(If you just want to know more about ROP Ministries!)
Mary Tellis – ROP Co-Executive Director
Mary R. Tellis is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and National Baptist USA denominations. A native of Louisiana, she is the founder of the life coaching ministry BeTrue2U. She is also the founder of Queen, a movement that inspires women from all walks of life to love, lift and liberate one another by providing them with coaching, mentoring, support, and scholarships. Formerly, she served as the Associate Executive Director at Open Door Ministries, Ministry and Mission Coach at American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains, an educator with the Denver Public Schools, Operations Site Manager at Bayaud Enterprises, and currently serves the Executive Director at Restoration Outreach Programs in Aurora, Colorado.
Mary has received numerous degrees from Louisiana Tech University, Truth Bible College, and Denver Seminary.
A dynamic preacher and motivational speaker, Mary has been invited to preach, conduct workshops, and facilitate leadership training throughout the U.S. and beyond. She has traveled as far as Africa, Israel, Thailand, France, and the Bahamas to share her passion and gifts through presentations. Mary recently received the Excellence in Community service award from the Ministers Widows and Wives Association, 100 Faces in the Crowd, and the Excellence in Leadership award from the Gospel Music Academy and Hall of Fame Academy. Although she has received numerous commendations, Mary is most proud of the ones she has received from the youth she has been privileged to serve and mentor.
Moreover, Mary is primarily motivated by the Word of God and aligns her assignments with His will. She stands on the platform of “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
Mary Tellis is married to the humble Rev. John L. Tellis Jr., Pastor, Solomon Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Denver, Colorado. They are the grateful parents of three beautiful children and four blessed and favored granddaughters.
Kent Scroggs – ROP Executive Director
Kent Scroggs joined ROP as Executive Director in January 2008. Before that, he served as a volunteer ministry consultant to Christian organizations for almost two years. Kent also served as the Executive Director of International Student Connection – an outreach to international students studying at Metro Denver colleges and universities – from 1999 to 2006. He has been a member of Cherry Hills Community Church since 1984 where his ministry-related experience includes serving as an Elder, a member of the Small Group Advisory Board, a small group leader, a choir member, a Sunday School teacher, and an inner-city tutor. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, Kent worked for almost twenty years in the oil and gas and mining industries, primarily in financial administration. He holds a BA degree in Economics and Asian Studies and an MBA degree in Finance. Kent and his wife, Lisa, married in 1980. They have three grown children.
Vicki Bryant – ROP Office Manager
Daughter of a farmer turned engineer and a champion of the debate, Vicki grew up familiar with curbing chaos, fixin’ stuff, and the ability to see an argument from either side. However, Vicki was a city kid born to a rural family. She became a prodigal street kid living along East Colfax by the age of 9 and proceeded to make uninformed and simply bad choices which led to crime and abuse. Her story could have ended there, as a victim living in fear and emotional isolation, but for the grace of God.
Nothing fancy changed her prodigal perspective. She just began meeting some everyday Christian people, just like you. People that prayed, chatted, invited her for a meal, or simply treated her with quiet respect. Steered back to reconciliation with her family, she and her parents worked to rebuild trust and friendship. The Holy Spirit did the rest and she discovered that she could find healing for her body, mind, and soul through Christ. No longer a victim, she is a survivor.
Now Vicki lives a surrendered life for her Savior, a missionary to the very streets that had almost broken her once before. She now feels passionate about sharing God’s plans for building relationships, and for community development with church partners and champions. Vicki has served with Prodigal Gatherings as a volunteer for 4 years beginning on July 2002 and on staff at ROP since September 2006. Called of God to work with inner-city teens initially, Vicki has grown into duties that include mentoring her staff, interns, and alumni teens, as well as directing small groups and volunteers in mission trips and outreaches with ROP.
She is no longer a smoker, although she has yet to kick her addiction to pastries.
Michelle Mathus – Business Administrator
Angie Long– English Language Classes (ELC) Director
Angie Long grew up here in Aurora, Colorado, and attended Colorado Christian University where she majored in Youth Ministry and Counseling. After graduating in 1999, she spent the summer in Guatemala, where she fell in love with cross-cultural ministry.
Shortly after, Angie began working for OMF International (an international missions organization focused on East Asia) in the short-term missions department. She served as the Short-term Coordinator/ Program Manager for about 10 years and then moved to part-time mobilization ministry roles after she and her husband Adam started having kids.
