History of the Timothy Initiative

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The Timothy Initiative is an international church planting organization which was established with the purpose to train and equip “Timothys” (Pastors/Church Planters).

Download our brochure or request
a printed and mailed copy here.

We specifically target church planters lacking the means and/or availability to receive a balanced Biblical and theological training throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Each church planter trained is expected to plant at least one multiplying and reproducing church in their region.


What is the Timothy Initiative?

Click to OpenWhat we Believe

    • In essential beliefs:we have Unity

    • “There is one Body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…”

      Ephesians 4:4-6

    • In non-essential beliefs:we have Libertys

    • “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters… Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give an account of himself to God… So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”

      Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22

    • In all our beliefs:we show Charity

    • “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

      1 Corinthians 13:2

Click to OpenExecutive Summary

Our Mission

TTI is a reproductive, multiplying church planting movement that works with other national movement leaders to penetrate the nations and cultures with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our Vision

TTI’s vision is to plant millions of evangelical, reproducing and multiplying churches in partnership with other like-minded ministries.

Our History

TTI was birthed out of Dr. Nelms’ ministry with Grace Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Florida (gfwpb.org) as a missions project to train 7,000 church planters in India. Slowly, this church missions project evolved into the church planting organization it is today.

Our Strategy

We train church planters to start one or more churches in their local community. We bring the church planters together for one year of training, and each church planter cannot graduate until they have started a multiplying new church. These new churches meet in buildings, houses, under trees, etc. The average church size is 15 new believers (though many grow much larger) in predominantly rural and un-evangelized areas.

We have Continental Directors, Regional Directors, National Directors and District Teachers that keep one another accountable to each other, as well as to us. We are establishing associational relationships and training with these church planters for their ongoing health in year two and beyond. Each church plant is designed to be a church planting center.

Our Current Growth and Track Record

In 2012, TTI trained and equipped 10,179 church planters from 30 countries in Asia, Africa and the Carribbean.

TTI is currently forming strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations to make an even greater Kingdom impact. At the start of 2013, TTI has trained close to 30,000 church planters.


For any other questions please feel free to contact Jen Reelitz at 561.472.1611, ext 500. Jen can also be reached by email at jen@ttionline.org.

Click to OpenOur Leadership

davidDr. David Nelms
Founder & President, TTI

mathew_2Fregy Mathew
Asian Continental Director

kappasDr. Greg Kappas
Vice President, TTI Founder & President, GGN (Grace Global Network)

charityCharity Jackson
Executive Assistant, Travel & Logistics

harriotAndre Harriott
African Continental Director

KoudjoKoudjo Nenonene
West Africa Director

Jared Nelms (Photo)Rev. Jared Nelms
International Director

jenJennifer Reelitz
Communications Director

Click to OpenWhat People Like You Are Saying About the Work of TTI

“A new season is dawning. It’s a season that trusted mentors, fellow pastors and prayer partners confirm. It is one the Lord is leading in standing united for the Kingdom. TTI is doing this through their church planting efforts and they are proclaiming His name throughout the nations and the world. As a church planter, I endorse the efforts of TTI. These pioneers have answered the call, are paying the price and pressing relentlessly toward fulfilling His Great Commission. TTI’s ministry is a gift to the Body of Christ and will set the pace for the coming age.”

Wayne Cordeiro Founding Pastor,
New Hope Christian Fellowship Chancellor,
Eugene Bible College and Pacific Rim Christian Colleges


“TTI has found an inexpensive and effective way to help train church planters and other church leaders to serve the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for their ministry and excited about their future.”

Mark Driscoll
Founding Pastor Mars Hill Church
Acts29 Network, Resurgence


“The Timothy Initiative is one of the brave new projects that understands the importance of innovative missional leadership and multiplication church planting in our time. It is admirable and worthy of support.”

