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Tom Rees

PennDel School of Ministry


PennDel School of Ministry (PDSOM) is a member of the Association of District Schools of Ministry (ADSOM). We began in the fall of 2016 with our first campus in Monroeville, and we are opening our second campus in York this fall. Successful completion of each level of instruction fulfills the District’s educational requirement to receive credentials.

One time registration fee is $75.00. Enrollment for each course is $60.00 per class plus textbooks.

There are internships required at each level of instruction.

This fall (2017) Monroeville campus (meeting at Monroeville AG) will offer Level 1 and Level 2 classes, and the York campus (1st AG, York) will offer Level 1 classes only. The Monroeville campus classes meet on the SECOND Saturday of each month (Sept-May). The York campus classes meet on the THIRD Saturday of each month. Both campuses follow the same class schedule each month. In September 2017 AG History will be offered at Monroeville on the SECOND Saturday AND will be offered at the York campus on the THIRD Saturday.

For more information and to register go to

Coaching Courses


This 3-month program includes training, 10 hours of mentor coaching from experienced coaches, and 15 logged hours of peer/client coaching. This will help credential holders complete the requirements for Level 1 AG Coaching Certification, the one pre-requisite 501 Coach Training or a comparable introduction to coaching course (or refresher course).

Josh Torres and Bill Ellis lead this cohort to fill the gap between coach training and coach certification. It answers the question, “Now that I’ve had training, how do I become certified?” It will help us to build a system that will allow us to provide coaching.

Cost: $395.00 (PennDel Credential Holders can apply for the Educational Reimbursement to reimburse $300.00 upon completion and certification)

Click here to register.



The R-1 Project

Why R-1? We have two pastors who have planted churches in PennDel, but without an R-1 visa and our support they will not be able to stay.

Pastor Saji Varghese has sacrificed to plant a church in Pittsburgh. Because he is here on a student visa, he is unable to be paid for his ministry. He is living on faith!

Pastor Mathew James has an incredible testimony of salvation and healing from radioactive exposure. As he plants his church in Philly, he also shared the challenge of having to go back to India and leave his church if he does not get his R-1.

After meeting them, I was baffled as to how to help them, but then our friends in the New York District introduced us to leaders that are helping pastors in New York City walk through this. We now have a plan to help Pastor Saji, Pastor Mathew and future R-1 pastors.

Pastor Saji completed his education in theological studies and became an evangelist. Later he finished his Master’s Degree in Social Analysis from Serampore University and became a Bible seminary teacher in India. It was in India that he first served as a pastor and church planter.

In 2009, he came to the United States in pursuit of his doctorate degree. Four years later, he successfully completed his Doctorate in Christian Ministry from International Theological Seminary, California.

Pastor Saji is fluent in Malayalam and Hindi. Pastor Saji has ministered throughout 23 of the states of India, and his ministry goes beyond his Malayalam speaking people to reaching out to help Indians as a whole. In Pittsburgh there are people from all parts of India, and he has people in his congregation that speak both languages. Pastor Varghese is married to Girija Chandravathy and they have three wonderful children named Alby, Aida, and Anugraha. If approved for R-1 status, Pastor Saji would like to remain in the United States serving as a pastor/church planter with PennDel.

PRAISE REPORT: We are so happy to report that Saji’s R-1 has just been approved! We are now raising monthly support to help him for the two-year commitment required.

Pastor Mathew had a life changing experience while working in Bahrain at a refinery; a radioactive accident occurred that took the life of three of his co-workers and left him barely alive. Pentecostal sisters came to his room and told him that even though he was exposed to radiation that was thousands of times more powerful than the radiation used in medical therapy, God could save him. It was there in that hospital that Mathew called out to God and was both saved and healed!

Pastor Mathew has since earned a Master of Divinity from Bethel Bible College in South India and was conferred a Doctor of Divinity by the International Christian University in Chesapeake, Virgina. He is currently continuing his education at Faith Theological Seminary in Baltimore.

