About The Speakers
Wall Street Journal and Amazon #1 Bestselling author Jeffrey Wilson is the author of War Torn, his first faith based novel. Inspired by the crisis of faith he experienced at times during his own war time service, the book is meant to bring a powerful message of hope and healing that can be found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ to combat veterans and their families. Passionate about ministry to military families, Jeff founded the Men’s Military Support Group under the Men’s Courageous Ministry at Grace Family Church in Tampa. A vibrant and growing ministry, it has touched the lives of many military active duty and veterans in the Tampa Bay area and has recently spun off into a Military Spouses support group under the Beautiful Women’s Ministry at Grace.
Jeff is a vascular surgeon who was completing his training when terrorists attacked America on 9/11. Already having served, Jeff immediately rejoined the active duty Navy and served as a combat surgeon with the Marines and then with an East Coast–based SEAL team and a Joint Special Operations Task Force, making multiple deployments. His experiences there—seeing things that cannot be unseen—sent him on his own journey exploring, and at times questioning, his faith, and are the inspiration for this novel. Jeff has also worked as an actor, a firefighter, a paramedic, a jet pilot, and a diving instructor.
Together with fellow Navy veteran Brian Andrews, Jeff writes the Amazon #1 bestselling Tier One series of military thrillers and (under the pseudonym Alex Ryan) the Nick Foley thriller series. Jeff is also the author of three award-winning supernatural thrillers.
An experienced speaker, Jeff shares his personal journey through a crisis in faith experienced in the fog of questions that come about in the horrors of war.
Edwin Epperson served in the United States Army from May 2002 through October 2015, totaling 13 ½ years. During his service he had multiple combat and advisory deployments. His military schools included Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, and US Army Ranger School. In the summer of 2008 Edwin attended SFAS (“Special Forces Assessment and Selection”) for the opportunity to earn the Army’s famed Green Beret. Out of 431 applicants he was one of 41 that were selected. After attending and graduating the “Q” Course, (“Special Forces Qualifications Course”) he was assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha (“ODA”) 7325, which is a Green Beret Combat Dive team. His special Forces training includes; 6 months Spanish language school, S.E.R.E. (“Survival Evasion Resistance Escape”) Level-C, high risk, Special Forces communications training, SFAUC (“Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat”), and Combat Dive training. In Oct 2015, Edwin exited the military to start his own investment company and currently manages a private equity fund based out of Tampa, FL.
During his transition and subsequent career, he found himself struggling with the effects of war and the loss of many fallen comrades. He began searching for a military men’s support group, but few offered the brotherhood and the comradery that he experienced in the military. He happened to hear about a military support group in his local church, Grace Family Church in Tampa, FL and decided to attend. That men’s group has given him the tools to address and confront the struggles that even his wife could not understand. It was the platform for accountability, and support that had been missing from his life. He now volunteers and leads a men’s military group at one of GFC’s five campuses and is dedicated to standing up other military support groups across the nation. A gifted speaker, Edwin speaks passionately about his own struggles, the strength and healing he found in a closer walk with God through Jesus Christ, and his commitment to helping others find their way onto God’s path for them.
Wendy met Jeff in 2005 after his first deployment to Iraq. At the time, she was working in the Pharmaceutical industry, putting to good use her Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and her Master’s degree in Business Management. After 13 years working in Pharma, including two years launching a product in Japan (where she learned to speak fluent Japanese), Wendy has spent the last ten years raising four children, teaching part time in the Chemistry department at the University of Tampa, running half marathons, and has been active in leadership roles at Grace Family Church. For the last two years, she has led the Beautiful Mom’s Ministry at Grace.
Wendy is very experienced leading and speaking in Women’s Ministry and shares a message of hope for families dealing with the stress of deployment and how faith can impact a marriage stressed by the questions brought on by war, and ways a spouse can help deal with the crisis of faith that follows such service. She is best suited to speak to women’s groups and spouse’s groups or to couples groups or mixed groups where she and Jeff deliver this message of hope together.