Meet the Board of Trustees
MIKE RAKES, D.M., D.Min.Board Chair
As the son of parents who served as pastors and denominational officials, Mike grew up hearing his father and mother pray for spiritual renewal to come to America. Responding to God's call on his life, Mike went to Southeastern University at the age of seventeen to prepare for ministry. During his junior year he married Darla and they moved to the Midwest where he finished his undergraduate degree at Central Bible College and she at Missouri State University. They began their ministry journey together as student pastors in Chickasha, Oklahoma, before taking a position later at Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, with Phil and Betty Wannenmacher.
Mike has a M.A. in Biblical literature from AGTS ('93). He took a Senior Pastorate in Central Florida and began a M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary ('94-'96) in Orlando, and completed it at Biola University ('97). He completed a D.Min. from Biola University ('00) with an emphasis in spiritual formation. Mike is a lifetime learner and loves to read and write. He believes education is a worldwide language that provides the body of Christ an opportunity to share God thoughts with people far from God. He has held numerous positions within academia, from Department Chairs to Vice President, and most recently founded a small Bible college for the under-resourced.
Mike is a pastor, educator, motivator, author, and storyteller who - along with his wife, Darla - serves the body of Christ and has a passion to help people model God's love. Since 2006 he and Darla have served as Lead Pastors at Winston Salem First in North Carolina. They are passionate about the spiritual health of the US church and are committed to mobilizing faith communities for God and the good of humanity.
He and Darla led their congregation to cancel a twenty-five-year tradition of Christmas and Easter productions held on the church campus and replaced it with a city-wide partnership, uniting more than forty Christ-centered churches to tell the "ancient stories" in fresh ways. This artsy, postmodern partnership engages and unites ministries and non-profits from all over the city, without one senior leader ever taking the stage. These empowering events have now given way to a year-round, sustained ministry presence by Christ-centered churches all over the Triad area of North Carolina. Each year more than ten thousand believers are mobilized to make a difference off campus and experience the power of serving God and humanity.
Mike and Darla together have founded the 24sixchurch, a unique approach to satellite campuses, taking the emphasis off of Sunday morning church and providing ordinary people the opportunity to participate in meaningful ministry six days a week. They have two grown children, Brayden and Whitney; both are married and serve in various ministry capacities.
Mike's blog can be found at mikerakes.com. Additionally, he has written a book titled Slings and Stones, published by Charisma House.