Meet the Staff
In Honor of Dr. David Livingston
The ABR Staff would like to dedicate this website to our founder and current Board member, Dr. David Livingston. David's lifetime of work and tireless defense of the inerrancy of God’s Word is an inspiration to all of us at ABR.
Dr. David Livingston is the founder of the Associates for Biblical Research. He has been involved in Christian ministry for over 50 years. David served in the US Navy in the Pacific during WWII. In the early 1950’s, he served as a pastor in the UPUSA church, then went to Korea as a missionary for 12 years, serving as a church planter and founding president of a Christian college for 5 years.
David founded ABR in 1969, primarily in response to the scholarly assertions that the Biblical city of Ai showed no evidence that Joshua conquered and burned it. Through careful investigation, he ascertained that scholars had wrongly identified the location of Ai, and he worked vigorously to correct the error and identify the Lost City of Ai in Israel. Part of this work included correcting another scholarly blunder: the misidentification of Bethel. Properly identifying Bethel was the key to finding Ai. David determined that Ai was at Khirbet Nisya, directing 15 seasons of excavations there.
David’s educational background is extensive. He graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in General Science, Pittsburgh Xenia Seminary with an M. Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an M.A. in OT Studies, took graduate studies at Dropsie University and received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from Andrews University in 1988. His doctoral dissertation topic consisted of six years of his excavation reports from Khirbet Nisya.
David served with Campus Crusade for Christ from 1972-1975. He has also participated in excavations at Jericho, Jerusalem, Jezreel, Bourgata, and Gezer. He has conducted more than 25 tours in Israel, Jordan and Egypt. David served six years as editor of Bible and Spade, and 20 years as the editor of the ABR Newsletter.
David currently serves as a member of ABR’s Board of Directors and writes articles defending the historical reliability and inerrancy of Scripture. He and his wife Esther reside in Lititz, PA.
Read articles by Dr. David Livingston.
Stephen Caesar is a staff member of the Associates for Biblical Research. He graduated from Harvard with an M.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology. Stephen is an adjunct professor of Spanish at Fisher College in Boston. He also served as an adjunct professor of literature at Newbury College, MA.
Investigating Origins is a regular feature of the ABR Newsletter, which Steve authors on a regular basis. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in archaeology and anthropology from Harvard University.
Read articles by Stephen Caesar.
Gary Byers graduated with a BS and MCE from Liberty University, and an MA from Baltimore Hebrew University. His MA thesis subject was: Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine. He was the founding and senior Pastor at Fredericktowne Baptist Church, Walkersville, MD from 1974-1991.
Garyâ€™s excavation and field experience include: Senior Archaeologist at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan (2006-present); Administrative Director at Khirbet al-Maqatir, Israel (1995-present); excavation staff at Khirbet Nisya, Israel (1993-1994) and Tel Miqne (Ekron), Israel (1984). He also serves on the archaeological survey team for the ArcImaging Archaeological Expedition to Mount Ararat, Turkey (2005-present).
A member of the Board of Directors of the Near East Archaeological Society, Gary is the Program Chairman for the groupâ€™s Annual Meetings. He is presently Spiritual Life Director at the Helping Up Mission in Baltimore, Maryland, where 400 men reside in a 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program for drug and alcohol addiction. Today, he serves at ABR as a Staff Archaeologist and President on the ABR Board of Directors.
Read articles by Gary Byers.
Gene Fackler graduated from San Francisco State University, with a degree in education and commercial art. Later, Gene graduated from Faith Theological Seminary. Gene was pastor for 6 1/2 years at the View Crest Presbyterian Church near Pittsburgh, PA. His second church was the Faith Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA. where he pastored for 3 years and then moved to Third Reformed Presbyterian Church, where he was pastor for 20 years. Presently, Gene serves as a counselor at the Bucks County, PA maximum security prison, a position he has held since 2000.
Gene was part time announcer at the Christian Radio Station WDAC during his time in Lancaster, PA. In 1985, he began producing ABR's radio program "THE STONES CRY OUT", and has served as an ABR Staff Member in this capacity for the past 23 years. Gene and his wife Sally reside in Warrington, PA.
Gordon Franz combines a scholarâ€™s love for Godâ€™s Word and his archaeological and geographical knowledge of the Lands of the Bible. As a former instructor at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, he has conducted numerous field trips throughout Israel and Jordan. More recently he has explored other Lands of the Bible such as Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. His archaeological experiences includes working on excavations at Jezreel, Lachish, Ramat Rachel, and several excavations in Jerusalem, including Ketef Hinnom where the oldest Biblical texts were discovered on two silver amulets. Gordon has regularly worked with Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor at the Hazor excavations since 2005.
