About Us

If you were to ask, “What is Five Stones Church about?”
We would answer you with three words: Gospel. Disciples. Influence. That's it. Three stand-alone words yet linked in a strategic sequence.
Gospel

 

It all starts here. The gospel is about Jesus and Jesus is about the gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16) as well as God’s power to transform us into the image of Jesus (2 Peter 1:3-4).

This means our new life as a Christian not only starts with the Gospel, but it also grows & mature through the Gospel. The gospel initiates and sustains us from beginning to end. This is crucial to understand. Many think the gospel is just involved in “getting people saved,” but the gospel is much bigger than that. It’s rescues us, then goes on to perfect us. Hence, we believe the gospel is the most transforming power on planet earth. Jesus went to the cross for it, and we’re giving our lives away because of it.

Disciples

Those who have accepted the gospel and made Jesus their Lord and Savior will have a deep desire to live for Him. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, His spirit comes into our hearts and changes our very desires and motives. Jesus makes a home in our lives, and we start living a life consistent with the Holy Spirit, just like the first disciples. Disciples are those who hunger to learn the teachings of Jesus and obey them (Mt. 28:20). Disciples are those who are passionate to serve God, know Him and make Him known in community with other believers. Disciples are devoted followers that love to make a difference for Jesus.

Influence

Jesus said the Church is “the salt of the earth and a city set on a hill” (Mt. 5:13-14). The call of the Church is to shine and add value wherever they are. God loves cities, and designed his church to bring His light and blessing to all the buzz that encompasses a city—commerce, education, fashion, arts, music, entertainment, social and more. The gospel works through Christ’s followers to touch the life and culture of a city. We love our city. We love the density & diversity of our city, and we are called to be a distinct kingdom people that seeks the welfare of our cities (Jer. 29:4-7) so all nations can enjoy the goodness and kindness of God.

“I came to Five Stones and my life really changed…I was immediately at home.”

—Allyson, member since 2012

 
Meet Our Team

Rich & Memie Kao

Senior Pastor

richkao.ca@gmail.com

Worship Pastor

memiekao@gmail.com

Meet Rich »

Jon Wong

Associate Pastor

 

jon@fivestoneschurch.org

Meet Jon »

George Price

Financial Administrator

 

george@fivestoneschurch.org

Meet George »

Karmen Hansen

HiveCity Manager &

Five Stone Children's Coordinator

 

karmen@fivestoneschurch.org

Meet Karmen »

GillianLo_edited.png

Gillian Lo

Ministry Coordinator

 

gillian@fivestoneschurch.org

Meet Gillian »

Our Statement of Faith

We believe in the Scriptures, the infallible Word of God containing 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament as being fully inspired by God. We accept it in its entirety as the Word of God in its original manuscripts, holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant. The Bible is the supreme and final authority on all matters of doctrine, life, godliness and governance of the church. (2 Tim. 3:16)

We believe in one eternal God who has revealed Himself in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; distinguishable yet indivisible and of one substance. (Matt. 28:19)

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, true God and true man united in one Person as the only way, the only mediator between God and man He suffered and died on the cross for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and was buried. He arose bodily from the dead and personally appeared to His disciples. Afterwards, He ascended into heaven, where He is now exalted above all else. (Lk. 1:26-35; Jn. 1:18; Is. 7:14; 1Cor. 15:1-4; Jn. 6:44; 14:2-3,6; I Tim. 2:5)

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who has come to glorify Christ, to convict people of sin and to draw us to the Savior, Jesus. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells God’s children, gives new life, empowers believers for service, imparts spiritual gifts (as recorded in the New Testament and manifested in the early church), enables believers to live a fruitful, holy and spirit-filled life, and guides God’s children into all truth. (Jn. 16:8,13,14; Jn. 3:6; Acts 1:8; Gal. 5:22-24; Eph. 5:18; Jn. 14:16,17,26)

We believe in the creation account as recorded in Genesis and in the test and fall of man. As a result of the fall, people remain spiritually depraved, separated from God, and unable to attain right standing with God, and apart from Jesus Christ. No man is without sin. (Rom. 3:23-24, 5:12,18)

We believe that the salvation of sinful people is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. Salvation is manifested through our repentance, plus faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. Every person must be born-again. Through His work, not our own, we obtain the remissions of sins and become God’s children: heirs of eternal life. (Jn 3:3,5 Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1,9,11)

We believe that the salvation of sinful people is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. Salvation is manifested through our repentance, plus faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. Every person must be born-again. Through His work, not our own, we obtain the remissions of sins and become God’s children: heirs of eternal life. (Jn 3:3,5 Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1,9,11)

