with them as a part of my undergraduate degree in the spring of 2018. I saw the work that was done with the youth club and how the Eagles evangelized and discipled players. Through seeing the work that was done I gained a great respect for the organization, which created a desire to serve alongside its workers. At the beginning of 2019, God put a calling on my heart to join the Eagles full time.

James & Hope Miller

East Charlotte Ministry Staff, CESC Coach

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Jonathan Ramos

Position: Boys Director of Coaching

About me
HOLA! My name is Jonathan Ramos, I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and moved to the United States at the age of five. I grew up in Charlotte, NC and attended Garinger High School.
I was blessed to graduate from a private christian college in Dallas, Texas called Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

I moved to Missouri and began missionary work with Ambassadors Football. After serving the Lord and people of St. Louis for four years, I moved back home. I am currently a soccer coach for Charlotte Eagles and joined their full time staff as Director of Coaching.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
My calling to serve God and His people has transformed my life. My time and experience with Ambassadors Football and Impact City FC in St. Louis have been pivotal on my decision to continue doing missionary work. I have the opportunity to bring the best of both worlds to life through MAI. I will use the sport of soccer as a tool to bring people closer to God because it is more likely for a person to step foot on a soccer pitch than an actual church.

Jonathan Ramos

Boys Director of Coaching

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Jordan Clelan

Position: DIrector of Operations

About me:
I grew up in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania and graduated from Red Land High School where I played soccer and golf. I went on to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia where I graduated in 2014. It was during my time at UMW, that I got involved with an outreach ministry called Young Life and volunteered my 4 years of college. After graduating, I moved to Charlotte and went on full time Young Life staff serving North and South Carolina. I have been coaching girl’s golf and soccer at Charlotte Country Day School the past 6 years and have loved every minute of it!
In my free time, you might find me walking my pup, Georgia, hitting balls at the driving range, or exploring the food scene in Charlotte.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary?
I’ve been so fortunate to be surrounded by people who were living out their faith and giving their lives away ever since I took hold of my own relationship with Christ. I’ve felt called to ministry since my freshman year of college and that has only grown as I’ve transitioned into full time ministry. I have always had a passion for sports and have seen the ways doors are opened to share the gospel in unique ways through coaches, teammates, and the game itself. I am thrilled to be a part of the Charlotte Eagles and am excited to see what the Lord has in store for our city and beyond!

Jordan Clelan

DIrector of Operations

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Kate & Peter Williams

Position: Girls Director of Coaching

About me:
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. I played soccer from the time I was six years old, and have always loved the game. While I was raised in the church I didn’t really come to know God until just before my senior year in high school. After high school I played soccer for four years at Grove City College (in Grove City, PA) where I met my husband, Peter. We got married shortly after I graduated in 2006. I worked in Youth Ministry for five years post-graduation, and coached high school soccer from 2011-2020. Peter and I have three crazy & amazing kids: Keane, Adele, and Iris.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary?
Becoming a missionary is not something I ever thought I would do, but that’s true of so many things God has led me to and through in my life. I ended up here because it has been one of the clearest calls God has given me. He sought me out, and cleared the way. This is 100% his.
I have seen soccer and sports provide such great avenues to connect with people over the years. It is one way to show that while we want to be excellent on the field, how we conduct ourselves off of the field and where we place our identity are ultimately more important.

Kate & Peter Williams

Girls Director of Coaching

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Lily Lowe

Position: Resident

About me
My name is Lily Lowe, I am the oldest daughter of Johnny and Larissa. I have four younger siblings, three girls and one boy. I have lived in NC for almost my whole life and I have a deep love for this place and these people. Jesus has changed my life in every possible way and I will never be able to articulate just how beautiful the life He has given us truly is.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
I have always wanted to do mission work, and then God pointed me towards the Charlotte Eagles. He opened this door with ease and peace, and then closed other doors with some pain but ultimately clarity. The biggest thing I want to do with my life is to love people the way Jesus does. I believe that the Charlotte Eagles is a strong vessel to reach people and share the gospel with them, to live life with them and to love them the way Jesus does.

