MEET THE TEAM
MEET THE TEAM
Sunderland Connect Network is led by a dedicated and friendly group of Christians using their skills to support Sunderland.
Founder and Director of Connect Network
Deb's superpower is organisation. She loves bringing order and structure to things. From connecting churches to coordinating collections, she can always create order from chaos. She enjoys meeting people in the community and making connections that lead to collaboration.
Deb spent 27 years in payroll and finance until she followed her passion to work with those who are vulnerable by supporting them to rebuild their lives through accessing housing, education and support from life controlling issues.
Deb has spent many years looking at ways the Church has been involved in lives both inside and outside of the church building, by working alongside organisations already working in the community. Her desire is to see the church more integrated into the community and seen in a positive light.
Phil leads Grasslands church and was previously Programmes Director for a national homelessness charity for 14 years. He has been a trustee with the Network since it started and became chair of the trustees at the end of 2019.
Phil's passionate about God's church impacting our city and believes this can be achieved by working together. Outside of the Network Phil is also passionate about Sunderland football club and his family.
Ola Fajorin is an Accountant by profession and has worked as a Church Administrator for over 18 years. He is passionate about the gospel.He is married to Banke and they have 3 boys.
Ola joined Leaders Connect in 2015 and has a passion for the homeless and drug addict as well as the transformation of Sunderland.
Emma has been on the journey with Connect Network, since it's earliest beginnings. She now lives in Boldon, but having lived in Sunderland for 16 years still considers it home. Emma is married to Paul, they met through volunteering together at "Ha'way in a Manger", an event coordinated by Connect Network!
Emma’s passion is for people to work together so that "the church" is seen as a good and positive part of communities, bringing hope in our times, and for people to know the transforming power God can have in their lives.
Pouya joined Connect Network not long after he started his work as one of the ministers at St. Gabriel’s in Sunderland. He loves how it brings ministries and people together to encourage and enhance each others work.
Pouya is married to Debora whom he met at Youth With a Mission (YWAM). They have a little boy and expect another baby at the beginning of summer 2020.
Pouya’s passion is about mission and discipleship - sharing the Good News and seeing people’s lives transformed on their journey.
Babatunde Joseph Akinluwa
Babatunde also known as Babs is a Banker and Marketing expert. He is also a Music Minister with interest in lifting people's spirit with music. Bab's desire to impact his environment positively around providing support for the vulnerable and impacting lives through God's word, charities and good works necessitated his joining Connect Network. His inspiration is captured in the statement 'Those that are saved should rise up to the salvation of others'. Babs dreams of a united Church in One purpose of rescuing lives from condemnation, low self-esteem, hunger, poverty, sickness.
Theodora is a dual qualified solicitor with experience, global outlook and versatility in a digitalised world.
Theodora is also a motivational speaker, Life Coach and Mentor.
Fondly known as Pastor Theo, she and her husband founded The Maximum Impact Christian Centre Chapel of Light.
They also run employability training Maximum Impact Leadership Academy and the MaxLife Christian Radio talk show.
Theodora is passionate about people coming into the knowledge of the REALITY of Jesus Christ; her favourite scripture is “…as He is, so are we in this world” 1John4:17