Angie and her husband and their two boys moved to Indonesia in 2012 to serve as long-term workers in discipling and mobilizing Indonesian believers. They learned the local language and culture, served in a Bible college, invested in local unreached people, and were part of an international team. Due to medical issues, Angie and her family moved back to the U.S. in late 2015.
Adam is now the Pastor of Missions and Small Groups at Greenwood Community Church and their two boys are thriving in their elementary school years. in early 2018, Angie began looking for a ministry to reconnect with her heart for cross-cultural ministry and landed at ROP where she enjoys building relationships with the ESL students —-and empathizing with their journey in learning another language and culture!
Marla Vlieger – Director of Education
Those who have been cast aside by our education system are Marla’s heartbeat. She transforms the future for those the educational system has held back by tutoring high school dropouts to successful GED completion. She has always been a teacher at heart and spent 12 years in the public school system working with middle schoolers. However, she found that many students were left out because they didn’t fit the mold. The greatest delight she took in teaching was working one on one with students and getting inside their heads to see what they were thinking and how to reach them, working to get the light bulb to go off. Marrying into a family where some didn’t delight in learning as she did, helped her see things from a different perspective.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Math, she went on to get her Master’s in Christian Education and then got her teaching license. She’s taught for a dozen years in public schools and has spoken at education conferences as well as participated in CSAP development. As a lifelong learner and educator, she joined a non-profit ministry to the poorest of the poor to reach the students that the education system ignored and pushed aside. Besides her love of cuddling infants, she most often desires to curl up with a good book. She enjoys cooking for her family and experimenting with recipes to find new favorites. You can find her on her ministry’s website or email her directly. Come on down one afternoon and see how students are celebrated.
Ashley Leopold – Children’s Ministry Director
My name is Ashley Leopold. God has had a plan and a purpose for me and my life before I was even conceived, just like you. God has carefully authored my life allowing me to serve Him. It is amazing how He has created and directed my path to fill so many of ROP’s reasons for existing. I am in awe of The Lord and His sovereignty. I have had the honor of being married to my amazing husband for nearly 10 years now. God has given us four littles girls ranging from 1-8!
ROP states we “exist to meet needs, build relationships, and restore lives through Christ in an urban context with children and youth that are refugees.” Jesus called my husband and me to mission work over 12 years ago, before we were married. He has allowed us to travel to India, Nigeria, South Sudan, and many places in between. He led us to live life in a community of Somali’s for over a year and let us enjoy relationships with amazing children of God from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Nigeria, and many other cultures. Everyone is so beautiful and unique. Everyone enjoyed hearing and talking about Jesus’ words, ways and stories. I love seeing the beauty of God in each and every child of God from all over the world.
Refugee children and children living in poverty face many trials that are not even on the radar for some of us, I pray that some of the hard things that I have faced in my life can be used to minorly relate to these littles and the difficult situations they face every day. God has restored me to Himself and healed me of the pains of the past however small they may seem. I believe I can lead others through difficult situations see Him do the same thing He did in my life to theirs if they can feel and know the love our God has for them. God has also allowed and made the way for me to have the privilege of going to college and getting an associate’s degree in Biblical Studies, a Cosmetology License, and become Group lead qualified in ECE. I have had the opportunity for the last 20 years of my life to volunteer and work in the church. For the last three years, I have been able to be the director of the AWANA program at our home church, The Rock Community Church, and Coordinate the Elementary Sunday School program. I am so thankful for that opportunity!
Jesus has given me a heart for women, children, and the world, and opened doors for me to work alongside Him in this community to reach our next generation for Christ. I am so excited to see and be a part of the impact He is going to make in the lives of children all around ROP.
Tish Freeman – Food Bank Director
Tish is a native of Colorado, always living around the Westwood area. Her history is not an easy one. Abuse, drugs, and drinking dominated her youth and she became pregnant at age 14. She has stayed close with her brothers and one sister through the years, however.
Her Christian story didn’t really start until 2007 at age 40. She walked into Restoration Worship Center looking for a food bank option and met Pastor Doug and his wife Deb. Tish marks the changes in her life from that moment onward. Not overnight but one step at a time, for good.
Tish started volunteering with ROP’s Food & Clothing Bank while continuing to attend RWC with her grandkids. She came to love Lucy’s leadership and the people she was working with to distribute food to our Colfax community.
