This year, Acts 29 US West members will together fund 15 church plants throughout our network! Your faithful giving enables us to make this significant impact in the lives of these churches and church planters. Please take a few minutes to “meet” each of the planters below. Our hope is that this will be a resource to you as you pray for these churches and planters.
All of Life Church
Post Falls, ID | Jared Lyda
Jared was gripped by the Good News of Jesus in 2004. As it took root in his own heart, a desire for others to experience the goodness of Jesus started growing. Soon after he began pastoring local college students and it was during that season he was introduced to Acts 29 and “big God theology,” the sort that holds people above water during the storms of life. In 2014 he joined a 2-year residency with Soma Communities and sensed the call to plant All of Life Church in Post Falls, Idaho.
Idaho is a conservative state and Post Falls is a suburban-rural bedroom community full of young families. The church has attracted many who were unaffiliated with a local church and who are young in their faith. Fierce independence and a strong “God and country” mentality are challenges to discipleship in Idaho.
Jared and his wife Meredith have been married nine years, with four kids under seven years old. They enjoy the outdoors, finding good ice cream, and having people around their table.
Please pray the Lord would raise up leaders and elders in this young church who are eager to help others believe, depend on, and plant the gospel wherever they go.
Bay City Church
San Francisco, CA | Eddie Williams
Eddie Williams got saved when he was 18, and just 6 months later, felt the Lord calling him to be a part of building His Church. That decades-long pursuit is now becoming a reality in the planting of Bay City Church in San Francisco, CA. Though Eddie grew up in the Bay Area, he left for college at the University of Idaho and was then drafted into the NFL where he played for 3 teams in 5 years. He landed in Salt Lake City after his NFL career, where he slowly felt the Lord calling him back to San Francisco to plant a church.
Bay City Church desires to be a multiethnic, multicultural church in the southeast neighborhoods of San Francisco, which were predominately black for many years but due to gentrification are becoming more diverse. The area is now a mix of marginalized ethnic people groups (largely Black and Latino) living side-by-side with predominately White and Asian upper middle class tech workers, which pretty accurately reflects the makeup of who Bay City is reaching. One of the most exciting things Bay City has decided to do is partnering with local non-profits and individuals to reach the community instead of joining the long list of those trying to come in and “save” the community on their own with new programs and events.
Eddie met his wife Sarah in college, and they have three children. He enjoys all sports, working out, competing in athletic events like Spartan races, reading, cooking, dating his wife, and having the occasional cigar.
Please pray that Bay City will continue to reach locals, who are often very skeptical of religion. Pray for opportunities for Bay City members to serve these individuals in their homes and places of work.
Epiphany Fellowship Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA | Tommy Forester
Tommy Forester’s entrance into church planting came through years spent doing campus ministry in the LA area. As he saw young people show interest in Jesus, he realized the need for local churches to comprehensively disciple individuals that were a part of this under-resourced and unreached culture. Epiphany Church is being planted in the Crenshaw area of South LA, a convergence of some of the richest African American communities in the nation next to those in the middle class as well as lower socioeconomic positions, a large homeless population, prominent gang culture, and more. It is an ethnically diverse area that is still known as “the hood” to many. This comes with challenges as the core team is figuring out how to bring gospel engagement to a culture that is largely unchurched or dechurched.
Tommy and his wife Fatimah have been married for seven years and have three children. He enjoys golfing, watching movies, and going to the park with his kids.
Over the last year, Epiphany Fellowship’s launch and core team has grown and solidified with great leadership potential in some of the key areas of planting in the west side of South LA. Pray for the launch team as they grow as a body in the rhythms of discipleship, outreach, and everyday gospel engagement. Pray also that their serve teams would be equipped with new point people to prepare for the next steps of the plant.
Gospel Community Church
Eugene, OR | Rick Reeves
After experiencing an awakening in his own heart to the Gospel, Rick Reeves was burdened to leave his current home in Reno, Nevada, and plant a church near his hometown of Roseburg, Oregon. Gospel Community Church was a church plant born out of Living Stones Church in Reno, and meets near downtown Eugene, but also reaches across Interstate 5, pulling in people from nearby Springfield as well. Though this seems natural given their proximity, the two cities are home to vastly different cultures. The Gospel is bridging this gap though, as GCC’s attendees are nearly half from Springfield and half from Eugene.
