Team Agape

Ryanne McLaren Molinari

Prose Editor (Fiction & Nonfiction)

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Ryanne McLaren Molinari graduated summa cum laude from Biola University in 2019 with a B.M. in piano performance and a minor in organ. In 2018, Ryanne was named Biola Conservatory’s “Presser Undergraduate Music Scholar,” one of the highest honors awarded by American music programs. At Biola, Ryanne also studied literature in the Torrey Honors College and was appointed to “The Order of Peter and Paul” in recognition of her academic achievements. In December of 2020, Ryanne received her Master of Letters with distinction in “Theology and the Arts” from the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland. While at St. Andrew’s, Ryanne served as organ scholar at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and was employed as a collaborative pianist by the Laidlaw Music Centre. Passionate about interdisciplinary studies, Ryanne’s master’s thesis considered the relationship between music and theology by exploring how private musical practice may serve as spiritual formation.

Ryanne was recently married to Billy Molinari, who shares her love of theology, distance running, and British mysteries. The two now live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and represent the classic “pastor and pianist” duo as they seek to promote biblical teaching and beautiful worship. Ryanne currently works as a collaborative pianist and continues to publish both academic and creative writing through various online journals, including her personal site, She loves working with fellow Christian creatives and plans to further her studies in music, literature, and theology.

Matthew Nies

Prose Editor (Fiction & Nonfiction)

Matthew Nies is the author of the poetry book Sunset Dreams (Wipf & Stock, 2019). His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in a number of literary journals and anthologies. 

Nies grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota, experiences and lessons from which he draws on still. He attended the University of Jamestown where he studied writing under North Dakota Poet Laureate and award-winning author Larry Woiwode. Nies currently lives with his wife and three children in the Washington, D.C. area.

Patrice M. Wilson

Poetry Editor

Born Catholic in Newark NJ, raised in Catholic schools in NJ and NC, Patrice M. Wilson has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She had received her MA in English there, with a poetry thesis called “Between the Silence,”and her BA in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. She had worked as a teacher in High School in the Community in New Haven, CT while attending Yale University for a time, and later at Adult Basic Education in the City of New Haven.

She was editor of the very fine Hawaii Pacific Review for 16 years while teaching at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu. She has three chapbooks of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and one full-length poetry collection with Christian publisher eLectio Publishing. Her poems have been published in several literary journals, and have received recognition and honors from the Academy of American Poets UH Competition and other contests. She has read her poems at universities, bookstores, and other venues in Maryland, Washington DC, and Honolulu, including the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Potomac Riverside USA Bicentennial Celebration, and as a lead-in for poet Lucille Clifton at UMD-Eastern Shore. Dr. Wilson recently spent five years studying to be a contemplative nun in the cloistered Carmelite monastery in Kaneohe, HI. She is now a retired professor living in Mililani, Oahu, HI.

Mary Harwell Sayler

Poetry Editor

Mary Harwell Sayler began reading the Bible & writing poems in childhood & never stopped! Eventually, she placed over 2,500 poems, prayers, articles, devotionals, & children’s stories in magazines, journals, and anthologies & church curriculum for various denominational and non-denominational publishers. After placing dozens of books in all genres with Christian, educational, & indie publishers, Mary decided to self-publish paperbacks & e-books for poets, writers, & general readers. Her books include the Poetry Dictionary for Children and For Fun and the Poet’s Guide to Poetry. With the advent of the Internet, Mary began blogging about poetry on the Poetry Editor & Poetry blog and about writing & biblical topics In a Christian Writer’s Life.

She founded the FB group Christian Poets and Writers. Besides that and her Author’s Page, Mary also maintains the Facebook page for her church in NE Florida and leads a unique Bible group each week that features insightful discussions. A lover of the Body of Christ in all its parts and a lifelong student of the Bible, Mary reviews new editions on the Bible Reviewer blog. She then collected Bible prayers and published the Book of Bible Prayers followed by Kneeling on the Promises of God. She also collected and selected poems from her previously published works for the book, A Gathering of Poems.

Justine Johnston Hemmestad

Prose Editor & Interview Editor

Justine Johnston Hemmestad is so happy to be part of the Agape Team. She has a published novella called Truth be Told and a published novel called Visions of a Dream, and she is included in seventeen anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Into the Glen, Into the Light

She also has stories published in several magazines, including The Nonbinary Review and Kaleidoscope. In total, she has been writing for twenty-five years. She earned her Master’s Degree in English Literature from Northern Arizona University in 2020, despite a car accident thirty years earlier in which she sustained a severe brain injury. She also has seven children and two grandchildren.

Katharine Armbrester

Book Reviewer

Katharine Armbrester is currently in the MFA Creative Writing program at the Mississippi University for Women.

She is a devotee of Flannery O’Connor and Margaret Atwood and intends to be an equally disconcerting playwright. She thinks Alabama needs one.