Lily Lowe

Resident

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Luke Helmuth

Position: Residency Director, CESC Coach

About me

My name is Luke Helmuth and I am a coach here in Charlotte with the Urban Eagles. As you might expect, I love playing soccer, watching soccer, and coaching soccer. But I know that this game was created in order to bring glory to God. When I am not around soccer, I like to listen to music, spend time with friends, play other games, or be adventurous outside. I enjoy rock climbing, kayaking, skate and snowboarding, backpacking, and I am always down for a good night hike through the woods. Yet despite my active personality, I still like to sit down with a cup of tea for a good, deep, discussion with friends.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I was exposed to sports ministry while in school at Messiah College. Both of my college coaches played for the Charlotte Eagles and had experience with sports ministry through MAI. I began to feel God’s calling into ministry after I graduated high school but was not sure how or where God wanted me. Through being around my college team and experiencing sports ministry both in our local community and internationally, God revealed to me the power sports have for His kingdom. Because of my coaches’ connection with the Eagles I began to connect with MAI to discern if this was a place He was calling me to. After months of prayer and searching, I felt God’s call for me to come down to Charlotte and learn more about sports ministry for the year by interning with MAI’s Urban Eagles Program.  After the Internship, there were things I felt like God was calling me to.  And the more I sought out those things, the more I found them in Charlotte.

Luke Helmuth

Residency Director, CESC Coach

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Macy Rutledge

Macy Rutledge

Position: Operations, CESC Coach

About me

I was born and raised in North Carolina and grew up in a Christian environment which allowed Christ to become the foundation of my life at an early age. I have been playing soccer since I was 4 years old and graduated from Pfeiffer University in 2017 after playing there for 4 years. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I enjoy traveling, reading, going to the beach, and I especially enjoy eating. I love being outside and I have a heart for kids, so sports ministry has been a perfect fit for me so far.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I played for the Charlotte Lady Eagles in the summer of 2016 and it changed my life. It opened my eyes to so many different people and so many different opportunities that I was previously too timid to involve myself in. The people that I was surrounded by instilled confidence in me and encouraged me to keep stepping out of my comfort zone, so here I am. I’ve never had complete confidence in what I want to do until the MAI Missionary opportunity was discussed and then everything clicked. I feel like this is where God wants me to be right now and I couldn’t be more excited about this chapter in my life.

Macy Rutledge

Operations, CESC Coach

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Mark and Dianne Steffens

Mark & Diane Steffens

Position: Sporting Director

About me

We raised our three daughters on Long Island before moving to Charlotte to join MAI. We now have three son-in-laws and we’re extremely grateful that all three families love and serve our great God. They have 10 children making us grandparents….10 times!
While ministering with MAI, I coached the men’s pro team for 18 seasons. Our emphasis was and is on building men and women to love God and serve others.
Currently, I’m helping rewrite our Sports Ministry Training manual and Coaching Track curriculum with a few other staff members. We are a training mission so we feel it is imperative that the material we teach our players/coaches is quality and honoring to God.
Diane is currently a substitute teacher at a few Christian schools in Charlotte.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

In 1990, Diane and I went on tour to Italy, Germany, and Poland with MAI. We both caught a vision of “soccer ministry” and how effective it could be. We decided to go on tour the following year to Russia and once again saw the platform a simple soccer ball created. We started praying about God’s call in our lives and in 1997 we joined MAI full-time. Since that time, we have witnessed many people come to saving faith in Jesus through MAI ministry endeavors.

Mark & Diane Steffens

Sporting Director

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Michael & Mary Kovach

Position: USL2 Head Coach

About us

MICHAEL

Christianity never felt like a choice for me. It was something that I was supposed to do or be a part of. Something that society or the circles around me forced me to engage in. I didn’t want it and wasn’t for it, so in high school, I ran as far away from God as I could. Pride, partying, drinking, drugs, all of the bad things. That’s where I was. After an overdose in 2010, I met God, in person, and He raised me to life (literally). My life was given purpose. Love the lost, the broken, and the unworthy – show them Jesus’ love.

God’s call for me led me to attend and play soccer at Messiah College (now Messiah University) where I was surrounded by an incredible community of godly men. People on fire for Jesus, people that did not care about my past. Where I was in the present and where I was going moving forward is all that mattered. A culture of love, excellence, discipline, and success.

