Is God calling you to start a church?

RiverTree’s family of churches wants to plant churches that plant churches that plant churches because we believe this is an integral piece of accomplishing our vision of sending out 20,000 missionaries to Ohio and beyond. Potential planters go through a one-to-two year church planting residency where we invest the best of our DNA, philosophy, learnings, experience, practices, influence, funds, and people as we send out church planting launch teams.

Our Pastoral Resident

Hey RiverTree Massilon! My name is Austin Ankrom and I have the honor of joining the team here as a Pastor Resident. My wife Keely and I have two awesome little girls named Hadassah (2) and Eden (6 months) and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of what God is doing in and through this church and this movement.

My wife Keely is an elementary school teacher and I have been in vocational ministry for nearly a decade. I was born and raised in a small Appalachian town called Hamden in southeast Ohio about 30 minutes from Hocking Hills. My parents served, led and pastored multiple rural churches and sure enough, in 2014 God began to do a very tangible work in my life that ultimately led into church planting and pastoral ministry we haven’t looked back since.

Keely and I just believe so much in the local church that we can’t not be a part of it! God has been stirring us up about church planting since we got married in 2018. In the summer of 2023 God crossed the paths of the Ankrom family and RiverTree Christian Church and we fell in love with the vision, mission and ultimately the people. We got up and moved from 4 hours south of here to lay down roots and begin to lean into what God might want to do through the Ankrom family and RiverTree.

So here we are and we’d love to tell you more of the story anytime. I pray that you might consider giving financially into what God is doing as a kingdom investment. Your support is incredibly valuable to us and we recognize that generosity is not an easy thing, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You are planting seeds that will bring the fruit of life change and transformation here in Northeast Ohio!

We also ask for you to consider joining us in prayer as we spend these next few years asking God for more vision, more clarity and more direction. We trust that whatever might be next, God will be ultimately glorified! We can’t wait to meet you!

In Him,
The Ankroms

Why a Church Plant Residency?

A Church Planting Residency within RiverTree gives you a head start in the church planting process and ensures you have a long runway to prepare for the unique challenges and joys of planting a new church.


We want to locate visionary, humble, kingdom-minded leaders who get excited about gathering, building teams, and multiplying themselves and churches. This person should have experience in ministry settings, an entrepreneurial spirit, and drive.


This position is a 12-to-24 month program. The first six-to-twelve months will be focused on investing in the resident, fundraising a portion of one’s salary, and providing experience in our culture while planning a timeline and launch strategy behind the scenes. The second six-to-twelve months will be the execution of the launch strategy including fundraising for the church, deciding the location of the church plant and recruiting. Church Planting Residents are full-time staff members at RiverTree.


• Training in general church leadership and philosophy of ministry
• Theological instruction
• Guidance in casting vision and strategic planning
• Training in discipleship – one-on-one and corporately, including planning of multiplication
• Access to relational & theological networks (Exponential Conference, New Thing, Forge, etc.)
• Guidance in financial planning/budgeting and fundraising
• Experience in administration, project management and workflow
• Training in recruitment, team building and delegation
• Experience in communication (large group/platform/small group/training meetings)
• Coaching with Network Leader and other local experienced church planters
• Access to ongoing relationships and resources
• Training in leading a staff/team with access to each member of our team.
• Exposure to ministry and life in the northeast Ohio
• Opportunity for capable young leaders


Click the link below and send us your resume to start the process of becoming a RiverTree Network planter. We can’t wait to talk with you!