About Church in Hard Places

Acts 29 is a diverse, global family of churches. In order to see our churches reflect their communities and our networks reflect their regions, we provide assessment support, accessible training, and contextualized coaching for urban poor, rural, and other under-resourced church planters globally through Church in Hard Places.


Acts 29 is committed to planting churches as a global, diverse family. In many cases, this means planting churches where life and ministry is hard, including among the urban poor and the many rural, isolated communities of the world.

Spring in the Desert by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Urban Poor

In the world’s poorest communities life is hard. Life expectancy is low, crime is high, drug and alcohol addiction is extensive, and mental health issues, abuse, and neglect are widespread. Many churches in poor communities lack access to affordable and relatable training, and church planters often feel ill equipped and under resourced. But there is also something special about these places. There is often a rich sense of community and loyalty, and many people are happy to call these areas home. Acts 29 is working to see churches planted here, in the world’s poorest communities.

Rural Collective

Church planting in small towns and remote villages presents distinct challenges and opportunities. Acts 29’s Rural Collective works to develop resources and training opportunities to equip those engaged in ministry within these unique environments.

Spring in the Desert by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash



Church planters in poor or rural communities lack access to affordable and contextually relevant training. Additionally, these communities often lack solid gospel-preaching churches. Through Acts 29 Apprenticeships, indigenous, urban, and rural church planters are trained and supported to plant healthy churches. Apprenticeships also serve as a pathway to assessment with Acts 29.

Support & Training

Church planters among the urban poor or within rural communities face unique challenges. Through Church in Hard Places, we provide training and Acts 29 assessment support for those who need it. We also offer formal education through Grimké Seminary (USA) and the Ragged School of Theology (Europe), where participants receive masters-level theological training.

Events being worked on

Matthew Spandler-Davison
Matthew Spandler-Davison
Mez McConnell
Mez McConnell
Global Urban Poor Strategist

Dave Pinckney
Dave Pinckney
Rural Strategist

Steve Ross
Steve Ross
USA Urban Poor Strategist

Tim Sizemore
Tim Sizemore
Apprenticeship Manager
Dawn Gribbin
Dawn Gribbin
Events Manager

Mark Glenn
Mark Glenn
Assessment Support


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Tyler St. Clair Network Lead | Church in Hard Places Tyler St. Clair is the lead pastor of Cornerstone Church Detroit in Detroit, Michigan. He is married to his best friend, Elita, and they have five amazing kids.
Thom Desmond Coaching | Rural Collective Thom is the lead pastor at Springbrook Church in Antigo, WI, which he planted in 2011. He is married to Crystal and the father of two boys. Thom is also a recovering city-slicker who is loving rural life and ministry in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Patrick Bowler Support | Rural Collective Patrick was born in the small town of Lebanon, Oregon and has spent most of his life in the beautiful Willamette Valley. He has pastored for more than 20 years, and in 2006, he planted Valley Life Church where he still serves as lead pastor. He is married to his lovely wife Sarah, and together they have five children.
John Hindley Training | Rural Collective & Internship & Residencies John was saved by Christ over twenty years ago. He is married to Flick and they have three girls. After being involved in planting a church in Manchester, John and Flick moved to North Norfolk, a rural part of England, in 2009. Broadgrace church was planted by Christ in 2010 and John serves as pastor.
Mitch Muñoz Assessment (Oral) | Rural Collective Mitch Muñoz serves as lead pastor at Casa de Libertad Los Chilitos in rural Guatemala. He and his wife Amanda have lived in Guatemala for 5 years as full time missionaries and church planters. Mitch is a Texas boy at heart and loves UT football, good books, and long runs.
Temidayo Adeyemi Temidayo Adeyemi Assessment Coordinator | West Africa Temidayo was an attorney in Lagos until the desire to see a gospel-centered renewal in Lagos led him to become the training & assessment coordinator at City Church Lagos. He is married to Funmilayo & passionate about working to recruit, equip, train & support church planters who will plant healthy gospel-centered churches.
Robert Manda Regional Director, East Africa Robert is a lead pastor of New Life Church, in Lilongwe, Malawi Africa. He is married to Sheila and the Lord blessed them with two children. He is deeply passionate about preaching the gospel and training rural pastors and is the founder of Pastoral Training Institute of Africa.
Sam Swadling Regional Director / New South Wales Sam is the Lead Pastor of Gospel Church in Newcastle, NSW. In 2014 Sam planted Gospel Church to glorify Jesus through proclaiming His Word and serving the local community. Sam is married to Bethany, has three teenage children, and is a passionate Rugby League supporter.
Temidayo Adeyemi
Acts 29 Office:

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

Tel: (+1) 949-771-4664