The Center for Christian Civics is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to equip the church with a robust, prophetic and winsome disposition in the civic arena. Founded by two friends from opposite sides of the political spectrum who nonetheless shared a desire to see Christians distinguish themselves from their partisan allies, we're a small team with a growing slate of projects dedicated to helping the church witness to the life-changing, category-busting power of the gospel.



Rick Barry, Co-Founder & Executive Director

As Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, Rick helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC. 

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Brian Andrew Smith, Contributing Editor

Brian A. Smith is Contributing Editor at the Center for Christian Civics and the Managing Editor of Law and Liberty at Liberty Fund. He is the author of Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer (Lexington, 2017).

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Sarah Morgan Smith, Contributing Editor

Sarah Morgan Smith is Contributing Editor at the Center for Christian Civics and an instructor in the Master of Arts in American History and Government (MAHG) program housed in the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University and co-director of the Ashbrook Center’s Religion in American History project.

Executive Board

Our Executive Board, including the Executive Director, oversees the Center for Christian Civics' mission and strategy, and ensures that our programming is executed responsibly and in ways that are consistent with our goals and values. 

Ben O'Dell, Board Chair

Ben has worked with the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (formerly the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives) for over 14 years. Over the past two administrations, Ben has had the opportunity to advise and support partnerships between the federal government and faith and community partners. He resides in Centreville, VA, with his wife and their two daughters.


Rev. Charles Drew

Rev. Drew is pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in New York City, an evangelical church with a particular focus on Columbia Univeristy, nearby schools, and the local poor. He is the author of several books, including Body Broken: Can Republicans and Democrats Sit in the Same Pew?. He and his wife live and minister in New York City.

Gina Lohr

A health care consultant and public policy wonk, Gina's diverse background combines professional work in health care research and nonprofit management with personal interests in social justice and human flourishing. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and son.

Whitney Kirk

Whitney is an Assistant Director of Development for the University of Texas at Austin. Before beginning work cultivating and stewarding major gifts for UT,  she worked with United Way of Greater St. Louis and Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Whitney is a native Arkansan and currently lives in Austin, TX.

Advisory Council

Our Advisory Council provides our staff and Executive Board with advice and expertise as our organization pursues its mission of empowering the church in the public square. 

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Bruce Ashford

Provost and Professor of Public Theology
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Grace Choi

Associate Director for Global Gender Policy & Advocacy
Save the Children

Erin Creasy Ferree

Career Advisor
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Graduate Program

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Thomas Turner

Director of Research and Prospect Management
International Justice Mission

Rev. Mike Park

Grace Downtown
Director of Asian-American Leadership
Reformed Theological Seminary

Sarah Kerner

Development Director
The Data Coalition

Other Leaders


Daniel Leiva, Co-Founder Emeritus

A former staffer for Republican House Leadership, Daniel Leiva left the Hill in 2014 fed up with the apocalyptic rhetoric. Daniel was born into a family with a rich legacy of full-time ministry. His time on the Hill only deepened his desire to see the church clearly and compellingly witness to the culture around it. He worked closely with Rick Barry to launch the Center for Christian Civics and build an initial team that could set the organization up for success. Daniel currently lives in Austin, TX, with his wife.