Kurt Owens was born and raised as a preacher’s kid in the central city of Milwaukee. As a youth, he was involved with gangs and by the age of 22, was a successful drug dealer. After a near death experience, he gave his life to Jesus and would later become an ordained minister. In 2005, he planted his first church in the central city of Milwaukee. In 2016, he led the launch of a north side multi-ethnic ministry initiative for epikos church. He and his wife Dee-Dee are the proud parents of 5 adult children and the proud grandparents of 10.
In spite of being a pastor’s kid, I felt as if I was doomed to hell. I never understood why I had to beg God for acceptance, so I gave up and turned to the streets of Milwaukee. As a successful drug dealer, my peers more than accepted me. I wore the best clothes, drove the best cars, made a ton of money, and simply purchased acceptance and validation from others. Nevertheless, my lavish lifestyle also made me a target. I was robbed three separate times, but it wasn’t until the last robbery at gunpoint that I truly began considering life after death. As the gunmen demanded I kneel down, I figured I only had enough time left to ask God to forgive me, which I did. Surprised I was still alive, I then promised God if he got me out of that particular situation, that I would change my life. In a strange twist of fate, the gunmen did not pull the trigger and instead demanded I lead them to the money. Though they had already robbed me for the drugs, they also wanted money. Therefore, I led them to the upper porch of my home and reached underneath the bannister as though I had money hidden there.
“I value multi-ethnic ministry because I am the product of what can happen through multi-ethnic relationships.” – Kurt Owens
Spared by God
All in one swoop, I flipped my body off the porch while landing on my shoeless feet. While there is no reasonable explanation of how that was possible, God not only heard my plea but spared my life that day. I was forever changed! From that day forward, I was determined to keep my vow to the Lord. I completely turned away from my life as a drug dealer, and took a job working as a delivery driver for a pharmaceutical company making $7.50 an hour. How ironic is that? I was still delivering drugs but this time it was legit and for a lot less money. This was my first life lesson in humility! Consequently, a young White guy (my boss) took a keen interest in me and began teaching me the business. He brought me into the warehouse, and from there, into the front office. He taught me everything there was to know about the business and within 15 months, I had worked my way up to the top of that branch. A couple of months later, I was promoted to our corporate office in Jackson, MS. Unbelievably, in a period of 18 months, I had gone from being a street thug dope dealer to running 13 branches nationwide; albeit, with no college education. By this time, I knew God was at work in my life. Soon after arriving in Jackson, an older White gentleman knocked at my door. He said he wanted to share the Gospel. I remember him asking me “if you were to die tonight and sat at God’s door, what would you say to him in an effort to get in?” I said something along the lines of my good outweighing my bad. However, he informed me that salvation had nothing to do with what I had done in life. He then shared with me Romans 10:9, of which I had never heard. That night, I tossed and turned wondering how that scripture could be true in spite of all my imperfections. Tears flowed like a well spring when it finally hit me. If this scripture was true, then I had been saved since the age of 9 years old. That night, I came into the knowledge of my salvation. Ironically, the moral of my story is the two most important life moments came through multi-ethnic interaction. I value multi-ethnic ministry because I am the product of what can happen through multi-ethnic relationships.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Ronaldo moved to the United States at age 11. He graduated from Penn State and completed his M.Div at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. After pastoring a church in the Philadelphia suburbs for eight years, he relocated to his wife’s home state of Wisconsin. They’ve been in Milwaukee since 2018. He and Kelli have two sons, Judah and Titus. He loves Jesus and is committed to the word of God. He’s passionate about his family, preaching multi-ethnicity, sweetened condensed milk, coffee, and soccer.
To be a gospel centered, multi-ethnic, church planting church built on the pillars of missions, faith, work and economics.
Flourishing people planting flourishing churches.
We invite people into Fellowship
We invite people to Faith in Jesus
We inspire people to Follow the teachings of Jesus
We inspire people to Flourish