Gordon is a graduate of Florida Bible College (Bible) and Christian Heritage College (history). He pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem (History of Ancient Israel) and finished his graduate work at Columbia Biblical Seminary (Old Testament). He is a Bible instructor at New York School of the Bible in New York City, lectures at Evangelical (Chinese) Mission and Seminary International in New Jersey, and is an adjunct professor for the Talbot School of Theologyâ€™s â€œBible Landsâ€ program.
Gordon conducts seminars with PowerPoint that has the theme of â€œThe Life and Landâ€ of various Biblical characters. The emphasis is on the historical, geographical and archaeological context of the life and times of individuals and how their lives can apply to us today. Gordon has served as a staff archaeologist with ABR for over 10 years.
Read articles by Gordon Franz.
Rick Lanser earned a B.S. degree in medical technology in 1976 from Penn State University, while finding time to spend two years as a student manager of the Penn State football team under coach Joe Paterno. After subsequently working for two years in the microbiology department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he left to attend Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Six years and three children later, he earned an M.Div. degree in Biblical studies, graduating with honors in 1986.
Having lost his hearing from spinal meningitis at age seven, after graduation from seminary Rick did not feel led to take on the communication-intensive challenges of a pastoral position. While waiting for a more clear leading from God, he used his seminary training primarily as a Sunday school teacher and board member of the Allentown, PA-based American Ministries to the Deaf. During this time he worked for 14 years as a CAD draftsman and desktop publisher for Graco Children's Products, a well-known manufacturer of baby furnishings that also employed David Saint, brother of famous missionary martyr Nate Saint, as lead designer. After earning a Webmaster Certificate from Penn State, in 2000 he left Graco to become webmaster for Schreiner Capital Management in Exton, PA, a position which continues on a part-time basis today.
Always intensely interested in the Old Testament, in 1995 Rick felt the time had come for a change. Through Dr. Robert Goette, an ABR staff member at that time who once attended his church, he learned about the ABR ministry and joined the staff to assist with desktop publishing needs. This quickly moved into serving as Website Coordinator, updating the website and answering all e-mails. As the ministry has grown, he has moved more into work with publications and research matters, and presently serves as Executive Editor of Bible and Spade magazine. His major area of research deals with the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis, particularly the ongoing search for Noah's Ark. Rick and his wife Jeanne make their home in Elverson, PA.
Read articles by Rick Lanser.
Scott Lanser has served professionally in administrative and pastoral leadership for over 20 years. Scott was a Senior Director for the YMCA and the Business Administrator of The Salvation Army where he directed youth and family programs and provided administrative oversight. He also served as Executive Director of House of His Creation, a pro-life ministry helping pregnant teens and their children. While ministering in these roles he also served as Youth Pastor of Westgate Baptist Church and is currently Senior Pastor of New Hope Bible Fellowship. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and Christian Education at Lancaster Bible College and holds an M.A. in New Testament Studies from Biblical Theological Seminary. Scott currently serves as the Executive Director of ABR.
Read articles by Scott Lanser.
Brian's initial excavation experience came in 1997 when he traveled to Israel to join ABR in the excavations of Khirbet el Maqatir. He excavated at Khirbet el Maqatir through the 2000 excavation season. His academic interest was sparked by an intensive course offered by Lancaster Bible College and taught by Dr. Bryant Wood on New Testament Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls. That led him to seek an archaeology program to take up graduate studies. He took a two-year leave from his employer to pursue an M.A. in Old Testament Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at Wheaton College, which involved a semester of study at Jerusalem University College in the old city and participation in excavations at Tel Rehov under the direction of Ami Mazar.
Brian was given the opportunity to continue his studies further, this time at the University of Toronto for a Ph.D. After four years of coursework and three years of excavations at Tell Tayinat in eastern Turkey I am in the initial stages of a dissertation project on Mycenaean IIIC pottery from the early Iron Age excavated at Tell Tayinat. Brian has also done excavations at Hazor in Israel and Pisidian Antioch in central Turkey. Brian serves as a staff member of ABR and still works as an airline pilot with American Airlines.
Read articles by Brian Janeway.
Henry B. Smith
Henry B. Smith Jr. is the Director of Development for the ABR, serving in that capacity since October 2004. Born and raised in northwestern New Jersey, he graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University in 1992. With a 13 year sales and management background, he earned an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis on Apologetics from Trinity Seminary in Indiana, graduating with high honors in 2005.
