The churches of Christ in NSW & ACT is a network of churches across two states passionate about Unity, Restoration, and Life in Jesus! Come and explore the origins, distinctives, and ethos of our network. Our prayer is that as you are amongst us, you will be empowered by God’s love to bring unity, restoration, and life to our world.

Explore and share our online brochure here:

Who We Are Online Brochure

Our ethos

The story of our network of churches of Christ in NSW & ACT has been shaped by people and communities who sought to be faithful to the Lordship of Jesus and to the practice of New Testament Christianity. Our ethos re-articulates those things we can say together and reflect the formative influences that have remained at the core of who we are.

Our name

The name “Churches of Christ” was not introduced as a denominational title, instead being a simple description of who these groups were, along with other terms, like ‘Christian Church’, ‘Disciples of Christ’ or ‘Community Church’. There were many, many groups like this around the world, such as a group of believers led by James O’Kelly in Surry County, Virginia in 1794. This group rejected the religious traditions they grew up with, forming a new group of believers and writing down what they considered as the ‘cardinal principles’ of the Christian faith:

  • The Lord Jesus is the only head of the church
  • We will call ourselves simply “Christians“
  • The Bible is our only creed and guide
  • The only test of church fellowship and membership is Christian character
  • We respect the right of every individual to make their own private judgements
  • We pray that Christians will be united so that the world may believe in God.


Our history

Our historic roots call each community of believers to start with a ‘blank piece of paper’, returning to the Word and Spirit and rediscovering simple Christianity in their context, proclaiming: “We just want to follow the Bible – and not be afraid of where God leads us!” In Australia, our churches reflect the influence of this freedom, comprising of churches who claim heritage from British and American, European and Aboriginal, Middle Eastern and Asian cultural communities, to name a few. However, it was the Scottish settlers arriving in Adelaide in the 1830s who planted the seeds of the churches of Christ movement on the Australian frontier by proclaiming: “We just want to be simply Christians!”

Discover Our History

Transforming communities

Our network of churches is committed to investing in communities locally, nationally and internationally. We do this through theological education, the provision of aged care services, camping venues & experiences and affordable housing. We are also involved in international mission, aid and development.

Fresh Hope Communities provides quality support and lifestyle choices across retirement, residential and respite settings, as well as conference and outdoor adventure experiences for school and community groups.

For more information, please visit

Australian College of Ministries

ACOM is committed to equipping students and leaders to thrive as lifelong learners in ministry contexts that may not exist today.

For more information visit our website

Global Mission Partners

GMP is a Christian international mission, aid and development organisation committed to facilitating life-changing partnerships.

For more information visit our website

Our leadership team

Daz Farrell

Executive Ministry Director
Daz Farrell - Executive Ministry Director Growing up as a 'preachers kid', at 27 Daz was brought from dark to light through an encounter with Jesus in Egypt. Daz has worked in multiple environments from leadership in investment banking, on-camera acting, and serving alongside Sydney's most vulnerable as a welfare worker. In the last decade Daz has served as an itinerant preacher and leader in local church and para church ministries, creating a start-up cafe as a 'third space' in 2014. In February 2021, Daz was appointed Executive Ministry Director and provides the spiritual and cultural leadership of Churches of Christ in NSW and ACT.

Emily Drough

Conference Executive President
Emily Drough - Conference Executive President

Tom Altobeli

Board Member
Tom Altobeli - Board Member Tom lives in Sydney with his wife of 39 years. He is father to two adult, married sons. Tom came to know the Lord personally at the 1979 Billy Graham Crusade. God powerfully used the message that night (If it were a crime to be a Christian, would there be evidence to convict?) to draw him by grace to Himself. His life was forever changed. Tom has a passion for the Church and for pastoral care and chaplaincy and am training for post-retirement ministry in this field. Professionally he has been blessed with an amazingly diverse career within the Law for 41 years. Family law is his passion and calling. For the last 16 years, by the grace of God, he has served as a Judge, currently on the Family Court of Australia.

Jenni Gainer

Board Member
Jenni Gainer - Board Member Jenni treasures her rich Christian heritage and is a long-standing member at Epping Church of Christ. She has served on our DCE Committee and Women’s Ministry Team helping to organise ANEW day conferences and pastors’ wives retreats. Jenni has taught mathematics in both public and private schools. As a mature-age student, she attained an M.A. in Pastoral Care at ACOM and was employed by NSW Health for 10 years at RPA Hospital, pioneering the ICU Pastoral Care Worker role. Jenni holds a Ministry Endorsement and in her retirement actively volunteers as a chaplain in the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network. She has trained as a Spiritual Mentor and is enjoying mentoring seven younger women. Jenni values family and is married to Les with three daughters and nine young grandchildren. “I love that our movement is firmly founded in the life and love of Christ with its mission aligning with God’s heart to see lives transformed and faith enriched. It is my prayer that in our complex and ever-changing world our churches would remain relevant, at the growing edge, bearing kingdom fruit in ministry and mission.”

