Joel Stockstill

Executive Director

Joel serves as the Executive Director of the Surge Project. He assumed the leadership from his father, Larry Stockstill, in 2020. Joel began as a student and young adult minister in Baton Rouge where he grew America’s largest youth group at the time. After speaking across america for several years, he began serving as an apostolic leader and guide to many church planters and movements throughout the country. You can connect with Joel’s personal ministry at

Larry Stockstill

Founder & Director Emeritus

Pastor Larry served as senior pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center for 28 years growing the church to 7,000 members and giving $63 million to missions.  In 2001, Pastor Larry launched the Surge Project with the desire to see churches planted more effectively.  He continues to travel the world ministering to Surge pastors and leaders and representing Surge at events. Keep track of his personal ministry at

Global Leaders

Our regional directors are the men who oversee the different regions of the world.
They are responsible for training, discipling and sending out new pastors.

Training Director

Dr. Hendrik Vorster

Dr. Hendrik Vorster is responsible for training our church-planters globally. He has been training thousands of church planters for the past several years. His 3-5 day training cohorts teach principles that are effective regardless of cultural context. Dr. Vorster is based in Brisbane, Australia.

Africa & Middle East
EAST Africa

Donald Matheny

Donald “Don” has been a missionary to Africa for over 43 years. In 1975, he settled in Kenya where he and his family now live. He began spiritually developing men and women who would take the responsibility of seeing Africa won to Christ. His focus is set on 25 nations in Africa.

Africa & Middle East
Middle East

Chady El Aouad

Chady has dedicated to see churches planted in the Middle East. This area is highly volatile due to the persecution of Christians on a daily basis. He has been a missionary to this area for over 15 years.

Latin America
Central Amercia

James Pursifull

James was born in Mexico to missionary parents. He and his wife, Jessica, were missionaries in Mexico and Central America for 7 years. In addition to serving as the Regional Directors of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, they have fostered 45 children and adopted 7. Currently, they have 11 kids.

Latin America
South America

Steven Finke

Steven is our most recent Surge leader to join the team for South America. He has committed to overseeing this area of church planting that has seen over 8,000 new churches started and is continuing to train new church planters.

View RegionView Region

Latin America

Philip Murdoch

Philip has been a missionary to Brazil for over 15 years where he was born in Rio de Janeiro. In the year 2000, he started Light to the Nations which is church planting ministry partnering with Surge to start new churches in Brazil.


Paulus Wiratno

Paulus lives in Bali, Indonesia and has been the primary leader in Oceania for the past several years planting hundreds of new churches primarily in Indonesia–the world’s most populous Muslim country.

South Asia


Our South Asia Regional Director has been involved in missions for over 25 years, starting as a missionary to Haiti and then Nigeria; and also, he has served as missions pastor at a large and influential church. He has established several model churches throughout all of South Asia and is continuing his work of planting rural significant churches.

China & East Asia


Timothy has been a missionary for over 25 years and over 19 of those years have been in China. Many new churches are started each year in this area of the world because this man has risked his own life and chosen to live his life to see the Kingdom of God advanced.


Peter Kovalenko

Peter has been leading the way with church planting in our Russia zone for over 20 years. He is the pastor for Kharkiv Christian Center in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Also, he is the author to the “Bible in One Year” and the television programs “Sector of Life” and Eternal Truths”.

Operations Team

Ben Debayle
Managing Director
Crystal Landry
Finance Director
Carl Everett
Account Director
Mike Ware
Partnerships Director
Beth Debayle
Communications Director


Jack Hanes
Global Advisor / Oceania
Tony Foster
Global Advisor / Southeast Asia
Werner Kniesel
Global Advisor / Europe

The History

There has been a massive paradigm shift began to take place in global mission’s strategy due to the steadfast work of thousands of foreign missionaries and organizations. This new era is centered around empowering qualified native workers to be sent out into their own nation to spread the gospel. A native speaks the language, understands the culture and lives comfortably in the same conditions as the people to whom they minister.

Many established Western missionaries have begun to recognize the value of the native worker, and have now focused their mission’s efforts on investing in these humble and hardworking leaders. Surge has partnered with many well-established, reputable, and powerful apostolic leaders around the world who are constantly seeing new native workers trained and raised up as leaders of integrity who are ready to be sent out into the harvest fields of their nation.

Pastor Larry Stockstill of Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, LA, launched the Surge Project (then the Global 12 Project) in 2001 by dividing the world into 12 regions each with a regional director. The vision is to provide a year’s living expense for these workers raised up under our network of apostolic leaders. Surge Project began pioneering what may be the most cost-effective and fruitful means of spreading the gospel to all nations.