Melissa Wiginton

Currently serving as Vice President of Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Seminary, Melissa Wiginton provides executive leadership and oversight of the 787 Collective. Wiginton has a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Martha Lynn Coon

Martha Lynn Coon serves as the primary Curator of 787 Studio, and as the primary consultant on young adulthood for members of the Collective. Martha Lynn spent six years directing AYAVA House at Austin Seminary, an intentional Christian community for young adults doing a year of dedicated service in Austin. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting and spent two years studying theology at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Mark Yaconelli

Mark Yaconelli is a writer, speaker, spiritual director, community activist, youth worker, and storyteller. Mark Yaconelli’s work is in contemplative practice and in story. Both of these are central to the work we do. Mark leads the spiritual work of congregational innovation, and the telling of our stories for shared learning.

Erica Knisely

As Director of Programs for Education Beyond the Walls, Erica Knisely leads the 787 Studio and serves in leadership for the Collective. She holds a Master of Divinity as well as a Master of Arts in Public Policy, has experience in non-profit community work, and is a master of improvisational theater.

Mikala McFerren

Mikala McFerren works to give administrative, logistical and all kinds of support to the project. She enjoys making people happy through service. Her background as a mother with five grown children, and now four grandchildren, plays out perfectly in providing for and encouraging personal growth in others

Pamela Benson-Owens

Pamela Benson-Owens currently leads the Seminary’s Operations and Human Resources and she serves on the 787 Collective internal leadership team. She is a speaker, writer and leadership consultant.

Monica Tornoe

Monica Tornoe is the Project Associate for Education Beyond the Walls with primary responsibility for developing Hispanic-serving leadership and theological education. Monica serves on the 787 Collective internal leadership team.

Young Adult Advisors

Cristina Flores

Cristina is a graduate of Texas State University where she studied Opera Performance. She currently serves on the staff of Literacy First, a local non-profit who focuses on improving literacy during the K-2 years. She is a performer and producer, and also served as the Minister of Children’s Music for three years at Central Presbyterian Church.

Gillian Spangler

Gillian served as a member of the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) in Austin for one year after graduating from Wooster College with her undergraduate degree. While serving in ESC, she worked with iAct and is still very involved with the organization both personally and professionally. Originally from South Dakota, Gillian currently attends Trinity United Methodist Church in Austin and just founded a small intentional community with young adults in Austin.

Brandon Maxwell

Brandon is an Austin native and a graduate of the University of Houston. He is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at Austin Seminary. He loves anime and leads a student group on campus about the theological implications of anime and other animated narratives, and also writes, directs, shoots and edits his own films.

Cinthya Zapata

Cinthya is a student, storyteller, and lover of social work. She is currently working her way through college, taking classes at Austin Community College that will form the backbone of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Cinthya grew up in Austin and was a featured storyteller in The Hearth’s recent Breaking Down Walls event at the Mexican American Cultural Center.

Kira Autrey

Kira Autrey is a junior at Huston-Tillotson University where she is a student of social work. And she is awesome!

David Hackenbracht

David is currently studying physics and theology through two separate degree programs. He is interning with Journey Imperfect, and also serves as a math tutor at Austin Community College. David came to Austin as a member of AmeriCorps and served two years with Literacy First in Austin before deciding to pursue his undergraduate degree in Physics and his Masters in Ministry Practice in tandem.