Plenary Speakers

Paul McCusker - Creative Writing, Directing, & Producing

Paul was given his first typewriter early in his childhood and hasn't stopped writing since. Although he received a college degree in journalism, Paul's first love was writing sketches and plays for Grace Baptist Church. From those efforts came his published drama collections for the prestigious Baker's Plays, and the Lillenas Publishing Co., Contemporary Drama Services, Group Books and Monarch/Gazelle Books in England.


In 1985 he moved to California where he worked with Continental Ministries and wrote plays for the nationally-renowned drama group The Jeremiah People. This led to his work as a freelance writer for the Focus on the Family radio drama called Family Portraits, which later became Adventures in Odyssey. Since joining the Focus staff as a writer in 1988, Paul has written over 300 half-hour episodes for Odyssey and has also written 22 tie-in novels. Paul served as Creative Director at Focus On The Family until 2015. 


In addition to Adventures In Odyssey, Paul helped to create Focus On The Family Radio Theatre, writing and directing many of its productions. Milestones include the Peabody Award-winning Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom, all seven books in CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series, the acclaimed Father Gilbert Mysteries, the Audie-winning Life of Jesus, and The Screwtape Letters. Dickens' Oliver Twist is his latest adaptation.


His novels include Epiphany (nominated for a ECPA Gold Medallion Award) for Zondervan Books, and You Say Tomato with best-selling British writer Adrian Plass. He has authored the popular Zondervan novel The Mill House, and its sequel A Season of Shadows. Paul recently penned a pair of medical thrillers, TSI: The Gabon Virus and The Influenza Bomb, with Dr. Walt Larimore. His non-fiction includes Playwriting: A Study In Choices & Challenges for Lillenas and The Ultimate Youth Drama Book for Monarch/Gazelle.


More recently, his connections with the writings of CS Lewis have strengthened, with the release of The Annotated Screwtape Letters and the new RT drama, CS Lewis at War. A companion book to that drama will come out next year.


Paul and his wife Elizabeth live in Colorado Springs with their two children.


Buddy Greene - Singer, Songwriter, & Virtuoso Musician

Born and bred in Macon, Georgia, Buddy Greene benefited at an early age from the influences of a town and culture that produced the likes of Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band. By age 10 he began playing to audiences around Macon and quickly established himself as a local talent worth watching.


Buddy’s first big break came with an invitation to join Jerry Reed’s band, and shortly thereafter he and new bride Vicki moved to Nashville. After touring the country, recording, and making numerous TV appearances with Reed, Buddy was given the opportunity to record an album of original gospel music which quickly brought him to the attention of gospel greats Bill & Gloria Gaither.


Through touring with the Gaithers and appearing on their Homecoming video series, as well as continuing to write and record his unique brand of gospel music, Buddy has built a solid reputation as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and talented performer with a distinct southern flavor. His virtuosity on the harmonica has distinguished him as an instrumental force to be reckoned with.


Buddy’s songwriting has gained him recognition as well, especially as the co-writer of the Christmas favorite, “Mary, Did You Know?”, recorded by many of today’s top recording artists, including Clay Aiken, Pentatonix, Kathy Mattea, Kenny Rogers & Wynonna, Natalie Cole, Glen Campbell, and Kathleen Battle, to name a few.


Buddy’s outstanding performances have taken him from Macon, GA to Billy Graham crusades, music festivals, concert halls, churches, pickin’ parties of every kind, and even Carnegie Hall.


Buddy will join Sara Groves and Jeff Taylor for an evening of music on Thursday!

Jeff Taylor - Musician & Recording Artist

Jeff Taylor grew up in Batavia, New York, and began playing accordian and keyboards in his dad’s band when he was 10. He studied classical piano at the Eastman School of Music and was leader of a small jazz/rock group when he was in the Air Force in Ohio. He has lived in Nashville since 1990.


