Michael Ellerbe and Refined By Fire - How it all began - singing and preaching where ever they found an open door.
|The Ellerbe's performing at Living Witness Church in New Orleans, LA, Summer, 1996||The Southern Baptist Convention Block Party in Dallas, TX, Summer, 1997|
RBF 9/11 Mission Team with the Spirit of Louisiana fire truck donated to the NYC Fire Department. This team that included Michael, Elain, Ari, Chet Mathe and other Cooking for Christ volunteers provided eight concerts in four days and fed over 1000 fire fighters, police officers and homeless individuals at shelters. New York City, December, 2001
|RBF 9/11 Mission Team with the Spirit of Louisiana fire truck donated to the NYC Fire Department.||Heaven's Gates & Hell's Flames|
RBF's Break the Chain, Build A Bridge founder, Ari Mathe presenting her StoryPics program. Ari and BTC received national recognition from the Point of Light Foundation and U.S. Jaycees Top Ten Young Americans for work with incarcerated and at-risk children. Ari continues her work advocating for children in Georgia and serves on the RBF Advisory Council.
|National Point of Light, #2468-July 22, 2003||Top Ten Young Americans|
Little known fact about Refined By Fire Ministries-In 1995, RBF approached Warden Burl Cain with the idea to bring Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames to Angola. Warden Cain agreed and with the coordination efforts of RBF and the support of then pastor, Rev. Bob Anderson of Parkview Baptist Church, over 200 volunteers went into the facility to present this drama to the inmates at Angola. A first time and life changing event for all involved.
Since 2004, Michael has served as the Director of Pre-Release at Dixon Correctional Institute, having stepped down from pastoring in a church to serving in the trenches everyday at DCI. Elain, after four years of working alongside Michael at DCI in various re-entry focused positions, went on to serve as Director of Preventative Services of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana and implemented an Incarcerated Fatherhood Initiative in eight state adult facilities and two juvenile facilities. In September 2009, Elain assumed the full-time position as President and CEO of RBF and has been responsible for tripling its budget and generating over $2 million in grant funds for offender and family reunification reentry programs. Ari and her husband Chet, now live outside of Atlanta and continue their ministry efforts through their home church, OneHeart. Ari continues her advocacy work for at-risk youth through her work as a juvenile public defender in Georgia.
Just an FYI--if asked, they'll still preach the word and sing for their supper!!