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Tom & Jenn Judson

KFWC Ambassador AZ

I am 50 years old. I am a husband to my wife Jenn of 20years this oct. dad to my kids, and papa to my grandkids. (That’s the best). Started fishing when I was probably 5 but in the last 5years I have picked  it up again with my first kayak.  (On number 3 now) In the last 10 years I have gone on 11 mission trips in the south pacific to help build out a home for girls and kids that have been trafficked.

Being a part of the KFWC community has been a true blessing to me. As well as the fishing and the brotherhood, the friendships I have made are irreplaceable.  

Ephe 5:1 Be imitators of God, as beloved children. 

The first verse I ever learned. Always reminds me to come to Him in all things as our children and grandkids come to us. Even at 50 I still need Him to take my hand and guide me. 

“Every time I think I’m good, I realize I get wet trying to walk on water.”

In His Grip,

Tom Judson



Vice President

Mike Kirby and his beautiful wife Shena and 6 kids and live just north of Fort Worth in the small country town of Rhome Texas. Mike and Shena have been married for 5 year and blended their family of 3 girls and 3 boys ranging from the age of 24, 21, and 18 for the boys (yes, these girls have BIG BROTHERS) 16, 13 and 8 for the girls. Their family enjoys pretty much anything outdoors, they hunt, fish, and love to Kayak. In the spare time (not much of with 6 kids) they enjoy working with charities and helping others in the community. Mike loves to spend time

with his family whether its fishing, hunting, Cheer comps, orchestra concerts, gymnastics, or just about anything with the family. Mike is a tournament kayak fisherman in the North Texas area if that wasn’t enough he also directs a few charity tournaments throughout the year. Mike is always up to go fishing and meet new people in the community. Mike is a huge supporter of the Celebrate Recovery Ministry and working with those that struggle with addiction. Mike’s life scripture is 

Psalms 56:13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life

That scripture hold a very special place in his heart since it was God and ONLY God that delivered Mike from the death of drug and alcohol addiction. Mike and his wife Shena serve in the community and love their family and God. If you want to know more about Mike feel free to contact him.


Eugene & Diane Hasse

KFWC Ambassador AZ

Eugene Hasse lives in Arizona with his wife Diane and his three dogs. Father of two and has two grandchildren. Gene is an Eagle Scout as well as an Air Force Veteran, a man who loves his country deeply, and has earned a Black Belt in two different styles of Martial Arts. He has a passion for fishing that started at the age of four years old when he caught his first fish in the backwaters of Florida. Since that day he has been an avid and dedicated fisherman who now he and his wife volunteer as Certified Angler Instructors for Arizona Game & Fish Department. A devout Christian love of Christ is evident in his life, but especially with his worship through playing guitar and singing. Those that are lost and don’t know Jesus yet are also on his heart heavily, which is why he has such an evangelistic and outreaching mindset and spirit.


James & Ruth Reed

KFWC Ambassador WV

I was raised in West Virginia and met my wife Ruth, 24 years later and here we are. We have 2 boys , James 21 and Isaac 15. I started fishing to find peace and I realized that peace could only be found in Christ. I see the beauty God created here on Earth and do my best to enjoy it all. I can't wait to see what Heaven looks like.


Duane & Asha Merkes

KFWC Ambassador CO

I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area where I lived a good heathen life. After 30 years of the big city life, I packed up and moved to Denver to enjoy the great outdoors. In 2003 I came to know my LORD JESUS CHRIST and I met my wife Asha at a bible study. She was born in South India and at one point we moved to India to start work in the mission fields. Still, GOD had other plans for us, so we came back to Denver. We learned you don’t have to leave your city, state or country to work in the mission fields (Our church has a saying “from our neighborhoods to our nations” ) . Our family (Nissi, Joash, Boaz, and, Rinnah) enjoys camping and the outdoors. A few years back I got into kayak fishing and found myself on the “Kayak Fishing with Christ” Facebook page. This Facebook group is unlike any other I know of. It is life-giving and full of love and has changed the lives of many, including my family!   

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your path.     

                                        Shalom, the Merkes’s


Daniel & Crystal Bass

KFWC Ambassador FL

I was born and raised in Volusia County, Florida and have never actually left! As a Volusia County native, I have enjoyed all the freshwater and saltwater adventures that are so close to my home. I was raised by an outdoor loving family and we had our fair share of outdoor adventures which ranged from camping on Florida's barrier island to multiday canoe camping trips on some of Florida's unique waterways. I have been blessed to carry on these adventures with my family.  I married my wife Crystal in the year 2000 and we have 19 and 14-year-old sons Kyle and Dean. I enjoy anything and everything that has to do with kayaking!  From fishing, nature photography, and just simply relaxing with friends and family. I worked at the Florida Department of Transportation, however I have recently started my dream business called Native Waters Kayak Adventures which specializes in Nature Immersion experiences, fishing, and photography tours. It has been a pleasure connecting with other kayakers and look forward to the many connections that KFWC offers all its members!

