Category Archives: SRC Blogs

Ron on the Road: Shaun Garman of Seed Church

Shaun Garman and Ron Tobias | Seed Church

Shaun Garman and Ron Tobias

Seed Church

This week we headed south to Ventura, California to meet with Shaun Garman. Shaun is starting a new church in Ventura County which is just north of Los Angeles. SRC partnered with Shaun to plant a church in Portland about six years ago, that church, Red Sea has now sent Shaun south to plant once again.

Shaun’s new church will be called Seed Church and they will begin Sunday gatherings this coming weekend in a local pub. They have already begun building a core community which includes 12 people who have moved into the Ventura area from Portland.

Shaun and his wife Daisy have seven children ranging in age from 5 to 21. This past summer they went on an 8 week road trip across the United States. Realizing how exhausting a road trip like that is I can’t imagine doing it with all those children, but Shaun said it was a great time for his family and a little break before settling down to another challenging role as a church planter.

After meeting with Shaun we headed across the desert to meet with some pastors in Las Vegas, and then we are heading home to Florida. Looking forward to being in our own bed soon.

How to pray

Please keep Shaun and his family in your prayers. Ventura is an upscale community which has very few churches and lots of challenges. They also have a large hispanic population and Shaun has a real desire to see these two distinct communities come together as a worship community.

Ron on the Road: San Francisco Church Planters

We have spent a long weekend in San Francisco visiting with pastors, and also taking some time to visit with our son Calvin and our daughter-in-law Alexandra.

Fred Harrell and Mike Hayes | Pastors| Christ Church San Francisco

Fred Harrell and Mike Hayes

Grace Church of Marin

On Saturday morning, I had breakfast with Rod Miles the senior pastor at Grace Church of Marin. This church is six years old and is located in the upscale community on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge known as Marin County. An amazing 30% of the people that live here are self-employed and the average income is almost $100,000.00/yr. This makes the cost of living and raising a family here very expensive. The Miles are parents of three teenage boys and are very involved in the community.

Grace Church of Marin averages around 130 in attendance at their Sunday worship services. Rod shared some stories of some men in the community that have recently trusted Christ, and have gotten involved in the Church. Rod is very appreciative of the financial investment that Spanish River made to Grace Church, and also of the coaching he received from David Nicholas in the early days of his church. He hopes that Grace Church will be able in the near future to have the same kind of impact for other bay area church plants.

City Church of San Francisco

On Sunday morning we drove into downtown San Francisco to worship with City Church of San Francisco. City Church is led by church planter and Senior Pastor, Fred Harrell, and Mike Hayes who serves as the Executive Pastor. City Church began in February 1997 and has grown to a congregation of around 1600 attendees. They partner with ministries throughout the city and the region ranging from homeless shelters, to AIDS hospices, and women’s crisis centers.

Christ Church East Bay

City Church is also active in new church development globally, nationally, and locally. Spanish River has partnered City Church to plant several churches in the Bay area. One of those churches is Christ Church which hold services in Berkeley and Rockridge. On Sunday evening we attended the service in Rockridge. The senior pastor Bart Garrett was away on vacation, so the service was led by Jonathan St. Clair. Bart and Jonathan came to the East Bay Area in 2005 to start this ministry with the help of SRC. The church is growing and is actively engaged in serving their communities.

Ron on the Road: Oregon Church Planters

We visited with two partner churches in Oregon in the Portland area. The first was Imago Dei Community in downtown Portland, followed by Evergreen Presbyterian in Beverton, Oregon.

Eric and Tara Brown | Imago Dei Community Church

Eric and Tara Brown of Imago Dei Community

Keith, Nathan and Eric | Evergreen Presbyterian Church

Keith, Nathan and Eric of Evergreen Presbyterian

Imago Dei Community Church

Miriam and I had dinner with Eric and Tara Brown. Eric is the director for Church planting for Imago Dei Community, a church Spanish River helped start in 2000-2001. Eric also served in this capacity for Spanish River almost 10 years ago. We had a great time reminiscing about past mission trips and other memories from when Eric and Tara lived in Boca Raton.

Imago Dei just celebrated their 11th year and average around 1900 per weekend at their 4 services. Their lead pastor and church planter Rick McKinley has done a great job leading this ministry.

