President and CEO
Mel is a nationally known Church consultant called into the ministry from a career with IBM. His PhD is in Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, and he studied Church Growth in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Fuller School of World Mission. He was mentored by world renowned missiologists like Donald McGavran, C. Peter Wagner and Ralph Winter.
As a result of his expertise in the use of technology, he was asked to write on article on “Using Computers to Support Total Church Growth,” which was published in Church Growth, State of the Art in 1986. (Eds. C. Peter Wagner, Win Arn, Elmer Towns).
Mel has been blessed to serve as both a bi-vocational and full time minister of the Gospel. Beyond this, he has had the joy of teaching hundreds of pastors and Christian workers about evangelism and Church Growth during his career, and he has consulted with numerous churches, denominations, Christian colleges, seminaries and mission agencies.
As a businessman, he had a successful career working for corporate giants IBM and AT&T. He has consulted with numerous other businesses and organizations, large and small. In addition, he and his family founded one of the first computer companies to develop and sell church software that ran on personal computers.
In addition to his PhD degree, he also earned the Executive MBA degree from Georgia State University and a BA with a double major in Bible and Psychology from Tennessee Temple University. In addition, he has more than four years of graduate level education in the Bible, Church history and other relevant subjects from Baptist Bible Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary and Emory University. He also completed all of the Church Growth curriculum for the Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary.
Mel left a very successful career with IBM when God called him to full time Christian service as the Associate Pastor and Minister of Evangelism at First Alliance Church in Atlanta, GA. This led to his co-founding Evangelism Explosion Atlanta with the blessings of D. James Kennedy and Archie Parrish of Evangelism Explosion International. This experience, coupled with an increased understanding of Church Growth principles, led to the expansion of E.E. Atlanta into Church Growth Ministries Inc. This ministry consulted with ministers, churches and faith based organizations from many different denominations throughout the USA and Puerto Rico and enjoyed affiliate relationships with Dr. Win Arn of The American Institute of Church Growth and Carl George of the Charles E Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. (CEFI).
Mel is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who In American Church Growth”. He was one of 16 leading church consultants in America selected in 1986 to publish an article in Church Growth, State of the Art, edited by Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Dr. Elmer Towns and Dr. Win Arn. His chapter on “Using Computers to Support Total Church Growth” uniquely demonstrates how computers and the internet can be used to help church leaders implement better ways to win the lost to Christ and help them grow into spiritually mature believers.
These Total Church Growth methods were field tested in several different denominations and resulted in sustained growth in the majority of churches who fully implemented the program. A six volume training manual utilizing Total Church Growth principles was published by the Charles E. Fuller Evangelistic Institute and used throughout the nation. He also developed the “Congregational Growth Profile”, a questionnaire he and many other consultants used nationwide to measure the levels of spiritual life and vitality in churches. Mel was blessed to be mentored in the design and use of surveys by the son of the founder of the Gallop Organization, George Gallop, Jr.
The increased demands of the computer business related to the publication and sales of their software for churches and non-profit organizations required Mel to devote all of his time to the computer business. As a result, Church Growth Ministries was discontinued in 1991. In 2013, Mel felt the call of God to once again reopen the ministry supporting churches and other Christian ministries throughout the world. To show the broader dimensions of the ministry, the name was changed to Growth Ministries International. It now has ministries ongoing in central Africa and other international sites.
He now lives in Gainesville, Georgia with his wife Dollie, who is also his greatest supporter and prayer partner. They are members of Lakewood Baptist Church and the Wisdom Seekers Sunday School class. God has blessed Mel and Dollie with two sons. Mark is married to Lidia, and they live in Hoschton, Georgia with Mark’s daughter Hannah and Lidia’s son Brandon. They attend Bethlehem Baptist Church. Jeremy is married to Nancy, and they live in Atlanta with their daughter Madeline and son Ethan. They attend North Point Community Church. Both sons are active with GMI.