I am a disciple of the great men that came before me. I fix broken people. Coaching is my tool to be able to do this. Soccer is a great common ground, regardless of upbringing or current circumstances. Walls are broken down and bridges are built. Coaches are often the most impactful and consistent voices that many young players will have. The Charlotte Eagles are providing me with an opportunity to show our players what it means to love, have solid character, push their limits, and truly know Jesus.

I might not always get it right, I might not always speak the most eloquently, and there is always room for my knowledge of the gospel to grow, but I love my people and I love them well. I follow God’s call for me without question. He has given me endless blessings. An amazing wife, a community of people that love me, and an incredible purpose. I will spend all of my days relentlessly pursuing God’s will.

MARY

When I left for college in 2012, my eyes were opened to the world around me in a way they never had been before. I discovered what it meant to stay at one school for four years straight (which was a first for me), how to navigate the highs and lows of collegiate athletics, how wonderful it is to sit under a professor who SUPER loves their specialty and is a vibrant orator, and the challenge that comes with leaving every summer for a few months, knowing that you will come back and that, inevitably, you and your friends will have changed a bit without each other.

During those four years I worked on the coast for a boss who took my understanding of work ethic to a different level. I spent a summer in Kenya with a mentor who challenged my understanding of sin and the need to embrace humility instead of pride. Finally, I learned that you do not have to read the entire Bible in a summer to sit close to the heart of Jesus. You can do that with the same 10 verses every day for the entire summer.

3 years later, and the Lord has used the city of Charlotte and the Eagles to mold my leadership, my emotional maturity, and my understanding of my calling in His Kingdom.

I get to share stories from all of our branches of ministry, support our coaches and their teams as they compete throughout the summer, and most importantly teach college students that you can love Jesus, pursue excellence, and be an impressive leader all at the same time. I want them to leave their time at the Eagles knowing how to think and ask questions, and to be empowered to lead courageously and honestly.

P.S I also met my husband at the Eagles…. so like. That’s pretty neat.

Michael & Mary Kovach

USL2 Head Coach

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Matt and Lauren Barber

Matt & Lauren Barber

Position: Early Development Director

About me

God led Matt and his wife, Lauren, together while they were both attending Appalachian State University. They married in March of 2012 in Boone, NC. After graduating from ASU in May of 2012, Lauren pursued her Master’s degree in Nutrition from East Carolina University which brought the Barbers to New Bern, NC. In the fall of 2013 Matt began pursuing his Master’s in Sport Management from East Carolina and finished in August 2015. Throughout our time in New Bern the question remained, “What are we going to do next?”. In February of 2015 we got our answer — pursue full-time staff with the Eagles and become parents for the first time! We continue to love the game of soccer and are completely enjoying the opportunity to use it to share the Gospel. We now are blessed with TWO children — Luke and Elizabeth. We love being part of the Eagles family as a family!

How and why I became a MAI Missionary

During the summers of 2008 and 2009 Matt took the opportunity to participate as a member of the Chicago Eagles Summer Academy. It was here he realized that sports ministry was a very real way to share the Gospel. It was during those summers that God placed a call on Matt’s heart to work in sports ministry.

Because of my graduate work we were given the opportunity to pursue working with Missionary Athletes International in Charlotte, NC. Following God’s calling we moved to Charlotte in June 2015 and had a summer full of fun working with camps! We joined full-time staff in August 2015. We are so blessed to be part of the Eagles family and watch the Lord work in the hearts and lives of kids here in Charlotte.

Matt & Lauren Barber

Early Development Director

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Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham

Position: East Charlotte Ministry Staff

About me

I was born and raised Kingsport, Tennessee where I was homeschooled for 11 years. I later attended Berea College where I will graduate in 2019 with a Bachelors degree in Strategic Communication. I also played two years of soccer and one year of basketball at Berea College.

How and why I became a MAI Missionary 

A few summers ago I had an internship with the Emerald Youth Foundation in Knoxville, TN, where the Eagles put on a camp during the summer. Through this, I was able to get reconnected with former staff member Josh Wood who I knew when I was younger. From there, God opened doors and created opportunities for me to eventually come on staff as a MAI Missionary. Growing up, some of the biggest influences and models of the Christian faith were my coaches and team mates and because of that, God changed my life through sports. Throughout high school and college I have come to recognize the call that God has placed on my life to join Him in His work of making His name known and bringing glory to Him! Being able to use my love for sports and working with children to accomplish this seem too good to be true! However, God has given me that chance and there is no way that I could deny this opportunity after seeing what God has done to make it possible!

