Lead Team

Executive Director

Brown Peterson

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Brown attended his first Southland event in 2018 with his middle school students on our retreat. He instantly loved Southland and the heart of its vision and mission. He joined the leadership team shortly thereafter. What Brown loves about Southland is the way it is rooted in the gospel in all facets. This is from the messages and worship, to the friendships made between students, and how it builds relationships between other leaders and churches. The students, leaders, and myself look forward to each Southland event!

If you have any questions about what retreats or camps are going to be like, then please reach out to Brown. Do not contact him for registration questions, please contact Brandon for those questions.

Brown is the Youth Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, FL. He has been working with students in vocational ministry since 2012.

Lead Team Member

Josh Gillman

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Josh attended his first Southland event in 1999 at the Middle School Retreat as a 6th grade student. He joined the leadership of Southland in 2014. Josh loves that Southland is Christ-centered and gives the blessing of Christian community for leaders and students for life!

Josh is the Youth Pastor at Redeemer Riverview in Riverview, FL, and has been involved in student ministry since 2012.

Lead Team Member

David Kelly

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David has been connected to Southland since 2001 when he began taking students to all of Southland’s camps. His students love Southland and many have made lifelong friends as he has. For several years David went to the leadership meetings at the Southland camps wondering if I should join the leadership team or not. David joined the team and has been heavily involved since 2008.

What David loves about Southland is the camps are designed to connect students to Christ through great preaching and teaching. It also provides a connection to community for his students, not just with each other but other churches in the PCA. He loves the commitment to get Jesus In front of my students and a commitment to show them how to enjoy their faith with others.

David is the Youth Pastor at New Hope Church in Eustis, FL. He has been working with students since 2001.

Administrative Director

Brandon Lutz

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Brandon attended his first Southland event as a 6th grader in 1997. He joined the leadership team of Southland in 2018. One of the things Brandon loves about Southland is how it creates friendships amongst students from across Florida. When they end up going off to college, there is a good chance they will have a friend through Southland to check out RUF or a church as they transition to their next chapter of life.

If you have any questions or issues in regards to registration, please contact Brandon.

Brandon works for Thirdmill and is the Partnership Director in Orlando, FL. He served in student ministry and students for over a decade and wants to continue seeing students connect to Christ & community through Southland so they are ready to lead the next generation of His Church!

Support Team

MS Retreat Activities Director

Ally Bazzel

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Ally attended her first Southland event back in 2018 and have been involved ever since. She loves the opportunity to connect her students to other Christians and she has especially enjoyed seeing her students develop as leaders and serve on teams for middle school events. She loves Southland’s commitment to teaching the Gospel to students and providing places and experiences for her group to unplug and have fun together, deepening their relationships with students and God. She is grateful for the supportive relationships she has formed with leaders through Southland events; it is awesome to have like minded adults to partner with in making His Kingdom known to the next generation.

Ally is the Assistant Youth Director at Westtown Church in Tampa, FL. She has been working with students since 2018.

HS Camp Activities Director

Mark Khandjian

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Mark first attended Southland back in 2006 as a freshman in high school with Wildwood Church. Although not yet having devoted his life to Christ at the time, Mark went through several life experiences that not only were opportunities to grow but also point him in the direction of seeking a savior. In 2014, Mark accepted Jesus and soon after moved out to California to attend Calvary Chapel Bible College. Mark is working at Wildwood Church, where he originally went as a student. Mark wants to see all students aggressively run to Jesus while encouraging others along the way.

Mark is the Youth Pastor at Wildwood Church in Tallahassee, FL. He’s been working with young people since 2018.

MS Retreat Activities Director

Jakob Phillips

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Jakob attended his first Southland event in 2021 and is excited to jump in to creating many more for students. He has a background in camp leadership and loves getting away to enjoy outdoor activities with students. Some of his favorites are hiking and disc golf.

Jakob is the Youth Director at Westtown Church in Tampa, FL. He has been working in student ministry since 2020.

Southland Media Director

Julz Zagra

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Julz attended her first Southland camp in 2019 as a volunteer and was quick to want to get more involved. She joined our team shortly after her first event with us. Julz loves how Southland creates friendships that go beyond a weekend retreat, but rather carry out for years, not only for the students but leaders as well. She enjoys how Southland creates a Christ-focused environment through staff, sermons, worship, breakouts and even the competitions! 

If you have any great pictures or videos of your students or group at a Southland event, then please email them to Julz!

Julz is the Girls Discipleship Coordinator at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, FL. She has been working in student ministry since 2018.