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Emiliano & Trina Chappell

KFWC Ambassador FL

Born in the summer of ’69 in Gainesville, FL, Emiliano has lived in this area his whole life. Married to Trina Ann he has a blended family of three boys and one girl, Courtney, Kyle, Cole & David. He has a passion for the outdoor life, in the woods or on the water, camping, hunting, and fishing. He played completive beach volleyball for many years but that ended after knee surgery in 2013 and now sticks to his passions of kayak fishing the lakes, rivers, ponds, saltwater creeks and the flats around North & Central Florida. His son, Kyle, share in his outdoor passion and is his primary fishing partner and they fish whenever possible. Emiliano has worked for UF Health Systems for the past 29 years. Go Gators!

Coming out of 2 broken marriages, Emiliano never wanted to even consider marriage again, this is until he and Trina began to share & talk about life. As their relationship grew, Emiliano’s relationship with the Lord was rediscovered and he found what was missing in his life. With the help of his Church, Trina’s unconditional love and his new found walk with the Lord, life, love, and marriage have become a blessing. The whole family has grown in the love of our Lord. Love God, Love People & Serve Others!

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Jackie & Mrs. Hughes  

KFWC Ambassador NC

 kayak fishing!

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Bubba Dyer & Fiancé Heather Cottet

KFWC Ambassador NY

Bubba Dyer grew up along the coast of Texas and began kayak fishing in 2005. He is an avid freshwater and salt water fisherman. Fishing brings with it a dedication to the sport; and also a solace for difficult times when fishing allowing him to move closer to Christ and seek out His guidance and peace.

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Tim & Courtney Burgin

KFWC Ambassador TN

Tim was born and raised in West TN and Courtney was born and raised in Northern Arizona. They met though God’s grace by a family friend in Nashville TN where they live now. Tim has been blessed with his dream job working as a Master Technician for Nissan Corp. and Courtney is continuing on her dream career as a Certified Meeting Planner. We enjoy helping out with child care at Church and spending time outdoors camping. KFWC was a God sent blessing to us, we were looking for a way to use Fishing, Kayaking, and Family in the way God intended it. God will always open doors if you look for the road signs along the way.


Our favorite verse is Philippians 4:6-8 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

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Bruce & Angie Leonard 

KFWC Ambassador TN


Bruce Leonard is 57 and married his beautiful wife Angie in June of 2017. Both had bad marriage before and this time prayed for God to bring them a Christian spouse, then when least expected God brought them together and what a blessing that was. They both enjoy cooking and gardening together. They also enjoy worshiping God together at Shiloh Freewill Baptist Church. Angie has just learned to fish and hopes to try out kayak fishing this year.


Bruce was in the Marines for 8 yrs then went into driving tractor trailers over the road for 14 years before going to college at age 40 to get his BSN in RN. He has a passion for helping others. He rededicated his life to God in 2014 and has never looked back. After multiple back and neck surgery he left Nursing to follow another passion of sharing fishing and kayaking with others at Bass Pro. Bruce has fished all his life and has been kayak fishing for the last six years. He also enjoys spending time in the woods chasing deer with his greatest time being archery season.


Bruce and his wife Angie enjoy sharing their testimony and Gods word with others. They both know life has its ups and downs, but they allow God to guide their path as they are now raising their 2 month old granddaughter and consider it a blessing rather than a burden placed on them.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.

In all your troubles Keep your focus on God because you know where your going.

1 Peter 5:19

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

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Kent & Carol Vanover

KFWC Ambassador TN

Kent Vanover is 52 years old and has been fishing from a kayak for 5 years. He was born in Erwin, Tennessee and now resides in Maryville, Tennessee. Kent is married to Carol Messer Vanover and has 4 children in his blended family. He also has 3 grandchildren. Kent was stationed at Mtn Home AFB from 1984-1988 serving as an early warning radar specialist. He has also served 30 years as a full-time employee of the TN Air National Guard. Kent finished 5th in the Uncle Lems Tournament trail in 2017 and qualified for the state tournament. He had 6 top ten finishes in 2017 to include a 1st place win on Watts Bar, TN. Kent also had 4 big fish wins in 2017. He was also credited with 3 Tennessee citation fish last year. Kent is an avid member of Kayak Fishing with Christ, Tennessee Kayak Tournament Trail Board of Directors, and East TN Kayak Anglers. When not helping new anglers navigate the waters of East Tennessee, Kent is spending time with his family.                                                                                                         

Isaiah 40:31 New International Version (NIV)

31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.


Santiago & Letitia Rivera


Santiago Rivera and his bride Letitia have been married for over ten years. Together with their blended family they have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. They live in South Florida. They enjoy the outdoors together. Santiago has been fishing from a kayak since 1977. This has always been a passion for him. In his life Santiago was once homeless and a crack addict, this situation was healed by Jesus Christ after over a year on the streets and addicted, he was healed and relived of the addiction overnight. This time in his life created a passion within him for those who struggle with addiction. Santiago has been involved with Celebrate Recovery for over eight years. On Fridays if he is not fishing you will find him sharing and leading at Calvary Chapel Midtown Celebrate Recovery. He founded KFWC back in 2013 while in a Kayak Bass Tournament while in prayer he opened his eyes to find seven other men around him while he prayed on the water. The vision for Kayak Fishing With Christ was born that day on the water. Santiago prays that KFWC will become a vessel where people can come together not just for fishing but to find their rightful place in Christ and with Christ.

Meet the KFWC Leadership Team
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