Matthew Graham

East Charlotte Ministry Staff

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Meghan Parks

Position: Early Development Program Leader

About me
I am the youngest of four children, I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Charlotte when I was 5 years old. I have now called this city home for 23 years. I graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Urban Youth and Communities. While at college I committed my life to Christ in 2013 and met my husband Tanner that same year. In college I grew deeper with Christ by serving in the ministry of Young Life for four years. The last two years we have lived in Clover, SC where I have been on staff with Young Life ministering to the kids that attend Clover High School. Before that I was a kitchen manager at Chick-fil-a and I can bread chicken faster than you can guess the secret recipe! Tanner and I have been married for 4 years and have a beautiful daughter, Tilly Joy who will be one at the end of July. I am passionate about most things in life but above all I know God has given me a deep passion for sharing the Gospel and helping people walk in their faith.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
I first heard about Charlotte Eagles in early 2000’s when I went to a summer camp hosted by the Eagles at Calvary Church when I was 9. I wore my camp shirt as a badge of honor year round and couldn’t wait for summer camp the next year. I played soccer throughout high school and have always loved the game. When I got the opportunity to join the MAI staff in Charlotte my heart immediately surrendered to the idea of joining this mission. God has shown me just where he is taking me and my family in the next season of life and I can’t wait! My position as Program Leader for Early Development is something I know will have Kingdom impact for years to come. I am so honored to use the gifts and abilities God has given me to train, and equip rec team coaches and add a flare of fun to everyday life around the office.

Meghan Parks

Early Development Program Leader

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Beka Severs

Rebekah Severs

Position: East Charlotte Ministry Staff

About me
Hey, I’m Beka and I grew up in High Point, NC. I was blessed to grow up surrounded by Christian community and it was extremely influential in getting me where I am today. For most of my life I sought to follow Christ, but it wasn’t until college that it really clicked for me what it looked like to live fully surrendered. I love people, so much, and I love being surrounded by them in all different circumstances. I love the game of soccer and have played it for most of my life and enjoy just being active and making the most of any time that I have outside. Additionally, I love to paint, have good conversation, and create fun for other people. I am a graduate of NC State University and loved every minute of my time there. I learned so much about ministry in my time there and have loved applying that to my time here in Charlotte. I am passionare about equipping and empowering students to understand all that God has purposed them for and to see them grasp that and apply it into the Great Commission. Living incarnationally in a cross cultural neighborhood in Charlotte has only increased that passion for me.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
As I approached the end of my time at NC State, I knew that I wanted to pursue working in full time ministry but I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like. In college I was able to see what life on mission looked like as involvement in ministry showed me how to take the community that you are surrounded by and live intentionally with the people within it in order for Christ to be made known. I think before I got to college I always assumed that ministry was for pastors and missionaries that went halfway across the world, but in college I could see that my mission field was constantly surrounding me no matter where I was. So I looked into many different opportunities that would challenge me and better equip me to do that, growing inwardly and multiplying outwardly. When it came time for me to make a decision, I had a lot of great opportunities in front of me, but I chose to come work with the Eagles, where I felt I would most grow in where God is leading me and where I felt like my passion for people and the game of soccer aligned with what God’s will is in the advancement of his kingdom. In the time that I have been here, I have grown and been challenged in ways that I never imagined I could people. God has brought the nations to Charlotte and he continues to remind me that I am incapable of doing anything a part from him. I love the journey and the relationships I have been privileged to build in working with the Eagles.

Rebekah Severs

East Charlotte Ministry Staff

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Sam & Chuck Hope

Samantha & Chuck Hope

Position: WPSL Head Coach, Girls DOC

About me
Born and raised in Louisville, KY. Gave my life to Christ when I was a freshman in high school. God led me to play college soccer at UNC Charlotte. He then enabled me to play three years and coach for two with the Charlotte Lady Eagles where He transformed the way I viewed the game. Soccer became a platform for me to share the love of Jesus with others. Since then God has sent me to coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, play professionally in Sweden, and coach at Gardner-Webb University. He has enabled me to coach youth soccer for several different clubs and also coach ODP with North Carolina and Region III. Recently married and moved to Charlotte where God has a new adventure for me with the Charlotte Eagles.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
I’ve felt called to be a part of this ministry since the day I was recruited to the team. At MAI, my two greatest passions in this life, the Lord and soccer, are combined. Even though God has led me to different areas of the country because of soccer, I believe those experiences were only to prepare me for this next step as a full time missionary. My experience as a player and coach within this ministry was transformational and I desire to partner with the Lord to create a similar experience for others that come through this program and this curriculum.

