Acts 29 A diverse, global family of church-planting churches
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This is
Acts 29
This is Acts 29
What We Are

Acts 29 is a diverse, global family of church-planting churches characterized by:

  • Theological Clarity
  • Cultural Engagement
  • Missional Innovation
What We Believe

Acts 29 stands in the tradition of historic evangelical confessionalism. While we believe it is vital that the elders of each of our churches determine where they stand on doctrines of second importance, we do wish to make known our convictions on the following five theologically-driven core values:

  • Gospel centrality in all of life
  • The sovereignty of God in saving sinners
  • The work of the Holy Spirit for life and ministry
  • The equality of male and female and the principle of male servant leadership
  • The local church as God’s primary mission strategy
What We Want to be known for

Acts 29 will ensure that we are known for:

  • Planting churches that plant churches
  • Pursuing holiness and humility
  • Being a radically diverse and global community
  • Praying for conversions through evangelism
What Success Looks Like

Acts 29 will succeed to the extent that it:

  • Recruits church planters dedicated to leading church-planting churches
  • Assesses men based on core competencies to lead church-planting churches
  • Develops men who are planting or leading church-planting churches through coaching, training, and support
Board
Matt Chandler
Matt Chandler
President and Board Chair
Ryan Kwon
Ryan Kwon
Vice Chair

