Dr. Dennis Wilson
Founder and CEO, Energetic Materials and Products, Inc.

Dennis Wilson received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977. He has more than 40 years of experience in industry, government, and university research and has over 60 peer-reviewed technical publications. His expertise includes: energetic materials, nanomaterial synthesis, hypervelocity physics and aerothermodynamics.

Prior to entering the private sector in 1999 he was a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin for 22 years.

In March 2005, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Before that his worldview was most closely identified with a secular humanism and religious pluralism.

Dr. Sarah Salviander
Astrophysicist, Founder and CEO of 6DS Ministries

Sarah Salviander received her Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a researcher at UT for sixteen years, where she specialized in the study of quasars, supermassive black holes, and galaxies. She is the author of several peer-reviewed journal papers and a comprehensive Astronomy & Astrophysics homeschool curriculum. She is currently writing a book on the most common scientific attacks on Christianity and how to refute them.

Sarah was raised atheist in a secular country (Canada), and was influenced by Objectivist philosophy. She converted to Christianity while studying for her doctorate, in large part because of the compelling evidence for God she observed through her scientific work. Sarah retired from UT in 2017 to focus on her ministry work. She now spends most of her time writing and lecturing on topics of science and religion, but remains active in scientific research at a small, private astrophysics institute.

John Darms
Software Engineer, Retired

John earned a Masters of Electrical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. His career has focused on the design of hardware and software for real-time, asynchronous computer controlled systems. This has included radar jamming (ECM), cellular switches, and high-speed options trading.

John became a Christian in his freshman year of college after learning that God’s merit could not be earned by good deeds, but only by trusting in the work of Jesus Christ for him on the cross. John has been involved in apologetics for over 30 years. His areas of interest include Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, science, philosophy, and theology.

Ed LaBelle
Consulting Engineer, Founder of Psalm 19 Ministry

Ed LaBelle received his B.S., Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1989. He has worked in the semiconductor industry as a process and project engineer since graduation. He was fortunate to get his first job at Advanced Micron Device in Austin, Texas (now Cypress Semiconductor.) He currently works for the semiconductor equipment manufacturer Applied Materials as a consulting engineer.

Ed was brought back to his Christian faith in 1997 through conversations with one of his customers at Motorola Austin. Ed subsequently became a member of Hope Presbyterian Church where he and his wife taught Children’s Church on Sunday mornings.  Later he moved to Bethany United Methodist Church and became involved as a Faith Friend for confirmation students. He has been a high school Sunday school teacher and is currently a co-coordinator for Bethany’s confirmation class.

Ed finally got around to buying his first telescope in 2009 and immediately started connecting with other amateur astronomers in the Austin area. He started going to astronomy outreach events where he found deep joy in sharing his passion for astronomy with people. Ed would also take his telescope to church related events where he would quote Psalm 19:1-2:

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”

After a Walk to Emmaus retreat in September 2015, Ed was left with a nagging question: Why limit Psalm 19 to just church related events? Why not quote these verses for secular events too?  The Holy Spirit used this retreat to convince Ed that he needed to share Psalm 19 with everyone that looks into his telescope. So in March 2016 a new sidewalk astronomy ministry was born called Psalm 19 Astronomy. The mission is “sharing the beauty and majesty of God’s universe through astronomy.”

Ed along with other friends host a Psalm 19 Astronomy event about once a month at the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge near downtown Austin. They set up telescopes and invite the public to see the beauty and majesty of God’s universe and use this opportunity to share their faith in Jesus Christ. This ministry has expanded to other locations in Texas and North Carolina as word gets out about using astronomy to “declare the glory of God.”

You can learn more about this ministry at the Psalm 19 Astronomy Facebook page or contact him at psalm19astronomy@gmail.com.

Dr. Martin Poenie
Professor of Biology, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Poenie went to seminary in the 1970s and then to Stanford for his Ph.D. in biology. Subsequently, he did a postdoc at U.C. Berkeley working with Roger Tsien, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on fluorescent proteins. Subsequently (1987) he came to the University of Texas at Austin where he has been ever since.

When Dr. Poenie came to UT he received the Presidential Young Investigator award, and in 2006 was listed as an ISI “Highly Cited Researcher.” The focus of his research is the cell biology of T cells which are responsible for eliminating virus-infected cells and tumor cells.

