LEARN about ITEM

Our Mission is to train church leaders in Africa in order to advance the true gospel through strong, vibrant, healthy churches. 

Our Mission and Motivation

1 in 4 Christians live in sub-Saharan Africa. But approximately 90% of the pastors in Africa are untrained and rely on traditional religions, forms of witchcraft, dreams and visions, and the examples of prominent televangelists to lead their churches. The African Church is often described as being like a river “a mile wide and an inch deep” because the Word of God has not taken root.

Even if every Christian training institute in the world operated at 120% capacity, less than 10% of these unequipped leaders could be trained. Still, most Christian leaders are EAGER to receive the training that will increase their fruitfulness and impact in their churches. They just need someone to provide them with GOOD TRAINING in a manner that is affordable and accessible to them.

Our Mission is to train church leaders in Africa in order to advance the true gospel through strong, vibrant, healthy churches. Motivated by the scope of the need, ITEM has raised up an indigenous training force of almost 100 pastors who are ready to train and mentor pastors throughout Africa. Through them, our goal is to impact up to 5,000 pastors a year!

Our Country by Country Overview…

Our Work

Since 2003, ITEM has brought the necessary training right to where it’s needed – the cities and towns across the African countryside where these pastors live and minister. In their hands, we’ve left notes, study Bibles, and all the resources we can provide to aid them as they continue their ministry. We’ve trained thousands of pastors and impacted well over 1 million African Christians!

  1. BURUNDI
  2. CAMEROON
  3. CONGO
  4. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
  5. GHANA
  6. KENYA
  7. LIBERIA
  8. MADAGASCAR
  9. NIGERIA
  10. RWANDA
  11. TANZANIA
  12. UGANDA

Our Team

Dr. Steve Van Horn

President and Founder

In 1998, Steve traveled to Kenya to teach for two weeks at the Nairobi International School of Theology. As a well-educated pastor, he felt called to teach and comfortable in the classroom, but he was totally unprepared for the great pastoral need he encountered outside the classroom in the highways and byways of Africa. A new calling began forming in Steve’s heart, and in 2003 he founded ITEM, leaving pastoral ministry to devote his energies to the training of African pastors. Before ITEM, Steve served as a missionary with Cru (www.cru.org) and as a pastor for over 25 years.

Dr. Nathan Chiroma

Special Assistant

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Nathan plays a central role in ITEM’s expanding geographic presence and ministry work. As Special Assistant, he serves as a trainer to ITEM trainers, a resource to country coordinators, and has headed both the curriculum development and implementation of ITEM’s mentoring program.

Karen Dunkin

Director of Women’s Ministry

Board of Directors:

Dan Isaacson

Dan has been with the board since 2017. He has been long-time supporter of ITEM and lifelong friend of Dr. Steve Van Horn. He has been employed at Bennett/Porter and Associates since 1998, and enjoys the consulting work he does with accounting software, helping clients run their companies more efficiently. Dan has 5 kids, ages from 21 years down to 3. Several of the kids have assisted him in leading Sunday worship services at two nursing homes in Forest Grove in the years past. Serving on ITEM’s board has brought Dan much joy being involved in the ministry in various ways, one of which is overseeing the finances.  

Pastor Chris McMillan

Chris has been with the board since 2019 but has been an associate since 2017. He has been involved in the community as a leader and pastor since 1992. He currently is the Senior Pastor at Providence Baptist Church. Chris and his wife have two children. He is motivation for being involved with ITEM is “God’s call to train indigenous pastors. The great need for pastors training in Africa.” 

Greg Gadeholt

Greg has been with the board since 2003. He and his wife own Gadeholt Music. He has been involved in community and church leadership since the late 90’s. Greg’s belief is that “the church everywhere needs to have pastors who can accurately teach the Word and lead their flock in Biblical manner. The continent of Africa is one such region, having great need but lacking the means to meet it.” 