Taylor counts among his performing highlights his two years as bandleader at the Ryman  auditorium for the musical production Always....Patsy Cline, hundreds of shows as bandleader at Opryland theme park and on the General Jackson showboat, The Skaggs Family Christmas Tour, and many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry backing numerous artists.


He has recorded with Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Harry Connick Jr., Keith and Kristyn Getty, Amy Grant, George Strait, The Chieftains, Martina McBride, Buddy Greene, Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs. He was a featured artist on the Ricky Skagg’s and Kentucky Thunder Instrumentals album that won a Grammy in 2007 for Best Bluegrass Album.


Besides excelling on accordion and piano, he also shines on the concertina, penny whistle, mandolin and bouzouki.


Jeff will join Buddy Greene and Sara groves for an evening of music on Thursday!


Sara Groves - Singer, Songwriter, & Recording Artist

Sara Groves is a mom, wife, singer/ songwriter and recording artist with a passion for justice and a heart of mercy. In 1998, she left her job as a high school teacher to pursue what had been a joy and passion of hers since childhood.


Since the release of her first independent album, Sara has experienced many ups and downs in her walk with Christ that have ultimately formed her into a stronger and more confident woman of God. During this journey, she has developed into a highly respected singer and songwriter.


Sara has joined forces with International Justice Mission to advocate for victims of human trafficking for the past 8 years. She has been nominated for 7 Dove Awards and has produced a string of successful albums including her latest, Floodplain, which was inspired by the Mississippi River in her hometown, and speaks of God's provision.  


Sara, her husband Troy, and their 3 children (Kirby, Toby & Ruby) reside in St. Paul where they cultivate an artist support community out of a 100-year old church called Art House North.


Sara will join Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor for an evening of music on Thursday!

Pastor Colin Smith - Biblical Theology

Colin Smith is the pastor of Berean Baptist Fellowship in northeastern Pennsylvania. His love for the Scriptures and passionate exposition of them is infectious. Pastor Colin places a heavy emphasis on studying the Scriptures in their literal, grammatical, and historical context. The Word of God becomes rich with deeper meaning to the hearers under his skilled teaching. 

Mark Hamby - Biblical Theology 

Mark Hamby (M.S., M.Div., Th.M., D. Min. cand.) is founder and president of Lamplighter Ministries, which consists of Lamplighter Publishing, Lamplighter Theatre, Lamplighter Guild, Lamplighter Life-Transforming Seminars and Lamplighter Moments Daily Radio Broadcast. He lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Debbie. They have been married for 34 years and have three adult children who were homeschooled.


If you have ever heard Mark speak, you know that he loves to tell stories! If you have ever heard him on the radio, you have heard his passion for God and His Word. Interviewed on numerous national programs including Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Moody Bible Network’s Prime Time America, Mark shares the miracle story of how Lamplighter was birthed and how Lamplighter stories have a redemptive influence around the world. 


What Mark is most passionate about is the Lamplighter Guild—a unique educational model which follows a rare principle of the early Renaissance masters called “Agon.” After discovering this principle in Scripture, Mark combined Renaissance training with Scriptural principles that have proven to motivate others toward the pursuit of Christ-like character and mastery skills. 


Dramatic Arts

Patrick A. Powell - Actor, Director, Playwright,
& Independent Artist

After a professional career including stage work at theatres in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse in plays such as “Amadeus”, “Harvey”, “Our Town”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “The Shadow Box”, “The Miracle on 34th Street”, and personal comedic favorite and backstage extravaganza “Greater Tuna”, Patrick had managed to keep a family of four successfully fed and loved in the upstate NY area. 


To assist with life’s needs, Patrick also became well known and professionally sought after as theatrical director of adults and children, which culminated in an

11-year residency as actor and director of the Children’s Theatre Program at Bristol Valley Theatre. At 35, after amassing a resume inclusive of voiceover work, commercials, industrial films, script writing, dinner theatre, a bit of stand up comedy, a full-length Christmas film for Reader’s Digest, and an opportunity to be the “Bill Nye, the Science Guy” poster boy for NYSEG, Patrick was tiring. It was at this time that Patrick accepted his greatest and most important role of his entire life—to be a God-directed, Spirit-led, servant of Jesus Christ! 