Rick and his wife Ali have been married seven years and have two children. They enjoy working out, and love being outdoors doing things like hunting, hiking, camping, or hanging out in their backyard.
You can join them in praying for a gospel revival in their church and city, as well as for their family as they continue to adjust to the climate and culture of Oregon all while trying to build friendships and plant a church.
Harbor Church West Oahu
Kapolei, HI | Justin White
When God’s plan for the Church in the New Testament and Jesus’ love for his Church became clear to Justin White, he thought the most exciting thing he could give his life to would be the planting of healthy churches, leading him to plant Harbor Church West Oahu. West Oahu is a suburban area, previously a sugar plantation community. The area is also home to many military members, accounting for a large number of their church attendees. They currently meet at an area elementary school, and have seen long time residents in the community begin to notice and check out their church.
Justin lived in Ohio for middle and high school, and earned his B.A. from Clearwater Christian College in Florida before moving to Hawaii where he met and married his wife Heejung. He loves sports (both to play and watch), surfing, exercising, good movies, and traveling.
Harbor Church West Oahu has a growing relationship with the K.E.L.I.I. Foundation, an organization supporting families of kids with special needs. They also have a good relationship with the elementary school where they meet. Both of these organizations serve many local families. Harbor Church West Oahu is praying for deepened relationships in both cases because they believe these could be avenues to grow in their diversity to better reflect the community they serve. Please join them in praying for this. Pray also for the Lord to raise up local men as future leaders in the church, many of whom are often content to sit back and let others lead.
Living Stones Church South Reno
South Reno, NV | Ryan Griffin
The conviction and calling to enter into ministry began in Ryan Griffin’s junior year at California State University. Upon graduation, Ryan landed in Reno, NV where he worked with technology start-ups and in the gaming industry until God’s call to ministry came back strongly, and Ryan entered into pastoral ministry at Living Stones Church Reno. Now his desire is to plant a church in South Reno, the area he calls home, so that the area’s roughly 52K (and growing!) residents may know Christ’s love for them. South Reno is a tech-savvy, highly educated area, with high average income and high consumer spending. As could be expected, this often results in residents worshipping success, image, comfort, money, etc., instead of God.
Ryan, a Bellevue, WA native, received his B.S. in Business Communications from California State University, Sacramento, where he also played football. He has been married to Deana for 15 years, and they have 4 boys. He enjoys family, fly fishing, camping, hiking, football, and reading.
Praise God that he is building His church in South Reno before it has even launched! They have a core team of nearly 100 people, and they’ve already seen God saving residents in the area. God has also already provided a meeting location, elders, and more. Please join them in praying for a successful Core Team Launch on May 6, 2018.
Albuquerque, NM | Adam Viramontes
Planting a church was not something Adam Viramontes ever imagined would be in his future. In fact, until a group of godly elders encouraged him to pursue that calling, he didn’t even know church planting was a thing! After a season of gaining church planting experience in both California and Texas, the Viramontes family headed back to their hometown roots to plant Mosaic Church in the growing urban sprawl of Albuquerque, NM.
The mission of Mosaic Church is ‘to bring the beauty of the gospel to the broken places in our lives.’ God has drawn an incredibly diverse group of people together at Mosaic—those hurt in the past by the local church, many exploring the faith after many years of unbelief and others hearing and experiencing the gospel of grace for the first time. Celebrating two years of gathered worship in January 2018, the Lord has been kind to bring the vision and heart of Mosaic Church to fruition in some incredible ways!
Adam and Heather, his wife of 13 years, have two sons and one daughter. He enjoys reading Jack Reacher novels on sandy beaches, consuming highly hoppy IPA’s, Crossfit, and leaf blowing his backyard.
Pray for Mosaic Church as they move toward identifying, equipping and installing elders and deacons this year.