Karen Dunkin

Associates:

These US-based pastors and professors volunteer their time and cover their travel expenses to help train pastors and minister to our indigenous training teams. 

Pastor Jim Glasscock

(Busia, Uganda)
Serving Uganda and Kenya

Pastor Bill Williams

(Electric City, WA)
Serving DRC, Congo,
and Madagascar

Dr. Dan Packer

(Deckerville, MI)
Serving Burundi and Rwanda

Dr. Henry Johnson

(Cogan Station, PA)
Serving Tanzania

Pastor Keith Daugherty

(Forest Grove, OR)
Marriage and Family Ministry

Pastor Chris McMillan

(Hayes, VA)
Serving as needed

Caleb Hilbert

(Astoria, OR)

Dr. Greg Trull

(Corban University,
Salem, OR)
Serving Cameroon

National Coordinators and Trainers:

The heartbeat of the ministry lies with ITEM’s Trainers and Country Coordinators. This growing team of committed African pastors have been trained to prepare them for their roles. They now volunteer their time, often many weeks a year, in order to train and mentor pastors in their country.

Associates:

These US-based pastors and professors volunteer their time and cover their travel expenses to help train pastors and minister to our indigenous training teams. 

National Coordinators and Trainers:

The heartbeat of the ministry lies with ITEM’s Trainers and Country Coordinators. This growing team of committed African pastors have been trained to prepare them for their roles. They now volunteer their time, often many weeks a year, in order to train and mentor pastors in their country.

Commitment to

Train Pastors

Intentional training can help
sustain ministry all across Africa.

In their hands, we’ve left notes, study Bibles, and all the resources we can to aid them as they continue their ministry. We’ve trained thousands of pastors and impacted well over 1 million African Christians!

The Story of ITEM

The Past…

In 1998, Dr. Steve Van Horn, then an associate pastor, was invited to teach a course at the Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST, now International Leadership University) in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a life changing experience and he returned twice a year, for five years, teaching various courses. During those years he became increasingly aware of the enormous need for similar training in a non-formal setting, since 90% of the pastors will never be able to attend a Bible school of any kind. In 2003, he founded International Training and Equipping Ministries (ITEM). The mission of ITEM is to clarify and advance the true gospel, and be used by God to raise up vital, healthy, transformed and culture-transforming churches one pastor at a time.

The Present…

Ministry is ongoing in twelve African countries with open doors in several others. Each country has a national coordinator and a team of trained trainers around them. These teams have been trained to conduct ITEM training on their own. The training includes a seminar covering basic Bible and theology, followed by a second seminar describing healthy church dynamics based on Ephesians 4:11-16, then up to two-and-one-half years of ongoing mentoring where pastors become spiritual examples, equippers of the saints, and Bible expositors. Another important component is a team of US-based pastors and educators (ITEM Associates) who travel to Africa to train, coach, and mentor the ITEM teams there. Since 2003, thousands of pastors have attended the ITEM seminars and now hundreds are being mentored and slowly but surely, believers lives and churches are being transformed to the glory of God.

 We have taken the needed training out of the classroom and into the cities and towns, giving access to high quality, non-formal training to hundreds and thousands of pastors at little or no cost to them. We provide a full set of preprinted notes and other resources that will aid them in their local ministries.

The Future …

We have a non-negotiable commitment to seeing churches transformed as pastors are equipped to study the Bible on their own and preach through books of the Bible, explaining and applying Bible passage by Bible passage. This takes time but we are focused and will not grow weary in the task. Our prayer is that day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year God will use us to raise up an army made up of thousands of pastors across Africa who are becoming godly examples, equippers of the saints, and Bible expositors, leading to strong, vibrant, healthy, transformed, culture-transforming churches.   

Commitment to Train Pastors

Intentional training can help sustain ministry all across Africa.

In their hands, we’ve left notes, study Bibles, and all the resources we can to aid them as they continue their ministry. We’ve trained thousands of pastors and impacted well over 1 million African Christians!

The Story of ITEM