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February-March 2021

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Free Will Baptist North American Ministries is dedicated to planting churches across America as well as Canada, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Chaplains minister to thousands of men and women in the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve forces. And cross cultural church planting specialists connect with people who have come to America from all over the world. Learn more about our ministry:

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Alvis Resigns as Associate Church Planter

Erie, PA—More than seven years ago, Darin and Joy Alvis and their three children moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, to help plant Flagship FWB Church. As Flagship moved toward self-supporting status, it became apparent the church would not be able to employ two full-time staff members once self-supporting. Over recent years, discussions about this dilemma have continued.



After much prayer, Darin and his family decided to resign. Please pray for the Alvis family as they seek God’s will and their next place of service. Their talents and help will be sorely missed by the Flagship Church family, but we trust God in His direction moving forward.

North American Ministries truly appreciates the work and sacrifice the Alvis family invested in Erie and the Flagship Church and anticipates how God will use them in the future.



Marcus Stephens Joins Church-Planting Team

Sevierville, TN—North American Ministries welcomes Marcus and Tonya Stephens and their family to the team. The Stephens come to NAM from Mount Olive FWB Church in Guin, Alabama, where Marcus served as youth pastor for ten years.



The Stephens have three boys: Andrew, Jacob, and Luke. Marcus will serve as associate church planter in Sevierville, Tennessee, alongside Chad and Paula Kivette, helping plant 24/7 FWB Church. This is a joint project with the Tennessee State Mission Board. For more information, visit



Hawaii Church Expands

Kaneohe, HI—While COVID-19 restrictions have challenged the church planting efforts in Hawaii, NAM is excited to share how God provided a unique opportunity to expand the ministry in Hawaii. Carl and Cynthia Spruill are working to plant a new church in Kaneohe, on the east side of the island of Oahu. Carl’s grandfather planted the first Free Will Baptist church in Waipahu, Hawaii, in the late 1950s, approximately 17 miles from the current work.


The Waipahu church has been without a pastor for several months. Through opportunities made possible by God through COVID, the two congregations have come together on Sunday mornings to gather for worship over the last few months. It has been through all of this that the Waipahu FWB Church has requested to follow Carl’s leadership as their pastor and become a part of Reflection Ministries.

This expansion gives Reflection Ministries a home base and will help grow both churches moving forward. While both the Waipahu and Kaneohe locations are not merging into one location permanently, they will begin a phase of cleanup and renovation at the Waipahu Church, and eventually will become one church with two locations.

We thank God for His providence and look forward to seeing many new disciples in the state of Hawaii.



Lee Resigns From the Bridge Church

Champaign, IL—Jamie and Heather Lee have served as joint project church planters with the Illinois State Mission Board and North American Ministries. Effective January 1, 2021, the Lees tendered their resignation.

In a final newsletter to supporters, Jamie wrote, “COVID brought many changes and challenges in 2020. It has been very hard to navigate through this hard time. These challenges have brought financial hardship and loss, but it also brought gain, not only for our family, but our church and supporters. All three put us in a position of making a major decision regarding whether it was in our family and our people’s best interest to continue with the Bridge Church. Through prayer and counsel, we felt it best to step away.” Lee continued, “We will forever be grateful for Free Will Baptists and our supporters. To our financial supporters, you placed us in your personal budget and sacrificed greatly.”

The Lees will join the family construction business and relocate to Florida. Tyler Penn, IM missionary serving international students at University of Illinois, has been appointed interim until a new church planter can be found. Adam Garrett’s role as associate church planter will remain unchanged. We appreciate your prayers during this transition for these families involved and the congregation at the Bridge Church.



NAM Holds Boot Camp

Antioch, TN—Five church planters, associate church planters, and pastors joined Dr. Brad Ransom, chief training officer, October 26-29, 2020, for 25-plus hours of intense training. Ransom and other NAM directors, including Sam McVay and David Crowe, taught sessions. Additional training came from several church planters via Zoom video conferencing.

Other Free Will Baptist directors participated by leading sessions, including John Brummitt (Board of Retirement) and Clint Morgan and Neil Gilliland (IM). The boot camp training is one part of the overall training program for new church planters.


©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists