Founded in 1992, Willow Creek Association (WCA) serves pioneering pastors and leaders through world-class leadership experiences and resources. WCA is committed to a singular idea: that inspired, encouraged, and equipped Christian leaders create thriving local churches passionate about redeeming their communities for Christ.
WCA’s passion is to help leaders worldwide—men and women—realise God’s vision for their lives, churches and communities. It shares ideas and builds partnerships. Through the Global Leadership Summit (GLS), Partners, and WCA Membership it delivers vision and inspiration to resourced regions; and we bring training and opportunity to under-resourced areas.
WCA’s vision is to help Christians grow their leadership to maximise Kingdom impact.
WCA’s mission is to create world-class leadership development to energise Christians and mobilise churches globally.
WCA UK & Ireland
“Thanks again for all you and your team do for all of us.” Tim Smith, St Judes, Plymouth
WCA UK & Ireland exists to serve church pastors and leaders in the UK and Ireland through the work of the WCA. We make it our aim to provide a first-class experience.
We have been affiliated to WCA and aligned with its vision and mission since 1995, when we were established as a UK limited company and registered charity.
As an organisation we continually evaluate, improve and develop our services in line with our goals.
Our Prayer & What We Are Doing
Our goal and prayer is to serve pastors and Christians through the inspiration, training and resources provided by WCA.
Nowadays the primary way we achieve this is through the annual Global Leadership Summit (GLS) videocast and we are praying specifically that annual attendance will grow to 10,000 leaders by 2020.
In addition, we offer a WCA membership subscription for personal and team development in leadership, and we run events with guest speakers which aim to bring fresh thinking on church ministry in line with our vision and mission.
How You Can Support The Cause
Thank you for your interest in supporting the cause.
Over the years we have enjoyed long-standing relationships with churches across a number of denominations that have been part of the association. We value these relationships and the mutual encouragement they bring.
Here are some suggestions for how you can support our work:
1) Pray. Please join us in praying that we will be able to reach out to tens of thousands of church pastors and Christian leaders in the UK & Ireland and support them through the training that WCA provides. You can use the left sidebars to provide prayer pointers on our vision and mission, our activities and people involved. You can also pray more specifically for the GLS on this page.
2) Make the GLS an annual commitment, bringing your team and determining to grow together in effectiveness and influence
4) Consider how promoting the GLS might help transform your region (see this page).
5) Donate: Your donation to the work is always a great encouragement. You can give here.
Thank-you for your prayers and support.
Alasdair Black is the Senior Pastor of Stirling Baptist Church, a growing church community in central Scotland. He studied at New College, Edinburgh and Regent’s Park College, Oxford before working in the south-east of England, Holland and USA. He is married with two teenage children. He has been involved with the Willow Creek association since 1991 and has a real passion to see the local church being a transforming presence in the life of its community.
Chris Lane, Senior Pastor
The Vineyard Church, St Albans
After an early start in business, Chris Lane went into the Anglican Church and was ordained a priest in 1982. Five years spent in inner city Leeds, were followed by an invitation to join the staff at St Andrew’s Chorleywood. During this period Chris, and his wife Fliss, felt called to church planting and subsequently founded the Vineyard Church in St Albans, and helped pioneer the Vineyard movement in the U.K.
Twenty years later, the Vineyard Church in St Albans has over a thousand members, has initiated seven further church plants and partners with a number of other ministries both at home and abroad, including one of the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summits.
Wallace Pepper, Chairman of the WCA UK & Ireland Board
1953 – a good year – Queen’s Coronation, Hillary conquered Everest & Wallace was born on a farm in Ulster.
Wallace married Margaret in 1981 and has 3 children: Susanna who is married, Kathryn who is due to be married next year & Edward a student in Edinburgh.
Wallace qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor in 1977, set up his own practice in 1980 and started several companies since. Currently MD of a family property investment company, he also administers a family pension scheme & charitable trust. Has other business interests and is also interested in horses, rugby, gardening and outdoor stuff generally.
Wallace gave his life to the Lord in 1988 and is an Elder in the local Presbyterian Church. He joined the Board of Willow in 2000.
