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Our Leadership



Executive Director

Dave Jones

For 35 years, Dave and his wife, Gina, served in ministry with young people and their families in inner-city Denver. In more recent years, Dave's calling has been to equip, coach and encourage ministry leaders who have a heart to serve the "least of these," as Jesus described in Mathew 25. In addition to his role with Denver Leadership Initiative, Dave leads an eight month program called "TEAMM" that assists urban ministry leadership teams with focus, direction and team care ( Dave and Gina have lived in Denver for their entire married life with the commitment to live life together with those they serve. They have been tremendously blessed with three sons: Nathan, Ryan and Anthony.


Director of Soul Care 

Niecy LoCricchio

Niecy has been loving, leading and teaching students, and walking alongside families, for nearly 15 years. She previously served as the Director of Middle School Ministry at Greenwood Community Church. Her commitment to students stems from the brokenness in her own teen years and her desire to see students and families experience in their souls the never-failing, always pursuing, ever healing, transformational love of Jesus in their lives. Over the past several years the Lord has set her eyes upon walking deeper with people in the journey of soul care and spiritual transformation. In 2017, she will complete a two year program at the Soul Care Institute and is looking forward to what’s next in her story with Him. Niecy is married to Jeff and they have 3 young adults who are mostly out of the home, and a granddaughter that makes every day a joy.

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Administrative Director

Christine Martinez

Christine has been involved in ministry for over 20 years at her home church His Love Fellowship. Her heart is to encourage others by supporting them as they serve Gods people. In 2003 Christine completed a program for leaders through the Mestiza Institute. During the program year God continued to show her how He was going to use the skill set she learned in the Body of Christ. Christine is an alumni member of DLI class of 2012. She has raised 4 beautiful daughters Alyssa, Lorena, Jenn and Erica with her husband Eric. 



Senior Pastor, His Love Fellowship

Phil Abeyta

Pastor Phil Abeyta has been a follower of Christ since he was a senior in high school. Phil has been married to the same amazing woman for 38 years and she is still the love of his life. He and Cathy have seven kids and currently have 13 grand kids. Phil has been pastoring at His Love Fellowship for 23 years. He has been working with the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative for a few years now. For Phil, relationship with Christ is paramount. He loves his job and serving God. He loves to go to San Diego in his free time.


Staff Development Director, Open Door Ministries

Ellen Barton

Ellen began serving in full time urban youth ministry in Denver CO in 1995. She has formally served in urban ministries in the Denver community through Crossroads of the Rockies Compassionate Ministries Center, Grace Church and Vida Nueva Churches of the Nazarene for 10 years. She served with Cru Inner City on their Nat’l Youth Development Team and was their Leadership Coaching Coordinator for 10 years.  Ellen continues to mentor teens, young adults and other urban leaders in the Denver community. She was the City Coordinator for the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative that concluded in May 2013. She currently serves with the Open Door Ministries (Denver) as their Family Room (outreach to the homeless) Director and their Intern Director.  She also supports her church, Open Door Fellowship as their Volunteer Coordinator and Worship Team Member. 



Education Director, Save Our Youth

Keith McVaney 

Keith is the Education Director for Save Our Youth of Denver, CO, which advocates for youth in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. He has been supporting at risk youth in the Denver metro area, educationally, spiritually, and emotionally for the past 12 years. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Denver Dream Center, and MOPS International. God’s calling for Keith’s life is to help direct those in need to the resources and support available. He and his wife Suzie have been married 13 years.


Urban Youth Ministries

Salt Wall

For the past 25 years, Salt and Marcie have lived and worked together serving as urban missionaries in Northeast Denver where Salt was raised. Salt and Marcie have three adult sons Jesse, Chris and Shawn, of whom they are very proud. Currently, Salt and Marcie give leadership to Urban Youth Ministries and interact with over 150 teenagers from Northeast Denver on a weekly basis most from Denver East High School.


Associate Pastor, Praise Center Church

Micah Espinoza

For more than 16 years Micah has inspired, challenged, and led adults, youth and youth leaders in the city of Denver, Co and throughout the country.  For years the Lord was impressing on Micah's heart to start a "pastoring the pastor" effort which eventually led to the development of the Denver Leadership Initiative. He serves as associate pastor at Praise Center Church located in one of the most impoverished communities in Denver, CO. He’s been married for 15 years to Elizabeth; they have 3 sons Micah Jr., JouhnPaul and Justice.  As of 2014 Micah followed the Lord's leading to focus all of his energy and efforts on leading his local congregation.  Although Micah has stepped down from leadership of Denver Leadership Initiatiave the vision that the Lord planted in his heart continues.


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