Brief History of the Founders
John Turner was brought up on a family farm near Fredonia, Kansas. He loved the farm animals and the wildlife on the farm. When he wasn’t eagerly reading or reluctantly doing farm chores, he was likely observing nature.
He went from the farm to the University of Chicago where, in order to sleep, he pretended the fire sirens were the howling coyotes that had serenaded him in his youth.
After the urban North, John’s next stop was in the South where he attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, and pastored churches in Collinwood and Jackson, Tennessee. He met Judy at Vanderbilt and they married a little over two years later.
The Turner family spent 14 years in Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock was a place of spiritual awakening and deepening for John.
They lived 12 years in Indianapolis where John continued to develop his biblical studies before returning to Arkansas to begin Christview Ministries.
John is deeply grateful to the members of the churches he has pastored for their contributions to his thinking and for their encouragement of him to teach.
Throughout Judy Sparks Turner’s life, one of the most difficult questions for her to answer is, “Where are you from?” Judy was born into a career Navy family in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her family moved often, covering not only their native Texas (3 times), but also California (3 times), Colorado, Pennsylvania, Spain, Florida, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.
Judy attended college at Baylor University and then spent a year traveling in Europe, where she was influenced by the Christian teachings of L’Abri. She picked up a master’s degree in world religions at Vanderbilt (as well as a husband).
She taught at the University of Central Arkansas and University of Arkansas Little Rock before entering the pastorate. Judy and John founded and led the Licensed Ministry Training Program for the Christian Church in Arkansas.
Judy was then called to a position with their denominational offices in Indianapolis and traveled the country as a church consultant.
A major thread running through the tapestry of her varied experience is a love for seeing people come to Christ and discover their gifts for serving him.
John and Judy are extremely proud of their daughter Carissa who is their fellow incorporator of Christview Ministries. Carissa was born in Little Rock.
Firmly rooted in Arkansas, she has progressed through high school in Indiana, college in Illinois ( Wheaton College), and graduate school in Pennsylvania (Penn State). She has completed work toward a Ph. D. in English literature, having successfully defended her dissertation on “spiritual geography” in the works of twentieth and early twenty-first century American women writers.
She is married to Stephen Smith, who, on the side from his real website designing and blogging job for a Christian publisher, is also Christview's volunteer website designer.
Carissa is an enthusiast of Celtic Christianity, especially as she has encountered it at Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Northumbria, England. She also loves Celtic, Canadian Maritime, and the related American mountain music and dance. She enjoys reviewing movies, television shows, and novels. Carissa writes with an eye for Christian perspectives. As time is found, she and her friends are likely to be contributors to this Website.