About Us

Phil Downer serves as President of Discipleship Network of America (DNA). DNA is a nationwide network of people committed to following Christ’s life of winning and discipling others to become disciple makers. The spiritual reproductive ministry of DNA flows out of the lives of people focused on Christ in their work, marriage, family, neighborhood, and church.

Phil is a popular national speaker at men’s events such as Iron Sharpens Iron and Promise Keepers and speaks to all branches of the U. S. military at voluntary chapels on leadership, core values, and the truths he has learned that have transformed his life. Phil also speaks at couples events with his wife, Susy, and at family conferences. He has been featured twice on Focus On the Family and, along with Mike Wilkins, is the subject of Day of Discovery’s 2010 documentary, “The War Within: Finding Hope For Post-Traumatic Stress." He is the author of Eternal Impact: Investing in the Lives of Others, A Father’s Reward – Raising Your Children to Walk in the Truth, Optimize Your Marriage, Just An Ordinary Man: Principles of Godly Leadership, Brave, Strong, and Tender, and a coauthor of From Hell To Eternity: Life After Trauma. He and Susy are coauthors with David and Teresa Ferguson of Unlimited Partnership: Building Intimacy & Teamwork Into Your Marriage. Phil is also the editor and coauthor of Effective Men’s Ministry, published by Zondervan. 

A former machine gunner who served in Viet Nam with the United States Marine Corps in 1967 and 1968, Phil received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1972 and a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in 1975. Phil was a successful lawyer before being led to Christ and discipled by fellow professionals. He left his position as senior partner of a 50-attorney law firm, with offices in Atlanta, Washington, Dallas, and San Diego, to serve as President of CBMC for a decade. Phil is on the Steering Committee of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries, a former elder of his church, and a member of CBMC.


Susy Downer, a former attorney, served as legal counsel for Delta Air Lines for ten years, and was Assistant Corporate Secretary.  She resigned her position with Delta in 1985 in order to devote herself full time to Phil and their children. Susy homeschooled their six children through high school. Three of them are now married.

Susy is a coauthor of Unlimited Partnership: Building Intimacy and Teamwork Into Your Marriage, Optimize Your Marriage: Making an Eternal Impact on Family and Friends, and From Hell To Eternity: Life After Trauma. Susy speaks with Phil at marriage and family conferences and has appeared with Phil and various other family members on nationwide radio programs. Susy also appears in the 2010 Day of Discovery documentary, “The War Within: Finding Hope For Post-Traumatic Stress.” 

Paul Downer serves as the Director of Church Ministry for DNA. Paul is the Director of the Church Ministry of DNA.

Paul attended Bryan College as a Presidential Scholar where the faculty selected him from among his classmates three years in a row to receive the P.A. Boyd Award for Influence & Character. After receiving academic awards from both Bible and Business departments, Paul graduated magna cum laude from Bryan College in 2005 with a B.A. in Bible and a B.S. in Business Administration, and he holds a MA in Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Anna Downer serves as the full time Field Staff Director of the DNA Young Women’s Ministry with Discipleship Network of America and is a coauthor of From Hell To Eternity: Life After Trauma. A Presidential Scholar, Anna received the P. A.  Boyd Award for Influence & Character and graduated magna cum laude from Bryan College in 2009 where she studied Spanish, Pre-Nursing and Bible. At Bryan College, Anna served as Vice President of her freshman class, a traveling presenter on the Worldview Team, and has been an adjunct speaker at conferences and conventions with Phil and Paul through DNA Ministries for eight years.

Where do the Downer's speak?
All over! Since the inception of DNA in 2001, the Downers have spoken at 316 events in over 45 states and 6 countries, including Peru, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Japan. At these events, 80,223 people have committed to begin investing in a discipleship relationship with one person. On a typical weekend, the Downers are bringing training and encouragement to a church conference or regional convention someplace around the U.S. in a church like yours. The Downers have spoken in a wide range of settings, including at churches of the following denominations and affiliations: Evangelical Free, Baptist (SBC) Conservative Baptist, American Baptist, Presbyterian (USP), Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), Anglican (AMIA), Evangelical Presbyterian (EP), Calvary Chapel, Assemblies of God, Episcopalian, Grace Brethren, Foursquare Church, United Methodist, Pentecostal Holiness, Salvation Army (Canada), and more.

Board of Directors

David Deeter, CPA
               Chairman of the Board & Treasurer
               Managing Partner, Frazier & Deeter

               Atlanta, Georgia

Paul Q. Downer

               Director of Church Ministry, DNA

               Chattanooga, TN


Dale Burklund

               Owner, Walker Tire Inc.
               Omaha, Nebraska


Phil Downer
               President, Discipleship Network of America
               Signal Mountain, Tennessee


Advisory Board Chairman

Bill Armstrong

               Former U.S. Senator & Businessman
               & Homemaker
               Denver, Colorado


Advisory Board

Lewis Card Jr.
               Partner, Card-Monroe Corp.
               Chattanooga, Tennessee


Jon and Charlotte Faulkner
               Vice President, Planning & Development,
               The Dixie Group & Homemaker
               Chattanooga, Tennessee


Mike and Beth Felix
               President & CEO, AT&T Alascom
               & Homemaker
               Anchorage, Alaska


Bill and Judy Hardin
               President, Metro Home Products, Inc.
               & Homemaker
               Atlanta, Georgia


Ken Korkow
               CBMC Metro Director
               Omaha, Nebraska


Gene Latta
               Former Pres., Gene Latta Ford-Buick, Inc.
               Hanover, Pennsylvania

Jim and Mary Gail Lyon
               Physician & Homemaker
               Atlanta, Georgia


Hugh O. Maclellan, Jr.
               President, The Maclellan Foundation
               Chattanooga, Tennessee


Jim and Linda Underwood
               President, Smooth Move, Inc., & Homemaker
               Lake Arrowhead, California


Eddie and Betsy Watkins
               President, Edward Watkins & Assoc.
               & Homemaker,
               Raleigh, North Carolina


John Zeiser
               President & CEO, Southern Champion Tray Co.
               Chattanooga, Tennessee



Ministry Partner

Lee Truax
               President, CBMC


Ministry Endorsers

Pat Morley
               Chairman, Man in the Mirror Ministries
               Orlando, Florida


Ron Blue
               Kingdom Advisors
               Atlanta, Georgia


Vic Coppola
               President, P.I.,
               Delray Beach, Florida


Bob and Paula Gilbert
               Electrical Engineer
               & Homemaker,
               Minneapolis, Minnesota


Bill McAvinney
               Owner, McAvinney & Associates
               Fredericksburg, Virginia


Duane McPheeters
               Owner, Delivery Today
               Santa Rosa, California


Scott Melby
               Grand Rapids, Michigan