Colette Harrison

Board Member
Colette Harrison - Board Member In January 2020, Colette and her husband, Greg, joined the Bowral Church of Christ community, where Colette serves as pastor. Before that, she served in several leadership roles at York St Church of Christ in Ballarat, Victoria, completing her time there as associate pastor. She was ordained in 2018. Colette’s background is in teaching, primarily working alongside refugee families in inner-city Melbourne. She has also spent much of her adult life serving in voluntary roles in the community and churches. “I see this role as an opportunity to listen, learn, connect, and contribute to the wider movement, as together we seek God’s wisdom and guidance in continuing to live out the ongoing mission of God’s church. I’m excited to see where God will lead us as we faithfully follow Jesus in our uncertain and changing context.”

Mike McGarrity

Board Member
Mike McGarrity - Board Member Mike has been a passionate follower of Jesus since coming to faith in Christ in 1989. He has been married for 30 years with two daughters who are passionate about their faith. He has been in church leadership for over 25 years. Mike has a collaborative approach to leadership, which included working as a team pastor in a large church, being part of church-planting teams, and leading a team to plant a church in Engadine in 2000. In 2015, he was part of the leadership of a successful merger with Engadine Church of Christ, rebirthing the church as Connect Church, and continues to lead the church today. Mike has a Masters in Missional Leadership (SCD), B.A Hons in Creative Arts (Reading University). B.Min (Tabor) and a qualified facilitator for Dynamic Church Planting International and Evangelism Shift. He joined the Conference Executive board last year. “I believe I can continue to contribute positively. I’d love to see Fresh Hope churches reaching out and connecting people to Jesus, fostering a culture that leads to disciples who make disciples.”

Ian Phillips

Board Member
Ian Phillips - Board Member Ian is attached to Tweed Heads Church of Christ, and ministers in Lismore, Northern NSW. In 1988, he and his wife, Marie, began to pastor Lismore Church of Christ and served there for nine years. Born in Bangalow, Northern NSW, Ian is proud to live on Bundjalung country and honours his Indigenous friends and their families. He is a chaplain with a volunteer organisation that serves Lismore’s community at ‘The Winsome’ (soup kitchen), providing a great lunch 365 days of the year, along with affordable accommodation. He currently serves as chair of a community refugee resettlement association. Ian has also served for several years as company secretary for a church and school and has developed a technology business. “I am inspired by the followers of Jesus in the first century and the amazing movements that have flourished over millennia as disciples have lived out the good news in their own generation. I love our attachment to not only the first-century source but to the living source of Jesus himself.”

Victor Tee

Board Member
Victor Tee - Board Member Victor is the senior pastor at Kingsford Church of Christ. He has previously worked as a finance and banking professional for more than a decade for Canon Finance Australia, CommBank and HSBC. He has also held numerous ministry roles including senior pastor (volunteer) at Harvest Indonesian Church for 15 years and lecturer at the Indonesian Mission Institute. Victor holds an M.A. in Christian Leadership from ACOM, a B.Sc from Sydney University, and has completed a Cert IV in Christian Leadership Coaching. He was the Conference President between 2020-2023, has been a member of Conference Executive since 2009 and was a Mission & Ministry board member. “My desire is to serve the current generation and prepare the next generation in this movement.”

Vieralisa Tan

Board Member
Vieralisa Tan - Board Member Vieralisa Tan was born in Indonesia and migrated to Australia in 1999. She has served alongside her husband for 22 years in ministry, currently at Hope & Harvest church in Auburn where her husband is pastor. Vieralisa has been involved in various areas of ministry and church life including the leadership team, discipleship, teaching ministry, preaching, counselling, mentoring, and administrative duties. Vieralisa has worked at Wesley Mission since 2011. Her current role is as a Workers’ Compensation & Injury Management Specialist. She has a Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Financial Services, an Advanced Diploma of Theology, and certificates in Human Resources and Organisational Psychology (candidate). Vieralisa has two adult children. “I’m motivated to glorify God through the gifts, abilities, experiences and unique propositions given to me – a professional in the Workers’ Compensation area and a pastor’s wife serving in the leadership team for 22 years. I believe this role will enable me to serve the wider community of churches at a local and state level.”

Nathan Green

Board Member
Nathan Green - Board Member

Peter Chi

Board Member
Peter Chi - Board Member