Samantha & Chuck Hope

WPSL Head Coach, Girls DOC

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Spencer & Morgan Lewis

Position: USL-Academy Head Coach & International Tours

About me
My wife Morgan and I met in college at the University of South Carolina in 2007 and got married in June 2012. God blessed us with our daughter, Chloe, in February 2018.

We are flawed but forever grateful for the love the Father has for us, and that He showed that love by sending Jesus to die on the cross to cover our imperfections. We are forever grateful for Jesus’ obedience in fulfilling His purpose on earth so that we can experience Him now and live with Him forever after this life. Following Jesus’ example, we also seek to be obedient to what the Lord asks us to do and are excited to serve Him as a part of MAI.

Joshua 24:15 – “…choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How & why I became a MAI Missionary
John 10:27 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Our whole lives (and more specifically, the past decade) we have been on the fun journey God has had for us – and this role and organization is where He has led us. While we prayed over many decisions in the past and can now see the Lord’s hand in them, we have never been more at peace that we are where God wants us and has asked us to be. In His perfect timing and preparation, we are excited to serve our purpose on earth with MAI. It is our prayer that His name and His glory is known in every detail of our story.

We would love to have you partner with us in any way you can and feel led, and would love it if you would allow us to pray for you wherever you are.

Please connect with us at slewis@charlotteeagles.com if you would like to hear the details of our lives that have led us to this point and what He has placed on us for this season.

Spencer & Morgan Lewis

USL-Academy Head Coach & International Tours

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Tori Collar

Tori Collar

Position: Asst. to the Ex. Director, CESC & WPSL GK Coach

About me

I have loved Jesus since a very young age and have been in the sports world since I was about three years old. I played soccer and basketball until my senior year in high school and chose to pursue college soccer from there. I played Division I soccer at Liberty University as a goalkeeper and played for the Charlotte Eagles in the summer of 2017. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, going on hikes, working on wood projects, and doing pretty much anything outdoors.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary 

I have always had a passion for soccer and having been rooted in my faith and love for Christ, I could not surpass the opportunity to combine both of these loves to help develop people of all kinds to become better soccer players, but more so, more faithful believers and followers of Jesus. I played for the Charlotte Eagles in the Summer of 2017 and from that point forward I knew that this was the line of work that I wanted to be involved in. The kind where relationships are formed through a great sport, but relationships with Christ are grown and fostered in unique ways. Without Him we are nothing and He sacrificial love He has given us is a gift that needs to be proclaimed to all. I want to be a part of this call He has given us through sports ministry.

Tori Collar

Asst. to the Ex. Director, CESC & WPSL GK Coach

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Scott & Jessica Jones

Travis & Jessica Jones

Position: East Charlotte Ministry Director

About me

I am the East Charlotte Ministry Director. I live with my incredibly graceful wife, Jessica, and our three children in an East Charlotte refugee/immigrant community. Although our family may appear to be completely out of place, we feel right at home with our neighborhood friends. If you ever want to stop in or go grab a coffee please contact me.

Travis & Jessica Jones

East Charlotte Ministry Director

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Zack Miller

Position: Operations Coordinator

About me:
– originally from Northern Virginia
– grew up loving all sports, but soccer is my favorite
– went to James Madison University
– for 5 years I lived in Nazareth, Israel and worked for Young Life
– I’m pretty laid back and enjoy the short term focused lifestyle
How & why I became a MAI Missionary?
I love Jesus and soccer. After sharing that with my mentor he told me about another one of his YL guys who is the exec director for the Eagles. After talking with him (Cliff) realized MAI has great recourses and tool to share the gospel using soccer as an relationship initiator

Zack Miller

Operations Coordinator

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