We believe in water baptism in order to fulfill the command of Christ. We also believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience at or subsequent to salvation and evidenced by various signs. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38-39, 4:31, 8:14-17, 10:44-46, 19:1-6)

We believe in one true universal Church consisting of genuine believers and in the visible expression of that church in local congregations. Local churches are under the Headship of Jesus and governed by pastors, elders, & five-fold ministers. These churches are commissioned by Jesus to propagate the gospel, administer the sacraments (baptism and communion), exercise scriptural discipline, and administer all its local works. (Matt. 16:18; Matt. 18:15-20; Acts 15:22, Eph. 4:11-12, I Tim. 3; Titus 1:5:9)

We believe in the second coming of Christ – physical and visible – to judge the living and the dead, receive his church, and to consummate human history in the plan of God. (1Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 22:12; Eph. 1:10)

We believe in eternal life for all true believers and eternal judgment for the lost, Satan, and all fallen angels. There is a hell where the unsaved will be forever. (Mt. 25:41; 2 Thes. 1:9; Jn. 3:16, 5:24; 2Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 20:10-15)

We believe in a believers’ baptism and partaking of the Lord’s supper as given in communion. (Mt.28:19-20; Acts 2:37-38, 8:36; I Cor. 11:24-26)

We recognize the obligation of the saved is to spread the gospel to the lost world. This may be accomplished by the preaching of the Word of God, praying, living according to the tenets of the Bibles and the sacrificial giving of the Saints.

 
Why are we called "Five Stones"?

The church’s name comes from the classic story about David & Goliath in I Samuel 17. Armed with five smooth stones, David was able to secure a dramatic victory over the giant Goliath with Spirit-inspired courage, creativity & simplicity. As David brought great glory to God, so Five Stones exists to glorify God and make Him famous in our city.

 
Our History

Five Stones Church started in Nov. 2003 when Pastor Rich Kao and his family, after pastoring for 12 years in Minneapolis, MN sensed a call to the West Coast to plant an international, multi-generational church. After weighing several key cities (LA, San Fran, Seattle, San Diego), with God’s leading, they decided to move to Vancouver because of it’s incredible diversity, cosmopolitan mix, and reputation as a gateway city to Asia. With wife Memie, and their four children, they made their move in July of 2003.

 

In April 2005, with more families joining the start-up church,  the group found a new Sunday morning “home” in Douglas College (New Westminster) where the church met on Sunday mornings for the ensuing five years. Being centrally located, well known, and close to the sky train system, it allowed families from around the city to travel easily to the church’s services.

 

In May 2008, the church added administrative offices and a local compassion warehouse ministry called Dream Centre in Burnaby. This served as Five Stones’ Monday to Friday headquarters while Sunday services were still being held at Douglas College.

In Feb. 2010, after several years of searching and researching, God opened a full-time space for the church right in downtown New Westminster — BC’s first capital and the original Vancouver — that would permit Five Stones to hold services and house all their offices in the same location. Finding a zoned building that would allow for this was a multi-year search that required much patience. In the end, after much prayer and perseverance, God provided a place above and beyond what they could have imagined. With a rich mix of heritage and urban vibe, 612 Columbia has become a wonderful new home for the Five Stones family.

Five Stones Church is located in an elegant Victorian era warehouse in the heart of Downtown New Westminster.

Our DNA

Grace

We are a Gospel-centered church

John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In this verse Jesus gives us the doctrine of salvation by grace and not by works (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). We believe the gospel is the most transforming power on planet earth. Jesus went to the cross for it, and we’re giving our lives away because of it.

Missions

We are a Great Commission church

We have a passion to impact the world through Vancouver and in Vancouver. We want to see God at work globally and locally. This is what the Great Commission is about (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). Our purpose is to bring people to Christ, disciple them and send them out to be change agents for Christ. Hence, our mission statement reads: “Creating a culture of disciples and influence through the power of the gospel.”

Spirit-filled

We are a New Testament church

Left to ourselves, we always drift from God. That’s why God gave us His word, so we can always “steer back” to where we should be. Renewal is about getting back to the sweet spot of God’s truth. Our goal is not to “reinvent the wheel” or try to come up with something “new” but to faithfully study God’s word and as best as we can, follow and apply it’s principles for church life in our culture and city. Themes such as five-fold ministry, being baptized with the Holy Spirit’s power, community living, spiritual family, global missions represent a cornucopia of truth to be cherished and obeyed. We are called to point our culture to God, and the best way to do that is to model God’s kingdom to those around us.