Today, Pastor Mathew is the pastor of Harvest International Church, a community of believers that were in need of a pastor who understands their culture and communicates in their language. He is serving in the Philadelphia area due to the presence of a large number of Indians in the city. Pastor Mathew married his wife, Blessy, and they were told that because of the radiation exposure, they could not have a child, but God gave them another miracle… they have a wonderful daughter, Keren!

We Need Your Help!

Please pray for favor.

There are interviews that need to happen and paperwork that needs to be reviewed. The process can take many months in a system that is facing many challenges.

Please give to the PennDel R-1 Fund.

With this fund we will be able to help pay the application and attorney fees for the R-1 visas for each pastor and his family. With this fund, we will be able to help with short gaps that the congregations may have in paying their pastor for the two year commitment required by law.

Imagine what would happen if our churches would stand with Pastor Saji and Pastor Mathew and the many pastors and churches that will be empowered by the R-1 Fund. Imagine the stories that would be told for generations to come!

Let’s join together and make this happen!

How To Get A Men’s Ministry Going…The FUN Way


Make Sundays a man-friendly environment. Offer a sermon series that connects with guys. Power tools work great as sermon props — once I used a chainsaw (with the chain removed). When we started it, I had everyone’s attention!

Deck out your platform with stuff guys like. Churches have used Mini-Coopers, boxing rings, goal posts and fishing boats.

You might even want to shake things up like when Pastor Curt Seaburg rode his Harley to the platform for a Sunday message or when Pastor Greg Ford stepped into a boxing ring with a boxer for a fundraiser for Emerge Ministries.

Start with Father’s Day. “Go for the Guys Sunday Action Plan” is a free resource to help you plan an awesome day from Use this day to create momentum that you can capture with a small group or your next men’s trip or event.


Skeet shooting, fishing and hunting trips, ball games, and Nascar events are good ways to build energy and relationships that can get a guy’s faith started.

An event that makes this super easy is AdventureFest. This weekend in June happens near Raystown Lake with guys camping (tailgate style), good food, big campfires, awesome music, challenging speakers, and lots of fun and adrenaline (

The energy is in overdrive at the fall men’s conference. This year’s GO! Men’s Conference will take place in Camp Hill with 1,500+ men.  This is a great way to get guys in gear with their faith. Check out a sample of Chaplain Black’s message from last year.

MinistrieSummit 2017

MinistrieSummit at Monroeville Assembly of God was a great time for spiritual renewal, connection and vision. Our prayer is that the video sessions will continue to inspire and encourage you are your leaders.







2017 World Missions Project Video

Thank you for your support for this year’s World Missions Project.

To help communicate the Roma Project, you can download the Roma Project video here:

Roma Project Video

2017 Home Missions Project Videos

Thank you for your support for this year’s Home Missions Project.

To help communicate the R1 Project, you can download the vision video here:

Full Version Video

Short Version Video



10X Better

“Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in His kingdom put together.”  Daniel 1:20


Now is a great time to consider our ways and look at how we can improve… this is our time to become ten times better. A recently survey of PennDel Ministry Leaders highlighted goals in three key areas that provide a great springboard for how we can leap forward in our lives and ministries.



Daniel was under a strict diet that helped him to live a healthy life. I had a wake up call five years ago with a pre-diabetic warning and then relapsed last year in the midst of a stressful season. Getting my blood work done helped me to get an accurate picture that moved me into action.
I write this as a fellow traveler on the road to health. I began by establishing a goal weight and a time frame. Cutting back on carbs, riding my bike 5 days a week, and tracking my progress on the My Fitness Pal and Map My Ride apps have helped me to drop over 40 pounds in the past 5 years.




Rest can renew our soul. It is one of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day
by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

Yet it is the one that many Christ followers, including those in the ministry, ignore the most.

Set some boundaries with your cell phone and email on your day off and during vacation. If we don’t protect our schedule, no one else will.




Has anyone else experienced what Lewis Grant describes as “Sunset Fatigue?” This is when we come home from work, and those who need our love the most end up getting the leftovers. We detach and zone out. To leap ahead in this area we need to be ambitious about the things that last.