Patrick walked out of the limelight and into HIS light, never intending to look back. After a short time as third grade instructor at the Christian school his daughters were attending, and a self-imposed decline in health due to the denial of God’s clear will, Patrick acquiesced to teaching a drama class at the high school level. God honored Patrick’s repentance by giving him not only a life-mission, a vision to keep it alive, a heart and a reason to act again, but also a scriptural vehicle to carry him onto the next and ever-expanding path to becoming God’s storyteller.


Now at 52, with three more children and three grandkids, Patrick has most recently performed in “St. John in Exile”, a one-man play depicting the time the apostle John spent exiled for his faith on the Isle of Patmos. Patrick still keeps busy with other projects, including writing two full-length plays, two books, and an occasional voiceover job or TV commercial. 


Patrick is beyond ecstatic to be included in the ranks of the Guild instructors and cannot wait to spend a short but intense time of exploration, inspiration and instruction with his stage-acting students.


See the Stage Acting page for more details on this class.

John Fornof – Story Creation, Writing, Producing, & Directing

You might call John Fornof “That Radio Drama Guy.” When he was a kid, he clutched his Panasonic RQ309S cassette tape machine close to his heart, and with his dad’s encouragement, started making his own radio adventures. His dream was to grow up to write and produce radio dramas. Sadly, no one was doing radio dramas anymore. It was sort of like, “Hey, when I grow up, I want to be a telegraph operator!”  


Fast forward the tape machine to 1997. John was invited to write for the Adventures in Odyssey radio show — literally, a dream job. Since then, God has opened up opportunities for John to work on nine different audio drama series. He’s written over 130 episodes.  


In 2009, he was asked to help launch Lamplighter Theatre with Mark Hamby. The popular program grew to over 1700 radio outlets in 29 countries. Lamplighter Theatre is on the verge of reaching a major milestone in its history — soon to become a daily radio show. 


John and his team recently launched their newest audio drama with Heirloom Audio — The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. (Note: This historic audio drama series was birthed here at the Lamplighter Guild!) Their show about William Wallace--“In Freedom’s Cause”—recently won four Voice Arts Awards in Los Angeles: Outstanding Audio Production, Outstanding Audio Engineering, Outstanding Narration and Outstanding Casting. It was also a finalist for the Audie Award.


As a director, John has had the privilege of working with many great actors including Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Golden Globe Award-winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Fireproof), John Rhys Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings), Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Skandar Keynes (Chronicles of Narnia), James Cosmo (Braveheart), Tom Baker (Dr. Who), and Anthony Daniels (Star Wars).


John wrote and helped develop the award-winning Ribbits! animated series with creator and former Disney producer Bob Garner.  He’s also a published author with Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Focus on the Family, and Tyndale and has won two regional Emmy awards for his television documentaries, along with a number of Telly Awards and Addy Awards.


But his most important creative work: John is dad to three amazing kids, Chris, Robert, and Melissa.  


He’s taught at the Lamplighter Guild, the Oregon Christian Writers Conference, the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Academy, and the Christian Worldview Film Festival. He was also Time Person of the Year in 2006.


John is a graduate of the Act One Writing and Executive Program in Hollywood with an eye on the next dream -- film. Short version: John has fun! And who knows where that fast forward button will take him next?  

John Doryk - Sound Designer & Composer

John William Doryk is an award winning film composer and sound designer who has been creating original music and sound design for over 25 years. He has had his works aired on The Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, NBC, BBC, ABC Nightline, FOX Network, Netflix, A&E Biography, and for Focus on the Family (Adventures in Odyssey/Radio Theater), Answers in Genesis Creation Museum, Compassion Intl, and many independent feature films and audio dramas.


