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Board of Directors

Bryan Stiles

Bryan currently serves as Board Chair of Deeper Still. He has had a Passion for All God is doing in Deeper Still for many years and has had the privilege of serving on retreat teams since 2012. His passion in life is to see wounded hearts healed and set free to walk in their God given destiny. Bryan grew up in the Middle East and Europe and has a global perspective for Kingdom business. He has a masters degree in Government Operational Management. He was called upon to serve the men and women who fight for our freedom in the military by overseeing much of the body armor manufacturing for the Iraq and Afganistan war effort. Much of his career has been in the oversight of multi-site manufacturing operations. He enjoys using his career experiences to further the Kingdom of God globally in strategic and empowering ways. Bryan is married to Shannon Jones Stiles and together they have 6 children. They reside in Jefferson City and serve at Heritage Fellowship Church. They serve in youth, worship, and prayer ministries. 

Sheila Howard

Sheila began working in prolife ministry in 1988 as a sidewalk counselor. She went on to become the founder and director of 2 pregnancy centers, one in Pittsburgh, PA and one in Washington, PA. Her burden for women who have been wounded by abortion has motivated her to be part of abortion recovery efforts such as Deeper Still. Sheila has served in various aspects of the prolife movement including training consultant for Heartbeat International, LifeSteward Ministries and as chairman of the PA Prolife Care Coalition. Sheila has also worked in women’s ministry and youth ministry in her local church. Sheila is married to Gene, they reside in Washington, PA, and together they  have 8 children. 

Jerry Smucker

Jerry grew up in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania on a family farm. He spent 20 years developing and helping to manage his families hospitality business which included hotels and restaurants, a bakery and a campground before returning to farming with his sons. After receiving healing and freedom from a Deeper Still retreat in 2012, he has developed a deep desire to see other men and women walk in lasting freedom from their abortion wounds. He also enjoys construction work and spends 6 weeks each year in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas leading a volunteer crew building homes for low income Mexican farm workers. Jerry and his wife Kathy live on their family farm and are active members of Petra Church. They have 3 married sons and take great joy in their 13 grandchildren.

Karen Ellison

Karen is the Founder and President of Deeper Still. She first entered pregnancy center ministry in 1985. She has served as an executive director of a pregnancy center in Virginia Beach, VA, a national trainer for Care Net, and as vice president of Alternatives Group (now LifeSteward Ministries). Karen has served in the area of post abortion healing for many years and out of those experiences has developed the Deeper Still retreat.

Sharon Kinder

Sharon began working with Deeper Still in the fall of 2002. The deep desire and passion of her heart is to see women healed and walking in complete freedom from past abortions. Sharon and her husband, Gary are active members of Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, TN. Together they have seven children and four beautiful grandchildren. In her spare time, Sharon works as the Office Manager for her husband’s busy dental practice.

Carla Martin

Carla grew up in Memphis, TN. After graduating from college, she joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and served there for 12 years. Currently, she enjoys caring for her husband Lee and they have 3 children. They attend Two Rivers Church where Carla has previously served on the women’s ministry retreat team. Carla also serves as a team member for the Deeper Still retreats. She has a heart for evangelism, missions, and discipling women in the foundations of the faith. Carla is the Vice Chair of the Board of Deeper Still.

Bill Velker

Bill serves as vice president for LIFE International. His journey in the mission field created by abortion began in ’95 as a men’s ministry coordinator with a local post abortion ministry. Two years later he began working for a pregnancy center and has been involved in ministry nationally and internationally for the past eleven years in various roles encompassing operations, administration, finance, development and prayer. He also participates as a board member of the Alliance for Life Michigan, a state coalition of pregnancy centers. Bill carries a strong desire to help encourage others in the prolife community to cultivate prayer and worship as a primary focus and source of strength in their ministry. In addition Bill is helping Deeper Still develop awareness and healing resources for men wounded by abortion.

Debi Velker

Debi serves as Advancement Coordinator for LIFE International, helping to inspire others to invest in equipping leaders to multiply life-giving ministries worldwide. She has been a part of the LIFE team since its inception in 2001 and previously worked for six years at the Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids in administration and development. For the past few years, she has passionately joined with the network of prayer warriors praying strategically for Deeper Still retreats and the healing of women and men with abortion-wounded hearts. Debi also finds great joy in serving alongside her husband Bill in ministry work and family life.

Margie Sauder

Margie got involved with Deeper Still in 2013 and helped found the Central Illinois chapter. She is a nurse volunteer at her local Pregnancy Center and is very thankful to counsel those facing unplanned pregnancies and do ultrasounds to reveal to them the truth about life. She is passionate about offering hope and healing through Jesus Christ to the broken and hurting, especially the abortion wounded heart. She and her husband, Steve, live on the family farm, and are blessed to have three married children and three grandchildren. She's also active in prayer ministry, missions, foster care support, and mentoring.