Daniel R. Stevenson (Sheryl)

Education/experience/Milestones

Daniel and Sheryl Stevenson have been married for twenty-four years. They have five children and four grandchildren. Their eldest daughter is married and her husband RJ professes a call to preach/teach the gospel. Their second eldest Amalya is married to Ricky who also professes Christ and serves through games and sports among other opportunities. Sheryl is a successful Regional manager for Elon Property management and does as much as she can to be available to the ministry and family. Daniel and Sheryl were saved at East Toledo Baptist Church Twenty-one years ago while Sherri was pregnant with their second child Amalya. Pastor Dan and Sherri taught Sunday School for nine years total in every age group from 5th grade to young adult. Pastor Dan served as Youth minister/director at East Toledo for several years after Bible College. Sherri has worked faithfully to support the family while Daniel was attending Bible College and Seminary. She has been a stalwart servant of the Lord from the very beginning.

Pastor Dan graduated with honors from Liberty theological Seminary. He has a master’s degree in Evangelism and Church planting. He is also a Certified Life Coach thru Leader Breakthru. After Bible College, God led the Stevensons to begin the groundwork for New Heights Fellowship. Daniel attended Liberty Theological Seminary during the early years of the church plant until in 2011 when Daniel graduated from Liberty. New Heights Settled on Main Street in 2007.

Toledo became a passion for the Stevensons and inner church planting did not come about until God gave Pastor Dan a vision for reaching the city by uniting those actively sharing the gospel. New believers need church homes and many areas in Toledo do not have evangelistic or Southern Baptist churches. As God began to provide young men called to preach and teach, locales for church plants, and open doors with partners in the community it became evident that God was working on a church planting Strategy.

In 2012 God opened the door for Pastor Dan to become the Director of the Life Station. He also launched a strong relationship with the city and Toledo public Schools. It became clear to Pastor Dan that God was at work but that He (Pastor Dan) did not understand the vision. God continued to work while Pastor Dan pursued a time of fasting and prayer to better understand God’s intentions.

In April of 2013, a long term lease was signed on the Heffner School building but the plan was for the building to be gifted to New Heights. In July of 2013 the Toledo Public Schools board of Education passed a resolution to release the school building to New Heights through the city of Toledo. The City of Toledo has now done so and it only remains to execute the paperwork.

In recent days, Pastor Dan and Sheryl have followed a leading of the Lord to begin to work this strategy to the best of their ability. This included Sherri giving up a day of work and taking a salary cut so she could be more available to the family and the ministry. That was a hard process and somewhat miraculous when it actually worked out. Sherri now works five days a week again but one of those days is at home and the family is adjusting. Ariana, their newest addition, is almost a year and a half old and beautiful! Instead of trying to find a balance between the ministries there are now logical connections and each ministry feeds into the others.

In the future the Stevensons will serve God in attempting to unite God-given ministries in Toledo and see Toledo transformed.

Spiritual Gifting, Heart, and Aptitude

Pastor Dan would have been anything for God except a preacher or teacher. Fearful of being up in front of groups, fearful of what others thought of Him, fearful of the unknown, it was all Dan Stevenson could do to get down front at the invitation and confess his need for Jesus.

Spiritual Gifts

God empowers everything we do. It is impossible to do anything without Christ’s provision, protection, and power. That being said, certain Spiritual gifts are more prevalent in certain persons. Amazingly, God seems to match up these Spiritual Gifts with the tasks He sets for His servants. This is a further expression of his Power, provision, and protection.

The Spiritual gifts assessed in Pastor Dan’s life and seeming to prosper the kingdom are: Preaching/Teaching the Gospel, Pastor Shepherding, Prophecy, Faith, Evangelism, and Creative Expression.

The Spiritual gifts assessed in Sheryl Stevenson’s life and seeming to benefit the ministry are: Faith, Administration, and Teaching.

The unique blend of these gifts and the circumstances God has put this couple in logically must result in an advancement of the kingdom in Toledo.

