Who Are We? Meet The Members Of Spiritwatch Ministries

This portion of our web site will introduce you to the people who bring to life, with the help of the Spirit of God, the ministry of Spiritwatch Ministries, formerly called the TVBSA. We are a group of Christian believers concerned with the advance of spiritual and philosophical deception in the regions we live in. 

So who are we? We'd like to introduce ourselves.

Michael Spencer is a Church of God (Cleveland) layman, a former Floridian from West Palm Beach, and has lived in Cleveland for the past 20 years. A longtime personal interest in spiritual deception has led to his involvement with the Spiritwatch outreach as an associate. 

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Lee University (B.A. in Biblical Education) is employed with General Electric and is single, loves jazz, is an avid chess and tennis player. Mike married his fiancee Elizabeth in the spring of 2011. He's currently learning how to play guitar and devours many a book in his never ending pursuit of knowledge. 





Bryan and Cheryl McConnell reside in Orlando, Florida and also have a great passion for countercult apologetics, having actively engaged in dialogue with Jehovah's Witnesses there and conducted discernment classes at their former home church, the New Life Church of God. Bryan's future plans are to pursue a degree in apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary by distance learning.  They have two children, and he keeps pretty busy with his own job in electronic control systems. They now attend a Baptist church in the area and are deeply involved in the evangelistic ministry that their church is performing.





Steve and Kathy Hogel are residents of the Memphis, Tennessee area. Steve has a special burden for those caught up in religious abuse, was a co-moderator of the AR-Talk apologetics list owned by Apologia Report, and an appointed to the Assistant Executive Director for the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions coalition. They both hail from the Chicago region and have four children. 

The Hogels now live in New Hampshire.






Rafael and Elizabeth Martinez reside in Hammond, Indiana. Rafael is a bivocational licensed minister with the Church of God (Cleveland TN), having accepted the call to ministry in 1983. He is the director of Spiritwatch Ministries, a Christian countercult outreach that originated in Cleveland, TN. He is a 1991 graduate of Lee University (B.S. in Pastoral Studies with a double major in Christian education and Biblical studies) and is employed by the Whirlpool Corporation. Elizabeth has been involved in a variety of Christian pastoral and evangelistic ministries and her most recent service was with the New Life Covenant Assembly of God in Chicago, Illinois.

While engaging in countercult work since 1983, Rafael has served as a Christian evangelist throughout the United States through home and student missions (1986 to 1991), in kindergarten Sunday School teacher and other children's work, prayer ministry and as church based countercult ministry director through the Westmore Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee from 1992 to 2002. He then served as an elder and prayer minister at the South Cleveland Church of God (2002 to 2012) as well as at his present home church, the Crossroads Church of Lynwood, Illinois. In 2016, Rafael was appointed an associate pastor there.

Rafael's areas of expertise include balanced evangelical Pentecostal Christian ministry and providing Christian pastoral perspective in countercult work. This includes the discerning of aberrant churches and cultic movements, restorative pastoral care and counsel of their victims that also addresses religious abuse and mind control issues, as well as educational and awareness activism and actual cult victim interventions.

Others who have been involved with Spiritwatch Ministries and have contributed are many, such as Joy Martinez, Randy Rogers, Lance King, Donalyn Vaughn, Susan Rogers and Elizabeth Chavez. 

In 1993, the outreach began as the Tennessee Valley Bible Students Association under the auspices of the Westmore Church of God, of Cleveland, Tennessee and was under the oversight of Westmore's outreach leadership until the summer of 2002, when the TVBSA withdrew from Westmore's active ministry. In 2003, the TVBSA changed its name to Spiritwatch Ministries.

Are you a mature Christian of good testimony with a concern and passion for helping counter the spread of false teaching and cultic movements in the Chicago Metro area as well as Northwest Indiana? We'd love to hear from you! Together, we can defend the faith by speaking the truth in love!

E-mail us to explore the vision of Spiritwatch Ministries!

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