For over twenty-five years, we have provided pastors and church planters with resources and training in how the early church met together in community. We want to help your church recapture the intimacy, simplicity, accountability and dynamic of Spirit led first-century church life. God has opened doors of opportunity for us to twork with pastors in North, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.
The Protestant Reformation of the 1500s began a reform of church belief and practice. The Baptists of the 1600s took reform a step further, insisting on the separation of church and state, believer’s baptism and the autonomy of each local church. The New Testament Reformation Fellowship is a fellowship of church leaders who desire to continue the reformation of today’s church through the adoption of other New Testament practices, such as the Lord’s Supper celebrated weekly as a fellowship feast, participatory worship services, elder rule through congregational consensus and Roman villa sized churches.
We at NTRF hold to the Doctrines of Grace, New Covenant Theology and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. The essential tenets of the faith to which we subscribe are identical to those found in the doctrinal statements of any sound evangelical institution. Our favorite statement of faith is the First London Baptist Confession of 1646. In short, we advocate orthodox Evangelical Christian theology poured into the wine skin of New Testament church practice as established by the apostles. Our goal is to be Christ honoring and thoroughly biblical in every area concerning our church life.
While we are firmly convinced that God’s best is for all His people to organize their churches according to New Testament patterns, we are not against those who do things other ways. We just suspect that they may be missing a blessing! We understand that sincere, godly saints sometimes apply the same Scripture passages differently. We hear Paul when he asked, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Ro 14:4).
As for those of us at NTRF who lead pastors’ conferences, we truly do identify with Paul when he wrote, “we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2Co 4:5).
Stephen E. Atkerson
Steve serves as pastor-teacher of the Southern Baptist church he started in Atlanta in 1991. While in college, he joined First Baptist Church of Atlanta (Charles Stanley, pastor). After graduation he moved to Birmingham where he led downtown First Baptist’s college department, ministering to students at Samford University (including then student Al Mohler). He has an M.Div. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and while there was part of Bellevue Baptist’s “workship” program (Adrian Rogers, pastor). He then ministered seven years on the pastoral staff of a mid-sized Baptist church. In the late 1980s Steve began working with churches that desire to follow apostolic traditions of church practice. He has transitioned from mega churches to mid-sized churches to Roman villa sized churches. Married 34 years, he and his late wife Sandra have three grown children and a growing number of grandchildren. He is author of New Testament Church Dynamics.
Ed holds an M. Div. from Biblical Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, served as an elder in Baptist and Missionary Alliance churches in New England and planted a church in central Connecticut. In 2001 he began hosting an annual conference on early church practice. Ed later moved to Georgia, where he serves as an elder at a Southern Baptist church. He also tutors in New Testament Greek and travels extensively sharing the Gospel on college campuses with a ministry called The Great Exchange. He and his wife Linda have been married since 1979 and have four children (along with a good cache of grandchildren).
Once a worshiper of the Hindu deity Shirdi Sai Baba and on the way to becoming a criminal, Stephen David now serves the Lord Jesus as an elder at a church he planted in Hyderabad, India. He has done his Bachelor of Theology, Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, and Doctorate in Theology. He is a blogger and also the author of Signs of Salvation: Understanding Counterfeit and Authentic Conversion. He and his wife Chaitanya have been blessed with two boys.
Denton serves on the leadership team of a Southern Baptist church in Tucker, Georgia. He studied at Whitefield Theological Seminary and before moving to Tucker planted a church in Monroe, Georgia based on early church practice. His favorite statement of faith is the 1644 Baptist Confession. He and his wife Tamara have five children.
A former Hindu, Muralee planted and leads a church in Trimcomalee, Sri Lanka that holds to both early church practice and the First London Baptist Confession. He also travels widely throughout the island evangelizing, planting churches and assisting existing congregations. A graduate of the Lanka Bible College and Seminary, he is working on his doctorate. He and his wife have five children.
Dan has a degree in law, a Master of Arts in Church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a PhD in business. In addition to love for their three grown children and several grand-children, Dan and his wife Linda have great love for the people of China, where he taught at various universities from 1995 until his retirement in 2017. God used them there to not just lead many to Christ but also to actively make disciples. Before moving to the China, Dan served as deacon in a Southern Baptist church and was also actively involved in starting and leading a church that followed New Testament church practices. He is currently planting a church in South Carolina and has recently started a YouTube teaching ministry.