Renew I Educate I Connect 

Speakers, Musicians, and MCs

The Extravaganza 2019 Planning Team is putting together an amazing lineup of presenters for Extravaganza 2019 in Jacksonville.

We will continue to update this page as decisions are finalized.


Jeff Chu     

Over his eclectic journalistic career, Jeff Chu has interviewed presidents and paupers, corporate execs and preachers, Britney Spears and Ben Kingsley. As a writer and editor for Time and Fast Company, he has compiled an award-winning portfolio including stories on undercover missionaries in the Arab world and the decline of Christianity in Europe. His acclaimed book, Does Jesus Really Love Me?—which earned the cover of the New York Times Book Review—features his reporting on Christianity and sexuality across America.

As a speaker, Jeff has stood before audiences in Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and an array of other churches across the country. He has given lectures at Princeton, Yale, Fuller, Calvin, Syracuse, and Hope. He has also graced the stages of the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival in Washington, the Progressive Youth Ministry, Gay Christian Network, Why Christian?, and Room for All (Reformed Church in America) conferences. In 2012, he was part of the Seminar on Debates in Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School.

Chu grew up California and Florida. He is the nephew and grandson of Baptist preachers, and currently serves as an elder at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn, New York. He loves the San Francisco 49ers, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and clementine’s.

Dr. Dawn Rundman     

Dawn Rundman is a nationally recognized teacher, presenter, author, and resource provider specializing in children's faith development. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Oregon. Since 2002 she's developed faith formation resources at Sparkhouse and Augsburg Fortress, two publishing units of 1517 Media.

She is thrilled to release her newest book Little Steps, Big Faith on October 2, 2018.



You know Gretchen (right) from the Extravaganza 2018 and Tyra (left) from the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Now see them together as co-leaders of the Extravaganza 2019 House Band in Jacksonville, FL at the Extravaganza.

Tyra "Tyralucia" Dennis 

Tyra Dennis just left the stage as the House Band leader for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering! She is a member of Another Level Ministries LA and worship leader. Upon graduating UC Davis, she made it her life's work to inspire as many as possible, using music as her vehicle.

Gretchen Mertes

Gretchen is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Seattle with a bluesy-soul feel and a love for hyphenated words. She's also a pastor who enjoys bartending and poking anemones at low tide. She can often be found riding bikes with her two kids - Addi, 9 and Weller, 4.

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