Fairbanks, AK | Caleb Richardson
Caleb Richardson was called to church planting in 2005 when God gave him a vision for “10 churches in 10 years.” He currently serves as the lead pastor at Radiant Church Fairbanks, a church that has been a part of planting 8 other churches, and in January 2018 is being sent out to plant Radiant Church Mat-Su. This area, just slightly north of Anchorage, is one of Alaska’s fastest growing and most influential regions. It is a mixture of suburban and rural, full of millennials and young families.
Caleb is a native Alaskan, leaving briefly to attain a B.A. from Moody Bible Institute. He and his wife Tracy have been married for 22 years and have two sons. Caleb enjoys all things outdoors including hunting, fishing, and cross country skiing.
Please pray for a healthy transition of leadership as Caleb steps down from pastoring Radiant Fairbanks, as well as the transition for their family as they sell their home and relocate. Pray also for their fundraising for the planting of Radiant Church Mat-Su and that the Lord would provide a solid core team to join them in planting.
Los Angeles, CA | Kris Brossett
Growing up in Los Angeles, Kris Brossett joined a street gang at a young age. In 2003, after being shot, Kris met Jesus while incarcerated. When he paroled, he met his wife Jennifer and they have three children. Kris has a passion to see Jesus glorified and churches planted in Los Angeles fueled by authentic discipleship. He also has a passion to train and empower leaders from poor and marginalized communities.
Refuge LA is in the heart of North Hollywood, a community where many cultures come together. In this community, many people come from all over the world to pursue a career in entertainment while poverty, drugs, and gangs strike others. Refuge is concerned with seeing an authentic move of God in North Hollywood. For this reason, a lot of time is given to prayer, discipleship, and leadership development.
Please join them in praying for the launch of a discipleship home for addicts, the multiplication of their small groups, and for many salvations. Also, pray for the current group of men going through a leadership residency at Refuge.
Servant Church of San Diego
San Diego, CA | Chris Sandoval
Chris Sandoval sensed God’s calling to ministry as early as 9th grade, but he fought and feared it for years until God broke his stubborn heart halfway through college. Since then, he has felt especially called to preach the gospel and plant churches among the overlooked and underserved peoples of the inner city.
In 2016, Chris, his wife Carrie Anne, and a committed core team launched Servant Church in San Diego’s inner city community of Greater Logan Heights, which is home to 40,000 Hispanics, African Americans, and Caucasians. To further reach its neighbors with God’s grace and gospel, Servant Church also started a Christian counseling and community development organization that currently offers monthly parenting seminars and a weekly after school reading program for kids.
Please pray that God will bless these and other gospel-centered and community-focused initiatives, and that He would continue to provide the human and financial resources needed.
The Commons LA
Los Angeles, CA | Devin Deuell
After meeting Jesus in college and seeing Him save people in powerful ways, Devin Deuell wanted to do nothing else but see more and more people captured by the grace of the gospel, leading him to church planting, specifically within urban university regions.
The Commons LA is located in the Westwood region of Los Angeles, home to UCLA. The area is a mix of urban, professional, and suburban. As a church, The Commons resonates strongly with intellectuals who have experienced the letdown or immense anxiety of life built on success, especially with the Millennial generation.
As a native of the Seattle/Tacoma area, Devin received a B.A. in Religion (minor in Philosophy) from the University of Washington. He completed a certificate program in “Missional Leadership” through The Resurgence Training Center while on staff at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and a two year pastoral residency at Reality LA, a large church in Hollywood. He’s been married to Kate for 7 years and they live in Westwood along with their two young boys. As a family, they love to play in the LA sun, build Legos, read stories, be silly, and watch Seattle sports teams fail on the biggest stages. Devin also enjoys basketball and flipping items for a profit on Craigslist.
Please pray for The Commons as they plant their second generation of Missional Communities; there is a need for grace to maintain a gospel culture and to see new people catch it. Also pray against the enemy and division. Going through 1 Corinthians has reminded them of the priority of unity within the church that Satan would love to disrupt.