Dr. Walter Bradley
Professor of Engineering, retired

Dr. Walter L. Bradley received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Texas (Austin). He was a Professor for 42 years, teaching at the Colorado School of Mines (8 yrs.), Texas A&M University (24 yrs.), and Baylor University (10 yrs.). He co-authored The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, which helped to launch the Intelligent Design movement. He has published 12 book chapters in books dealing with Faith and Science and has given campus-wide lectures on “Is there scientific evidence for the existence of God?” to over 50 major Universities in the United States, including 18 of the top 20.

Dr. Bradley is an elected Fellow of the American Society for Materials and the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), the largest organization in the world for people working in science and engineering who are evangelical Christians. He also served as Vice President and then President of the ASA.

John Weber
Automotive Engineer and Missionary

John Weber has a degrees in Mechanical Engineering as well as a Master of Business Administration.  He has studied and taught the Bible for 40 years and is currently on the teaching rotation for the Prime Time Adult Bible Fellowship at Hill Country Bible Church.

John’s interest in apologetics began in earnest 25 years ago.  Since then, he has co-founded the Austin Reasons To Believe Chapter, which is now the largest chapter in the world, and co-founded the Hill Country Bible Church Apologetics Ministry, Defending Christianity.  John and his wife have also recently served as missionaries in East Asia, Taiwan, South Korea as Chaplains aboard Operation Mobilization’s The Logos Hope Ministry Ship.   John has also taught pastors in a restricted southeast Asian country on four different occasions.

Dr. Robb Wilson

Dr. Wilson earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has been a faculty member at two institutions, including UT, and is now learning new lessons in the business world. He is a member of Austin Oaks Church (formerly First Evangelical Free Church).

John Murphy
Apologist, President of the Austin RTB Chapter

John Murphy is a Christian apologist with formal training through Reasons Institute, the educational arm of Reasons to Believe (RTB). John currently serves as the President for the Austin chapter of RTB.

Dan Britton
Pastor of Equipping and Apologetics, Hill Country Fellowship

Dan Britton is the pastor of Equipping and Apologetics at Hill Country Fellowship in Burnet, Texas and the director of Ratio Christi College Prep – Texas Hill Country Chapter, an apologetics organization for area high school students. Dan graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics from Biola University in 2015, and he is pursuing doctoral studies in theology and apologetics at Corban University. He published Discipleship: Equipping and Apologetics, a 32-lesson curriculum in apologetics, worldview, theology and bibliology. Dan is also a missional Christian apologist and teacher, teaching and mentoring churches, students and adults nationwide.

Victor Vigorito
Adjunct Professor of History

Born a sinner in 1966, Victor Vigorito found an America engulfed in political and social turmoil. Not surprisingly, doubt and uncertainty characterized his place in the world until he was 20 years old.  Along the way, when Victor  was nine, Christ revealed Himself and made the youth a saint. His ultimate future secured, Victor nevertheless struggled with doubts over the uniqueness of Christianity, amid the competing truth claims of the world’s religions. His early interest in history and science, eventually leading to an M.A. in history at Texas State, was partly born out of his desire for a grounded, tested faith that was impervious to the assaults of evolution, pluralism, and post-modernism. To his pleasant surprise, Victor found the evidence of legitimate science, along with God’s apparent hand in shaping history, very supportive of Christian faith. In pursuit of defending that faith, Victor obtained an M.A. in Theological Studies from Austin Graduate School of Theology. He presently equips saints through two Bible studies at Hill Country Bible Church.  He is also an adjunct professor at ACC, equipping saints and sinners with historical perspective.

Chuck Barber
Small Groups Associate Pastor, HCBC

Chuck came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1973 while serving in the Marine Corps when a fellow Marine helped him see the validity of the Bible and the significance of Jesus Christ through the investigation of Biblical prophecy.  Chuck connected to a military ministry and learned to study the Bible, pray, serve in the church, share his faith, and disciple other men.

After serving in the Marine Corps, Chuck entered college and was active in campus ministries.  He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Business degree.  He began working for a defense contractor and married his wife, Libby.  He has four grown daughters and six grandchildren. He’s lived in Round Rock for almost 27 years, and has been on the pastoral staff of Hill Country Bible Church for over 18 years.  Chuck is currently the Small Groups Pastor with additional responsibilities in the area of evangelism.