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Pastor Eric Montoya - CMN

Doug Clay

Chairman, Assemblies of God Trust

General Superintendent, Assemblies of God

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Pastor Eric Montoya had a deep desire to plant a church and see his former schoolmates and neighbors come to Christ.


In 2014, he launched The Grove of Santa Fe at a time when statistics showed on any given Sunday, 95 percent of the city’s population was not attending a church service of any kind.


Today, although the COVID pandemic took its toll on the congregation, the average attendance is 250 with people experiencing salvation practically every service.


As The Grove of Santa Fe is close to crossing the million-dollar mark in giving to missions, church planting, and compassion giving, Montoya pointed out that the initial investment in a church plant is recovered many times over.


Next year, The Grove of Santa Fe plans to plant a new church in the vicinity of Española, thirty minutes north of Santa Fe.


“We love the fact that we are able to pay it forward and now help other church planters through coaching and giving,” Montoya said. “Churches that can be self-sustaining in a few years give back to missions, and the money that was given will be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled through that church. Just imagine in the lifetime of our church how much will be given!”


Eager to help others, Montoya coaches new CMN planters across the nation.


“I think over the last eight years or so we have helped coach 24 teams or individuals and helped them launch churches around the country,” he said.


Montoya advises those he coaches to utilize the blessing of the matching funds program.


“Matching funds is an indicator for others to know this planter has done due diligence to learn to grow and to find resources and tools that are out there to help start a church,” he said. “It gives them momentum, and we want to see vibrant, life-giving churches. I think the greater the start they have, the more likely they will become a mission-giving church and a multiplying church.”


Montoya continued about the benefits of CMN fund matching saying, “It shows investors they aren’t the first ones giving and that the church planters are a part of a larger network. That means there will be a higher probability of success if a planter gets a network around them rather than doing it alone.”

AG Trust