Board of Directors

Board of Directors2020-09-09T17:24:56-05:00

Jon-Paul DaFonte

Jon-Paul currently resides in Pinehurst, TX with his wife Christy.  Both are members of the Bammel Road Church of Christ. Jon-Paul has served in various leadership roles from his time in the military to his current management role in IT within the Oil & Gas industry. He is also serving his second term on the Board of Directors for SCI Houston.

When asked why he wanted to serve as a board member, the answer was simple and clear. “Growing up I was forced into the church, which in-turn drove me away once I was older. Blast & Cast played a pivotal role in me re-establishing my faith with the Lord. Through the fellowship and friendship of many, my devotion has been restored and has allowed me and my wife to worship together while strengthening our relationship. Seeing how much Blast & Cast contributed with re-establishing my relationship with the Lord and always being there when I needed them, I wanted to give back to the organization that has helped me for the last few years. “

Ron Gray

When we asked Ron for a short bio that we could share, it started with “My name is Ron Gray and I am freakin’ awesome! It’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” So that’s what we’re currently dealing with here.

Ron has an obviously broken sense of humor, but he is also a native Texan that was raised in the DFW area before relocating to the Houston area where he currently resides. He worked in the Power, Energy and Oil & Gas industry for 42 years, specializing in the Project Controls arena within engineering and construction, before retiring earlier this year. He’s been married for 44 years to his wife, Inajo, and they have two daughters and six awesome grandchildren.

Ron said that he became a Christian at age 13, but his relationship with Jesus didn’t really begin to grow until his mid-20’s when he began to understand that there was an order and priorities to following Christ. Jesus first, family second and, then, everything else. Four years ago his son-in-law, Aaron Rathbone invited him to our event in Rockport, TX. While the daily hunts were enjoyable, it was the evening speakers and the time spent just hanging out with the hunters that meant, and mean, the most him.

We are looking forward to putting Ron’s 42 years of project management experience to work within the ministry, and we’re excited to have him on our team. Welcome aboard, Ron!

Tommy Lyles

Tommy is a retired United Methodist pastor with 40 years of service. During that time he served 8 years on the Board of Ordained Ministry, 4 as the Chair of the Counseling Committee. He also served 12 years on the Board of Missions, 4 as the Chair; during that time he helped establish the Permanent Endowment Fund for Partners in Mission raising nearly 3 million dollars. He has over 30 years of experience in short-term mission work in Jamaica, Mexico, Kenya and Belize. He was very active in UM ARMY and served as Vice President of the National Board. He has served as Spiritual Director for 5 different Emmaus Communities and has been active in Kairos Prison Ministry for over 25 years, currently serving as the State Representative for the Ellis Prison Unit. During his active ministry every church he served underwent some type of building program.

Moving on from parish ministry he has spent the last 7 years as a Chaplain for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 4 years as the Chaplain at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas and the last 3 as the Region 1 Director of Chaplaincy, overseeing 14 prisons and 18 Chaplains. He took his final work retirement in April.

In retirement he plans to fish, hunt, spend time with the grandkids and travel once COVID is over. He plans to be very active with Blast & Cast, Covenant Fellowship Church, and working with Kairos Prison Ministry. Most importantly, he plans on just loving life at the farm north of Huntsville with Debbie Hale Lyles, his wife of 40 years, and doing what she would like to do! Welcome aboard Tommy!

Josh May

Josh lives in Plano, TX and is a member of Adams Chapel Methodist Church. His experience as a business owner and history with Blast & Cast will provide insight that is particularly useful to the board.

We asked Josh why he was interested in serving on the board, and he wrote the following:

“I am truly humbled and honored to serve Blast & Cast on the Board of Directors. Blast & Cast has been a huge part of my life since I was introduced to this wonderful group over 10 years ago, and I have experienced a true change within myself as a result. I’ve also seen the Lord’s work and the miracle of salvation in the lives of others around me many times over. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for Blast & Cast and for me in the future.”

Jacob Powell

Jacob and his wife Bekah are originally from Alabama but currently live in Baytown, TX. They are members at one of our partner churches, Rollingbrook Fellowship. Jacob is an engineer by trade and has served on nearly every leadership team at RF. Jacob and Bekah are incredibly missions minded. Bekah serves as the Missions Director at RF and Jacob regularly leads mission teams to Kenya.

What is most intriguing about Jacob as a board member is the motivation behind him becoming involved with Blast & Cast. He wasn’t raised as an outdoorsman like many of us… but when he realized that most of the men working alongside him in chemical plants were outdoorsmen, he saw Blast & Cast as an opportunity to reach them with the Gospel and began attending events with his workmates.

Hurricane Harvey was a pivotal part of Jacob’s commitment to the Blast & Cast Ministry. With his home flooded and his community in despair, it was Blast & Casters who continually stopped by to bring much-needed supplies and support to his community.

Jacob has seen the kind of impact Blast & Cast has had on a partner church, workmates, his community and his family… and that insight coupled with his experience in leadership and world missions will serve him well on the board.

Aaron Rathbone

Aaron Rathbone

Aaron and his wife Magen live in Clear Lake, TX and are members of New Hope Church. Aaron is the Vice
President of Business Services for Community Resource Credit Union and his experience in the banking industry will prove invaluable as our ministry continues to expand. He also brings experience as a former chairman of the Pearland/Friendswood DU chapter and a network in the middle coast area where he was raised.

The Rockport event in January had a big impact on Aaron’s decision to commit to a role on the Board. In his words:

“My recent experience at the Rockport trip was very eye-opening. I was asked about the event by numerous people upon my return, and my first response every time was, ‘It was real.’ Blast & Cast is made up of real men with real imperfections, real convictions, and a real purpose. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Steve Smith

Steve is a retired oil field consultant that now makes his living as a fishing guide and touring redfish angler. He currently lives in Lafayette, LA with his wife Patricia Naomi, aka Patty, aka Pookie. The two of them have an affectionate relationship that is well known and respected both in their community and in the tournament community where we do ministry. In fact, their marriage and the way that they treat and support each other on the tournament trail is a ministry in and of itself.

Steve is active in his weekly bible study group and with the Men’s Ministry at the Bayou Church in Lafayette and has been one of our pro staff members for the last 3 years. After meeting a field staffer wearing a Blast & Cast shirt at a boat show in Houston several years ago, Steve fell in love with the concept of helping to lead wayward men back to the cross and has been involved ever since. He spearheaded our first ever event in Louisiana and will be at the center of our outreach efforts in Louisiana for years to come.

Kim Stratton

Kim grew up in the Denver area and graduated from a small college in southwest Colorado with a degree in accounting and business. He went to work for a large oil and gas company, moving often and eventually settling in Farmington, NM. He worked for nearly 40 years in the oil and gas industry and has been retired since 2016. He has been married to Joi Dennard Stratton for 18 years and they have four children and nine grand-kids. They attend Sagebrush Church at the Farmington campus and are both actively involved in various ministries. Kim has always enjoyed the great outdoors including hunting, fishing and mountain biking, but his passion is jail ministry, the study of apologetics and helping to lead people to the Lord.

Kim’s presence on our Board of Directors will help bridge the gap to new outreach efforts in New Mexico and Colorado. While we have been forced to place those efforts on hold due to COVID, we remain committed to reaching outdoorsmen in the mountain states. When I (Brodie) traveled to New Mexico early this year, I stayed with Kim and Joi. They became family to me, and both of them are committed to Kingdom efforts like few I’ve encountered. That commitment, combined with Kim’s critical mind and business background, will serve Blast & Cast well on our board.