Announcing two new coordinators joining the ACGC team in 2019!
As we begin 2019, we are excited about the progress we have made on the 2017-2020 strategic plan. Over the next few weeks, we will be updating you on our efforts in each of the critical areas of the plan.
The construction of pipelines for leadership development continues to move forward under the leadership of Coordinator Matt Larkin. Over the last 12 months, Matt has moved to Maine and opened our first field office, partnering with Oxford Advent Christian Church and developing leaders within the church. On September 1, Pastor Jack Mumford joined the team and opened our second field office in Tustin, California. He and Matt have been working with others to develop the curriculum for our first year of leadership training for pastors, missions and church planters. It has been exciting to see the team begin to bring the dream into a realty. While working on this program, Matt continues to work with the Berkshire Trustee Board and specifically with President Glenn Rice and Board Chair Rev. Michael R. Alix. They aim to develop a partnership with Berkshire for future leadership development.
Another exciting possibility exists with Kingswood University in New Brunswick. Kingswood, a fully accredited educational institution affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, offers high-caliber programs of study uniquely focused on preparing men and women for Christian ministry. Matt has been working to develop a formal partnership with Kingswood to help with training and educating our students in a variety of pathways.
Now to begin 2019, we are excited to announce our third field office, opening in Knightdale, N.C. in the Southern Region. For this field office, we are partnering with Northside Community Church, and founding pastor Dr. Adrian Dixon serves as the field office director. Adrian brings a deep relationship with Eastern North Carolina Conference and Southern Region along with a true passion for leadership development for the work of Christ. The ultimate goal is to have at least one field office in each of our regions to develop leadership closer to home for our emerging leaders and partners throughout the Advent Christian Church.
Another exciting addition to our staff at ACGC is Coordinator of Home Missions Darren Bantz. Darren has over 30 years of ministry experience coupled with more than 20 years of business leadership. A graduate of Berkshire Christian College, he worked for 27 years at Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland, Maine where he served in multiple roles before becoming the lead pastor of the Oxford (ME) Advent Christian Church. During the first 20 years of ministry he worked bi-vocationally, including being a district manager, regional trouble-shooter, store developer, CEO of an internet company and a business owner. He serves on multiple boards and is the current chair of the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center. He and his wife Kim have four daughters and collectively they have served on more than 50 mission trips in the US and four other countries. His love for the local church and missions, both domestic and foreign, permeate his daily ministry, growing community through serving and sharing the truth and life found only in Jesus Christ.
Darren has been involved in our work with Converge’s Executive Director in Church Planting Lee Stephenson from the very beginning in May 2018. He brings to our work a powerful excitement about growing the kingdom of God through missions both at home and around the world. Darren is the pastor of Oxford AC Church. Matt and Beth Larkin have moved there and are working alongside him in the ministry. This is a great advantage as Matt develops pipelines for church planters to be trained and join with us in our ministry efforts. Darren will work right alongside him in mentoring and developing these individuals in leadership. Darren has a real heart for helping our denomination reach nonbelievers through our ministry of planting new churches in underserved communities throughout North America.