Alan Hirsch
Founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network
Author of numerous books on missional church (www.theforgottenways.org)


“The Timothy Initiative is living proof of what can happen when a church believes that the Great Commission is more than just an ideal, that it is a mandate to be fulfilled. I continue to be amazed at the remarkable vision and accomplishments of the Timothy Initiative. May God continue to reap an abundant harvest through this courageous, pioneering endeavor.”

Dr. David Garrison
Author of Church Planting Movements


“I am literally amazed at the outreach that TTI has made in church planting through four continents on the earth. It has been my privilege to be acquainted with Greg and Debbie Kappas for many years and I am thankful for the integrity and vision that they and their quality team bring to this amazing task. Surely the Lord Who gave the commission of Acts 1:8 to the original apostles is pleased as can be with the progress of TTI today. I am pleased that I have been able to have a part in the first course of study.”

Earl D. Radmacher, Th.D.
President Emeritus, Western Seminary Chancellor,
Rocky Mountain Bible College and Seminary Author


“God is moving today. In many countries of the world, I see evidence of the expansion of God’s Kingdom. The training and church-planting work of the Timothy Initiative (TTI) is a significant part of that. It produces lasting fruit. We are thrilled and privileged to partner with TTI in pursuing the fulfillment of God’s Great Commission.”

Steve Douglass
President, Campus Crusade for Christ/Cru


“What TTI is doing in Africa is unprecedented in the history of partnership with Missions, Church Planting and Evangelism. When Pastor David Nelms and Pastor Jesse Nelms visited us in Jos-Nigeria last year, they stired up a zeal in the heart of the native pastors for church planting and evangelism. Through TTI our church planters are thankfully being empowered to do the work through proper training which has been one of the greatest needs of the growing church in Africa. We are so grateful and continue to pray for more resources for TTI projects.”

Kenneth Eze
Founder of Living Springs Ministries in Nigeria


“Is Vision your issue… or lack of it? When I ponder the ‘Vision’ of The Timothy Initiative, my spirit and mind are challenged… and my soul is enlarged for the extension of The Kingdom.”

Dr. Dennis N. Baker
The Goehner Groups


“I’ve known David Nelms and Greg Kappas for some time now and know they are for real. I’ve been impressed by their total commitment to the Timothy Initiative. Their vision of planting some 30,000 churches is underway with some 6,000 churches already planted. This team is doing their part to expand the Kingdom and to bring the Gospel to many parts of the world.”

Bill Easum
President, 21st Century Strategies Inc


“When I look at church planting ministries and movements that God has raised up around the world, it is important for me to know that they have a proven and effective strategy, a track record of multiplication and expansion, financial integrity, and godly leadership. The Timothy Initiative is such an organization. The men at TTI have demonstrated servant leadership and a reproductive mindset that is effectively training national leaders in church planting. The movement of God that is resulting from their leadership is both encouraging and inspiring. If we are ever going to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation, it will be through the combined efforts of organizations such as TTI. May their tribe increase!”

Dr. Henry Oursler
Senior Consultant, TightRope Communications
Director of Training, Grace Global Network


“TTI is respected internationally as a leader in church planting, growth and development. Best of all, the ministry has been birthed from one of the most effective multi-ethnic churches in the United States, and therefore cross-culturally competent and genuinely credible among the indigenous leaders it serves throughout the world.”

Dr. Mark DeYmaz
Founding Pastor/Directional Leader, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas
Executive Director, Mosaix Global Network


“No one has a heart for the world like TTI. It is contagious to see all that God is doing through their work.”

Gary Rohrmayer
President of Converge MidAmerica (www.convergemidamerica.org)
Your Journey Resources ( www.yourjourney.org)


“The TTI initiative is facilitating and responding to a God movement overseas and domestically. Thousands of churches already planted and thousands more on the way. Many are being reached for the Gospel in the uttermost places. I praise God for David and Greg – their leadership, obedience and direction to what the Holy Spirit is doing.”

