On April 4th, 2021, the Milestone Churches in Toronto, Canada, celebrated a historic transition of leadership with the appointment of Kevin and Nadene Joachim as lead evangelist and women’s ministry leader of the church.

The momentous event held on Easter Sunday, a date deliberately chosen, also included other changes. Stewart and Lisa Escalona were appointed as evangelist and women’s ministry leader and will oversee the West Region of the church, and evangelist and women’s ministry leaders, Michael, and Damali Abrokwah, were recognized as the new leaders of the East Region.

“I don’t think there’s a date in the Christian calendar that’s most significant about renewal, refreshment, and looking forward than Easter Sunday,” says Andrew Lewis, former lead evangelist of the Milestone Churches. “So, we wanted for our congregation to know that this passing of the baton was a celebration of what God has done.”

The Escalonas have been leading the fruitful youth and family ministry that has seen several Kingdom youth and their friends become disciples. The Abrokwahs have led the thriving singles and young marrieds ministry for over 10 years and served on the ICOC Singles Service Team.

This Celebration Sunday was capped off with the appointment of Richmond Acheampong as an elder in the Milestone Churches, supported by his wife, Grace, and their three daughters. With Richmond’s appointment, the Milestone family is now blessed with four elders, working alongside the evangelists to mature and strengthen the church.

The new changes were the fruit of five years of prayerful planning by the eldership and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of the Milestone Churches. Fortunately, the Joachims has served on the SLT for the last three years.

Kevin and Nadene are seasoned ministers, baptized over 25 years ago in the Milestone Churches (Toronto Church of Christ). They’ve led regions, most recently the Central Region, and are known within the ICOC family for their humility and vast experience with the youth and family ministry.

They are exemplary ambassadors of the church’s commitment to the larger community in which it serves. The Joachims have received awards for outstanding commitment to youth sports and for supporting literacy programs at local schools.

Lewis commends the Joachims as perfectly suited for the role, gifted, and capable of leading a large group of people. “They [Joachims] strike the incredible balance with not only their humility to recognize God’s honour, but their incredible resolve to be righteous in leading the church,” he said.

This season of faithful change in the Milestone Church is supported by several other transitions.

The Milestone family is blessed to welcome elder and evangelist Kevin Robbins as the Digital Minister and Andrew Lewis as the Executive Minister. Both Kevin and Andrew have co-led the Milestone Churches since 2008, powerfully navigating the family through this tumultuous season of a global pandemic.

These new roles will enable seasoned ministry staff such as Kevin Robbins and Andrew, along with their wives, to pan out and guide the church in the areas that can often get overlooked when you’re serving day to day, as the Joachims will be doing in their new role.

Like many churches worldwide, the Milestone Church had to transition online in a safe and effective way due to the lockdowns ushered in by Covid-19. Milestone is blessed to have an elder and his wife, with unique gifting, wisdom, and experience to oversee the tremendous work and care needed for this digital ministry.

While the need for digital oversight may be easier to understand to many because of our global context, the role of the Executive Minister is new territory to the Milestone leadership. The role will serve as significant support to the lead evangelist by affording Andrew the opportunity to slow down and not just be wide but go deep. He will take on such functions as leadership development, raising up of elders, policy development as well as managing the church’s relationship and accountability with community and government stakeholders. Traditionally, the lead evangelist has carried out these functions in addition to preaching and supporting staff and family group leaders.

“By sharing the workload, as we’ve developed in our SLT, we’re aiming to do more of what we’ve been doing but do it even better,” said Lewis.

The brothers and sisters of the Milestone Churches are to be commended for their tremendous faith, agility, and maturity in wholeheartedly supporting and embracing these monumental changes.

“Bonds are formed over years together, where regional leaders have led in places for many years,” said Lewis of the Milestone Church culture. “Relationships are developed. But the maturity of the Church to recognize that Jesus is the head of the church and [that] he’s truly our leader – to follow him first and then follow us – has been a major contributor to the success of this transition.”

The Milestone Churches continue to walk by faith as we embrace these exciting changes, firmly grounded in the conviction that although ordinary, we serve an extraordinary God whom we wish to glorify now and in the future.