The Leadership Summit concept was launched in 2014 by Bishop Talmadge Gardner. His vision was to bring together bi-annually as many IPHC national bishops as possible, as well as superintendents of conferences in the national churches, and in some cases, emerging leaders. All of our conferences under the umbrella of World Missions Ministries are indigenous, having capable national leaders who need both training and opportunity to fellowship with their peers and IPHC leaders. This reality makes the idea that birthed the Summit a stroke of wisdom. Kusadasi was just that – four special days of training and fellowship.
I went to the Summit with some awareness of the great immigration problems in the Middle East today. I have returned home with a greatly broadened understanding. Civil war in Syria has created millions of refugees that are flooding mostly into Europe. The majority of these immigrants have come from areas that have been closed to IPHC missionaries. But now that they are displaced, the opportunity is staggering. Many are wide open to the Gospel. The need to place missionaries among these migrants in Europe is huge.
This is a case where the politics of immigration and the values of the Lord’s church differ greatly. Moses spoke what God told him to say some 3500 years ago, and the standard has not changed: “The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens [immigrants] in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17-20).
I was particularly moved in spirit as the week went forward and I had opportunity to hear many stories from the thirty-eight leaders present. They all demonstrated deep spiritual dedication, a striking prayer life, commendable leadership skills, and a willingness to suffer for Jesus’ sake. To illustrate, I have randomly selected ten:
1. Ismail Serinken leads IPHC ministry in Turkey. He was born into a staunchly Muslim family and found Christ as a university student. Since his conversion, Ismail has been able to lead his father and mother to the Lord. He is the founder and pastor of the two IPHC churches in Turkey – Ankara and Laodicea.
2. Bishop Valarii Reshetinskyi leads Christian Hope Church in Kiev, Ukraine. His church is an unfinished stadium that he purchased for pennies on the dollar after the Iron Curtain fell in 1989. He has been developing the huge facility ever since, and making good progress. Ukraine is caught up in an ugly civil war as Russian influence seeks to bring Ukraine back into the old Soviet orbit. Bishop Reshetinskyi has positioned his congregation to help meet the needs of the people in his country caught in the crossfire. He has also planted 150 churches since the mid-1990s and has a goal to launch ten more before the end of this year. He holds a doctorate in Sonar Science and leads the creationist movement in the Ukraine.
3. Pedro Vargas Reyes was recently elected bishop of IPHC in the Dominican Republic. He holds a degree in law and is the father of three sons and a daughter.
4. Pastor Peter Lakatos is president of the Free Christian Fellowship, IPHC, in Debrecen, Hungary. He is pastor of the Debrecen Church and teaches music as a university professor. He leads an Interchurch Worship Camp each year that attracts over 1,000 participants. The event includes a variety of workshops, including prophetic ministry.
5. Joseph Agius leads Word of Life Church on the Mediterranean island of Malta. He came to the Lord out of a life of deep sin. Joseph now has two master’s degrees and is working on his doctorate. He directs the Global Institute of Theology on Malta.
6. Moses Alvarez is the national Bible School director of the Costa Rican Conference. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration and has worked as an internal auditor, financial analyst and business consultant.
7. Asher Mansha is the national leader of IPHC in Pakistan, the second largest unreached Muslim nation in the world. He is the founder of Christ Holiness Church and is actively involved in crusade evangelism, youth seminars and humanitarian outreaches. He broadcasts weekly on a Christian TV station in Pakistan and has special gifts in apologetics that enable him to engage and communicate with Muslims.
8. Bishop Julio Cesar Villanueva Perez is lead pastor of Centro Cristiano Berea in Mexicali, Mexico. He serves as the national vice-president of IPHC churches on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Dr. Cesar holds three bachelor’s degrees, three masters’ and two doctorates.
9. Jonathan Chatendeuka serves as IPHC bishop in Zimbabwe. He became a believer in 1981 and demonstrates special abilities as a speaker and equipper of leaders and pastors. He has seen many conversions in his ministry, as well as miracles of healing and deliverance. He also functions in prophetic ministry.
10. Tony Mkamanga is national bishop of the IPHC in Malawi and is senior pastor of the Kaning/ina church in Mzuzu where he has served for twenty-two years. He is a church planter who is dedicated to equipping leaders through Bible school, seminars, leadership training, and discipleship. He and his wife, Charity, have two daughters, Grace and Truth.
The Summit also included the four WMM continental directors (Bob Cave – Europe and the Middle East; Dan Clowers – LAMCAR Central and South America and the Caribbean; Russell Board – Asia and the Pacific; and Ernest Turner – Africa).
