In 2017, at a conference in Detroit, we heard John Perkins and Wayne “Coach” Gordon lead a seminar together and immediately saw a picture of what we wanted our friendship to emulate. Two men, one African American and the other white, are best friends and have been doing ministry together for decades. Coach and John talk on the phone daily, write books, teach seminary classes, and travel the country speaking together. They do ministry together, not solely as partners, but as best friends.

For us, Coach and John became the first seedlings to think of co-pastoring. We saw a beautiful picture of the Gospel and wondered if God might be doing something similar in our friendship. Since that experience in 2017, we have prayerfully asked if God called us to plant a church as co-pastors. As we have grown in our friendship and prayed, we’ve sensed God readying us for something more significant than we could accomplish individually in His Kingdom.

We believe two people of different races and cultural backgrounds leading together in a deep friendship can help create an authentic and vibrant multiethnic church and display the Gospel’s power to tear down walls of hostility. Given our country’s complicated past and the racial climate today, a picture of this mighty outworking of the Gospel is needed. We expect a unified multiethnic church to be profoundly healing for the city of Wichita.

In January 2021, we told the elders of City Life Church that we were sensing a call to plant a gospel-centered, multiethnic church in Wichita, Kansas. After multiple long conversations, prayer, and discerning the best plan of transition, six months later, we were full-time church planters seeking to trust God to build this church.

What Are People Saying?

I’ve had the honor of knowing Pastors Morgan Burns and Jon Gordon for some years now. Both men are fiercely committed to preaching and practicing a robust gospel- one firmly anchored in the truth of Scripture, and a gospel which transgresses ethnic and economic lines. If I didn’t live on the other side of the country, I’d be the first to join Redeemer Church.

– Dr. Bryan Loritts, Teaching Pastor, The Summit Church

We are very excited about the new church plant that Jonathan Gordon and Morgan Burns are doing in Wichita Kansas. There is a tremendous advantage to Co-pastoring particularly in a multi-ethnic environment. If churches are to survive and thrive it is extremely important to be multi- ethnic and reflect the Kingdom of God on earth. Jonathan and Morgan are deeply committed to the principles of Christian Community Development and we are confident they will do well.

– Dr. John Perkins and Dr. Wayne “Coach” Gordon, co-founders of CCDA

The current cultural climate is rife with racial tension, which has caused many to wonder if genuine multiethnic churches are even possible. Many have concluded it’s too hard and not worth the fight. I say they’re wrong. Not only is it worth it, it’s absolutely critical! We need local churches that visibly embody the picture we see in Revelation 7:9 of a multitude from every tongue, language, and tribe gathered under the authority of King Jesus to worship Him as Lord. Our neighborhoods need to the see the power of the gospel to reconcile and unite black and white, young and old, rich and poor on display through the local church. And this is why I’m so excited about Jon and Morgan’s vision to plant a multiethnic church in the heart of Wichita. As the pastor of City Life Church, it brings me joy to commission these two brothers out to fulfill the calling the Lord has placed upon them.

– Andy Adkison, Lead Pastor of City Life Church