A long time worship pastor and now lead pastor of the first church start built intentionally on Ancient-Future principles, Chris Alford is the founder and Board Chair of the Ancient-Future Faith Network. A native of East Tennessee, Chris came to church-based ministry after several years in the symphony orchestra business where he used his musicology background to plan repertoire, write program notes, and serve as staff musicologist (“Which,” he says, “meant that I would help people remember how to spell ‘Dvorak’”). (“And which,” he says, “is also ironic in that it isn’t spelled correctly here because we couldn’t find proper Czech accents for the letters”).
Chris left his Baptist roots in Tennessee when he was called to a large Evangelical Presbyterian church in the Sacramento area, and he now serves in what he calls a “pre-denominational” community of believers: Epiclesis… An Ancient-Future Faith Community. He celebrated 20 years of ministry in 2011. Chris is a tireless advocate of all things Ancient-Future and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader.
Chris and wife Sheila have two children, Noah and Anna, and a wonderfully useless but beloved bichon frisé named Pepi.
Ellen Koehler has been director of music and liturgy at Epiclesis since the community’s first meetings in 2009. She studied musicology and piano performance at Oregon State University before moving to the Sacramento area in 1988. As a church musician for some 25 years, she has served as sanctuary pianist, organist and choral accompanist in diverse styles– from classic and traditional to contemporary. She has also played in chamber music and orchestral settings and worked in instrumental and choral composition and arranging. Her great joy these days is in composing and arranging music for Ancient-Future worship. Ellen holds a Ph.D. in Intellectual and Cultural History from the University of California, Davis, with specialties in religious history and nineteenth-century France, and has held lectureships at UCLA and UCD. She and her husband, Loren, enjoy travel, hiking and photography. They are blessed with three grown children and two grandchildren.
Carl Peters is married to Reneé (21 years of marriage) and has three sons: Daulton (16), Kendall, (13), and Hayden (5). Having served churches in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, and California, Carl is currently ministering at the Anchor Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky (since 2006). His gifts are utilized in the ministries of worship, music and discipleship. As a proponent of the Ancient-Future principles so brilliantly articulated by Dr. Robert Webber, Carl has given special attention in His church settings to the central place of covenant renewal as a defining factor in scripturally informed worship. Believing that the covenantal components of Word and Sign are meant to be twin peaks within the biblically prescribed “four-fold pattern” of worship (Gathering, Word, Table and Sending Forth), Carl has spent the last twelve years pursuing renewal in the vital nature of the Table in the Christian sacred assembly.
Further, Carl has worked to implement a catechetical structure within a traditional Baptist setting. Utilizing Webber’s “Journey to Jesus” as a model, progress is being made in the initiation of this four stage discipleship strategy, derived from the early church, as a normative facet of church membership at Anchor. Along with teaching worship and choral seminars in several states across the country, Carl also has several published articles on worship, including a “Creator Magazine” piece on returning the Table to its proper place (Real Presence: Renewal at the Lord’s Table). Carl writes a blog dealing with many of the issues that animate his work (carlmpeters2.blogspot.com).