Fulfilling the Great Commission

We believe bringing people to Jesus, building people to live like Jesus, and sending people out to multiply like Jesus is one of the most effective ways to equip disciples who make disciples.

Our Vision — “10 in 10”

We have a vision of planting 10 churches in 10 years, reaching 10% of our community and beyond.


Lifegate Church

Pine Hills Primary Plant

Pastor Nirup and Hannah Alphonse, along with 25 members, planted a church in Denver, Colorado. After meeting in an elementary school for 5 years, they purchased their current building and currently have 900-1000 in attendance.


Fairview Fellowship Church

Pine Hills Primary Plant

Pastor Marc and Chelsea Buwalda along with 45 members, planted a church in Kendallville, Indiana. They started meeting in an elementary school and purchased their current building in 2021. They now have 300-400 in attendance.


Graceway Church

Pine Hills Participating Plant

Pastor Dave and Theresa Martin, along with 35 members planted a church in Auburn, Indiana in the Kruse Plaza. Graceway Church is still in that location and ministering well.


City Church

Pine Hills Primary Plant

Pastor Chris and Madison Freeman, along with 65 members, planted a church in downtown Fort Wayne with a vision to reach multi-ethnic, multi-economic, and generational congregants. City Church currently meets in a local meeting space, but purchased an abandoned grocery in 2021 and are pursuing renovations for that location.They have attendance of 600-700.


Kingdom Collective

Pine Hills Partnership Plant

Pastor Nathan and Holly DeVaux, along with 35 members, planted a church in a gymnasium, during the pandemic. This plant was a partnership with one of our church plants, City Church, and Crossview Church. Collectively their launch team consisted of 60 members and their current attendance is 200-300.


Pine Hills Primary Plant — DeKalb County, IN

Meet the Lehmanns

Matt and Stefanie Lehmann are our newest church planters! They reside in DeKalb County with their three sons Sam (13), CJ (10), and Calvin (8). They also have a lab named Trooper and a number of saltwater fish! They are an active family and enjoy spending a lot of time together – it’s rare if they are apart!

Matt and Stefanie have spent the majority of their 17 years of marriage serving their community and are excited to plant a new church serving DeKalb County.

Matt recently joined Pine Hills Church in April 2022 as a church planting pastor. Prior to that, Matt was a social worker in home-based family counseling and also served as a bi-vocational pastor. Previously, he worked in ministry at Youth for Christ and in church planting.

Q + A with the Lehmanns

Q: Why are you planting a church?

A: “We get asked this a lot. We never set out to be ‘church planters.’ But, because of relationships that we had built over the years we both became more aware that various needs of the community could be addressed through the Gospel. We felt that God was leading us to pursue this mission!

The call of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 is to make disciples, and one natural progression of disciple-making is church planting.

The reality is that it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people. New generations are often reached by new churches. Several studies have highlighted that between 60-80% of new church growth occurs from people who have not previously been a part of a church! This is a very telling statistic because it’s easy to assume that churches grow through transfer growth.

Additionally, while 4,500 churches close each year, only 3,000 new churches are planted. This is heartbreaking to consider. That’s why we’re thrilled to be part of sharing the message of Jesus to our community and reaching those who may be far from God. It’s exciting to play a part in helping others find their faith.”

Q: What do you need?

A: “Starting a new church is hard. It takes a lot of people with different backgrounds and skills all focused on one mission. We know we can’t do this alone if we want to do it well. We’d love to have a face-to-face conversation with you and explain our hearts, our needs, and the vision we have for this church and our community. We realize it may not be possible for us to meet every single one of you but, we’re going to try our best to make it happen!”

Church Planting Residency

We offer an opportunity for emerging church leaders to join our Church Planting Residency. The goal of our program is simple – to equip church planters to successfully launch a viable and sustainable church that brings people to Jesus, builds people to live like Jesus, and sends people to multiply like Jesus.

What is our church planting process?

1. We get to know you.

Through our relational process, we determine if there’s a fit between a potential planter and a sending church. During this phase, you will complete the Multiplication Residency application, various assessments, and multiple interviews that are focused on four key areas.

  • Chemistry: Are we a good fit for one another?
  • Competency: Does the planter have what it takes to plant a church?
  • Character: Is Jesus Lord of every aspect of the planter’s life?
  • Calling: Does the planter have a longing to be in a particular place to reach a particular group of people?

At the end of Phase 1, a candidate may be asked to continue to Phase 2.

2. Multiplication Residency

8 months – 1 year

This phase teaches residents the DNA, principles, and expectations of Pine Hills Church. We focus primarily on our mission, theology, and culture.

Most importantly, we invest in the person holistically. If a resident does not graduate or get matched to a church planting initiative, we are still committed to the person’s journey with Christ and the calling on their life.

At the end of Phase 2, a candidate may be asked to continue to Phase 3.

3. Church Planting Residency

8 months – 1 year

We empower and equip residents with the skills and principles they need to lead a T.A.P. (Target Analysis Process) Team to find the best location for a new church plant. A Launch Team is then identified and they spend the next months building a unique missional minded community that is being equipped to launch a healthy and viable church plant that will carry out the DNA of multiplication.

Certificate of Theology

A characteristic of every great leader is a continual desire to learn and grow. To assist with this we offer, through our affiliate conference the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, a unique opportunity to receive a Certificate of Theology. This is a one-of-a-kind partnership among three leading seminaries (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Bethel Seminary, and Denver Seminary) to provide a Master’s level seminary education to our planters.