Background & History of Faith Christian Church…
Nick Champlin, Sr. Pastor
Nick has been in ministry as a Church-Planter and Sr. Pastor since 1975. He came to Christ as an Atheist, through a supernatural conversion experience alone at home in Clearwater, FL one night in 1971. After encountering some Christians, he immediately joined an active fellowship and began studying and sharing the Gospel with others. Nick married Kathy Avera in 1972. They had their first child, Heather 2 years later, and their second, Samuel, 3 years after that. In the autumn of 1975 they moved to New Haven, CT to pioneer their first church. He was 21 years old when they founded His Way Ministries, the name later changed to Faith Christian Church. The fellowship began with about 30 people and quickly flourished. During the early years the church met at YALE University and attracted many students and faculty members from the undergrad and grad schools. As the ministry grew so also did its outreaches, establishing a bible college, daily radio program, a New England wide pastors fellowship, and a monthly gathering called, The Believers Breakfast, that reached thousands of people for Christ. Throughout the 70s and 80s Nick ministered frequently in area churches and conferences, and particularly in the Black community. The congregation of Faith Christian Church quickly blended racially as FCC became the first integrated church of its kind in the region. This unprecedented move paved the way for a great cross-cultural exchange that has led to many such inner-city churches now in the region. During the 1980s Nick began visiting West Africa, where he would eventually discover a whole new ministry in the years ahead. In 1990 Nick and Kathy left behind a large, healthy church, returning to Clearwater to plant a new Faith Christian Church in Pinellas County. While serving as Sr. Pastor in Clearwater, he returned to Nigeria where he joined with Wilson Okotie, Founder of High Impact Christian Center (HICC), in a remarkable missions breakthrough among the unreached Ijaw Tribe. In 2002 Nick formed Nigeria-Ijaw Mission (NIM) in order to facilitate the training of Ijaw Pastors, planting churches, and building permanent worship centers in each community. Within the first 5 years, 10 churches have been established and built, in an authentic indigenous church-planting movement. The Ijaw Pastors are now training others and planting churches within their region, as NIM continues to pioneer churches in new communities. NIM provides ministry and financial support for pastor training, church building, crusades, new church plants, opening schools and various projects. Today Nick and Kathy have 5 grandchildren and reside in Clearwater, FL where he continues as the Sr. Pastor of Faith Christian Church.
Marty & Lisa Span, Pastor/Administrators—Children & Youth Ministries
(L-R) Marty & Lisa; The Span Clan, Spans with son, Trae at USAF Academy Graduation
Marty and Lisa have been with FCC for over 20 years, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including outreach-evangelism, Youth Pastor, helping build our work in Africa, and now serving as directors over the Youth and Children’s departments. Marty & Lisa have 3 children, 2 at home and one serving as an officer in the Air Force. Marty works full time as Facilities Manager for Raytheon.
Terry Burchard, Asst. Pastor
(L-R) Terry Burchard; Boating in w/ Ijaw Pastors in the Niger Delta
Terry and Helen Burchard have been with FCC for nearly 20 years. Terry has organized and overseen our outreach ministries to young people at the Dept. of Correction and Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, worked in our ministry in Africa, and ministers regularly in our altar call ministry. Terry & Helen have a real gift of hospitality and do a lot of visitation as well as have hosting the church’s fellowship gathering at their home for several years.
Antonio & Kaley DeArmas, Youth Pastors
(L-R) Antonio teaching at FCC; Boating in our beautiful waters off the Pinellas County coastline
Antonio came to FCC in his Senior year of High School, grew through our discipleship ministry, getting involved in outreach and teaching. After Antonio graduating college with an engineering degree and Kaley with a B.S. in nursing, they were married and began to take leadership of the Youth Ministry. Today Antonio works full-time as an engineer for Ratheon and Kaley as a R.N. in Labor & Delivery at Countryside-Mease/Morton Plant Hospital. They serve as Youth Pastors and Antonio is a regular in our pulpit ministry.
Melissa Hollen, Sunday School Director
(L-R) Melissa; Loved by friends, Karem and Aubrey; Seth and Melissa
Melissa has been with FCC for many years, serving in Children’s Ministry. She works full-time as a public school teacher, and oversees the FCC Sunday School program.
Scott & Diane Sare, Ministry Of Helps Coordinators
Scott & Diane Sare
Scott & Diane have been members at FCC for nearly 20 years, serving faithfully . Diane heads our Media Ministry and Scott, along with Diane, oversees our Ministries of Helps, Ushers, Greeters, Maintenance, etc.