Lafayette, CO | Brad Edwards
Brad Edwards’ interest in church planting is simple: he believes it is the most effective way to reach people with the Gospel. Lafayette is located in Boulder County, a place with urban values, suburban rhythms, and rural aspirations for community. It is politically progressive, spiritually new-age, culturally polarized, and deeply skeptical of churches and Christians. There are 110,000 people within a 10 minute drive of where The Table meets on Sundays, but only 7 Gospel-centered churches. Meeting in the area’s only performance arts non-profit and having an “ask anything” text-in Q&A after every sermon has gone a long way toward earning credibility with skeptics, and resulted with a good number of non-Christians coming every Sunday or connecting to Community Groups.
Brad and his wife Hannah have a 1-year old son (Ransom), and enjoy skiing, being in the mountains, board games, and their insane dog (Scout). They seek to live out as much as possible the motto that “a crowded house is a happy home.”
Pray that The Table would not grow complacent in the wake of a first year of surprising growth, but continue to missionally serve their community. They’re increasingly feeling the pinch of ministry needs outpacing resources (financial and leadership), and greatly appreciate prayers for God to provide in those areas too.
Oakland, CA | Edward Paz
Edward Paz always knew he had an entrepreneurial spirit, but when he began to look for a way to combine that with his love for Christ and passion for the Gospel, church planting naturally rose to the top. This led him to plant theMovement in East Oakland, CA, a rough, low-income, urban area. It is in this area that theMovement finds they are most commonly reaching “DINKs” (couples that have double income and no kids) and un-churched or de-churched young professionals. They are excited to have seen more than 75 people in their church plugged into one-on-one discipleship relationships, and look forward to seeing the fulfillment of their EIGHTXVISION of becoming a family of 8 churches planted within 8 schools in the city of Oakland in the next 8 years.
Edward is a native of the Bay Area, growing up in South San Francisco the oldest of four siblings. He and his wife Rebekah have been married for 13 years. He enjoys basketball, reading, playing Scrabble, and bowling. He also has quite an impressive collection of Air Jordan’s.
Please join theMovement in praying for God’s continued favor with the faculty and staff of their current meeting location (Elmhurst Community Prep) and for favor within the Oakland Unified School District as a whole.
Valley Life Church Surprise
Surprise, AZ | Jason Vance
After pastoring a church for ten years, Jason Vance felt the Lord calling and placing within him a desire to plant a church that was met with the opportunity to do so. In the last 17 years, Surprise has grown from 25,000 to 120,000, flooded with families looking for cheaper housing than nearby Phoenix could offer. As a result of Sun City, a retirement community also nearby, the church is multi-generational, but still primarily made up of new believers that are getting baptized, and now giving, serving, and bringing friends to meet Jesus. In 2017 by God’s grace, Valley Life Surprise was able to purchase a permanent facility that is being used for making disciples and planting churches!
Jason and his wife Karey have been married 17 years and have five children.
Please pray that this new building will allow Valley Life Surprise to see more fruit from casting a wider net. Pray also that they would identify men that can be trained as elders. Lastly, pray that they would disciple their congregation well in generosity, and be able to be self-funded by the beginning of 2019.
Aiea, Hawaii | Dane Tokushige
Dane Tokushige’s love for his hometown of Aiea, Hawaii runs deep, as does his love for the Lord, leading him to want to plant a church in the area. Though Honolulu is nearby, Aiea’s 50,000 residents are tight-knit, making a local the perfect person to plant a church. The socially diverse community consists of homeless people and those living below the poverty line, as well as those living in million-dollar homes. One elementary school in the community has 80% of their students receiving free lunch as their families qualify for food stamps. Additionally Aiea is ethnically-diverse as the community is represented by individuals of Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Hawaiian, Samoan, Portuguese, Caucasian, and Micronesian descent. God has allowed Victory Aiea to reach every sort of person in this vastly diverse community.
Dane and his wife Liz have been married nine years and have two children. He enjoys surfing and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with his son.
Pray for Victory Aiea to see more people get involved in ministry as they work to develop leaders and individuals who participate in the works of the ministry.
Thanks for taking the time to read about these church planters with Acts 29 West and praying for our part the expansion of the Kingdom!