Since 2006, Henry has been enrolled in the M.A.R. program at Westminster Theological Seminary, emphasizing apologetics and Biblical languages. Henry has spoken to many churches, Sunday schools and Bible studies about the importance of archaeology as an apologetic tool in defending the authority and inerrancy of the Bible.
Henry has written several articles for ABR, including: Love God with All Your Mind, Why Do We Need ABR?, Biblical Archaeology: Eternal Implications, It Feels Like 1960! and Biblical Illiteracy. He also published an extensive exegetical paper on Romans 8 in the Journal of Creation entitled: Cosmic and Universal Death from Adam's Fall, defending a six 24-hour day understanding of Genesis 1-3 from an exegetical, grammatical and theological perspective.
Henry served as a volunteer at the Hazor excavations in 2007, and was the host of the ABR Biblical Egypt Study Tour in 2008. Henry and his wife, Birzavit, currently reside in PA and have been married since 2002. Read articles by Henry B. Smith.
Scott Stripling has been married to his wife Janet for thirty years, and they have four children - Stacy (27), Tracy (24), Scotty (21), and David (19). Scott is the Chair of the Humanities Department at Wharton County Junior College and has served as a guest lecturer at numerous institutions, including The University of Holy Land Studies at Hebrew University and The Bible Seminary. Scott has earned two Master’s degrees (English & Biblical Literature) as well as a D. Min. with an emphasis in Ancient Near Eastern archaeology. He is presently ABD on his PhD from Trinity Southwest University. He pastored for two decades and has written and spoken publicly on a variety of ministry, archaeology, education, and public policy issues.
Scott is currently a field supervisor at the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation in Israel and served as an ABR associate from January 2011 to March 2013. He also worked for five seasons as a field supervisor at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan and two seasons as a supervisor at the Temple Mount Salvage Operation in Jerusalem. Articles recently published include "Re-examination of the Location of the Ancient City of Livias" and "Maqatir Monastery Money." Scott’s book, The Trowel and the Truth, has been used as an archaeology textbook by several Universities. Scott has been on the ABR staff since March 2013.
Bryant Wood attended Syracuse University on an athletic scholarship, graduating with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. While at S.U., Wood participated in cross-country and track, setting school records in the 880-yard and mile events and serving as captain of both the cross-country and track teams in his senior year. He was also named Siekaly Scholar for outstanding athletic and academic achievement, was inducted into Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honorary society, and was president of the Engineering Student Council.
Wood then worked for the General Electric Company in Schenectady NY. His employment with G.E. was interrupted by a two-year term of service as a lieutenant in the Army Security Agency. During this time he was a member of the U.S. inter-service cross-country team, participating in international competition in Europe, and the All-Army track team. While with G.E., Wood held various positions at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory related to the design, fabrication and testing of nuclear reactors, and earned a M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY.
In 1973 he left G.E. to pursue Biblical and archaeological studies. He earned a M.A. degree in Biblical History from the University of Michigan in 1974, and a Ph.D. degree in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from the University of Toronto in 1985. In 1989-90, Dr. Wood was visiting professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. In addition, he has served as adjunct professor at Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield PA; Evangelical School of Theology, Myerstown PA; Faith Theological Seminary, Los Angeles; Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA; Messiah College, Grantham PA; and Toronto Baptist Seminary, Toronto.
Dr. Wood’s extensive archaeological field work includes serving as co-director of a survey of three reservoir areas in northern Jordan, 1978; area supervisor for the Wadi Tumilat Project excavation at Tell el-Maskhuta, Egypt, 1979, 1981, and 1983; volunteer at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev excavation at Haruvit in the northern Sinai, 1981; member of the Wadi Tumilat Project survey of the Wadi Tumilat, Egypt, 1983; field archaeologist for the Associates for Biblical Research excavation at Khirbet Nisya, Israel, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994; and Director of the Kh. el-Maqatir excavation, Israel, 1995 to present.
Wood is a specialist in Canaanite pottery of the Late Bronze Age. He is author of The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine: The Ceramic Industry and the Diffusion of Ceramic Style in the Bronze and Iron Ages (1990), as well as numerous articles on archaeological subjects published in various academic journals. Dr. Wood received international media attention for his research on ancient Jericho that demonstrated the historicity of the Biblical account of the capture of the city by the Israelites.
Dr. Wood has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Endowment for Biblical Research and the National Science Foundation to carry on his archaeological research. He is on the Board of Directors of the Near East Archaeological Society and is a Fellow of the Institute for Biblical Research. He is Director of Research with ABR, and founder and Consulting Editor of Bible and Spade magazine. Dr. Wood and his wife Faith reside in Manheim, PA. Read articles by Bryant Wood.