In Bishop Gardner’s absence, the Leadership Summit was hosted by three men from the WMM office in Oklahoma City: Matt Bennett – director of People to People Ministries; Steve Cofer – director of Global Outreach, Coffee House Ministry and Itineration; and Max Barroso – director of The Awakening.
Four speakers invited by Bishop Gardner did the teaching at the Summit.
Hans Hess serves as senior pastor of Fountain of Life, a 1,000 member church in the Redemption Ministries Conference. Hans spoke on Tuesday and made a Holy Spirit anointed presentation on the subject of a missional church. Hans is a Ph.D. candidate at Regent University.
My teaching role (Dr. Frank G. Tunstall) was on Wednesday. I presented Jesus as the ultimate model for servant ministry, and gave two lessons from the Gospel of John. The first showed what the Apostle John said Jesus “knew” that strengthened Him going into his trial and crucifixion. The second was a study of the Lord’s High Priestly prayer in John 17, presenting ten leadership principles based on Jesus’ intercession in the prayer.
Dr. Terry Tramel, New Testament professor at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma City taught four sessions Thursday on leadership principles from the life of King David.
On Friday morning Dr. Tramel and I gave a two-hour tag teaching presentation, rotating in half-hour units, that pulled together four themes: the Biblical roots of the church, the Azusa Street Revival of 1906-1909, how World Missions Ministries was birthed in prophecy growing out of the Azusa Street Pentecost, and the blessed hope of the church that is ahead for the people of God. The strong presence of the Holy Spirit confirmed the word to the leaders.
On Friday afternoon Dr. Mark Wilson, the founder of the Seven Churches Network, presented a slide presentation on Asia Minor in the Roman Empire (now modern Turkey). It was the home of the first missionary ministry of Paul and his traveling companions, Barnabas and later Silas. Dr. Wilson and his wife make their home in Antalya, Turkey.
The continental leaders had Saturday and part of Sunday designated for touring the ruins of two of the seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, where Paul gave two years of ministry, and Laodicea, where IPHC has a thriving church.
Eight regional directors of World Missions Ministries were also present and able to interact with the national leaders: Harold Presley, Northwest Europe; Linwood Berry, Southwest Europe; Tim Salley, Southeast Asia; Ron Wooten, East Africa; Joe Delport, Southern Africa; Ron Roy, Mexico; Darrel Clowers, West Indies and the Caribbean; and Jeff Willhoite, Indo-China.
The Summit concluded on Sunday (April 10) with a commissioning service in the PH church in Laodicea, led by Pastor Hess. Laodicea is the historic site of the seventh of the Seven Churches of Asia named in the book of Revelation, the Lord gave to the Apostle John. The national leaders received prayer and blessing that sent them home renewed in the Holy Spirit, and certainly not lukewarm!
For many however, returning home also meant the real possibility of persecution as they lead their ministries. These brave servants of our Lord deserve our prayers and financial support as they each face so many challenges in their homelands.
[Editor's Comment: Dr. Frank Tunstall has given us a thorough account of the Global Leadership Summit that was recently held in Kusadasi, Turkey, April 4-10, 2016. We are greatly blessed to have Dr. Tunstall as a Contributing Writer for Hugh's News. His background as a former executive editor of The Advocate, author, historian, Bible scholar, pastor, conference superintendent, and former president of Southwestern College (now Southwestern Christian University) brings an added advantage and dimension to his communication skills.
You will notice the great leadership God has given to the IPHC. In the providence of God our churches oversees are strategically positioned where refugees from Syria have fled. They are a people who have been shut off from any missionary activity in their country, are now where we can love them and minister to them.
The Scripture that Dr. Tunstall quoted “The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, Who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens [immigrants] in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17-20).
I sense in my spirit that God is calling young men and women to go to these countries to be missionaries to reap the harvest. I notice in reading from our college presidents, Dr. Ron White, Emmanuel College; Dr. Reggies Wenyika, Southwestern Christian University, and Dr. James D. Leggett, Holmes Bible College are praying that God will call many of their students to respond to the call to be missionaries.
Let us join with our college presidents in praying for the students of our church institutions of Christian higher education for a move of the Holy Spirit to speak to the students enrolled in our colleges.
It is my prayer that God will use Dr. Tunstall's report to speak to everyone who reads it, and that it will rekindle and stir in all of our hearts the Great Commission to preach the Gospel to all people in the world.]