Inner-city Church Planters

What are the specific trials and joys of inner-city church planting? When we talk about the “inner-city” what do we exactly mean given the gentrification of many cities. How might the church at large partner with brothers and sisters who are doing the hard work of inner-city church planting? Join brothers who are planting in various cities to learn from their testimonies and glean encouragement from the Lord’s work in and through them.


Brian Davis

Brian was born and mostly raised in Detroit. Though he was not born into a Christian family, he came to know the love of Christ in his late teens. Now, he claims the same testimony of Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). In 2010 he married his wife, Sonia, and they have three beautiful children: Spurgeon, Sibbes and Noelle. After completing some pastoral training opportunities, they moved back to Philadelphia in 2014 to help plant Risen Christ Fellowship. Brian pastored there until the summer of 2021, and he now serves at Del Ray Baptist Church.

John Onwuchekwa

John Onwuchekwa, a native of Houston, Texas, was born into a Nigerian home where the gospel was cherished deeply and modeled excellently. After graduating from college, he studied at Dallas Theological Seminary. He’s served at churches in both Texas and Georgia and in 2015 moved into the Historic West End to help plant Cornerstone Church with his best friends. He and his wife, Shawndra, have been married since 2007. They’re eager to see the hope of the gospel restore a sense of family, dignity, and hope to their neighborhood through their local church of ordinary people.

Kempton Turner

Kempton Turner was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, but has spent most of his life in Houston, Texas. Most recently, he served on the pastoral staff at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 7 years before becoming the Church Planting Pastoral Resident under the oversight of the elders. Kempton’s prayer and hope is that the Lord would establish a joyful, loving, Christ-magnifying local church in his hometown. Kempton and his childhood sweetheart Caryn have been happily married since 1999 and the Lord has blessed them with four children: Christian, Carysse, Kalia, and Caleb.

Matt Schmucker

Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is the pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Thabiti served as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman for seven years. He is a native of Lexington, North Carolina. Thabiti holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. He is the author of Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence, The Decline of African-American Theology, The Life of God in the soul of the Church, Finding Faithful Elders & Deacons, and What is a Healthy Church Member?. He is the happy husband of Kristie and the adoring father of three children. A former high school basketball coach and bookstore owner, he enjoys preaching, reading, sports, and watching sci-fi films.