Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Gary J. Moritz


Church Revitalization, Church Replant, Pastors, Leadership Training


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


There are churches in America seeking vitality through the restorative and refreshing power of the Holy Spirit. The present term of renewal is called “church revitalization.” Each struggling congregation has or is securing a pastor revitalizer. The question many will ask is, “Are these holy shepherds high capacity leaders? Will they lead the church with a compelling vision, a devoted work ethic, a contagious passion, and a kingdom focus based on a community context?” The thesis project researches ten pastor revitalizers from Montgomery, Alabama. The researcher gives them the name Sons of Nehemiah to build rapport and accentuate Nehemiah’s biblical value as a role model regarding the above four competencies. The researcher performs applied research on these men and their leadership as well as the churches they serve. He coaches the pastors by leading a six-week lecture series that includes peer dialogue, the examination of books, and online courses conducted by national church revitalization leaders. Also, he exposes the pastors to personal time with national leaders who are contemporary church practitioners. The researcher observes the church members’ comments regarding their church longevity and historical legacy. He collects quantitative data from community demographics and annual church profiles. Research concludes that if ten pastor revitalizers with nominal leadership capacity subject themselves to high-level leadership training, then a higher level of leadership capacity should be the anticipated result. The project proves that these men gain a higher degree of leadership skills and inspiration to lead their churches due to the intensive development efforts.