Our Mission

Our passion is to honor GOD by assisting churches to gather and utilize His resources so they can accomplish their mission and bring HIM glory.

Our Team

Michael Priddy

CEO and President

Michael B. Priddy, youngest son of our Lead Consultant, Russ Priddy, carries on his father’s legacy of helping churches of all denominations to fulfill God’s vision for His church.

Like his father, Michael gave his life to the Lord at a very young age. He served two successful combat tours in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and then worked as a civilian security consultant, before joining a Christian ministry dedicated to helping veterans combat PTSD.

As a Marine Infantryman, he displayed a disciplined and attentive leadership style that led to many opportunities instructing young Marines in every facet of combat operations. As a civilian, he returned to Iraq and Afghanistan for 6 years as a High Threat Security consultant.

Having spent countless hours teaching and leading men, he is well versed in public speaking and presentation.

Russ Priddy

Founder and Lead Consultant

Russ Priddy is the Lead Consultant for Ascend Stewardship and Consulting. He has a B.B.A degree in marketing from Marshall University, an MBA in finance from the West Virginia University College of Graduate Studies, and a Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Darrell Copeland

Darrell Copeland

Regional Vice President

Darrell Copeland has served the local church as a lead Pastor for 21 years and for 17 years partnered with over 200 churches leading to resource God’s vision for ministry. He leads with passion to help the church move forward by faith with God’s plan to fund ministry. He is a graduate of University of Mobile and Southwestern Seminary. Darrell and his wife, Anita, reside in Greensboro, NC where he enjoys serving at his local church and traveling to see new places. “I envision a church who are doing eternal work and who are doing the job of passing the gospel down to the next generation”

Aaron J. Shingler

Church Financial Consultant

Aaron has over thirty-five years of commercial and investment banking experience, bringing financial resources to churches and businesses on a nation-wide basis. He is a recognized expert in originating and underwriting Church Bond financing and Commercial bank loans to churches. Over the last 20 years, he has helped secure over $100,000,000 in capital for churches.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In August 2015, he was presented with the Honorary Doctor of Financial Pedagogy by the Spirit of Faith Empowerment Ministries & Bible College. Aaron has been recognized for his expertise in finance and business development in the “Wall Street Journal”, “USA Today”, “Black Enterprise”, “Inc. Magazine”, “Baltimore Sun”, Washington Post, “Florida Times-Union” and others.

Jason Bryant

Church Financial Consultant

Elder Jason R. Bryant is the President and Chair of Project Restore STL a nonprofit ministry seeking to help those who are broken. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO he has been preaching, teaching, and leading worship for more than 15 years. He has an extensive background in ministry serving previously as the Youth Pastor, Missions Director, Worship Leader, Board Member, and much more at The City of Life Christian Church also in St. Louis, MO. PastorJ, as he is known, has a fervent love for seeing people change through the power of God’s word.

Openly he has been able to share his challenges and life lessons with many, encouraging them that “The Mission is Possible.” He is an anointed Praise & Worship leader, ministering at conferences and events worldwide. In 2006 he birthed a Worship Team called The Troops and they have traveled the states delivering the Gospel through song.

His love and passion for souls have made him a recognized and relevant voice in this generation. He continues to spread the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to all that he comes in contact with.

Rev. William A. Lee, Jr.

Church Financial Consultant

William A. Lee, Jr. is presently serving the Kingdom of God as “International Revivalist and Urban Ministry Consultant” appointed August 2018. He has served 9 years as Pastor of Daytona Deliverance Church of God in Daytona Beach, Florida appointed August 2009. He served as the State USA Discipleship/Evangelism Director for Florida-Cocoa Church of God State Office and as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Housing Authority Board of Daytona Beach appointed by the Mayor of Daytona Beach in 2018.

He is a 1985 graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee with a Bachelors of Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Pastoral Ministry. He has worked toward a Master of Divinity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Pentecostal Theological Center in Cleveland, Tennessee.

He has served as a Pastor in Providence, Rhode Island, Baltimore, Maryland and on the island of Bermuda. His Evangelistic ministry has reached throughout the -United Sates, Canada, the West Indies, Europe, South Africa, Singapore, India, The United Emirates as well as Australia. He has also been a guest several times on Daystar television and a Keynote Speaker at the General Assembly of the Church of God in 1998 held in the Alamo Done in San Antonio, Texas and in that same year he founded “Lee Ministries International Incorporated”.

He serves as a mentor and a teacher for many young ministers in the Kingdom of God. He is married to the former Sheila Renee Freeland of Washington, D.C. and together they are sold out to a life of servant hood. It is the vision of this ministry to continue to evangelize the world for the Lord Jesus Christ and to prepare the next generation to be effective and powerful citizens in the Kingdom.

In 2014, Rev. Lee authored and published, “All The Kings Men: Chronicles in the Life of King David.”

Nathan R. Ruby

Church Financial Consultant

Nathan R. Ruby, Church Financial Consultant, has more than 20 years of experience in fund-raising and management. He still serves as the Executive Director of Friends of the Children of Haiti in Jacmel, Haiti, where he recruited 120 medical and non-medical volunteers per year for six medical clinics that serve children’s surgical, dental, and primary care needs.

He has also served as:

  • Vice President of Resource Development of Home Sweet Home Ministries for the homeless and hungry, where he secured more than $1 million in donations per year.
  • Associate Director for Planned Giving for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where he conducted 300 donor meetings yearly.
  • Major Gifts Manager of Lutheran Senior Ministries, a continuing care retirement community, where he was responsible for a $4.2 million capital campaign.

He is a partner in Ruby and Associates, a consulting firm that supports nonprofit agencies in financial development and fundraising, marketing, board development, capital campaigns, and nurturing volunteers.

Elizabeth Luckett Headshot Ascend Ste Wardship 1

Elizabeth (Liz) Luckett

Author | Military Veteran | Strategic Solutionist |

Transformational Orator

Liz Luckett is newest member of the Ascend Team and proud army veteran of the United States of America. She received her Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Human Services degrees from Cardinal Stritch University.

She has facilitated many events such as the Governors Luncheon and has gone to the state Capitol in Madison to lobby for financial literacy on behalf of the Bankers Association of Wisconsin. She is a wife and mother of three who spent 25 years in the Banking and Finance Industry. She took that financial acumen as well as her passion for public speaking to help form C.H.A.N.G.E. U- Community Helping All Neighborhoods Grow Economically and X-pressly Speaking Inc. C.H.A.N.G.E. U is a career centered training center providing career solutions under one roof. We are committed to our community and corporate partners as well as the employees that exist within them. X-pressly Speaking is a company that is committed to build and create platforms to help clients, organizations, and mutual minds advance their personal goal and mission.

As the CEO of C.H.A.N.G.E. U, she has the awesome opportunity to provoke change in the community she serves through transformative technical training and financial education. She understands the economic impact of financial education on a community as well as the businesses and families that exist within.

As an author and transformational coach, Liz executes expertise in public speaking, keynote addressing, one on one coaching, small group writing and financial wellness workshops. As an author she passionately navigates through the realities of life to extract a poetic masterpiece. She understands that the power of words combined with the passion of purpose will ignite the change needed in the community she serves.

She is a member of Holy Cathedral COGIC under the leadership of Bishop C.H. McClelland GBM. She serves in various capacities that allow her to use her corporate experience to build the kingdom of God. She believes that God has incorporated many biblical principles of success in the scripture which include credit, entrepreneurship, and money management.