Creative

We are an Incubator church

We love starting things. We love pioneering. We love trying and doing things in fresh and impactful ways. Since our inception in 2003, we’ve established four other non-profits besides Five Stones Church. They are 1) HISG-Canada; 2) Catalysts, Inc.; 3) Dream Centre Outreach Canada; and 4) A humanitarian organization assisting in North Korea. Besides starting these organizations, we also get to nurture the new leaders that come along with these ventures, which is part of our call; raising up the next generation of Great Commission workers.

Reproductive

We are a Disciple-making church

The church is only as healthy as it’s disciples, and Jesus told us that making disciples is imperative (Mt. 28:19-20, Lk 9:23). This was his Great Commission to us. Employing cell-based ministry as our key tool, our goal is to “grow disciples that make disciples through the power of the gospel.”

Mercy

We are a City-loving church

Jeremiah 29:4-7 says to “seek the welfare of the city, for in its welfare you will have welfare.” Our desire is to be integrated into the life of the city in a redemptive way. We work with social services, the creative arts community, businesses, and city agencies to add value and bring blessing to our town. We want to do “small things with great love” and model Jesus’ care and mercy to our city.

Five Stones Apostolic Team

Besides growing a local congregation in the world class city of Vancouver, Five Stones Church is also committed to planting churches in other key global cities around the world (e.g. Copenhagen, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and more). We refer to this initiative as our "Gospel Cities" vision.

 

To make good on this initiative, we have assembled an apostolic team of seasoned pastors that are gifted, experienced, and have a deep love for the local church. Besides planting churches, the team also serves other strategic churches and apostolic hubs around the world, particularly Asia, with an emphasis on the prophetic. The team is a wonderful mix of different personalities, gracings and emphases, reflecting the unity but diversity of God's leaders:

Rich Kao

In addition to being the Sr. Pastor of Five Stones Church, Rich leads the apostolic team. Based on God's timeless biblical pattern, Rich believes church planting is one of the most invigorating and strategic ventures around. With a love for establishing high impact congregations, Rich is passionate about establishing churches global cities around the world. 

Jon Wong

Jon will be leading Five Stones Church's church planting efforts in Scandinavia by starting a work in Copenhagen, Denmark.  With wife Stef and son Judah, they are laying the foundation for this exciting new work.

Ben Goodman

After years of teaching Philosophy at schools such as University of North Carolina, Ben answered Jesus’ call and transitioned to full time ministry. A veteran of over 25 years of ministry, Ben Goodman is a prophetic minister who works closely with a number of apostolic church networks in addition to Five Stones: mPact Churches(UAS), Truebridge Churches (Upper Midwest US), and NewFrontiers (UK and Europe). His passion is to strategically equip leaders and churches to live out God’s callings to their fullest.

 

Ben travels extensively both nationally and internationally, encouraging, strengthening and equipping various streams of churches with a strong combination of prophetic ministry, teaching, training and demonstrations of the power of God. Ben also serves as the Pastor of Leadership Development, Prayer and Prophetic Ministry at Manna Church in Fayetteville NC, where he lives with his wife Becky and three girls.

Greg Miller

Greg Miller is a co-founder of Word In Season International Ministry (WINS), located in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Rhema Bible College and served with Youth with A Mission. Greg travels internationally to train, equip, and encourage people in prophetic ministry by demonstrating how this ministry is supposed to be used in the modern church. With his experience in prophetic ministry and healing, Greg has developed a prophetic training course called Messengers that trains churches to build prophetic culture and prayer teams. Greg’s passion is to see churches all around the world following New Testament Biblical order for the prophetic, in order to demonstrate God’s love for others.

 

Greg has been married to his wife Lucy since 1988; they have four children, and both serve on the Innovate Church leadership team located in Fort Worth, Texas.

Chuck Porta

Chuck Porta has been in full time ministry for 43 years; 16 years pastoring three different churches in Minnesota and 26 years focused on an extensive traveling ministry. He is primarily known for his strong prophetic teaching ministry. Chuck brings a challenging message calling God’s people to a deeper life of intimacy with the Lord. His burden is to see God’s people fulfill their divine destiny by the grace of God. Chuck teaches in-depth seminars including the life and ministry of Paul that has transformed the understanding of Acts and the Pauline epistles.

 

While his message will certainly challenge the lukewarm, it will also inspire those who are hungry to move on in God. His ministry includes overseeing a number of churches and bringing leaders together from around the nation to be encouraged, strengthened and equipped. Chuck and his wife Kathleen reside in Eden Prairie, MN.

 
 
Hive City

Hive City is a social initiative of Five Stones Church to serve the city through business, education and hospitality. 

Visit www.hive.city »

 
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