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NATE and Sharon HOWARD
District Superintendent and wife

Nate and Sharon come to the Eastern PA District after serving with the C&MA in Lombard, IL, Ecuador, SA, NYC and 22 years in Vineland, NJ. Nate’s love for Jesus and Jesus’s church feed his vision to activate a people-development movement which will deploy strategic, whole, effective, joyful, Kingdom workers who lead and plant churches of global impact.

Sharon considers it a gift to be part of the EPD family. One desire she has is to pray for pastor’s wives and women in ministry and to ask God to provide relationships and resources that help them to flourish in their calling.

Fun facts: Nate’s dad lives with them, they have three adult married sons, and seven grandchildren. They love to be outdoors and Nate is a certified coffee nerd — he even roasts his own coffee.

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Alan Rathbun
Director of church multiplication

Alan has been married to Sandra for more than 25 years and they have been blessed to parent three children together: Brandon, Bryan and Brooke. He loves spending time with Sandra and his three Bs on road trips as they explore God’s amazing creation, play at the beach, attend baseball games and eat good ice cream wherever they can find it. He started in ministry as an assistant pastor at First Alliance Church in Harrisburg and had the privilege of planting Community Alliance Church in Harrisburg as a daughter of that church. At Community Alliance, they had the opportunity to partner with five other Alliance churches to plant a church in one of the most difficult sections of the city of Harrisburg. Alan has also had the opportunity serve on mission trips to Mali, Macedonia, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, the cross-cultural land of West Virginia, and on a hurricane relief trip to New Orleans. Alan is thankful for several people that God has led to coach him in both life and ministry. Their influence has reproduced a desire in Alan to coach others toward a fruitful life with God. He enjoys asking good questions that help people discover God’s goodness and seek His kingdom. He also enjoys reading about spiritual transformation, apologetics, and coaching.

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Director of church advance

Having served at Immanuel Church (C&MA) in Mechanicsburg for seven years as director of student ministries and then as an assistant pastor, Duane came to the District Office as Assistant to the District Superintendent for Administration and Finance. He attended Immanuel all of his life and met his wife, Sue, at the church. Duane and Sue were married in 1986 and have two adult children, Amanda (Mandi) and Matt. Prior to starting his vocational ministry, he owned an engineering business in the communications industry and is a licensed professional engineer. While a layman in the church, Duane served in a variety of positions including youth leader, elder, and trustee. 

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Christi started in the District Office in the Fall of 2018. She is a member of the Alliance Church in Elizabethtown, where she serves as the director of the Latin Ministry she and her husband Jeremy co-founded in 2017. She has a passion for encouraging and supporting those in the ministry and is joyful to serve the district in this role.



Brenda came to the District Office in March 2014 having previously served at Immanuel Church in Mechanicsburg, PA as bookkeeper and administrative assistant. She and her husband, Ernie, are the parents of four adult children and the grandparents of one amazing little boy.

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Originally from Ecuador, Xavier planted Iglesia El Camino (The Way Church) in 2008 in Mechanicsburg, PA. Xavier now oversees a growing Spanish work in cooperation with the Chambersburg Alliance Church and has several other projects in the works. Xavier is married to Alexandra and they have three children: Valerie, Sofia, and Andres.