Ray joined Trans World Radio in 1985 and served with them until his retirement in 2019. Ray served in Latin America and Caribbean initially and completed his overseas service in Africa. In 2009 Ray and Sandy returned to Canada where Ray served as President of TWR Canada. Ray held many positions in TWR in his 34-year career, including Program Director, Operations Director, Human Resource Director and Station Director. Ray gives credit to God and a long list of mentors for his abilities in leadership as he started his career with TWR as a diesel mechanic. Ray currently serves as Executive Director of TTB (Through The Bible) Canada on a part-time basis, which allows him time to bring his expertise to the FTL board.
Janet R. Blakely, Ph.D.
Janet grew up in a loving Catholic family of six living in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. At age 25 she surrendered her life to Christ. Janet holds a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Television Production from CBN University (now Regent University). During a research summer in France after graduation she became involved with International Media Ministries (IMM) in Brussels, Belgium. IMM is the media arm of The Assemblies of God World Missions. She received her Assemblies of God minister’s license in 1989 and continued on the field as IMM’s Training Coordinator in Europe. Sensing a call to mobilize others for missions, Janet received a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from Regent University.
During a year in the U.S. serving as a Missionary-in-Residence at Valley Forge University, Janet met Daniel Blakely. The two were married in 2002 and Janet resigned after sixteen years in foreign missions. In 2006, she was appointed Academic Dean of Central Bible College-Detroit Extension. She served in this capacity until the college merged with Evangel University in 2012.
Janet was ordained by the Assemblies of God Michigan District in 2011. She traveled extensively in her career as a missionary throughout Europe, India, and Russia. She accompanied her husband, who has served on the international board of TWR since 2003, on many international trips. She is currently working as a free-lance editor, primarily editing books written by ministerial colleagues.
Lorna A. Buckland, Chair Emeritus
Following several years of ministry in the inner city of London, Lorna co-founded Claybury International with her husband Colin in 1993 and served as Executive Director. Lorna was engaged full-time providing services for Claybury International in the UK and around the world for many years. Following the death of Colin, Lorna continued for some time working with Claybury but has since been busy serving on three non-profit boards. Lorna has four adult children who are busy expanding the Buckland clan.
Douglas H. Gent – Vice Chair
Doug is a retired attorney with over 30 years experience practicing real estate law, estate planning and administration, nonprofit law, business law, and elder law. He is a trained Christian conciliator and has worked with Peacemaker Ministries for almost 20 years. He is a graduate of the National Litigation Academy of the Alliance Defense Fund focusing on First Amendment and related issues. Doug is married with two sons. He currently serves on the boards of several nonprofit ministries.
Steven W. Hippe
Steve is a CPA with 25 years of service with TWR, a global Christian media ministry. Steve has been TWR’s Chief Financial Officer since 2004. He began his professional career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and is a member of the AICPA. Steve lives in Raleigh, NC with his lovely wife Wendy and three wonderful children, Zachary, Jessica, and Ryan.
James H. DeVries
Jim graduated from the University of Michigan School of Engineering. He retired in 1997 from Medtronic Inc. as Vice President and a member of their Operating Committee. He founded the Medical Company DLP Inc. in 1979. The company developed and sold devices used in open-heart surgery worldwide. In the process he was granted numerous patents in the areas of open-heart surgery, blood cell separation, and kidney dialysis. He has received local and national awards for entrepreneurship as well contributions to the Medical field. The U of M School of Mechanical engineering awarded him the Alumni Merit Award for Mechanical Engineering in 2012.
Jim and his wife, Judy, founded Paraklesis Ministry with the objective of encouraging and educating clergy and missionaries. They were able to touch lives in the Americas and Europe. Jim has also served as the director of a parachurch ministry. He worked with several pastors on a personal basis and co-authored an article published in Leadership magazine on pastoral restoration. He worked in India training young entrepreneurs in Christ-centered leadership and has authored two books based on this experience. He served on the board of Cedarville University and several churches. Cornerstone Seminary (G.R) awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2005. He is also a sculptor seeking to convey scriptural truths through art and has sculpture on university campuses and hospitals.
Felix Widmer – Chair
Together with Siny his wife, Felix has been working with TWR for almost 40 years, starting in Swaziland as a studio-technician, and, ending in February 2015 as International Director the European Region, including Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. As a Jesus lover, Felix is living in Switzerland and continues to have a deep interest in developing mass media content as conversation and not just as monologue. He tries to practice this first with his wife, his two children, seven grandchildren, and with Freedom to Lead.