Our Hopegiver Speakers
Our experienced and inspiring communicators are available to speak on relevant and life-changing topics that will move, challenge, and empower listeners to make a difference in the lives of many without going anywhere! Each of our speakers has been deeply impacted by the work of this ministry, because Hopegivers International changes lives. Through our One Million Orphan Leaders Worldwide by 2030 vision, thousands are being gathered in the love of Christ, sharpened in the Word of God, and sent to impact hearts and minds all over the world.
Dr. Samuel Thomas, President
Samuel serves as President of both Hopegivers International in the U.S. and Emmanuel Ministries in India. A powerful communicator and the son of Dr. M.A. Thomas, Samuel is an internationally sought after speaker, author, and ministry leader. His articulate and anointed messages, infused with both humor and hope, leave audiences refreshed, inspired, and spiritually moved. Dr. Sam’s passion is for serving those nearest to God’s heart–the fatherless and the widows, and his tireless dedication to the fulfillment of the One Million Arrows Vision, leaves every heart challenged to action. Due to high demand and divided time between India and the U.S., Dr. Sam’s availability is limited.
Pamela Ward, Chief Operating Officer
Pamela Hopson Ward, Chief Operating Officer is new to Hopegivers International, but is a seasoned professional with nearly three decades of experience in the field of banking and business administration and has experience running Christian non-profit ministries. Pam’s goal is to make a difference wherever she serves. Pam is planning to go to India in October to see the ministry firsthand and will be speaking to women at the Pastor’s Conference. Since Pam ran a Christian children’s home for 10 years, she is most anxious to love on the children in our Hope Homes in India. Pam has developed and led women’s retreats and workshops throughout the southeast United States and enjoys sharing her own story and encouraging and inspiring women to be used by God. With Scripture as her foundation, every presentation is dynamic, inspiring and a call to action for every woman. Pam is married to Leon Ward. They live in West Point, GA and are members of Spring Road Christian Church.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
When it comes to speaking in churches, Rex Austin is no newbie. He has represented Hopegivers as well as the Gideons in churches all over Oklahoma and the surrounding states. In fact, his relationship with Hopegivers spans three decades, beginning when he met Dr. M. A. Thomas while serving on the mission board of an Oklahoma City church. When Rex sees how many lives are changing because of the efforts of this ministry, all he wants to do is go and tell others so that they can share in the wonderful blessings. It’s similar to the verse in Luke 5:7 where discovering what God is doing is like “netting an amazing catch.”
Dwain Banner and his family are a great blessing to the ministry of Hopegivers. In 2004, Dr. M. A. Thomas visited the Banner’s home in Bolivar, Missouri, and challenged their home group to build an orphanage. After only nine months, God had provided the funds to complete the project. Dwain has been inspired by the way God is moving through Hopegivers. With four sons of his own, Dwain thinks that one of the greatest benefits of being a Hopegiver is the example it sets for his sons. Their eldest, Deacon, was able to make his first India trip in 2007. Dwain’s testimony will be a blessing for anyone to hear.
David Byrd, Major Donor Relations Representative
David Byrd was introduced to Hopegivers at a young age through his father, Dr. Jonathan Byrd. His father’s passion for the ministry, along with his respect for its founder, M.A. Thomas, infused David with the same love and respect for both. A graduate of Wabash College, David now resides outside of Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Jewel, and their five children. Besides speaking for Hopegivers, David serves on the board of directors for his family’s companies, pastors Pisteos International Church, and is also an associate pastor of the Academia Church of Goodyear, AZ. “My heart’s desire is to assist in locating the resources to bring about the fulfillment of the One Million Arrows Vision. I am excited to play a part of investing in orphaned and at-risk children who will one day become great Christian leaders, bringing the Gospel to their own countries and beyond.”
Darrell Cheek, Board Member
Darrell Cheek first came to know about Hopegivers after M.A. Thomas visited a church in his hometown. Dr. Thomas challenged Darrell with the idea that “you can go anywhere in the world, but India will change your life.” Upon visiting India for the first time in 1989, he was taken out of his comfort zone and then called into full time ministry as a pastor. In the years since, Darrell has returned to India, and been on mission trips to both Russia and the Ukraine. His heart beats to serve those he works with daily as well as others around the world.
Wesley Withers, Hope Ambassador
A professionally trained speaker with an education in Theology, Wesley has been closely tied to the ministry since 1999. A resident of Maine, Wesley actively promotes Hopegivers throughout the northeast, but with enough notice can travel anywhere in the United States to bring the story of Hopegivers to your church. His life has been touched first-hand while watching God work miracles through this ministry–mostly through the prayers of orphans. “Orphans have a hotline to God’s ears, and their courage is poignant.” As far as the future of Hopegivers, Wesley is ready and willing to do his part. “The last three years have been most difficult for the ministry. I have determined in my heart to not fall asleep, but rather to ‘watch and pray’ with Hopegivers.” Wesley’s sense of humor combined with having Dr. Sam as a brother-in-law gives him a unique perspective that will delight and challenge every listener in his audience. Says Wesley of the ministry President, “Dr. Sam is not just my brother-in-law; he is my brother.”