The Gospel is Advancing through Indigenous Leaders

“Unless God builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” 

Psalm 127:1

In true biblical form, Empower One’s story begins humbly. In March of 2007 in Kajo Keji, South Sudan, there was no building to start a seminary. Seventeen students and three teachers began their studies under a cluster of mango trees. Their desire was to carry the hope of the gospel to the unreached people of Sudan and South Sudan by multiplying disciples and churches. These seventeen men were the first class of what would become North East Africa Theological Seminary (better known as NEATS). 

Today, our vision is unchanged. We are still unwavering in our desire to make disciples and plant churches in the dark and difficult places of Africa. To date, NEATS has trained, graduated, and commissioned over a thousand leaders who now span over five countries. We credit God for everything that He has done through NEATS. We pray that He continues to use Empower One in His mission to reach all the nations, and we will continue to give Him the glory. 

I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” 

Romans 15:20-21 ESV

Our Training Process

Our training process sets NEATS apart in multiple ways:

  • Our teachers are more than teachers. They are seasoned veterans as church planters, pastors, shepherds, and disciple-makers. In essence, NEATS embodies 2 Timothy 2:2 as the faculty entrusts their teaching to the next generation of leaders who will continue to make disciples who plant churches that make disciples who plant churches. 
  • Our curriculum is practicum based. The students live on campus for one month in a learning environment. For the next two months, they are to go back and strengthen their local churches with the teachings they have received. There are four of these terms per school year.
  • Our students must prove that they are applying the teaching. They must participate in at least one church plant to qualify for graduation. 


NEATS graduates are well known for their knowledge of biblical doctrine. Sound doctrine prepares a leader to tackle the challenges inherent to a life of God-glorifying ministry. The fundamental teachings include training in biblical theology, biblical literacy, missional strategy, and leadership development—specific to their role as a church planter. 

Flagship Churches and Mobilization 

NEATS is the heart of Empower One, and NEATS graduates are the backbone of the Flagship Church Vision. NEATS graduates are and will continue to be essential to the multiplication of church plants being commissioned out of the Flagship Churches. They will strengthen church leadership in disciple-making, church planting, shepherding, and teaching as they help to prepare the saints for the works of ministry (Ephesians 4:12) in each flagship area. NEATS graduates will also start Extension Centers in each Flagship Church to give more opportunity for remote people to be trained by NEATS. 

“…holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:16)