General Sessions & Assembly Leadership

Our General Sessions will spotlight dynamic leaders and musical stylings 

Enjoy each unique, creative, and talented interpretation of what it means to Cultivate Joy.

Our Maestro of Joy: Vern Rempel

Passionate about this year's theme, Vern Rempel has diligently designed general sessions that will dig into topics like hope, pain, joy, and sorrow, all with the goal of cultivating joy. “In my life and experience,” says Vern, “joy arises when I remember that my day, my heartbeat, and the created beauty all around invites me constantly into community, participation in kindness, and the sense that in God's universe, love is eternal.” With that heart and mindset, he anticipates the general sessions at this year’s Assembly to be a place of worship, where attendees can come together with one purpose in mind: Cultivating Joy.  

Vern is a long-time Mennonite pastor, church planter, facilitator with the National Center for Courage and Renewal, and blues piano player. He’s married to Marilyn; they have two adult children and one sweet grandson.




Deb Roth: Coordinator of Common Spaces & Experiences

Deb Roth, Dean of Student Success at Hesston College, will be serving as the coordinator for our common experiences at Health Assembly 2019. Deb enjoys singing and leading worship at Whitestone Mennonite Church, where she serves as Overseer of Worship. She also finds her “flow” planning classes, meetings, weddings, and events, such as this one, which made coordinating the common experiences at MHA an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“In our planning," says Deb, "I have already learned that cultivating joy may involve digging into the weeds of pain or the hope of planting something new. “My prayer is that participants attend our common times of gathering ready to be present, respond, and cultivate what God has for us to experience together in Wichita.”

Deb and her husband, Clark, have lived in Kansas for 30+ years and have raised three young adult sons. “Granna Deb” enjoys 13-hour road trips to Indiana to see her infant and toddler grandsons as often as possible.


Glen Guyton 

Glen Guyton currently serves as the Executive Director for Mennonite Church USA. He has over 25 years of experience serving in the denomination at various level. Glen has a wonderful ability to share difficult and complex information with diverse groups. Glen has been praised by organizations, professional associations, and educators for his quick-witted humor and relatability.

After the completion of 4 years as an officer in the United States Air Force, Glen felt the call to ministry thanks in large part to the peace ministry of Mennonites in Virginia Mennonite Conference. After leaving the military, Glen served as a counselor for Mennonite Mutual Aid (now Everence) and as Youth Pastor and Director of Programs & Personnel, for Calvary Community Church’s (C3) in Hampton, Virginia. His latest project available on Amazon is IDEAL ME: Discovering your call in a cultured world is a cultural guidebook for youth, young adults, and those who support them.

Glen holds a Bachelors of Science in Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Masters of Education from Regent University. Glen currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Cyndi. They are the parents of two adult children (Andre-A & Alex)


John Sharp

John Sharp has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Goshen College, and a Master of Divinity from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He is married to Michele Miller Sharp, and they have two adult children and three grandchildren. Their son, Michael J. Sharp, a United Nations Expert, was abducted and murdered last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was investigating the sources of violence and working for nonviolent resolutions to conflict.

John has recently retired from teaching history and Bible at Hesston College in Kansas. Prior to this, he served as the director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives in Goshen. He has also edited, authored, and co-authored several publications.

He is currently researching and writing a history of the Amish settlement at Arthur and leading educational tours to Western Europe and Central Asia. John also continues to share his knowledge of Amish and Mennonite life and culture with educational organizations.


Anthony Brown

Anthony “Tony” Brown is an internationally acclaimed singer, peace ambassador, interpreter of the African American Spiritual, and citizen of the world. His music has taken him to war-torn areas around the world, where he has used music to bring hope and healing to areas of despair and strife. Using the power of music to bring people together, Tony understands the power of music to transcend language, culture, and race.

Tony earned his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and was Assistant Director at the Counseling Center at the University of Washington. He had a private practice in Seattle before teaching and counseling at Hesston College, where he continues to work remotely from Pennsylvania as part of the HC Advancement Team. He is also the founder and Director of Peacing It Together Foundation.

Hear samples of his work at


Book of Jebb 

Showcasing strong vocals, blazing solos and tight harmonies, the Book of Jebb has been entertaining and astounding audiences since 2007. Come hear bluegrass, gospel, and folk music played with taste and skill by Bethany Amstutz Schrag, Ben Regier, Eric Schrag and Tim Regier.