Imago Dei is very involved in their city where they have several ministries that serve Portland. They also have been engaged in starting churches and have recently made the decision to form their own church planting network. Several other churches are partnering with them in this new venture.

Evergreen Presbyterian Church

Our next visit was with Nathan Lewis the senior pastor of Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon. Nathan planted Evergreen almost 20 years ago with the support of Spanish River Church. Evergreen started their own Christian school several years ago that is doing very well. They also are planting another church that just started a few months ago called Ascension Presbyterian with church planter Eric Costa.

Nathan expressed great appreciation for SRC and David Nicholas for not only the financial investment, but also for the training and encouragement he received from David.

Ways to Pray

Please pray for Eric and Rick and their new initiative in planting churches in the northwest. Also, keep Eric and Tara in your prayers as they prepare for their oldest son, John to go off to college next year.

Ron on the Road: Cross Sound Church Seattle

Carlson, Tobias, and Waddle Families | SRC Church Planting

Dave, Vicki, Ron, Miriam and Jim and Kim Waddle

During our stay in Seattle, we stayed with my college roommate David Carlson and his wife Vicki in Bellevue Washington. It was great to renew this old relationship, and we enjoyed trying to remember the good old days at Geneva College.

Sunday morning we left Seattle and took the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Cross Sound Church is a PCA Church that SRC helped to plant several years ago. David Sellers is the second senior pastor to serve this congregation. Paul Schuler, the original church planter, and his family recently moved to Honolulu to take the senior pastors role at another SRC plant on the island.

David Sellers and Family | Cross Sound Church | SRC Church Planting

David Sellers and Family

We were able to attend the worship services at Cross Sound at Bainbridge Island High School. It was a wonderful time of worship and we felt very welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

We later went to the Sellers’ home for lunch, and were able to spend time with David, his wife Carrie, and their four active and wonderful children. David grew up in West Palm Beach and lived next door to Tommy Kiedis, Senior Pastor of Spanish River, as a child. Originally, David served Cross Sound as the assistant pastor before taking the senior pastors role this year.

Cross Sound’s staff is growing and so are their efforts to be engaged international ministry. Cross Sound just recently hired a Youth Pastor who shared some of his vision at the services we attended. They also are very involved in doing ministry in Mexico. Their strategy is to send construction teams and/or funds to Tijuana to build homes.

Cross Sound also supports Victor Cruz of Redeemer Church in Mexico. SRC has partnered with Victor on several projects over the years.

If you feel so led, please keep the Sellers and Cross Sound in your prayers as the minister on Bainbridge Island.

Ron on the Road: Seattle Church Planters

Mike Kelly, Ron, John Haralson, and Michael Subracko | Seattle | SRC Church Planting

Mike Kelly, Ron, John Haralson, and Michael Subracko

On Saturday morning, Miriam and I met with three pastors that have some incredible ministry going on in Seattle.

Green Lake Presbyterian Church

Mike Kelly is the senior pastor of Green Lake Presbyterian Church, he also is directing a movement to plant more churches in the northwest. Mike and his team serve a multi-site ministry called CrossPoint Churches. Think of CrossPoint as a family of churches in missional partnership to cross barriers that divide the Seattle area–and the world–and more together than any single congregation could imagine.

Grace Seattle

John Haralson and Michael Subracko serve at Grace Seattle, which is a church that Spanish River was instrumental in helping to plant several years ago. John has done a wonderful job as the senior pastor. The church has gone through some difficult leadership challenges, and John has stepped in and has righted the ship and Grace Seattle is growing and serving the community in outstanding ways.  Michael who serves as the associate minister at Grace Seattle also served in the mission field alongside Tom Hudson in Portugal. Grace Seattle is also just recently planted a church in West Seattle. Andy Pelander is the church planter at All Souls Church.

Acts 29 Network

Ron Tobias and Scott Thomas | SRC Church Planting

Scott Thomas of Acts 29

We later met with Scott Thomas, who is the President of Acts 29. Scott has led this ministry for several years which was founded by David Nicholas and Mark Driscoll. Acts 29 is a church planting ministry that has played a role in hundreds of church plants around the world. SRC has partnered with Acts 29 on several of these church plants. Scott just recently wrote a book called “Gospel Coach” and his is very busy teaching seminars around the country on this subject.

Please keep all these men in your prayers as they serve the Lord in Seattle.