The Lions – potential redefined

THE LIONS

Andy Edmiston

IM Group & Imagine The Day

Amongst other things Andy has spent the last 20 years with the IM Group in the role of group Managing Director. The IM Group is responsible for Subaru, Isuzu and Great Wall Motor brands across many European markets and has a portfolio of properties across the world managed by IM Properties. Andy has helped steer the company through economic difficulties, while at the same time preparing for the next phase of its growth.

Outside of this with his wife Alison, he has established a charity called ‘Imagine the Day’ and helped to pioneer Mosaic Church in Coventry. They have five children and one grandchild.

Gary Spicer

Grace Foundation / Imagine theDay / Mosaic Church

Gary Spicer is the Executive Director for Grace Foundation, Founding Pastor of Mosaic Church Coventry and Executive Director for Imagine The Day Ltd. Gary is also on the board of directors for Big Church Day Out and Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer.

As a charismatic Leader and communicator, his insights and wisdom make him a much sought-after speaker both at home and aboard.

Formerly, executive director of Grace Academy, Gary lead a team of 400 staff, helping turnaround failing schools, within deprived areas, into successful academies.

As executive director for Grace Foundation, he is accountable for placing Christian Ethos staff, across several academies in the Midlands. The vision of the foundation is positively impacting the lives of over 10,000 students, through holistic education.

Gary has a passion to equip the next generation of pioneers and is responsible for equipping and mentoring over 20 Kingdom entrepreneurs in the UK.

Gary is married to Helen and has 3 grown up children, Josh, Naomi and Alysha.

They love spending time with them and their 6 grandchildren.

Tim Jupp

Big Church Day Out & Delirious?

Tim Jupp currently heads up the team that runs the UK’s fastest growing Christian festival, the Big Church Day Out. Before this, Tim spent 17 years as the keyboard player with the band Delirious?, managing the band for its last four years, and established and became Managing Director of Furious Records.

Tim is married and lives in Sussex with his wife Becca, who is the senior leader of their local Church. Arun Community Church, They have four teenage children.

Andy Hawthorne

The Message Trust

Andy Hawthorne OBE is a British evangelist, author and leader of The Message Trust, a Christian mission organisation based in Manchester, England. He is also an in-demand speaker at events in the UK and increasingly around the world.

Beginning with concerts and outreach to schools, The Message Trust’s work has expanded into tough urban communities, prisons, the training and employment sectors and now impacts over 100,000 young people each year.

Andy’s tireless commitment to young people and community transformation was honoured as part of the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2011when he was awarded an OBE for services to young people.

Andy is married to Michele, and they have two children, Sam and Beth.

Stuart Bell

Groundlevel Network

Stuart Bell is the Senior Leader of Alive Church, a growing church of 1000+ people. He is actively involved in a number of national leadership forums and often works in both America and South Africa.

Stuart is Leader of the Ground Level Network, a network of over 100 churches. He also works with a growing group of international Leaders known as Partners for Influence. The group is strongly missional and are working across different streams and denominations bringing kingdom perspectives and values. They desire to see strong, effective, healthy churches partnering together for greater influence.

He is an international speaker and teacher and has written four books.

Married to Irene, Stuart has three children and three grandsons.

Matt Summerfield

Zeo Church

Matt Summerfield is the Senior Pastor of Zeo Church (www.zeochurch.org) which he leads alongside a wider speaking, training, coaching and writing ministry – www.stretch-your-life.com.

Prior to this, he served for 18 years as CEO, and latterly President, of the youth and children’s missionary movement, Urban Saints. Matt is passionate about releasing potential in people and organisations, with a particular commitment to see young people live God’s great adventure.

He is the founder of lifelive123.org – a simple idea to encourage people in future-changing disciple-making. Matt loves meaty pizzas, Belgian Chocolate Haagen Daaz and great movies!

Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner

Girl's Brigade & Romance Academy

Rachel is the President of the Girl’s Brigade and founder of the Romance Academy, a national youth charity that supports youth leaders, parents and teachers in talking with young people about healthy relationships and sexual health.

Bestselling author of a number of books for teens and young adults, Rachel is a keen campaigner on youth related issues and is on the board of the ‘Cinnamon Network’ and the Christian Fostering and Adoption Charity ‘Home For Good’.

