Derek grew up down a sandy dirt road in Lowcountry South Carolina, around the corner from an area his family had called home for nine generations. At the age of 7, he professed Christ as his Savior and was baptized in a church that was planted in 1774. As a teenager on a mission trip, Derek helped a little boy from an entirely different culture pray to become a Christian. Considering the cost for him to follow Jesus made Derek recognize the value of the treasure he possessed as a Christian and marked the beginning of his journey in ministry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and youth ministry from Charleston Southern University, where he met his bride. He then earned Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, followed by a Doctor of Philosophy degree, all with a specialization in psychology and counseling. Derek joined our team in 2012 as Little Rock Area Director and later as Clinical Director. In December 2018, Derek became the Executive Director of the ministry. He works with staff members, churches, donors and community partners to impact the children and families of Arkansas. He is directly responsible to the Board of Trustees for agency operations. Derek is married to Ariel Brown, LPC, who is also on our staff as a clinical counselor in the Little Rock Family Ministry Office. They are blessed with three children: Leila, Gavin and Jonas. Though Jonas is technically the only native Arkansan in the family, they all make the most of the Natural State, spending free time outdoors camping, swimming, fishing and playing sports. Contact Derek at firstname.lastname@example.org.