Meet the Faulkners
This fall my father had the honor of stepping into the role of General Secretary for the IBC with my mother at his side. When my parents started their journey of following God’s call into the mission field, they never could have dreamed this is where God would take them. But looking back, God’s hand has clearly been at work throughout their lives, leading and preparing them for this work. I now have the honor of sharing with you just a small snapshot of who they are and how God has led them to this role.
Tim and Jacki Faulkner first met in the summer of 1987 at the Montrose Bible Conference. Tim had just finished his senior year of high school and was living at the conference with his family. That fall they attended Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University) together, and in December of 1988 they were married. After receiving his degree in theology from PBU, Tim went on to Bethel Seminary, where he graduated with a Masters of Divinity. During his final year of seminary, he was struck when the professor of his missions course discussed how missionary efforts in Italy yielded few results and missionaries struggled to pass on their work to Italians who could continue to lead their churches.
Tim took a trip to Italy to meet and talk with missionaries there and kept a journal for Jacki who was working as a teacher in the U.S. He began to feel that God might be leading them there, and after reading his journal, Jacki began to feel the same. In Italy Tim had met the Monahans, who were missionaries with a clear plan for developing successors from the first day of their church plant. This intrigued Tim and Jacki and motivated them to join the Monahans. Within three years they had fulfilled all the requirements and raised enough support to join the mission field in Naples, Italy. So, with their two-year-old son and three-month-old daughter in tow, they followed God’s call to Italy and began working with the Il Faro church.
When looking back on their time of ministry several highlights come to mind for my parents. During their time in Italy God opened their eyes to the blessings and challenges that come with a call to ministry in a country outside of your own. They came to love and appreciate the different culture, foods, and traditions that they were experiencing, and the brothers and sisters in Christ who grew in numbers as their mission work continued became as close as family. On the flip side, the challenges that they had learned about in regards to ministry in Italy were present as well. Sometimes the church hit road bumps, and often the progress of training Italian leaders and disciples didn’t match what my parents had hoped. But through this they learned that what was most important was to continue to persevere in the good work God had called them to and to know that God was in control of the results of that work.
And indeed He was. My parents say they have been blessed to see so many members of the church family step up, be willing to learn, and help the younger generation grow into the future leaders of the church. People who had never had experience with any education beyond the high school level took courses on the Old Testament, Greek, Apologetics, and more with Tim and Tim Monahan. And in the past six years my parents have seen the youth that grew with the church step up to roles in leading the new youth groups, small groups, and even Sunday morning worship. The biggest highlight of my parents’ ministry at Il Faro came just last year, when in January 2019 my father handed the baton of pastoral leadership to Danilo Bozza, who had been training with him on-the-job for the past 10 years. This was an incredible blessing for the church and another moment in which it became evident that God’s hand was at work in the life of my parents and of Il Faro.
Another aspect of my parents’ ministry in which God has worked is in bringing together Il Faro and the IBC. My parents had always said that they would live and serve in Italy for as long as God wanted them there, so they expected they would spend years in Italy ministering to Italians alone. But in 2007 an IBC church that primarily served individuals working on the nearby U.S. Navy base was struggling to keep its doors open, and God brought an opportunity for this IBC church and Il Faro to merge. While unexpected, this was definitely a blessing, as my mother often still remarks that the church became “a small taste of what heaven will be like, with many different cultures and languages all worshipping together.” God definitely had bigger plans for Il Faro and my parents’ ministry than they could have thought. Now they found themselves not only ministering to Italians but to people from other cultures and backgrounds as well.
My dad was soon invited to become the captain of the Southern European Lead Team for the IBC, and my parents began attending the IBC meetings twice a year. In the fall of 2017 Tim was elected onto the presidential leadership team and ever since has participated with the Executive Leadership Team. During all of this, he continued to work with Il Faro and with Danilo, and they came to a decision about when the baton of Il Faro’s leadership would be passed.
Both of my parents were prepared to continue to serve the Lord wherever He brought them next, and they assumed that it might be in another area of Italy. They prayed that God would show them where He wanted them next. When Jimmy Martin decided to retire and the timing of his retirement lined up with the timing of my parent’s passing the baton of leadership to Danilo, they began to wonder if maybe this was where God was calling them. Looking back over the years they could see how their work as missionaries, as leaders of an international church, and as partners with the IBC might have been God’s way of preparing them for this role. So my father applied for the role of General Secretary of the IBC, and they prayed that if God did not want them in this role, that He would close the door. My parents and many others who came alongside them prayed that God would make it clear where He wanted them, and the response to these prayers was a resounding positive vote from the churches of the IBC to accept my father into this position.
My parents have always had open hearts for following wherever God leads them, and it has been a wonderful example to me and many others. They are excited for the work that He will do through them in this new role and are looking forward to being a welcoming presence in the IBC. They can’t wait to share some of their Italian coffee and the hospitality they learned from their years in Naples to all who work alongside them or visit their home.
My parents are in the interesting stage of life of watching their kids become independent adults. Ryan, 24, is living in Chicago. He is our competitive and perfectionistic first-born, with a loyal heart and a love for others, who completed his masters of architecture this past year and is now seeking a job in a firm in Chicago. He is part of a small group that meets every week and is praising the Lord for the loving friend group he has there.
Camryn, 20, is living in Montrose, Pennsylvania. She is a creative soul with a huge heart. These days her artistic nature is best expressed through the baked goods she creates each day for an Italian restaurant where she works. People love the work she does and have often remarked that her desserts are the highlight of their day. She continues to work hard while listening for what God wants her to do with her skills in the future.
I am Janay, 22, also living in Montrose, Pennsylvania. I am a lover of life and am always focused on the positive. I have followed my love of God’s creation to a degree in environmental science, and now am searching for work in this field. I feel blessed to be able to live with my sister again now that I am no longer in school and am grateful that God has provided a temporary job at a restaurant.
I am so blessed to have been able to witness the journey that God has brought my parents on, and I hope that this small snapshot of the work God has done in the past has made you as excited to see the work He will accomplish in these next years as it has made me.