Chuck and Donna Thomas founded Project Partner in 1969 while they pastored in Wichita, Kansas. Born out of the Pawnee Avenue Church of God, Project Partner was created to provide people with the chance to act on the commission of Christ, "go and make disciples of all nations."
The strategy was to find fruitful international partners and to enhance their ministry. Chuck and Donna understood international partners reached their own nations more successfully those from other countries. Their idea was to minimize the expenditure of time and energy in the U.S. in order to maximize the support given to the international ministry through funding, service, and prayer.
Chuck and Donna began their outreach efforts by taking regular trips from Wichita, Kansas to Monterrey, Mexico partnering with a local pastor, Enrique Cepeda. Quickly, interest in international missions grew. They expanded beyond Mexico, going into Central and South America. Their partnership with western churches and developing international churches eventually reached out to China, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Egypt, and the Philippines. Over the next forty years they involved over 6,000 people in this partnership to train national pastors, build churches, schools, and community life centers throughout the world.
Donna Thomas succeeded her husband as president of Project Partner in 1983, when Rev. Chuck Thomas' health began to fail. When Rev. Thomas passed away in 1992, after battling cancer, Donna continued to provide leadership for most of the next 20 years.
In the early days of Project Partner there were many international partners. In recent years Project Partner assisted those partners to become self-sustaining. The exception is the ministry work in China.
China is unique because of the necessity of secure communication. The national ministry is a vast and fruitful work, but due to the nature of the work, Project Partner is not able to publicize much of it. Suffice to say, the opportunities are many, the time is strategic, and the financial need is significant. Currently, China is the priority for Project Partner.
In recent years, Donna began looking for a person to lead Project Partner. It was essential that those leading the ministry in China were willing to accept the leadership of the new Project Partner President and Director. Donna asked Gary Kendall, Senior Pastor of the Indian Creek Community Church, to lead Project Partner as president, at the encouragement of the Chinese national leaders. Gary accepted. Gary delegates the day-to-day operations of Project Partner to Director Kristen Levitt. Kristen has over a decade of experience in mission ministry, starting at twelve years of age. She fulfills a lifelong dream of working in mission ministry. Kristen has made multiple trips to China and has the confidence of the Chinese national leaders.
Currently Project Partner operates out of Olathe, Kansas. Our active employees, Board of Directors, ministry volunteers, trip participants, and organizational leaders make up Project Partner's ministry team.