The Barnabas Institute’s mission is to inspire people to live Christian lives, to encourage and support them as they grow closer to the Lord, and point to resources for living as Christ would have us live.
The Institute was founded by Miki Vasquez in San Rafael, CA in 2001. After an initial launch that focused on national research, the Institute was moved to Santa Fe, NM, where focus was narrowed to supporting the local Christian community.
Board of Directors
The Barnabas Institute encourages people to live Christian lives and to inspire others to be “imitators of Christ.” The Institute is named after Barnabas, a New Testament missionary who traveled with the apostle Paul. His name means Son of Encouragement.
The direction and policies of The Barnabas Institute are set by its Board of Directors. The Directors come from wide and varied backgrounds which include expertise in business, government, and ministry. They bring practical insight to the issues of how to live a Christian life in a post-modern, largely pagan world.
With the exception of Dr. Cowley, who lives and ministers in California, all of the directors are pastors or involved in “lay” ministries in New Mexico.
Biographies of Directors
Miki Vásquez, Ph.D. Founder and Chairman
Dr. Vásquez has a background of activities in technology and marketing. Formerly employed by IBM, Montgomery Ward, and the Fair, Isaac Companies, she served on the marketing faculties of the University of California at Berkeley and Dominican University of California, where she was Chair of Undergraduate Business Studies. After a decade as Principal of her own marketing consulting firm, the Professional Marketer, she now serves the Institute full time. Currently Chair of the Board of Directors, she also serves as its Chief Financial Officer.
Tom J. Cowley, D.Min., Director
Tom J. Cowley teaches the life of Christ, the Bible, church history, and Christian worldview. Dr. Cowley is a D.Min. Graduate (2004) of United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH. Tom also has degrees from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, CA (M.A.T.S. – 1998) and Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1960 B.S. and 1965 M.B.A.).
Stepping back from a business career of strategic planning, Tom has dedicated himself for ministry to equip followers of Jesus to tell the story of Jesus. His mission is to have all people know Jesus and to know his teachings. Tom has served in various church leadership roles, but currently is focused on his writing and teaching ministry. Tom has been married for 41 years to his loving wife, Karen. He is the proud father of two married children, Allison de Laveaga and John Cowley. Karen and Tom enjoy family, including four grandchildren, from their home in Tiburon, CA.
Jose D. Vasquez, MSW, LCSW, President, Director, Secretary
Jose is the president of the Barnabas Institute. He has a background in program administration. Jose served as contract manager for Alchohol and Drug Program in Marin County, CA, and was Principal at Fred Finch Youth Center, in Oakland, California. Jose has been a practicing psychotherapist in private practice in Albuquerque, NM, and in San Rafael, CA.
Jose is the publisher of the On the Way Christian eNewsletter. He is the administer of the Santa Fe Prayer Net, a prayer program for churches, and, in that capacity, visits approximately 50 churches yearly. Mr. Vasquez coordinates Thursday Morning Prayer Group. In addition he is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Watchman.
John Robb, Director
John Robb serves as Chairman for the International Prayer Council, and International Prayer Connect, a network of regional and national prayer ministries and networks around the world. The IPC focuses on issues of common concern to the global Body of Christ. He and his colleagues helped to launch and support the Global Day of Prayer that has helped unite over 300 million Christians in all 220 nations to pray for the transformation of our world. In 2006 and 2008, the IPC organized and led the first and second Children in Prayer Global Consultations with CiP practitioners from over 50 nations. In 2007 and 2009, the IPC brought together over 400 prayer leaders and intercessors along with ambassadors and other UN officials for the first two international prayer initiatives inside the United Nations.
Along with the Indonesian and Korean prayer movements as co-hosts, as well as many other prayer and mission networks, John organized the second World Prayer Assembly in May 2012 (the first was in 1984). Over 9000 prayer, church, marketplace, youth and child leaders from 86 nations took part. On May 17, over 100,000 prayed for world issues in the national stadium of Jakarta, and it was carried live to millions of other praying believers in similar gatherings in 378 cities of Indonesia and around the world through satellite TV.
John is the former director of prayer ministries for World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian organization. He has led many prayer initiatives for social and political transformation and the revival of Christ’s Church at the national, regional and international level throughout the world. He is married to Lori and they have three children, two grandchildren and two St.Bernard dogs.
Lori Robb, Director
Lori Robb serves on the staff of Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque as pipe organist and choir accompanist. She has a heart for worship and seeks to make the Lord’s praise glorious. She also leads the Transformation Prayer Group at this church. This group is committed to praying for Albuquerque, the state of New Mexico and the nation as well as international issues. They endeavor to stay alert to newsworthy events and trends and combine prayer with action whenever possible.
Lori is also a member of the Albuquerque Prayer Transformation Council. This council represents a variety of churches from various denominations and traditions. Their mission is to promote prayer connections among churches, ministries, the marketplace and individuals so as to establish a Kingdom culture in our city affecting government and justice, business and the economy, education, religion, family, art and literature, healthcare and media and entertainment.
Lori is married to John Robb. They have three grown children, two grandchildren and two St. Bernards. Lori enjoys walks in the Bosque, gardening, get-togethers with friends and caring for all of God’s creatures on land, sky and sea.
Leo Rodriguez, Director
Leo Rodriguez is a native to Santa Fe. He has served as the Director of Community Relations for Immaculate Heart Radio in New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. He currently is the advancement director at Santo Niño Regional Catholic School in Santa Fe responsible for fundraising, enrollment, and community relations. Leo graduated from the United States Military Academy and the University of Southern California and he pursued both military, commercial and non-profit careers.
Stephanie Block, Director
Stephanie Block is the editor of two publications, both the New Mexico-based Los Pequeños de Cristo’s monthly, The Pepper, and the publication of the national Catholic Media Coalition. As a writer, she specializes in social justice issues. Mrs. Block has raised seven children, some of whom have religious vocations and others who are generously filling their quivers with grand-darlings.
Pastor Doug Brown, Director
Doug Brown and his wife Lou were both born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, where most of his career was spent in the truck refrigeration field. While living in Houston, TX, they felt God calling them into vocational ministry. Thru some interesting circumstances, they were led to Florida Baptist Theological College in Graceville, FL, where Pastor Doug received his Bachelor of Theology degree in 1993. He pastored First Baptist Church in Quemado, NM, for eight and a half years. The Browns then planted Sangre de Cristo Family Church in Santa Fe and pastored there for two years.
Pastor Doug and Lou presently pastor Pojoaque Bible Church in the Pojoaque/Nambe communities north of Santa Fe, where they’ve been for over 6 years. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren, all believers and active in their respective churches. They feel they have been blessed.