In 2010, John received “Gold” at the Park City Film Music Festival for his work on the PBS series “For Love of Liberty:The Story of America’s Black Patriots” starring Halley Berry, Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson, Alan Rickman and General Colin Powell.


Recently, in addition to composing music and songs for Sight & Sound Theater’s latest musical “Samson” and providing original music for the PBS special “Unsung Heroes” produced by Ron Howard, he was supervising sound editor/sound designer on Stone Table Films latest feature film “Badge of Faith” as well as supervising sound editor for the feature film “Confessions of a Prodigal Son” starring Kevin Sorbo (currently featured on Netflix). He was also dialogue editor on Burns Family Studio's “Beyond The Mask” starring John Rhys Davies.


John is now working with Lamplighter Theater on recording and sound designing several new upcoming audio drama series. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife and two children.


Todd Busteed – Audio Production (Tentatively scheduled)

Todd Busteed graduated with honors from Loyola University with a degree in Psychology. Todd's studio, GAP Digital, is committed to top quality audio, applied via innovative methods, to create message solutions for all who have a story to tell.


Since 1980 Todd has worked at his facility creating scores of radio dramas, including programs based on such classic stories as Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, and George Eliot's Silas Marner. He has produced 144 half-hour episodes of the drama series, Left Behind. This series is broadcast on over 700 radio stations. Recently he produced and narrated the NLT One Year Bible audio.


Todd also enjoys announcing sporting events, such as the National Criterium Championship and the Chicago Triathlon. Currently he does much of the sound design for Lamplighter Theatre’s audio dramas.



Kim Winey - Capturing Moments Through the Lense

Kim Winey is passionate about photography, as demonstrated by her emotive 'outside the box' presentation of God's unfolding gifts. Kim's photojournalist approach produces images that are often described as "magazine style". In 2014, at the start of her fifteenth year in photography, Kim announced her 'retirement' from the wedding photography industry to focus her energy on Bootcamps (photography workshops) and Styled Shoots (themed shoots containing meticulously planned clothing and props, as well as a team of vendors and interns who collaborate to create unique photo experiences). She also continues to thrive on capturing babies, children, high school senior girls & couples, as well as 'Real life. Your life.' sessions (lifestyle/time-capsule sessions). In addition, Kim offers private mentoring, critiquing and in 2013 had her first "live-in-tern." She also continues to dabble in the hobby of food-photography, because once a foodie, always a foodie... 


Kim Winey's photos have been featured in ads and articles, in The Knot (Pennsylvania & Delaware edition), Happenings MagazineSusquehanna Style Magazine, Elizabeth Anne Designs Blog, Fabulously Wed Blog, as well as several other blogs, magazines and newspapers. She has enjoyed teaching photography classes throughout the years and provides private mentoring, both in-person and online. In addition to her photography work, Kim has also volunteered her gifts for Mount Joy Mennonite Church, The Walk for Sienna, The Remembering Zachary Project, Lancaster Mennonite School, and biennially accompanies the LMS Boys Soccer Team to Costa Rica where she documents their missions trip. She is also the school photographer at Summit Christian Academy, where she also volunteers as a teacher's aid in the High School Yearbook Class.


Kim will be returning to the Lamplighter Guild for her sixth year as a Master Teacher as well as the Guild's official photographer.


Visit kimwineyphoto.com to see Kim's magnificent work.


See the Photography page for more information on the course and requirements.

Visual Arts

Lisa Mistiuk - Fine Art

Lisa Mistiuk began her serious study of art in Germany. During this time she worked closely with several artists and professors developing her figure drawing skills. In 2004 she received a portfolio scholarship in Amsterdam to study art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Upon returning to her native California she began her studies at the Academy where she focused on oil painting, receiving her BFA with honors in 2009.


Lisa paints primarily in oils with an emphasis on the elements that make up our everyday lives. She has participated in various group and solo shows in the US and is pleased to have her work collected and commissioned internationally. She currently resides in Michigan with her husband, son and daughter. Her hope with her work is to continue discovering the meaning and beauty in everyday life and to share these discoveries with others.


