CEF of Maryland
(410) 944-6435

Our Leadership Team

Reaching Children Worldwide

State Headquarters Staff

Dr. Martha Wright, Executive Director

Dr. Martha Wright is passionate about being an advocate for the 80% of children who will never be reached by the local church. At age seven she was led to the Lord by a neighbor who was a volunteer with CEF. Mrs. Holbrook got her involved in a Good News Club in her neighborhood where she was discipled by two volunteers who came faithfully every week to teach these unchurched children about Jesus and God’s Word. Martha dedicated her life to the Lord at age 11 around a campfire at Camp Good News and God called her to missionary service at age 16. As a Bible college student, she served for two summers as a summer missionary with CEF in Florida. After graduation from Simpson College, she attended the CEF Leadership Institute where the Lord confirmed His call to serve full-time with CEF.

Today Dr. Wright has been in the ministry of CEF for more than 47 years, serving for 16 years in Latin America and for 21 years as vice president of education worldwide. In addition, for almost five years she was vice president of CEF Press, the organization’s publishing house. Martha provided leadership for the launching and development of CEF’s premier training program, Teaching Children Effectively, in the USA and in over 160 countries around the world. She also led the restructuring and upgrading of CEF’s Children’s Ministries Institute which is now recognized by several colleges for academic credit. Through CEF’s unified training program worldwide over 1.5 million people have received training in the past five years. Dr. Wright holds an earned Doctorate in Children and Youth from NOVA Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA  and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature from Simpson University in Redding, CA. Since August of 2010 Dr. Wright has been the Executive Director and CEO for CEF of Maryland, Inc.

Edna Zuraw, Leadership Training Instructor    

Edna Zuraw has ministered with CEF for 58 years! Her ministry career includes 17 successful years as the Executive Director of CEF of Greater Baltimore and 34 years  as a leadership training instructor with the CEF worldwide Department of Education in Warrenton, MO. In the early 1990’s Edna traveled internationally helping to train national  leaders to launch CEF’s new Teaching Children Effectively training program in their respective countries. Later, she served for 15 years as the Director of the Children’s Ministries Institute, CEF’s premier training institute for leadership development. Edna’s vast leadership and training experience in the ministry make her a valuable asset to CEF of  Maryland. Her friendly and fun personality, along with her 58 years of ministry make her a much sought after speaker and trainer on the national and local levels. Edna is a graduate of Baltimore School of the Bible.

Local Chapters

Anne Arundel/Prince George’s Counties Chapter

Pat Lackey, Director

Pat was born in Pensacola, Florida, where she trusted Christ as Savior in a 5-Day Club at age nine.  She graduated from the University of Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education in 1970.  She was discipled by the Navigators while in college, and involved in  their intense training programs for many years.  In the Summer of 1980, Pat served as a summer missionary with CEF of AA/PG Counties.  In the  Fall of 1980, she attended & graduated from the CEF Leadership Training Institute in Warrenton, MO (now the Children’s Ministries Institute). Pat began full time ministry with CEF in 1981, and became the local Director of Anne Arundel & Prince George’s counties in January 1984.  She has served with Child Evangelism Fellowship of AA/PG Counties for 36 years, reaching children with the Gospel through 5-Day Clubs and Good News Clubs,  and training many teens & adults to minister to children as well.

Greater Baltimore Chapter

chairH. Marie Dunsen-Dawson, Director

H. Marie Dunsen-Dawson grew up in a family who loved God and spoke of Jesus’ love for her, and her four brothers and four sisters. Marie looked forward to praise and worship each Friday night at her maternal grandfather’s prayer meetings. Her father’s parents, the Dunsen family, helped to build and establish her home church, Chestnut Grove A.M.E., in Street, Maryland. This is where she was evangelized, discipled, and accepted Christ as her personal Savior as a young woman.

Marie received certification in early childhood education at BCCC. She went on to earn her B.A. in Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management from Strayer University. While working as a substitute in elementary education, Marie realized children need more than academic education. Parents and guardians need help to uplift and grow their family’s relationship.

Marie married Gregory Dawson in December 1993. Marie and Gregory championed entrepreneurship with a tour, travel, and special event company, J.O.B. Marketing and Travel (Jesus our Beloved). The business attracted tourists to Maryland for weekend excursions from the northeastern regions for lodging, cruising, tours, and special events. They closed the business after thirteen years of successfully meeting the needs of customers in order to partake in God’s new season for their lives. Currently, Marie’s family has grown with two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.

In the spring of 2011 God opened the door for Marie to use her skills as the part-time Director of Development for CEF of Maryland. In July, 2015 she was unanimously approved by the CEF state board for the position of Director for the Greater Baltimore Chapter. Marie is currently a member at New Antioch Baptist Church of Randallstown, where she has completed discipleship training. Her early childhood education experience, business acumen, work with non-profit organizations, and God’s call on her life have all contributed to Marie’s success at CEF.  Marie began her role as the Director for CEF of Greater Baltimore full time in January, 2016.

