In 2007 we took a big risk and moved to New Zealand from the USA to help start new churches. Raising kids and starting churches internationally is a beautiful mess of a life and we love it. All three of our kiddos were born in New Zealand. They're little kiwis! We desire to love God, to love each other, and to live in such a way that teaches our children to do the same.
Born: November 5
Raised: Zanesville, OH
Kentucky Christian University
(1998-2002 Intercultural Studies, Bible)
Roles: Wife, mother, volunteer and graphic designer
Likes: Photography, efficiency, coffee, quality time, dark chocolate, research, the colour white, the colour gray, healthy living.
Born: August 22
Raised: St. Louis, MO & Cincinnati, OH
Kentucky Christian University
(1998-2002 Bible, Preaching, Music)
Vision College: Christchurch, NZ
(2014 NZ bi-culturalism)
Laidlaw College: Auckland, NZ
Roles: Husband, father, worship leader, coach, counsellor, church planter.
Likes: Basketball, exercise, coffee, breakfast.
What We're Doing
Our goal in New Zealand is to plant healthy new Christian churches for people who are far from God. That dream became a reality in 2010 when we started Rechurch in the city of Christchurch. After one successful
church plant, three kids, and four major earthquakes, we set our hearts on Auckland, NZ’s largest city. In 2019 Church Northwest was launched in the fastest growing area in one of the world’s most diverse cities.
Our financial partners enable us to focus full-time on ministering to and connecting with the people of New Zealand. They also enable our church to continue operating without the financial burden of paying a ministerial salary.
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Prayer is vital to what we do. It helps us stay focused on what God asks us to do. It helps us love people who don’t love us. It helps us become better people and better parents. Everyday.
Much like the USA, New Zealand is a multi-cultural, post-modern, post-Christian, first-world nation. The intensity of these elements in New Zealand society are perhaps much greater in this island nation due to it’s small size and close proximity of people groups. The city of Auckland is an extreme example of such concentration. There are more people groups in this city of 1.5 million than there are countries in the entire world. The city is now more diverse than London.
The post-modern way of thinking (i.e., “what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me;” the assumption that there is no absolute truth) makes it very tricky territory for church planters. Our goal is to plant churches that focus on creating laid-back and non-threateningenvironments where post-modern thinkers can explore a biblical faith in Jesus Christ. Quick conversions and fast church growth are rare in such a society. It takes a long-term commitment to relationship building to see disciple-making fruit in New Zealand, But when it comes, true disciples are born. Other barriers to faith include the busyness and materialism that comes with the culture of most first-world western nations, and Auckland is no exception. Pray for us as we work to plant culturally relevant and biblically faithful churches in New Zealand.
In 2017 North Terrace Church of Christ became our sponsoring church. Previously with a missions organisation called South Pacific Christian Fellowship (SPCF), we were given the option to become officially sponsored by a supporting church rather than incurring costly administrative fees when SPCF merged with another larger organisation. Graciously, Whitney's home church has answered the call.
North Terrace, a restoration movement Christian Church, is located in Zanesville, OH, USA. They receive donations for our ministry, transfer them to our charitable trust in New Zealand, provide us with financial oversight and accountability, and provide tax-deductible donation receipts to all who donate to us. While we still collaborate with SPCF in our church planting endeavours, we are now technically under the NTCOC umbrella regarding our funding.