Calvin Swan has served as the Superintendent since 1999. Prior to that he served as a youth pastor, solo pastor, and for 13 years as the senior pastor of Mulford Evangelical Free Church in Muscatine, Iowa. He received his D.Min and M.Div from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is also a graduate of Wheaton College. He is responsible for the oversight of the district team, but is also directly available for pastors and churches—especially in the area of placement and pastoral transitions. Additionally, he is available to preach at district churches.
Larry Austin has served the district in his role of church health since the fall of 2008. Prior to that he had served for 23 years as the Pastor of Adult Ministries at First Evangelical Free Church in Ames, Iowa. Larry is recognized nationally as a superb ministry trainer and a leader in understanding and application of church health principles. Larry is responsible for helping our churches and pastors to multiply ministry by focusing on discipleship, on the mission of their church, on developing spiritual leaders, and through helping them negotiate change.
Mark Doss has served in the area of church planting since 1995. Prior to that Mark served as a youth pastor in Chicago and then as a solo pastor in Arkansas and Iowa. Mark is available to help your church/pastor not only understand how to take the next steps in planting a new congregation, but also to show you how to make church planting a healthy part of your church’s mission. Additionally, Mark is responsible for administrative oversight of the credentialing process in our district.
Al Frank joined our team in early 2012. Al attended the University of Missouri, graduating with a BA in Political Science with focused post-graduate work in Journalism. He became a TV news and documentary producer/writer in the St. Louis market for ABC, NBC and CBS. He received 31 Emmys. Al’s change from skeptical journalist to committed believer eventually led him into ministry. He served in many areas on the staff at Calvary EFC, St. Peters, MO for over 12 years. He was the church planter for the Connections Campus and was the preaching pastor for the Saturday evening service at Mid Rivers. Al brings rich experience and passion to this fresh calling.
Brad Wos joined our staff in December 2016. Brad came to know the Lord through the Navigator Ministry and has been deeply impacted by the vision for disciple making and evangelism. Following marketplace ministry at Citicorp, Panera Bread and in Information Technology, Brad followed the call to serve Jesus for 14 years in South Africa and the past 4 years in St. Louis. Through these ministries Brad has developed a heart that is passionate to reach the many cultures that are making their home in the “heartland” of America, our Central District.
Rhonda Nichols joined the Central District staff in 2005 with undergraduate specialties in accounting and mathematics, along with corporate experience in the areas of flex plans and COBRA administration. She is responsible for the administration of the office and will be your first point of contact when you call. Rhonda handles the large district events, our newsletters, various other communications, scheduling, and hundreds of other items that make us work efficiently. She is the first person to call if you are unsure whom to contact with your question.
Dan has been on staff with the District since 2015. Prior to that, he served 29 years as a Youth Pastor with 27 being in the Free church in Davenport, IA. Dan came to know Christ in 1979 through Bob Nieuwendorp (a long time church planter in the Central District). Dan learned early on that when your gifts and abilities intersect with your passions, you’ve found your “sweet spot”. Dan’s “sweet spot” combines the burden he has for the lost with his ability for building/rebuilding ministries. Dan is responsible for re-booting the church plant in West Union and utilizing that church into a home base for developing Interns who would then plant churches in NE Iowa.
John Ritland joined our team in 2008. John had served as an engineer for Boeing and took an early retirement to help our church planting efforts. He had long served as a dedicated lay person in the EFCA and had a strong desire to join in where God was working. Serving in church planting for John is both a passion and a gift. He serves alongside Al Frank in his mission to plant churches.
Gary Shaw joined the Central District team in March of 2010. Gary’s experience as an engineer and a builder gives him exactly what is needed to help a young church take the important steps toward a first building or remodeling project. Gary has served as the building chairman of two different churches as they built new facilities, the most recent being the multi-million dollar expansion of the Ankeny Evangelical Free Church. Gary is available to assist churches in understanding the steps necessary to have a successful project as well as to help them find and utilize district volunteers.
On May 1, 2019, Rev. Jerry Carlin joined the team at the EFCA Central District to serve as Regional Church Health Coach for Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. The region that Jerry serves currently includes about 20 Central District churches.
Jerry comes to us after twenty-five years at The Springs Church in Springfield, Missouri, where he served as the original Church Planter and Senior Pastor. He previously served as lead pastor at churches in Illinois and Colorado. He graduated from John Brown University, received his Master of Theology (ThM) from Dallas Theology Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Jerry works out of Springfield, Missouri where he lives with his wife Donna.