1. Will Merle continue to be the Lead Pastor at Newport Church?

Yes, Pastor Merle will continue to be the lead pastor of Newport Church. This is affirmed by both the Eldership of Newport Church and by DOVE International leaders. In many movements, the international leader is simultaneously the lead elder of a local church. Larry Kreider himself, for many years, was both the lead elder of a local church as well as the international leader of the DOVE movement. This can work well when strong teams are in place to support the leader.

2. What is the planned timeline?

Pastor Merle will assume a gradual increase in responsibilities over a two year timeframe. It is likely that Merle will begin some travel with Larry Kreider in 2022. As with any new role—especially those that involve significant responsibilities—a time of training, familiarization, and preparation is needed. This is particularly the case with an international movement of churches.

As the lead elder of Newport Church, Merle will continue to lead Newport Church and develop the core leadership team there. The time frame above will enable a strong team to be developed to support the local church and ensure ongoing pastoral care and leadership so that he can increase time and focus on DOVE International as well as continue to lead Newport Church.

3. What has been Merle and Cheree’s process in making this decision?

When asked if Merle was willing and called to serve as DOVE International’s next international director, it was a confirmation of things Merle was sensing from the Lord. Prior to the invitation, Merle heard God asking him to be the next international director. He also had received several specific prophetic words from others, some given many years before, that were in line with this call. Given his life’s calling and gifts, and God showing him in advance that this was to be a role for him, the request to serve as DOVE’s International Director was an affirmation.

4. How will this effect Newport Church?

Newport Church has been building a great team of pastoral staff and volunteer leaders that is continuing to grow. We are positioned well to continue to pursue God’s plans and purposes for us.

Newport Church will benefit through being closely connected to the international family of churches and ministries that partner with DOVE International around the world. We also anticipate missions involvement and partnerships around the world becoming more dynamic.

5. Will Larry and LaVerne Kreider continue to serve as oversight for Newport Church?

Yes, Larry & LaVerne Kreider will continue to give apostolic oversight to Newport Church.

6. What is my part and what can I do?

Please pray for Pastor Merle and Cheree and their family, and for all of our leaders who are involved in this process.

Every role in Newport Church is important and each one of us adds our own part to the whole picture of what God is building in our generation. By serving in the ways God directs you, and using your gifts, you will be add your part to fulfill the work God has led us to.

7. How will we provide care for the key players in the transition as they cope with significant changes?

We are aware that the pending transition will involve significant changes, both for the outgoing and incoming international directors and their families. With the consent of both Larry and LaVerne and Merle and Cheree, DOVE’s recognized spiritual advisor Keith Yoder will serve them in a pastoral role, ensuring that they have someone with whom to share and pray regarding the transition and its implications in personal and family life. We also encourage the body of Christ to cover them in prayer.

8. What is the connection between Newport Church and DOVE International?

Newport Church is a partner church with DOVE International. DOVE International is an international family of churches and ministries around the world. For more info on DOVE International and the International Director Transition, visit

9. Where can I learn more about the DOVE International transition?

For more information visit the DOVE International website.