Lisa taught at the 2014 Guild, and we are honored to welcome her back for another week of artistic excellence! To learn more about Lisa's art, visit her website.


See the Visual Arts page for more information on the course and required supplies.


Bob Garner - Television/Film Director, Producer, & Writer

Bob Garner began his television and film career by working for CBS television as a production assistant and backstage page for the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Carol Burnett Show, and The Red Skelton Show. Bob has also written segment and promotional material for a variety of other CBS shows, including MASH, All in the Family, and several CBS children’s shows.


His writing credits do not stop there, as Garner has written numerous entertainment articles, including special publicity for Ice Capades and dramatic short stories published by dailies and weeklies such as The Saturday Evening Post and the Los Angeles Times. His entertainment articles included “Whatever Happened to…”profiles on the original “Little Rascals” and the original “Mouseketeers.” He was also the co-author of the popular book, Disneyland, The First Quarter Century, a detailed chronology about the creation of Walt Disney’s first theme park.


After four years with CBS, Bob began a fifteen-year relationship with the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles.  During that time, he had the opportunity to utilize his skills as writer, director, and producer on a wide variety of major projects, including Magic Carpet ‘Round the World, The Twenty-First Century Begins…The Grand Opening of EPCOT Center, Walt Disney: Magic Moments, EPCOT Center…Behind the Scenes of Walt Disney’s Greatest Dream, production of all film and video shows for the Gene Autry Western Heritage Center in Los Angeles, production of all video and film shows produced for “The Living Seas” pavilion at EPCOT Center, and multiple radio/television commercials for all Disney Parks. As a result of one of the EPCOT projects, Garner had the opportunity to work with Marine Biologist/Geologist Dr. Robert Ballard, who located the wreck of the Titanic in 1985. That relationship led to Garner’s full-blown presentation on the Titanic’s inside story.


Continuing his relationship with CBS, Bob brought his production and writing skills to special CBS Network regional image campaigns (“The CBS Place To Be”).  In addition, he wrote and produced the acclaimed one-hour live specials, “A Sea World Family Spectacular: Our Grand Opening and Baby Shamu to You.” These specials were broadcast live from six locations and featured more than thirty entertainers from network television shows!  Later, Bob also wrote, produced, and directed Both Sides of the Story, an entertainment/documentary shot on location in Russia, hosted by Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight.


Some of his most recent film projects were produced as motivational or “message” pieces where Garner was Executive Producer overseeing multiple projects that continue to “change and affect lives.” His work has included a special award-winning work for teens called, Sex, Lies &…The Truth, featuring Kirk Cameron and Chelsea Noble (released to public schools and for national television broadcast). He produced and directed a multi-part series (six volumes) titled “That the World May Know”, filmed on archeological locations in Israel and Turkey.  Two seasonal NBC TV specials were also produced from that same series.  Garner also produced and directed the eleven part series, “Bringing Up Boys.”


One of Garner’s creations for children is a computer animated series called “Ribbits” for ages three and up. Set in “Hoppers Landing…” “Tad,” Toad,” “Bully,” “Sally Mander,”  “Bubblegum,” and others live adventures that are entertaining and educational – even for adults.


Recently, Garner co-produced and directed a special 90 minute “docu-tainment” show for Walt Disney Studio’s Home Video Division, “Disneyland: Secrets, Stories, & Magic.” Introduced by Leonard Maltin and hosted by Julie Andrews, the show commemorates 50+ years of the magic and dreams of Disneyland, a true national treasure.


Garner attended the University of North Carolina, Columbia College, and special seminars at the University of Southern California.  His B.A. degree is in Television and Film Arts & Sciences.


We are thrilled to have Bob bring his legendary skills and experience to the 2016 Guild!


See the Filmmaking page for more information on this course.

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Mount Morris, NY