Melody Miller
Melody MillerChair, Founder

A retired counselor, Melody was thrust into disturbing end of life issues by an emergency Guardianship and Conservatorship of her father in 2005. She realized many of her family’s difficulties could have been avoided with more extensive pre-planning on the part of her parents. Subsequently, it became Melody’s passion to help people organize their affairs so that their families could honor them. In 2011, Melody joined Lois Williams, Larry Ayers and Scott Stuart, and the four of them founded HERITAGE OF HOPE.

Scott Stuart
Scott StuartVice Chair, Founder

Similarly, Scott’s father’s Advance Directive instigated a major conflict between medical personnel and his sons. Scott’s story of teaming up with his brothers to rescue their dad gives us all reason to rethink our 4th quarter plans and legal documents carefully. Serving non-profits in the insurance industry, overseeing Financial Peace University, and helping to found HERITAGE OF HOPE all express Scott’s passion to help others finish life well.

Bev Alley
Bev AlleyEvent Coordinator, Secretary

A unique ability to foresee and prevent administrative difficulties makes Bev instrumental to the success of every HERITAGE OF HOPE event. Her ability to engage the skills and contributions of others has greatly expanded the scope of HOH and the resources now listed in our website links. Bev’s organizational wizardry has served numerous ministries and non-profits, both local and national, on a volunteer basis as well as an employee.

Dan Miller
Dan MillerTreasurer

An extensive background in business and international logistics has not diminished the value Dan places on individuals and their importance in God’s economy. In addition to serving HERITAGE OF HOPE, he loves to “bang trays” at the Portland Rescue Mission. An avid cyclist, Dan also rebuilds donated bikes for distribution through DHS/LOVE Inc out of Oregon City.

Dave Williams
Dave WilliamsPresenter

New to our board in 2018, Dave has supported HOH since its inception as a presenter in our Home Free session. Dave retired as Asst. Chief of Police in Portland only to found a non-profit ministering to First Responders and their families, Underlying these outreaches to community has been his ongoing ministry of leadership as an elder at Good Shepherd Community Church.

Lisa Clear
Lisa ClearVideo-editor

Although an industrial engineer, Lisa discovered a passion for videography and the way it captures story and impacts lives. Her business, Clear Memories, focuses on preserving the heritage of individuals artistically. Resonating with the mission of HERITAGE OF HOPE, Lisa creatively edited the stories and presentations of many to craft our video series from a three year collection of interviews, panel discussions, and presentations.

Lois Williams
Lois WilliamsFounder

An unfading love of children motivated Lois’ potent teaching career. Her compassion, however, extended to all generations. It was Lois’ enthusiastic vision that spearheaded the initial Heritage of Hope Conference in 2012. After we became a Non-Profit Organization, Lois served as HOH Secretary 2015-2017. Lois’ leadership skills have borne fruit in the coordination of numerous other ministries both as a volunteer and as church staff. Within Heritage of Hope, however, Lois Williams will be remembered for her emphasis upon story as the means by which we touch one another’s hearts.

Larry Ayers
Larry AyersFounder

Larry was an educator who lived what he taught whether that was a HERITAGE OF HOPE workshop or seminary classes. He served as a teacher, the seasoned principal of a Portland inner city school, a professor at Multnomah University, and acted as president of Western Seminary for a season. Larry’s administrative background and board experience was instrumental in the founding of HERITAGE OF HOPE. We will miss his encouraging words such as, “Aging is just one transition after another.”


In response to the difficult journeys of their own parents, Melody Miller, Scott Stuart, and Lois Williams met together with Larry Ayers and other church leaders with concerns about the older adults of Good Shepherd Community Church. Animated discussion, prayer, research, more prayer, diverse gifting, team work, still more prayer, as well as pastoral support all contributed to a successful launch of a growing ministry.  Heritage of Hope is now a non-profit organization incorporated in Oregon but drawing participants from multiple states.

HOH Team 1


In 2011, we conducted a series of pilot workshops advocating estate planning, planning your own memorial service, adopting a biblical attitude about aging, and family meetings. The favorable response made it apparent we had identified topics of vital interest to our seniors and their families.

In 2012 we added event coordinator Bev Alley to our team and hosted a church wide conference with three plenary speakers, seven workshops and a workbook. Again, attendees and presenters responded enthusiastically. We discovered a broader audience than our own church and identified still more community resources.

In 2013 a lively series of panel discussions showcased additional expertise from the Portland community. Since videographer Lisa Clear had joined our team, we videotaped these events. Family historian Bill Leslie and logistics expert Dan Miller enlarged our team’s skill set still further. The Heritage of Hope Workbook continued to sell between annual events. Recognizing that our audience included several generations, we honed our mission statement:

Heritage of Hope inspires and equips adults of all ages
To identify crucial decisions and complete the essential tasks
To Finish Life Well

In 2014, we adopted a logo with digital appeal for our brochures, workbooks, and a banner as well. In the spring, the six part Heritage of Hope series was presented to a live audience at Good Shepherd and filmed against the backdrop of our Heritage of Hope banner.

Heritage of Hope Logo_Black on White small

In August, the eight member Heritage of Hope team convened for a workday. We reviewed and adopted by-laws and articles of incorporation, elected officers, and cast our vision as a Christian non-profit organization. Kent Shorthill, a visiting consultant, quipped, “Most non-profits would kill to have a board like this!”

In 2015, we achieved our non-profit status as a 501(C)3 thanks to Larry Ayers and Dan Miller. In addition, Lisa Clear edited our video collection into a Video Series that coordinates with the newest edition of the Heritage of Hope Workbook compiled by Melody Miller.

In 2016, with the technical assistance of Dakota Miller, we launched our website We happily reached our goal—Heritage of Hope materials can be distributed anywhere, anytime – by means of our online store.

In the year 2017, began distributing both the Heritage of Hope Workbook and the Heritage of Hope Video Series on DVDs.

In 2018, a bi-weekly blog, The Finish Line, was launched. It’s initial purpose was to encourage HOH Alumni to implement the checklist on pages 22-23 of their Workbooks. The Finish Line has since broadened its scope to actually Finishing-Life-Well by sharing resources, biblical insights, book or movie reviews, and inspiring stories. Join our “community” by signing up at the bottom of this page.

In 2019, Heritage of Hope hosted its first Facilitator Workshop in Vancouver, WA at the US Digital Outreach Center. This event was scripted to equip attendees to host the HOH Video series in their own communities.

2020 marked our 8th year of existence and our 5th anniversary as a Nonprofit, so Heritage of Hope celebrated by opening an office of our own in the US Digital Outreach Center, in Vancouver, WA.


Currently, all Heritage of Hope materials are minimally priced to cover our production and operating expenses as a Christian non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible and very much appreciated as a means of keeping our materials affordable. For income tax purposes, the Heritage of Hope federal tax ID number is 47-3889216. You may donate HERE by mail or by credit card. Thank you for visiting our site and supporting us.


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