Now Tish, newly baptized, is married to Dustin Freeman. She loves God, His people, and what He continues to do in her life each day. Frogs are a favorite of hers and she likes the Christian sentiment, too. Fully Rely On God! (FROG)
Lucy Bruser – Refugee Resource & Outreach Director
Coming from rather meager circumstances in early life, God began cultivating in Lucy a heart of passion for the brokenhearted, oppressed, needy, and downtrodden. After graduating from high school, Lucy worked for a number of years as an office manager, until God called her to Bible College. In her 2nd year of college, God used Isaiah 61:4 to call her to inner-city ministry.
While attending Bible College, she was a Big Sister to teen girls through a Christian home for at-risk youth and was involved in evangelism and discipleship through a prison ministry. Lucy spent two summers as an intern with an inner-city ministry in Cincinnati, Ohio. During her senior year of college, God called her to Inner City Impact, Chicago, Illinois. After graduation, she joined their staff as Director of High School Ministries.
A number of years later she entered the corporate world, where she gained a wealth of experience in business administration, strategic planning and development, corporate cash management, human resources and development, project and event planning, and more.
In 1995, Lucy felt God calling her back to full-time ministry and she began to ready herself for this transition. She moved to Denver from Chicago at that time with a 5-year plan to reenter full-time ministry. With a particular burden for unsaved and unchurched women who were beaten down, broken, and struggling through life, she joined Open Door Ministries in Denver in 2000. There, Lucy directed Chayah House, a two-year Christian discipleship home for women in transformation. God uses Lucy’s passion for evangelism, discipleship, teaching, and mentoring to guide her in leading others on a journey out of poverty, brokenness, and spiritual darkness to the compassionate and healing heart of God for redemption, restoration, and spiritual wholeness in Christ.
In 2007, Lucy transitioned to ROP. With 25+ years of ministry to the “least of these,” Lucy directs ROP’s Refugee Outreach and Resources Ministry. She is currently involved in evangelism, discipleship, Bible teaching and is focused on developing relationships with, and walking alongside local refugee church leaders, loving, supporting, and partnering with them as they grow their churches, advancing the Kingdom of God in Aurora and East Denver.
Doug was trained in the pastoral studies program at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, received a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Christian University and received his ordination from Open Door Fellowship in Denver.
Doug has worked in ministry with Chicago Teen Challenge, Real Life Youth Homes, Laveen Indian Children’s Home, Rivercrest Christian School, Cedarcrest Christian School and as the executive pastor of Jesus Christ Our Church in Denver. He and his wife Deb have also been on several short-term mission trips to Mexico and one to El Salvador.
Doug has been married to Deb, director of ROP Resource Ministries, for thirty-eight years. Together they have three grown children and four grandchildren.
Doug has a passion for worship, teaching God’s Word, and reaching out in love with the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ to people who have been rejected by society. He gets excited seeing people who have lived devastated lives touched and changed by being with Jesus.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, playing with his grandchildren, playing his guitar, photography, and skiing.
Deb Ford – Director of Restoration Counseling on East Colfax (a separate non-profit ministry*) 720-271-3600
Deb Ford, Director of Restoration Counseling on East Colfax, is married and the mother of three grown children: Melisa, Wendy, and Douglas. She obtained her B.S. from Colorado Christian University in Management of Human Resources with a minor in Psychology. While working on her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a trainer for the Department of Energy and authored a training manual for trainers in a professional setting. She went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Agency Counseling in 1998 from the University of Northern Colorado and has also completed much of the coursework towards a Doctorate in Family Violence.
While working on her Master’s Degree, she worked in private practice and also completed a year-long internship at Providence Network, leading groups and counseling women struggling with addictions and abuse. In 1999, she returned to Providence Network and served as an Interim Director at one of the Providence Discipleship Homes and, in 2000, was the founding Director of Joy House, a residential facility for women and children who were victims of domestic violence.
Deb has completed all the requirements for a Licensed Counselor in the State of Colorado, is trained in Child Play Therapy and holds credentials as a Forensic Counselor. She has over 10 years of experience working with the inner city population and came to Open Door Ministries in 2004 with a vision to reach out to the poor by providing services that were unavailable to the underprivileged population.
She and her husband have participated with several missions trips including Mexico, El Salvador, and Russia. Deb also assists her husband, Doug, who is Pastor of Restoration Worship Center. When not working, Deb enjoys spending time with her family, reading and spoiling her four grandchildren: Trinity, Gryphon, Audra, and Natania.
Deb launched RCEC as a separate non-profit ministry effective January 1, 2018, and is no longer an ROP staff member.