Rev Delroy Powell serves as Senior Pastor of New Testament Assembly as well as Lead Pastor of Junction Community Church London. He was born in Jamaica and grew up in London. After leaving college he worked as a Credit Broker until 1991 when he was ordained by the New Testament Assembly (NTA) into the ministry.
Pastor Powell served as a Prison Chaplain and has over a decade’s experience of mentoring young offenders. He is former Director for The Foundation Training Company a leading provider of pre release training programmes for prison inmates.
Pastor Powell has a special interest and a passion for Leadership Development, Mission and the local church. He is a Trainer for John Maxwell Equip Million Leaders Mandate.
Pastor Powell is married to Marcelle and they are the proud parents of three children Rafael, Aaron and Simone.
Sarah Richards, Senior Leader, Cornerstone Church, Swansea
Sarah Richards has been in full-time ministry since 1985. From a background of itinerant evangelism and working within church planting initiatives, Sarah pioneered Cornerstone Church Swansea in 1991 with her husband Julian. Her main church responsibilities include: Strategy and implementation of vision; Leading the congregation into new territory; Training leaders and mentoring new talent; Preaching and teaching; Public outreach events; Overseeing Cornerstone Church Centre and conferencing.
Sarah’s passion is for the church to go increasingly beyond the meeting mentality into creating Acts 2 community and radical devotion to Christ. Sarah is concerned to see groups traditionally marginalised within church ministry, such as children, youth and women, to have their leadership and ministry potential nurtured, developed and released wherever relevant. In summary Sarah has a passion for the church to be built up in order to reach out.
Gary Schwammlein, President and CEO
Willow Creek Association
Gary joined the Association in 1996 after 28 years in the marketplace. Even though it seemed like a “step down” in the eyes of some (and in many ways it was, i.e. salary, perks, recognition…), it was the best move he ever made: ‘The years that I’ve been with the WCA have been the best years of my life. Seeing churches catch fire for God, reaching out to seekers, and growing believers into fully devoted followers of Christ is better than anything the world can offer. All of us at the WCA are here to serve you, full time staff as well as volunteers in our affiliate countries. We will continue to offer events and resources that have been developed and tested at Willow Creek Community Church and at other churches around the world to envision, equip, and encourage churches everywhere to prevail.’
Martin Young, Senior Pastor
Rising Brook Baptist Church, Stafford
Martin is married to Bev and has two children, Jake and Beth. There is an emphasis in the church on Mission as Social Action which has led to a number of community projects being established, and the extension of this into cross cultural contexts including ongoing work in India, Africa and Central Asia. Martin also supports Christians in the arts and serves a number of organisations through leadership and teaching. He also loves to make chocolate cake!
Mary joined WCA UK & Ireland in 1999 on an enviable part-time basis of 1-hour per day. Since then she has lapsed into an almost full time position (4 days) as a general assistant. If you order a resource, Mary is usually the first to package it into pristine condition. Gifted in arts and crafts, Mary also loves to write the frequent encouragement cards the WCA sends to its members.
Mary is passionate about contemporary music and has a Grade 8 in playing the stereo. She enjoys painting and catching up with family and friends over a gingerbread latte.
Will has been part of the team since January 2003. He was appointed Executive Director in January 2015.
If you want to help WCA UK & Ireland, he is usually the first to respond. By the same token, he loves to help church pastors and enjoys chatting with them about ministry over a strong coffee. If you’re in the area, give him a call.
Any spare time he has, Will lives life through a lens. He is married to Karen and they have a dog called Sid.
Narelle joined the team in January 2003 as an administrative assistant after leaving school the previous summer and a short stint as a retail assistant. Finance and administration are her main responsibilities. If you email the office, Narelle is usually the first to reply. She is married to Chris, a church youth minister, so she effectively works 8 days a week.
Narelle is passionate about cats and anything that’s pink. She feels strongly about human trafficking and is an advocate for Hope for Justice.
023 8071 0295
Willow Creek Association UK & Ireland
Unit 8 Viceroy House
Mountbatten Business Centre
Millbrook Road East