For Pastors

Who We Are

We are Independent Baptist missionaries, called to plant churches in New Zealand. You can read more about our testimonies and call to the ministry here. We are sent out of Northwest Bible Baptist Church and Northwest Bible Baptist Missions in Elgin, IL under the leadership of Pastor Phil Cavanaugh. Seeking God's will for our lives and knowing it was on the international field, we completed a survey trip in New Zealand in 2019. The primary purpose of this trip was to confirm God's leading and find a pastor with which we could work with upon our arrival. God allowed us to meet Pastor Dan Fraser of Grace Independent Baptist Church in Tauranga, NZ, with whom we have joined in ministry with for our first years in New Zealand. Pastor Fraser was reached through an American missionary and now pastors that church. We are working under Grace Independent Baptist Church for two years before we begin to plant churches. Our goal is to see churches planted and pastored by Kiwis in the towns surrounding Tauranga and ultimately cities such as Gisborne, Napier, and Hastings.

The spiritual needs of New Zealand are great. 48% have identified as "non-religious" in recent polls, with that number being attributed to a large number of young people with no interest in the traditionalism of the previous generation. Similar polls have shown that many have never heard of Jesus Christ. Secular articles have highlighted the interest of the younger generation in organizations, non-profits, and movements that have passion and purpose. These stats lead us to believe that the people of New Zealand are prepared to see the difference that a relationship with Jesus Christ can make. We are excited to join the pastors and missionaries already laboring in the field of New Zealand!

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 4:6


Pastor Emeritus Keith Gomez

I would like to highly recommend Josh and Alyse Szwarga to you as missionaries to New Zealand.

Josh and Alyse are an exceptional young couple who are very active and busy in the Lord’s work here at Northwest Bible Baptist Church in Elgin, Illinois. Both of them graduated from Providence Bible College, also here in Elgin, Illinois, and Josh is currently employed as staff at Northwest Bible Baptist Church. Neither of them has ever given us one minute of trouble, rather have only been a joy while employed, as students, or serving in every way in their church.

My wife and I visited New Zealand several years ago, and I came home and simply mentioned, from the pulpit, the dearth of missionaries and strong independent Baptist churches in New Zealand. Shortly after that, Josh got a real burden for New Zealand. Recently, Josh and Alyse went on a mission’s trip there. When they returned to the states, they were convinced that New Zealand was the place the Lord wanted them to serve.

I am excited and delighted to recommend them to anyone who would be interested in supporting them. They will not only do a wonderful job in New Zealand, but they will be a bright and shining light for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Emeritus Keith Gomez Northwest Bible Baptist Church, Elgin, IL
Pastor Bill Stedman

There is likely no greater joy than to have young people grow up in your church to enter the ministry in a fully time capacity, and there perhaps even a greater satisfaction when they surrender to a foreign mission field. With that being said, I would recommend Josh and Alyse Szwarga who have surrendered to serve the Lord in New Zealand.

Alyse grew up in our church from birth. Her parents having been saved and faithfully served here. They have shown their family an example of service for Christ which is evidenced by the fact that all of their children are currently serving the Lord full time. Josh has grown up from a young man, whom I knew from summer camp, to become an established young man of God.

I recommend them to you, being confident that this missionary couple will deliver hard work, sacrifice and faithfulness in their answer to the call of God to this field. They will certainly represent some of the best mission money you will ever send overseas. God bless you and thanks for taking the time to consider the Szwargas to New Zealand.

Pastor Bill Stedman Faith Baptist Church, Posen, IL


The Bible

We believe that the King James Bible, AV 1611, is the inspired, infallible, perfectly preserved, authoritative Word of God for the English-speaking world. The Book that we hold in our hand is without error and is the absolute authority for all matters of faith and practice.

II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21

The True God

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.

John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; John 3:5-6; Genesis 1:2; John 14:26

The Church

We believe that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the "pillar and ground of the truth," observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission; first, to make individual disciples; second, to build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and that the one and only leader is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, and benevolence, the will of the local church is final.

Acts 2:41; I Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 4:11; Acts 18:8; Acts 5:42; I Timothy 3:1-13


We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the New Birth is a miraculous transaction whereby the sinner becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the New Birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the Divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the New Birth is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, not by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with Divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. THE FREENESS OF SALVATION We believe in the freeness of God’s grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept those blessings by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and willful rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

John 3:3-5; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:11-13; Colossians 2:12-13; John 1:11-13; I Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; Romans 8:29; John 3:15-16, 18, 36; Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 55:13


We believe that Christian baptism is the complete immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour; that it pictures our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, is the obedient submission of the child of God, and does not constitute in part or in whole salvation or redemption; that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of a church relationship and to the Lord’s supper.

Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:6, 16; Matthew 28:19; John 3:23

Lord's Supper

We believe that the members of the church, by the sacred use of unleavened bread and the unfermented fruit of the vine, are to commemorate together the undying love of Christ, preceded always by solemn self-examination.

I Corinthians 11:23-28

Satan, the Devil

We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present evil world, the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all powers of darkness — destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son and to the judgment of an eternal justice in Hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.

Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:9; I Peter 5:8; II Corinthians 4:4; Ezekiel 28:14-17; II Corinthians 11:13-15


We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, not allegorically nor figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution nor evolutionary change of species, nor development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only "after their kind."

Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3

The Fall of Man

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression, he fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice, and therefore under just condemnation without defense nor excuse.

Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 3:10-19, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3

The Virgin Birth of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and that He is both the Son of God, and God the Son.

Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25

Forgiveness of Sin

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the Divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with Divine perfection, and that He is in every way qualified to be the only suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Saviour.

Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:24; John 3:16; Philippians 2:7; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 1:1-3

Eternal Security

We believe that those who are born again become "new creatures in Christ Jesus" and because of the "operation made without hands," are eternally secure in the grace of God and have been given eternal salvation. We believe that they are forever sealed and shall never "come into condemnation"; that grand attachment to Christ is the mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.

II Corinthians 5:17; John 10:28-29; Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 8:1, 35-39; I Peter 1:3-5

Repentance and Faith

We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations and inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; that they occur when we willfully and knowingly turn from our sin and by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Acts 20:21; Acts 2:37-38; Romans 10:9-13; II Corinthians 7:10

Christ's Resurrection & Return

We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their full value. Of the resurrection we believe that Christ rose bodily "the third day according to the Scriptures"; that He alone is our "merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God"; "that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven…" bodily, personally, and visibly; that the "dead in Christ shall rise first"; that the living saints "shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;" "that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David;" and that "Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet." We are therefore pre-millennial and pre-tribulational as it pertains to the return of Christ.

Matthew 28:1-7; I Corinthians 15; Revelation 20:1-6; Acts 1:3, 11; I Thessalonians 4:13-16; Revelation 19:11-16


We believe that the command to give the Gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable, and this Commission was given to the churches.

Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Romans 10:13-15

Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.

Romans 13:1; I Peter 2:13, 14, 17; Philippians 2:10-1

The Righteous & the Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; that all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved in heaven and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in Hell.

I Peter 1:18; Romans 1:17; Romans 6:23; Luke 16:25; Revelation 20:15; II Corinthians 5:1-8; Matthew 7:13-14; I John 5:12

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.

John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; John 3:5-6; Genesis 1:2; John 14:26

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