What happened to the apostolic team?

from Plant & Build | The Sovereign Grace Blog by amahr

David and Marie, both members of Sovereign Grace churches, recently wrote to us asking essentially the same question: does Sovereign Grace Ministries’ apostolic team still exist? Below is an expanded version of our responses to them, posted here in case others in our churches have the same question.

The apostolic team, for those of you new to Sovereign Grace Ministries, was for many years what we called the team of pastors who help us facilitate church plantinginternational ministry, and church care. But over time, we discovered the name confused more people than it helped, so now we’re considering alternatives. We’ve also gained a better understanding of the term “apostolic,” which makes us even more careful in how we apply it. So for now, the team is more commonly just called the regional leadership team. (For more on the role of apostolic ministry in the church’s mission, see Dave Harvey’s blog post, “Apostolic Ministry and Church Planting.”)

The “regional leadership” moniker comes from the fact that Sovereign Grace churches are currently grouped into eight regions, and each pastor on the team is responsible for serving the churches of one region. It’s a broad role, but primarily involves the following:

  • Helping pastors develop and execute church planting plans
  • Providing care and counsel for pastors when requested
  • Facilitating cooperation among churches for regional events, mission trips, or other activities
  • Coordinating the ordination process for new pastors
  • Building relationships with other churches who are interested in joining Sovereign Grace Ministries
  • Assisting in the assessment, training, and deployment of church planters

Below is a roster of the men currently on the team and a description of the regions they serve. If you’re a member of a Sovereign Grace church, please join us in praying for the man who fulfills this role in your area. They play a vital part in helping Sovereign Grace churches advance the Great Commission both locally and globally.

  • Dave Harvey Dave Harvey, Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA)Dave is responsible for church care, church planting, and international expansion for Sovereign Grace Ministries, so it is his responsibility to lead and coordinate the efforts of our regional leaders. You can read more about him on his bio page.
  • Aron Osborne Aron Osborne, Metro Life Church (Orlando, FL)Aron serves churches in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the Caribbean. Danny Jones, who founded and led this region for several years, still serves as the senior pastor at Metro Life Church where Aron is based.
  • Craig Cabaniss Craig Cabaniss, Grace Church (Frisco, TX)Craig serves churches in Texas, Kansas, and Louisiana.
  • Gene Emerson Gene Emerson, KingsWay Community Church (Midlothian, VA)Gene serves churches in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • John Loftness John Loftness, Solid Rock Church (Riverdale, MD)John serves churches in Maryland and the Washington, DC, metropolitan area (including Northern Virginia). He is a recent addition to the team; Covenant Life Church pastor Kenneth Maresco used to lead this region, and still serves two churches in Africa because of his unique relationship with them.
  • Mark Prater Mark Prater, Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA)Mark serves churches in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of Canada.
  • Pete Greasley Pete Greasley, Christchurch (Newport, Wales)Pete’s region is enormous—with the help of others, he serves churches in Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa and Asia.
  • Rick Gamache Rick Gamache, Sovereign Grace Fellowship (Bloomington, MN)Rick serves churches in Illinois and Minnesota.
  • Steve Shank Steve Shank, Sovereign Grace Church (Gilbert, AZ)Steve serves churches in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, parts of Canada and Latin America, and because of existing relationships, the Philippines.