NLAI Board of directors

A nine member Board of Directors govern and direct New Life Advance International. These godly men and women serve three-year terms and may serve an additional term. All have some type of relationship and love for the ministry and missionaries of NLAI.

When they agree to serve on the Board, they commit to attend two board meetings every year as well as serve on different board committees to assure that NLAI is being properly directed and supervised. These gracious volunteers cover their own expenses for attending the board meetings as well as contribute to the work of the ministry in different ways. NLAI is grateful for our Board!

  • cody birdwell

    Board Chair

    Cody Birdwell was a student of NLAI President Emeritus Dave Depew in the 1970s. He has served as a missions coordinator for his church and has supported NLAI mission work for over three decades. He served on the board of directors in the 1990s and has come back to serve another term, beginning in 2015. Cody has been married to his wife, Terry, for 33 years. They have two children, Joshua and Heather, who are both in college.

  • kevin Dougherty


    Kevin joined the NLAI Board of Directors in 2019. He is a sociology professor at Baylor University. Religion, ethnicity, and inequality are topics of his research. When he visited New Life Children’s Home in 2017, he was deeply impressed by the life-changing work he observed. He is eager to help advance this work. Kevin and his wife, Kim, have three daughters. They live in Waco, Texas.

  • Clay Enger

    Clay has known Kendon, Wendy, their families, and NLAI for many years through the combined ministries of Trinity Church and Trinity Christian School in Lubbock, TX, where he serves as Elder and school board member.  Clay and his wife, Kristyn, have been married for 22 years and are the proud parents of one daughter, Annika (15).  Clay, with Coldwell Banker, has represented the Lubbock area in the real estate industry since 1992.     

  • Danea Johnson

    After visiting NLCH in 2014 with then 12 yr old daughter, Danea was in love. Believing deeply in the work of the missionaries and seeing first hand the stewardship of those in charge, she has committed and invested into New Life Advance International with her time, money, prayers and heart. Danea says, "It’s an honor to serve on this board."

  • bill thomas

    Bill Thomas is a Professor of Accounting at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  He attended Baylor University where he majored in accounting, and met his wife, Mary Ann, while at Baylor. Bill and Mary Ann have known Kendon and Wendy Wheeler from Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas since the mid 1980s have been active supporters of the Wheelers and NLCH for over 30 years. The couple have two children and five grandchildren.