Passion/Heart

The Stevensons have a passion to see the kingdom advance in Toledo. Specifically, Pastor Dan desires to see the gospel preached in an arresting way to all people in all walks of life. Pastor Dan preaches using object lessons, stories, and illustrations that involve the audience physically or mentally in the sermon. Prior to being saved, Pastor Dan would never have considered preaching or even public speaking but now that God has ordained it he feels released to do it openly and aggressively. He has a heart to draw in persons who otherwise might not listen and see them accept Christ.

Sheryl Stevenson desires to see God glorified by an organized and advancing church that aggressively spreads God’s word among all peoples. Sherri has a heart to teach the word from basic to more challenging doctrine to young people especially. She loves helping fuel their passion and encouraging them to reach new heights in Jesus.

Family Mission Statement

We will stand for building strong relationships between family members and with others by being considerate. We will live by the following values: Being involved and involving others, Expressing and allowing individuality, Laughing is good, and Worship and church life are of the utmost importance. Needs, conflicts, and issues will be addressed by the person(s) most able and available to do so, by communication which will include speaking and listening by parties involved in any dispute, polite asking followed by willing service, and ultimately, observance of the commands of God. We will strive to lead a full life, enjoying ourselves to the fullest, and serve God and His church. This mission statement is based on the truths found in (among other places) John 10:10, 2 COR 5:7, Phil 4:4, Hebrews 10:24-25.

Pastor Dan’s Passion Statements

I will preach and Teach the gospel, the teaching of Jesus Christ, and the practical understanding of how to walk out a person’s faith always being sensitive to the moments of decision that requires a commitment on behalf of the listener. I will evangelize the lost at every opportunity calling for a genuine decision to follow Christ with the listener’s entire being. When opportunities do not exist to spread the gospel and call person’s to decision I will endeavor to create them with whatever means God places under my stewardship. I will equip leaders by Life Coaching and mentorship with the end goal of spreading the influence of the God’s kingdom in every life.

Unifying Strategy Overview

In God’s Sovereignty He has orchestrated a strategy which we have only just begun to understand. The purpose of the strategy is known to some degree. It is to transform the city of Toledo. It is to reveal Christ and God’s love to all persons calling for a decision to follow Him. This is not specifically a ministry evangelism strategy in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a strategy of planting churches and doing ministry evangelism with a very specific purpose of gaining an audience for the gospel with an intentional call to decision. God’s love leads a person to a number of possible decisions. The gospel leads a person to a number of possible decisions. Evangelism however, speaks of God’s love, shares the good news, and in plain language calls a person to one specific decision. Accept and commit or don’t. There is only one way to be saved and that is through Jesus and even a full belly won’t overcome the emptiness in someone’s heart. Only Christ can do that.

Vision Statement of the overall ministry

We will be on-mission for Jesus Christ in the city of Toledo. We will be networking partners and bringing to bear the resources of God’s people to spread the gospel and call to decision the citizens of Toledo and the surrounding area. We will be an expression of God’s desire to love, provide, protect, and empower/unleash believers by spreading the good news and calling people to kingdom service through Jesus Christ.

Leadership Life Coaching

Pastor Dan is now a certified Life coach thru leaderBreakThru. He and others in the network who are working to gain this certification are in the process of developing a master prospect of city leader, professionals, and business persons who will take advantage of this service. This will effectively grow income but more importantly reach people for Christ as they learn to grow and to achieve through Christian based Leadership Life Coaching. APEX certification which is designed to help leaders and their organization define their unique contribute, is well underway.

The Ask:

Please help us.

The Firestorm Toledo Church planting network is an urban church planting network and is resource poor. We desire to overcome evil in the urban center of Toledo. We must do warfare with poverty, addiction, low education levels, broken homes, failed relationships, worldly standards of living, gang warfare, and prostitution. To continue the fight we must have prayer, volunteers, and donations of all kinds.