Hal Haller
Reproducing Churches Network


“Reaching the world is a God given responsibility for every Christian but training people to reach others around the globe is a responsibility God has given to some. If you are not training you need to join your hands with those that are involved in training. The Timothy Initiative (TTI) has worked a solid training strategy to equip nationals towards Church Planting all over the world, especially Asia and Africa. It is solid and cost effective with wonderful results. We have known the Nelms’ and Kappas’ families for over 10 years and partnered together in many ways. I would strongly recommend for you to join your hands with TTI.”

Dr. Arjuna Chiguluri
Founder President: Vision Nationals Vision 2030,
Master’s College of Theology


“David Nelms and Greg Kappas are two servant leaders of God who are effectively and profoundly ‘touching lives and transforming communities’ by reaching the forgotten and marginalized people of the world with the Gospel of Christ. Filled with a sense of urgency, they have personally sacrificed to start churches and build God’s Kingdom. ”

Margaret W. Slusher
President Lead Plus


“In a time when many churches, denominations and ministries are in retreat due to the economics of the day it is inspiring to see The Timothy Initiative moving forward. When you combine an effort to plant multiplying churches through well trained leadership and add to that a passion for a lost world, multiplication will translate into a church planting movement. That is what TTI is all about!”

Rick Lawrence
Church Planting Director Florida Baptist Convention


“Building a Jesus movement in a city is the most effective way to reach people for Christ. The most strategic means for seeing a Jesus movement is through church planting. Planting new churches is the most effective, most powerful, and most influential way to reach a nation for Jesus. The Timothy Initiative and Grace Global Network are doing this more effectively than any other ministry I’ve been a part of. I have personally been involved in this ministry in Nepal and India and I am excited at how God has given David Nelms and Greg Kappas such a strategic focus for effectively planting churches. As a missiologist and senior pastor, I believe their strategy of raising up strong Pauline gifted national leaders is where the Holy Spirit is leading us in the 21st century. I love the work of these guys and I believe they have given the body of Christ a biblical and missiological template for the next move of God around the world.”

Steve Holt
Founding/Senior Pastor, Mountain Springs Church
Founder/President, Word and Spirit Network


“A greatly needed ministry to bring lasting change in the lives of people.”

Paul and Cathy Becker
Founder/President, Dynamic Church Planting International


“A couple years ago, our church was sensing a call to expand our mission efforts to include church planting among our various overseas mission endeavors. Knowing the leaders of TTI, it seemed natural to explore a possible partnership. And then, while traveling to connect with other mission partners in Asia, I had an opportunity to actually meet TTI students, regional and international directors in their setting. Through those first-hand relationships, it became crystal clear to me when I saw that TTI was training church planters with intentionality, focus, efficiency and results, this was definitely a mission partnership for Cape Christian. Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a graduation of 500 TTI students in India and see first hand the fruitfulness of other TTI graduates in Nepal and Ethiopia. We are now committed to invest in over 440 TTI church planters this year alone. I don’t know of any other ministry that we could partner with that will give us this kind of ‘bang for our mission buck’ when it comes to carrying out Jesus’ command ‘to go into all the world’.”

Dennis Gingerich
Founding Pastor Cape Christian Fellowship, Cape Coral, FL


“If we are to reach the world with the Gospel we must train and support church planters and plant churches. I know of no one who is doing this more effectively than TTI. I encourage you to partner with TTI as together we can reach the unreached peoples of the world.”

Nolen Rollins
President, Kingdom Mobilization Estero, Florida


“TTI is an intensely Kingdom-minded ministry. In any conversation, it doesn’t take long before words like ‘serve’ or ‘help’ come up. They are out to further the cause of Christ through church planting and are true friends of the Gospel.”

Tom Kim
Executie Director, Churches Helping Churches


“The Timothy Initiative is nothing short of a miracle of God. Countless thousands of churches will be planted and millions reached for Christ in Asia and Africa by trained and called men of God. It is our privilege here at Thomas Road Baptist Church and our humanitarian aid organization, Gleaning for The World, to look forward to a partnership with The Timothy Initiative in reaching hundreds of thousands of people with the precious Gospel.”