Rachel lives in North London with her vicar-in-training husband, Jason, and daughter.

Chris Spicer

The Lions Coordinator

Chris Spicer is a Christian leader who has over fifty-years experience working with churches and learning centres throughout Europe, Africa and North America. As a published author and public speaker, Chris brings a wealth of experience to both secular and spiritual learning environments.

Having lived in Portland Oregon and served as a Teaching Pastor in Peoria, Illinois, Chris still maintains links with churches in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New York and Oregon. Returning to the UK in 2010 Chris set up his own consultancy business known as Spicer’s Ink.  As a founder member of www.thelions.org.uk Chris helps to develop entrepreneurs in the field of business, church and social outreach. In 2015 Chris launched www.coffeechats.org as a unique way of kick-starting a conversation about life, faith and spirituality.

Through his no-nonsense and yet entertaining teaching style he travels widely so as to encourage, equip, and empower Christians to pursue their God-given destiny.

Chris is married to Tina and they have four adult children and eight rock-star grandchildren.

Gavin Kibble

Coventry Foodbank / Mosaic Church

As the founder of Coventry foodbank Gavin has helped build partnerships with 17 churches/ community organisation which now distribute food to people in crisis. Since the project started eight years ago it has fed well over 100,000 people in Coventry.

In 2013 working with other Christian leaders in the city he set up Hope Coventry, a multidenominational expression of the church. As a result Gavin was involved in establishing the city’s winter night shelter, and “Good Neighbours” a project to befriend vulnerable older people. This latter project has become the largest multidenominational church project ever undertaken in the city.

In 2016 Gavin established Feeding Coventry with a broader remit to deal with the causes of Food Poverty. So far the charity has successfully funded school holiday programmes and community café. It now embarks on its most ambitious project to establish Coventry’s first community supermarket with a £250k funding from the National Lottery.

Gavin works closely links with the faculty of health and life sciences at Coventry University on projects to help alleviate food poverty though research and analysis of food waste. Some of this work was reflected in TEDx talk given by Gavin in Coventry in 2018.

He has been married to his wife, Vivienne for 31 years and together they manage two large ballet schools in Solihull and Warwickshire. In 2018 Gavin and Vivienne were appointed as Community Pastors of Mosaic Church, Coventry (of which they are part of the leadership team).

Gavin also runs a specialist accounting company “Mozaic Innovate” which provides charitable accounting support, guidance and governance to many churches and charities. This technical expertise provides the basis of his work with Lions delegates. Gavin serves as a trustee with many charities both locally and nationally.

Gemma Francis

Big Sing / Big Sing Soul

Gemma is the co-founder and Managing Director of The BIG Sing, promoting community singing at its best. The BIG Sing uses uplifting songs to unite communities with music and enjoy its therapeutic qualities. She has grown the business to attract over 1000 members every week in choirs across five different counties in the UK.

Previously a professional singer and Marketing Manager for The London Community Gospel Choir, Gemma has implemented very successful marketing strategies to pioneer premier UK Gospel over the last 20 years.

Gemma came on The Lions course to help launch the charity ‘The BIG Sing SOUL’ to making The BIG Sing accessible to everyone including nurseries, schools, disabled groups, care homes, hospitals and vulnerable groups in the community. The Lions have helped The BIG Sing expand across the UK and have given Gemma mentoring and seed funding to expand her vision. Gemma now works for The Lions as their Marketing Manager as well as continuing to pioneer The BIG Sing.

Gemma is married to Howard Francis and they have four children.

Darren Armstrong

Darren Armstrong

Be Strong

Darren’s history is full of violence, destruction and addiction. Eventually he ended up in prison for stabbing someone in a town centre sports shop and was sent to prison.

At 28 desperate to break this cycle he ended up in church and gave his life to Jesus. With a degree in Sports Development and a passion for supporting people in the same cycle of addiction and violence he provided gym memberships and personal development programmes.

Be Strong now has 3 houses and a 2 bed apartment to support 11 male and female homeless ex offenders and addicts. In addition Be Strong provides gym membership and provides practical employablity skills.

Darren is married, has 5 children and 1 grandchild.