In addition to time with family, we need to prioritize a daily time with God. I was hit hard by this prophetic warning by Banning Liebscher, “If you love the spotlight more than the secret place, you’re in trouble, because it means you care more about pleasing people than pleasing God.”

One of the most important ways we can do this is through prioritizing a daily time with God.




One of my favorite lines when I coach church leadership teams is that “you can’t keep adding without subtracting or delegating.” In order to recalibrate, we need to address our overload.

Several years ago I pulled back from most of my lower tier commitments. God, family, work and serving held the top tiers, but I let go of fantasy football, cable television and multiple volunteer committees that created death by meetings.

Sometimes we can find ourselves in life and ministry perpetuating cycles that are not very effective. What are the things you need to let go of? John Maxwell said, “You have to give up to go up.”



We were designed to live life in healthy relationships. One of the priorities I have is a group of men I meet with on Thursday morning. We help each other gain Kingdom perspective and encouragement when times are challenging. These men are what Sam Chand defines as PAIN PARTNERS. As you look for friends like this, Sam Chand suggests you can identify this through these qualities:

  • Who in your life “gets you” and doesn’t think you’re weak or strange when you wrestle with the complexities of your role?
  • Who asks second and third questions to draw you out instead of giving pat answers, simple prescriptions, and easy formulas?
  • Who listens to you without feeling compelled to give you advice?
  • Who is your safe haven so you can be completely honest and open?
  • Who fills your spiritual and emotional gas tank?


Church Planting Projects 2015

Life Church  •  Hershey, PA

bentleyHershey, PA started as a “model town” for employees of the world’s first modern chocolate factory to live, work and play. But how can “The Sweetest Place on Earth” model true community without the example of Christ’s love among its people? This need is part of what called our family to “Chocolate Town, USA.”

God paved the way for Life Church to be planted in Hershey, PA in February 2014. Our vision is to REACH people in a way that exemplifies a genuine and growing relationship with God and to CULTIVATE a Christ centered, spirit-filled environment where people GROW in their relationship with God.

“Life is a journey. Everything we do is centered on helping people take their next step in their journey of faith.”

After enjoying our first few months of Sunday services at the Cocoaplex Cinemas and a short transition at the local Elementary School, God blessed us with the opportunity to lease a great facility at a remarkable price right in the heart of Hershey. Our new location is only two blocks from Hershey Square (the intersection of Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues) and provides us with an amazing amount of space (16,000 square feet).

The Hershey Project will help transform ten old school classrooms into strategic environments for facilitating relational growth within the Hershey community. Thank you for taking time to prayerfully consider our request!

The Place  •  Reading, PA

KlinglerReading, PA is a city of over 88,000 people that has been riddled with poverty, violence, drugs, and a seeming hopelessness, especially in the heavy urban areas. Like with Nineveh, we believe God desires to and can transform whole cities. In this age, it takes the work of churches – old and new- to get His powerful Gospel to the lost. Planting new churches births fresh opportunities for people to be saved. This was our incentive for planting “The Place…a church of HOPE for everyone!”

Our young church is comprised of several cultures that reflect the heart of the city. Hispanics, Blacks, Italians, Germans and many others worship together each Sunday in our growing community. Our greatest joy is watching people come to Christ and walk with Him in full surrender.

“The Place is a congregation that God wants to use to tell Reading and the world that He still cares.”

To continue to reach people effectively, we have been praying and believing for a new property. The Lord has opened the door for us to purchase a property that puts us in our immediate neighborhood where people will be able to walk to church (a benefit in our urban setting). The location is excellent for our mission. We will be across the street from the Intermediate School where we now do an after school outreach program.

My husband and I work bi-vocationally as not to tax our young congregation as it continues to grow and become a strong, vibrant church. We ask for your help so that we can purchase this terrific building and continue to reach Reading’s inner city for Jesus.

Our Goal This Year Is To Raise $100,000 For These Projects

We need your help! We can do this if…

1 Church Gives $ 20,000
2 Church Gives $ 10,000
5 Church Gives $ 5,000
8 Church Gives $ 2,500
10 Church Gives $ 1,000
10 Church Gives $ 500

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