“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
AARON & RENEE JOHNSON
Aaron grew up in a small town in Northeastern Oklahoma, Pryor Creek. From a young age, Aaron watched as his parents modeled what it looks like to follow Jesus. They instilled within Aaron a deep passion for Jesus, the Church, and sharing the love of Jesus in a real and tangible way. Aaron moved to Little Rock, Arkansas to attend Seminary in 1996. While attending a college ministry in Little Rock, Aaron met Renee. Aaron & Renee were married in 1998. After Aaron finished seminary, God birthed within him a deep passion to plant a church.
Renee grew up in rural Saline County near Benton, Arkansas. Renee attended college at the University of Arkansas Little Rock where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Masters Degree in Gerontology. Renee has a deep passion to help people which was a huge benefit that God used during Church Plant #1. After spending 12 years in Washington with many cold winters, Renee developed a deep love for coffee.
God used this family to start a church in the North East, but now they feel called back to their home state of Arkansas to plant a second church. This family brings vision, passion, and leadership as well as a specific call to DO IT AGAIN, to plant a church for both the unchurched and dechurched. Pray for Aaron & Renee along with their 3 children, Jeremiah 16, Micah 14, and Lily 11 as they continue to follow God’s call to Northwest Arkansas.
RUSSELL & BELINDA KNIGHT
Before joining the NWA Project, Russell Knight planted Sound City Church in Tumwater, Washington since 2010. Tumwater is a dynamic, growing community where only 4% of the community attend church on any given Sunday. 75% of Sound City's congregation were either unchurched or long time dechurched before attending. To learn more about Sound City Church, visit: soundcity.church.
Before moving to Washington State in 2010, the Knights partnered with Jason and Kristie Sheffstall in 2003 to plant StoneBridge Baptist Church in Morgantown, WV. Morgantown is a dynamic city, the proud home of West Virginia University, and a city where 88% are unchurched. StoneBridge started in the Knight's living room and grew to about 150 people by 2010. Under Jason's leadership, the church has continued to grow and thrive, reaching people far from God. On Easter Sunday in 2019, a record crowd of 363 attended 1 of 3 worship services at StoneBridge. You can learn more about StoneBridge at: stonebridge4u.com.
Russell and Belinda have been married for 25 years this June, and together they have two children, Ryan and Janna. Ryan just finished his freshmen year at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR, and Janna attends Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. In their spare time, Russell and Belinda enjoy hiking and camping, and watching Magnum PI reruns. Russell is an unashamed life long fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE
Pastor, Holland Chapel
“I have had the privilege of knowing Aaron and Russell for a couple of decades. They are two of the most passionate, driven, and gospel-centered church leaders I know.
God used Aaron to plant and pastor a great church in PA that reached the unchurched! God has used Russell to plant churches in WV and WA that reach the unchurched! I could not be more excited to partner with both men as God uses them to plant a new church in NW Arkansas! The Gospel will be preached. People will be reached. An awesome local church will be planted. Trust me when I say - you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this through financial partnership.”
NWA IS 60% UNCHURCHED. THAT MEANS 334,000 PEOPLE NEED A CHURCH.
OUT OF THE 21 SCHOOLS IN THE BENTONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH A TOTAL ENROLLMENT OF 16,894, STUDENTS SPEAK 63 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.
PEOPLE ARE MOVING TO NWA
every 6 months
next 5 years
THE WALMART EFFECT
Due in large part to Walmart's exponential growth in the retail industry, Northwest Arkansas is a hub for more Fortune 500 companies per capita than anywhere else in the US. This effect goes beyond the business world as NWA is rapidly becoming a leader in the arts, outdoor recreation, and education. As a result, the population is growing (and projected to continue) exponentially, which means all nations are coming to NW Arkansas.
RELEASED TO DO IT AGAIN
We are excited to be partnering with Holland Chapel to plant a church in NWA. The team moved to the Greater Bentonville area and plans to launch a new church in the Fall of 2020. We have a deep passion and desire to see people in our new community find and follow Jesus. Each family has begun to build relationships with people, hosting parties in our neighborhoods and chatting over coffee. After a year of relationship building & launching life groups around our city, we will launch weekly worship gatherings.