Gareth Paul
Gareth Paul
Board Secretary

Dwayne Bond
Dwayne Bond
Board


Vic Keller
Vic Keller
Board
Sérgio Quieroz
Sérgio Quieroz
Board


Leadership & Staff

Click an arrow or thumbnail to see bio information
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Brian Howard Executive Director Brian Howard has over 20 years of proven leadership experience as a leadership coach, non-profit executive, church planter, lead pastor, and business owner. Brian holds a Master’s degree from Talbot School of Theology, has been married for 26 years to the love of his life, and has four children.
Philip Moore Associate Director & Network Director | Europe Philip Moore is married to Rachel and they have 5 children. In 2006 Phillip moved to France to pastor a church in the Paris area. Since then, by God’s grace, the church has planted 3 daughter churches and trained and sent a couple to plant a church in the centre of Paris. He is now the Acts 29 Network Director for Europe.
Doug Logan Associate Director Doug Logan is an Associate Director for Acts 29 & has been in urban ministry for nearly 25 years. In 2011, he planted Epiphany Fellowship of Camden with his wife, Angel. They have 3 sons & 3 grandchildren. He serves as the President of Grimké Seminary, founded On the Block Collective, & is the author of ‘On The Block.'
Tony Merida Co-Director of Theological Training Tony Merida is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. Tony has an extensive itinerant ministry, and has written several books including The Christ-Centered Expositor, Ordinary, and Orphanology. He is happily married to Kimberly, and they have five adopted children.
Bryan Laughlin Co-Director of Theological Training Bryan Laughlin is the lead pastor of Remnant Church in Richmond, VA, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is an experienced pastor and planter with a heart for the Gospel and church planting. He has served many years in the local church, training and equipping leaders for Gospel ministry.
Francisco Bendfeldt Network Director | Latin America Francisco began his ministry as a teenager and during the last 20 years has preached in several countries around the world. He is the lead pastor of Casa de Libertad in Guatemala City and has a passion to reach others with the Gospel through church planting. He lives in Guatemala with his wife Carol and his 4 children.
Dwight Bernier Network Director | Canada Dwight and his wife, Jessica, live in Montréal with their four children. In 2011 they began Church 21, a multi-location church in the province of Québec. Dwight has a great desire to see churches planted all throughout Canada. He enjoys baseball, running, reading, U2, and playing in the city with his family.
One Mokgatle Network Director | Southern Africa One, his wife Confidence and their daughters Amara & Keeya, live in Pretoria, South Africa. He leads Rooted Fellowship; a Gospel Centered, Disciple Making and Transcultural church, planted from a partnership with LIG.punt & Bryanston Bible Church. One’s desire is to see more churches planted in Pretoria and beyond.
Adam Ramsey Network Director | Australia, New Zealand & Japan Adam is the Lead Pastor of Liberti Church, a gospel-centred family of churches on the Gold Coast. He is deeply passionate about preaching the gospel and struggles to keep his voice at an 'appropriate' decibel when doing so. He loves being married to Kristina, wrestling his five kids, and equipping church planters.
Scott Zeller Network Director | Emerging Regions Scott is a pastor for Redeemer Church of Dubai, husband to Angela, and father of four. Born and raised in America as a global soul, he’s lived in India and then the Middle East – and traveled to many places beyond those. The goal is always the same: seeing churches planted and multiplied in the least reached areas.
Shaun Garman US West Regional Executive Director & Assessment Team West Shaun was an entrepreneur before planting churches in Portland, Oregon and in Ventura, CA. Shaun & Daisy, his wife of thirty years, have 7 children & 4 grandchildren. A California native, Shaun is passionate about Jesus, family, the LA Dodgers, surfing, fish tacos and film.
Noel Heikkinen US Midwest Regional Executive Director Noel pastors at Riverview Church, a rapidly-growing, multi-site church in the Lansing, Michigan area where he lives with his wife Grace and their four children (Emma, Jesse, Ethan, and Cole). He also serves as Chairman of the Board for Reliant Mission and (more importantly) the local baseball league.
Brian Lowe US Southeast Regional Executive Director Brian Lowe has a degree in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He planted Exodus Church—now grown to 2 congregations—after 16 years with student ministry. Brian’s heart is to be involved in Jesus’ mission through developing church planters. Brian is blessed with a wonderful wife, Cheryl, and four children.
Gary Cousins Director of Global Operations, Europe Lead Team, & NW Europe Regional Lead Gary is married to Claudia and based in her home country of Germany. They have 2 teenage boys. He pastored for 6 years in N. Ireland followed by 8 years in leadership development with an international missions agency. He enjoys trail running and is a volunteer firefighter.
MJ Jackson Director of Operations MJ married his best friend, Martha, in 2005 and they have four amazing children. He is a Florida boy through and through, though they currently reside in North Carolina. MJ is passionate about Jesus, and outside of family time, enjoys building relationships, learning, and being outside.
J. Tyler Deaton Director of Assessment Tyler has served in full-time ministry for more than six years and is married to his wife, Lesley. They have been married for eight years and have three children, Addison, Eli, Henry, and Rory.
Ann Hastings Director of Partnership Development Ann has a B.S. in Communications from Abilene Christian University. She previously worked at The Village Church, ServingHIM and has ten years sales experience in the hospitality industry. Ann married Tyler in 2006, they have two children. She is a member of The Village Church and is the Director of Women's Bible Class.
Chandra Howard Director of HR and Customer Service Chandra has been a part of the Acts 29 family for many years. She is married to Brian and they have four amazing kids. Chandra planted a church with her husband in 2002, has served as the marketing director for Context Coaching, and currently serves as the Director of HR for Acts 29.
Rebekah Paz Director of Events Rebekah has 10+ years of administrative experience and helped her husband, Edward, plant theMOVEMENT Church in Oakland, CA. Originally from Texas, she graduated from San Francisco State University and has lived in the Bay Area for 14 years. She enjoys all things Texas, crafting, new restaurants and exploring Oakland.
Rachel Wolverton Director of Marketing & Communications Rachel worked in various marketing roles for Wycliffe Bible Translators for 9 years before joining Acts 29. Originally from Florida, she’s an alumna of LeTourneau University & Eastern Michigan University. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Nick, & their 3 sons. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, & cooking.
Matthew Spandler-Davison Director of Church in Hard Places Matthew is originally from Stonehaven, Scotland. He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and was awarded a doctorate by The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Matthew is married to Tracy and has two daughters. He is a church planter and the pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church, in Bardstown, KY.
Ronell King Liaison for Global Networks Ronell, her husband Darret and three children live in Linden, Johannesburg. She studied Interior Design & Décor and had her own business before going full time into ministry in 2009. Ronell is eager to see church planting teams flourish for sake of furthering the gospel and glorifying his name.
Alejandro Urrea Global Assessment Coordinator Alejandro is the assessment coordinator for Latin America. He is also part of the staff and church planting team at Casa de Libertad in Guatemala City. He lives in Guatemala City.
Natalie Robinson headshot Natalie Robinson Assistant to Doug Logan, Associate Director Natalie graduated from The Master’s University in 2013 with a degree in Communications, Print Media. In college, she met her husband & together they have three young sons. After 4 years of serving & living in Camden, NJ, they moved to South Florida to serve at Riverside Church, where her husband is a pastor.
Christy Britton Content Editor Christy is a member of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC and is the Discipleship Classes Coordinator. She works with Tony Merida and The Gospel Coalition on developing the blog and podcast. She is married to Stephen and they’re raising four boys together.
Finch Director of Finance
John Kim Events Assistant and Finance Coordinator John’s experience is in hospitality and event management. He is a Northern Nevada native and has also gained ministry experience working as a staff deacon for Living Stones Churches. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Cornell University.
Andrea Cohen Partnerships Strategist Andrea graduated from Penn State and married Matt one week later. They then planted Citylight Church in Philadelphia where they continue to lead and serve. Andrea is passionate about connecting people and organizations to Christian ministries. She also enjoys indoor projects and outdoor adventures with her children.
Aharon Logan Marketing and Communications Specialist Aharon was born to an inner-city church planter and has been raised in the ministry his entire life. For three years he worked as an executive assistant for a Presbyterian church in New Jersey and now serves Acts 29, centrally, for Marketing & Communications needs. He married Erin in 2019 and resides in Richmond, VA.
Amy Tyson Content Creator Amy Tyson is Adam’s wife and mom to Joel and Ethan. They live in Bakersfield, California, where they are part of Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield. Amy previously worked as an English teacher and is grateful for almost ten years of work in research, writing, and editing for various Christian organizations.
Mez McConnell Global Urban Poor Strategist, Church in Hard Places Mez McConnell is the senior pastor of Niddrie Community Church. He spent four years working with street children in Brazil and planted the Good News Church. He is the director of 20Schemes, a church planting and revitalization initiative in Scotland. Mez is married to Miriam and has two daughters, Keziah and Lydia.
Dawn Gribbin Office Admin & Events Manager, Church in Hard Places Dawn was raised in Northern Virginia. She is a member at Redeemer Fellowship Church in Bardstown, KY. Dawn is married to Chris and they have three children. She joined Acts 29 in August of 2019 as the personal assistant to the VP of Collaboratives and Administrator for Church in Hard Places.
David Pinckney US Rural Strategist, Church in Hard Places & Northern New England Area Lead David Pinckney is a second generation rural pastor, living in Chichester, NH with his wife Sharon. They have 5 children (Stephen, Joel, Jed, Isaac & Abby) and planted River of Grace in Concord, NH in 2002. He also serves with Small Town Summits and The Gospel Coalition of New England.
Tim Sizemore Apprentice Manager for Church in Hard Places
Rob Berreth Equip Director After being involved in two church plants as a worship leader, Rob planted Redeemer Church in Bellingham, WA in 2007. He holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Rob and his wife, Kati, have four children: two redheads, a daughter from China and a son from Ethiopia.
Kirsten Black Headshot Kirsten Black Director of Wives Support Kirsten and her husband, Vince, planted The Town Church in Fort Collins, CO in 2009. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary. When not shuttling her 5 boys to and from soccer, Kirsten enjoys reading, learning to play the banjo, dating Vince, and cooking enough food to keep her boys fed.
Natalie Robinson headshotKirsten Black Headshot

