CEF® of Maryland

Our Leadership Team


Dorcas Byrd, State Director

Dorcas Byrd is the State Director for CEF of Maryland

Oddet Mears, Leadership Training Coordinator

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.”


Lydia is a worker for CEF state headquarters.

Caleb Russell, Administrative Assistant

Caleb came to know Jesus as his Savior at a young age. He lived in the Philippines for six years while his parents served there as missionaries. His family later returned to their hometown near the Pennsylvania/Maryland border to serve as the directors for CEF of Franklin/Fulton counties. As he grew up, Caleb developed a love for CEF and its work as he taught Good News Clubs, attended Christian Youth in Action (CYIA), and worked at the local Good News Camp. He attended high school virtually and graduated from Liberty University’s online high school program. After graduating high school, he attended the undergraduate program of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and graduated with a BA in Writing and a minor in Pastoral Ministry. Caleb cherishes the memories of the time he spent serving with CEF of Franklin/Fulton and is thankful that God used this chapter of CEF to give him a love and knowledge of CEF that allows him the privilege of serving as the Administrative Assistant for CEF of Maryland’s state headquarters.


Greater Baltimore Chapter

H. 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.

Northwest Maryland Chapter

Jason Norris, Director

Jason Norris is the director for the Northwest Maryland Chapter.

Southern Maryland Chapter

Bernard Lake, Director

Bernard Lake is a seasoned instructor born in the Caribbean, who has a passion for teaching and encouraging others. Teaching has always held his heart – whether teaching at a community college in Iowa or guiding young people before and during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. His love of teaching has led him to share the gospel across the US and several African countries teaching believers the scriptures. A noted scholar and former assistant principal, Bernard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Iowa, an MBA, and is an Education Specialist currently working towards his Ph.D. In the fall of 2022. Bernard successfully completed twelve weeks of Child Evangelism Fellowship™ training at Children’s Ministry Institute® to be the first local director of Southern Maryland.

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.

Carroll County Chapter

Stephen Davis, Director

Stephen and his wife 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 blessed with five children: Silas, Miriam, Ruth, Joel, and Andrew. Their oldest son, Silas, volunteers for CEF and is a contributor to the CEF of Maryland website.

Montgomery County Chapter

Karen Silva, Director

Karen Silva is the director of the Montgomery County Chapter

Eastern Shore Chapter

Paulette Cheeseman, Director

Paulette Cheeseman is the director for the Eastern Shore Chapter.

Howard County Chapter

Jennifer Rowell, Director

Jennifer Rowell is the director for the Howard County Chapter.


James W. Himes


George Walker

Vice Chair

Carolyn Harold


Mike Touma


Carmi Washington

George Harold

Bernice Langley

Bob Jones

Dr. Mark Campbell

Julia Oravecz

Richard Rothschild

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