Oddet Mears, Teacher Trainer

Oddet was born and raised in Baltimore, the youngest of four children. Occasionally her mother would send her to church, but she didn’t receive Jesus as Savior until she was 33 years old.

In 1991 God called Oddet into full-time ministry with CEF. She graduated from CEF’s Children’s Ministries Institute® and ministered with CEF of Baltimore for 2 ½ years teaching Good News Clubs, 5-Day Clubs and assisting with teacher training.

Through a series of events, Oddet left CEF and moved to Pennsylvania to minister to and disciple teenage girls through an organization called Teen Haven. During her 14 years in Pennsylvania, she became a certified Biblical counselor through the Christian Research and Development School and was involved in the Christian counseling ministry of her local church, Christian Stronghold Baptist Church, Pastor Willie Richardson.

In 2011 Oddet returned to Baltimore and reconnected with CEF, which she says is her “first love”. After raising her missionary support, Oddet has coordinated the summer missions program for CEF of Greater Baltimore, helped to establish Good News Clubs and participated in teacher training.

Oddet is a graduate of Baltimore School of the Bible and has also completed various courses from Philadelphia Biblical University.

Oddet’s favorite verse is Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is the tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

Carroll County Chapter

Stephen and Hannah Davis, Directors

Stephen and Hannah both came to know Jesus as their Savior at an early age. Stephen’s parents’ divorce in his teen years was the catalyst which drew him to new growth in his faith. He completed a year of Bible and Missions training through the Master’s Commission in Hampton, VA, and later served at River Valley Ranch for two years. Stephen then attended Hillsong College and Church in Sydney Australia to study film and media production. Growing up as a CEF missionary’s child, Hannah served as a summer missionary with CEF for six summers locally in New Jersey and overseas in New Zealand. She received her degree in Bible and Counseling from Lancaster Bible College. Responding to God’s call to reach children with the Gospel, Stephen and Hannah were drawn to serve the Lord through CEF in Stephen’s home state of Maryland. Stephen completed CEF’s Children’s Ministries Institute in fall of 2013 and is currently the local director for Carroll County. Hannah is his administrative assistant along with being a wife and mother. The couple’s goal is that all 23 public elementary schools will be adopted by local churches and reached for the Lord Jesus. Stephen and Hannah have been married for ten years, and are blessed with four children: Silas, Miriam, Ruth and Joel.

Harford/Cecil Counties Chapter

Donna Birkmaier, Volunteer Ministry Coordinator

Donna Birkmaier has spent her life in the educational field.  She attended Baltimore and Harford County public schools and earned her bachelor’s degree from Towson University  as well as a master’s degree in education from Loyola College.  During her 38 year career in Harford County public schools she was the recipient of MAEA Outstanding Educator award as well as several  curriculum awards.  She enjoyed serving as Supervising Teacher-Mentor for  many years for young teachers desiring to fulfill their student teaching courses in the public schools.  As a member of Emory UMC  she  has  worked in various capacities including PPR chair and SS/VBS teacher for over 25 years.  For the last five years she has volunteered for CEF as Good News Club leader and ambassador. Donna retired from the school system in 2012 and is now leading the development of a new CEF Chapter in Harford and Cecil Counties.

Northwest Maryland Chapter

Colonel Phill and Susie Michael, Directors

God led Phill and Susie Michael to be the leaders for CEF of Northwest Maryland in 2016 as they were seeking God’s will for their next step in fulfilling the Great Commission after retirement. Colonel Phill worked for the federal government, serving in the Air Force in many key leadership roles. He managed and directed over 430 aircraft maintenance personnel sustaining eleven C-5 jets in support of mission requirements. In addition, he provided support to subordinate organizations in asset acquisition, distribution and accountability, fiscal planning and programming, funds distribution and management. Most of all, Phill loves the Lord and is using his skills as the Local Director for CEF to lead and manage his chapter to reach more children for Christ.

Susie Michael has assumed the role of Ministry Coordinator. She has served as a Sunday School and VBS teacher at church and is excited about sharing the love of God in public schools through Good News Clubs. Before retirement, Susie worked in Washington Public Schools for 35 years as a teacher, school counselor and student services administrator. She and Phill have three children and three grandchildren.

Southern Maryland Chapter 

Christine Reiser, Good News Club Coordinator

Christine was taken to church as a young child where she received the Lord at about age eight. As she grew up, she felt God’s call on her life to be in full-time ministry reaching children with the Gospel. Christine learned about CEF’s Children’s Ministries Institute and took the three-month course in the fall 2005. After graduation,  in December 2005 she began her ministry with CEF of Maryland working as staff at the State Headquarters. In the fall of 2010, Christine moved to southern Maryland to establish a new CEF chapter in St. Mary’s, Charles and Calvert Counties. Christine loves teacher training, studying God’s word and taking long hikes through the woods.