Preamble

Acts 29 is a family of church-planting churches that stands in the tradition of historic evangelical confessionalism. While we believe it is vital that the Elders of each of our local churches determine where they stand on doctrines of second importance, we do wish to make known our convictions on the following five distinctive theological foundations.

Additionally, we hold to the The Lausanne Covenant Statement of Faith.

We are passionate about gospel centrality.

We believe the gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, namely our forgiveness from sin and complete justification before God; this gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, and the consummation of his purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth.

This gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.

This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.

The salvation offered in this gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.

(Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:2; 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 1: 7-10; Colossians 1: 19-20; 2 Timothy 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3: 11-13 Jude 3-4; Revelation 21:1-22:21)

We enthusiastically embrace the sovereignty of God’s grace in saving sinners.

We affirm that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will.

We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.

We also believe that these, the elect of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith.

We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes his ordained ends.

(John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 13:48; 16:30-31; Romans 3:1-4:25; 8:1-17,31-39; 9:1-23; 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7,9)

We recognize and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry.

The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; he also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth).

The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures.

The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of his indwelling and empowering presence is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon his power for the performance of miracles, the preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of his earthly ministry.

The Holy Spirit who indwelt and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts he has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. Although there are different understandings in our network of the nature and function of these gifts, we all recognize that they are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.

(Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1, 14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15, 34; 14:12; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 2:14-21; 4:29-30; 10:38; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18)

We are deeply committed to the spiritual & moral equality of male & female and to men as responsible servant-leaders in both home and church.

Download our position paper: Complementarianism & Preaching

Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilise their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterised by Jesus Christ. This principle of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control. Rather, it is to be the loving, tender and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ.

The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men.

(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

We embrace a missionary understanding of the local church and its role as the primary means by which God chooses to establish his kingdom on earth.

The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church.

We are called to make Christ known through the gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life.

The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the planting of churches that plant churches and the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of those churches God enables us to plant around the world.

We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.

(Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25; 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)

Church-Planting Churches

We will be a family of church-planting churches.

That is why Acts 29 exists. Our focus is not simply on our own congregations, but on the work of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, making his name famous to the ends of the earth. In the DNA of all Acts 29 churches should be a deep and driving desire to see churches planted across the world, all of which are  defined by theological clarity, cultural engagement and missional innovation.

We are a family of churches that are theologically aligned and philosophically diverse, and we pray that the Spirit would keep us all deeply submitted to the word of God and walking in a glad submission to the Spirit. Acts 29 is not a theological club where churches and church planters gather around theological alignment without the desire or resolve to plant other like-minded churches. At our core, we are a church-planting family. May the Spirit draw those who share this passion so we see myriads of people who are far from him, reconciled to him through Christ.

Holiness and Humility

We will be known for holiness and humility.

Our desire is that our family will be comprised of  godly, sacrificial and mature men and women:

  • Men and women who would gladly lay down any and all of their liberties if it would serve the cause of Christ in greater ways
  • Men and women who don’t seek conflict but also aren’t afraid of it
  • Men and women who treasure Christ and his gospel above all

We desire to be faithful servants who love Jesus deeply and are quietly training, coaching and planting churches that will train, coach and plant more churches. We will continue to have our flaws and blind spots, but our deep and abiding hope is that regardless of what is said of us – even by our enemies – it will have to be said that we are men and women who deeply and desperately are invested in the Kingdom of God and are walking in holiness and humility.

 

A Diverse and Global Community

We will be a radically diverse and global community.

It is a joy and privilege to be involved with and learn from brothers and sisters from different cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds. We also want to press into and learn from those who differ from us in practice, philosophy and culture; especially those from different parts of the world. Our desire is to find the Spirit of God working among us so much so that we see more of his glory in and through a bold ethnic harmony that reveals God’s infinite worth and the power of the gospel in a visual and captivating way.

Ethnic harmony and global diversity are integral to what it means to be explicitly Christian. The Scriptures teach that there are two races—the race of the first Adam and the race of the Last Adam. It is only ‘in Christ’ that we are able to realize this identity. Our different cultures carry individual history, traditions and legacies, but the gospel transcends them and captures them for Christ, making us a new people, the family of God. We continue to value what is good and right in our cultures while gladly submitting to our new family as adopted sons and daughters – co-heirs with Christ Jesus.

Praying For Conversions Through Evangelism

We will pray for conversions through evangelism.

“I need to tell you about Jesus, when do you want to do that?” Words as simple as those can affect eternal change, bringing the spiritually dead to life in Christ. Witnessing the salvific work of the Holy Spirit creates in us an insatiable desire to see more and more of the same. This is why we are serious about evangelism and praying for conversions.

This can not simply be realized by preaching sermons that are evangelistic, but rather it is a holistic approach to evangelism. We desire churches filled with those who model personal evangelism by sharing the gospel as boldly in their neighborhoods as they do in their congregations. We desire churches filled with those who long and yearn for salvations and experience godly frustration when they are not happening. We desire churches filled with those who believe in the sufficiency of the Scriptures and in the power of the Spirit to break the hearts of the most hardened of people in their cities. We desire churches filled men and women who see their relationships with neighbors, co-workers and friends as opportunities to love supremely by praying for and sharing the best news in the universe with them. We desire churches filled with men and women who love the saving work of God so much that it would lead them to the ends of the earth, proclaiming and living out the gospel until all that will know, know.

May the Spirit protect and guide us, and may he draw many to Jesus, not only in our churches but also in and in all those churches where Christ is preached, loved and served.

 

Acts 29 Office:

23052 Alicia PKWY, Suite H #621, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Tel: (+1) 949-771-4664