Doug Randlett
Executive Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church
Board Member, Gleaning For The World


“The Timothy Initiative is one of the most compelling visions today to assist in reaching every man, woman and child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ on four continents, This is a great investment of your time, gifts, talents, and treasure.”

Greg Kappas
Founder/President, Grace Global Network


“In an age that favors compromise and discreet religion, how encouraging to see a church that believes in the Gospel, that believes in her mission, and invests time and effort to train those capable of sharing love and truth. I commend this ministry and wish God’s richest blessings on it.”

Stuart McAllister
Vice President Training and Special Projects Ravi Zacharias International Ministries


“I had the privilege of meeting with David Nelms and Greg Kappas in recent months about TTI. I found it to be a workable, effective strategy for training planters and workers to multiply churches around the world. Their past success will continue to yield great results in the future. It is also a good partnership plan for mission minded churches and leaders here in the US.”

Dave Travis
Managing Director, Leadership Network

Our Mission


TTI's strategy, influence, long-term and sustainability

How do we accomplish our goal?

We train church planters to plant one or more reproducing churches in their local community. In order to train the church planters we start Training Centers. At each Training Center, church planters are trained to plant reproducing and multiplying churches.

What is our definition of a church?

A church is an organized and biblically structured body of believers, who meet together regularly to worship the Lord, make disciples, and reach out to the lost. A church can meet in a building, in a house, under a tree; anywhere! A local church is an assembly of disciples, not a structure!

Leadership structure of The Timothy Initiative in each country

Regional Director

A regional director is a key leader for TTI who oversees a number of National Directors in his region of the world. He must be a man of God who is well respected by other church leaders. He must be experienced as a minister, teacher, or church planter and live a life that is above reproach.


How Does TTI Train CP's

Training Center(s)

A Training Center is a location where the students gather together with the designated teacher for about 1 year, going through the 10 course Bible training. We do not build Training Centers. The school could be in an already existing church building, in the teacher's home, or anywhere.

National Director

Each country has a National Director to oversee and administer the project in that specific country.


Persecuted Church Planters

Expectations of TTI Church planters

We require the students to plant a reproducing, multiplying church before they graduate. For every student trained, we expect at least one church to be planted. The CP (church planter) is not able to receive a certificate of graduation until a church has been planted. In essence, our Mission is not to provide Bible Training, but to plant churches! However, we are convinced and dedicated to making sure each church planter is well established in God's Word before he leads a body of believers. Therefore, the Biblical training, for us, is simply a "means" to and "end."


Teachers are chosen by the National Director. Each teacher leads a Training Center in various locations around the country. The teacher will start a school of 25 church planters (recruited by the teacher) and will teach the students a one year, college level, 10 course Bible curriculum.


TTI's Definition of a Church

Average church plant size

Each new church averages around 15 to 20 new disciples of Jesus Christ, in predominantly rural and un-evangelized parts of the world. While most churches remain relatively small in size, it is not uncommon for TTI church plants to grow much larger numbering more than 200 or even 300 believers in some cases.

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line or email.

General information

For general information about TTI, our work, partnership, or other questions please contact us at:

David Nelms, President

Dr. Greg Kappas, Vice President

Jared Nelms, International Consultant

TTI Office Head Quarters

  • General Contact

    For general information about TTI, our work, partnership, or other questions please contact us at one of the points of contact.

  • Become a Timothy

    Becoming a Timothy is to acknowledge the call of God on your life to personally plant a multiplying, healthy church. This entails committing to a year of training and equipping in a TTI training center as well as planting your church during this time.

  • Start A church plant

    A Training Center is a location where the students gather together with a designated teacher for about a year and go through the 11 courses. The Training Center could be held in an already existing church building, in the teacher?s home or any location available (i.e. restaurants, under trees, office buildings).

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  • Request Brochure

    A Training Center is a location where the students gather together with a designated teacher for about a year and go through the 11 courses. The Training Center could be held in an already existing church building, in the teacher?s home or any location available (i.e. restaurants, under trees, office buildings).