Rick and Denise Renner

Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.

Rick and Denise’s friendship has led to a lifelong love and a powerful partnership in building the Kingdom of God. After a decade of ministry, first as pastors and then as itinerant ministers, Rick and Denise Renner embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. In January 1991, the Renners and their sons — Paul (then 8), Philip (then 6), and Joel (then 2) — left behind all they knew to relocate their family to serve the region that only weeks earlier had become the former Soviet Union.

Rick and Denise remember kneeling together as a family and kissing the ground when they arrived at the airport in Latvia on that cold January day. In that moment, they all committed their lives to the will of God and to the people of their new homeland. The following year, Rick moved forward to launch and establish the first of its kind — and eventually the largest — Christian television network in that region of the world.

Over the years, Rick and Denise pioneered three churches, a Bible school, and a ministerial association that serves thousands of Russian-speaking pastors throughout the former USSR as well as parts of the Middle East. As Rick began training and mentoring leaders in the early days, Denise also developed a women’s ministry that is actively involved in changing the lives of women and their families today. Specifically, they minister to the needs of orphans, women prisoners, the homeless, and drug-and-alcohol addicts.

Rick, Denise, and their children began as a small circle of five, willing to go beyond their comfort zone to reach the uttermost parts of the world. Today that circle includes their sons’ wives, eight grandchildren, and a large ministry staff that helps the Renners extend their reach as they exalt Jesus Christ as the Hope of all nations.