About DTS

Andre Sims

Andre SimsAndré Sims, who describes himself as a “soul hound,” has used nontraditional evangelistic methods such as rapping, tearing phone books, and even wearing platform shoes. In addition to his work in evangelism and discipleship through Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and other smaller churches, André toured for a number of years with a musical rap group and later with the Power Team.

In his junior year of high school, André made a decision to make Jesus Lord of every facet of his life. André was a football player and after college, he was recruited by two football leagues. While he briefly considered these options, he instead decided to pursue full-time ministry, to which he knew God had called him.

“I never regretted the decision. [Professional football] would have derailed me from where God wanted me to go.”

Earlier that year, he and four others had put together a traveling evangelism music ministry called Transformation Crusade that performed Christian rap. While his fiancée, Kathy, sang with the group, André’s main role was to share gospel afterward.

André married Kathy and began a master’s program at Liberty Baptist Seminary.

In 1989 the group signed on with Benson records and moved to Nashville to record. After four years, their sales were good enough to continue in this market, but each of the band members had been presented opportunities for local ministry, so they decided to go their separate ways.

André was offered an associate pastor position over Christian education and outreach at the largest Baptist church in Nashville. He said he felt unprepared to work with curriculum and teach younger kids, but God equipped him in surprising ways.

“I realized I don’t have to have all the goods on the table to accomplish what God wants me to.”

After a few years in his position, the church experienced a major theological rift so André decided it was time for him to leave. By this point, André and Kathy had 2 kids to support, Josiah and Janae. When he walked away, he had no other job prospects, but believed that God would provide something. Within a few weeks, a former member of the band called to offer André a position as pastor of outreach and discipleship at Strong Tower, a nearby church.

“I was blown away. It demonstrated to me that I could trust God with my future. No company, church or corporation can provide what I need—only God can.” When André joined the staff of Strong Tower, the church was only a few months old and had 75 people meeting in an aerobics room at the local YMCA. During the three years he was there the church grew to over 350 people.

André felt like God was leading him to one day go back to seminary to finish his master’s and get a doctorate. At a church development conference at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Dr. Tony Evans, the church’s pastor, met with André to discuss possibilities. Dr. Evans offered André a position at his church that would allow him to also attend DTS.

So, in May of 1997 he became the director of evangelism and missions at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship with the charge of changing the church’s primary growth mode from transfer (Christians coming from other churches) to transformational (people coming to faith in Christ).

When he had been at the church less than a month, André organized a ‘70s night outreach. Members invited friends to get dressed up in platform shoes and big wigs. The people with the best outfits won door prizes, and then everyone watched the Mark 4 film called “Thief in the Night.” Seven people came to Christ that evening.

Through various creative outreach events, about two thousand people from inner-city Dallas came to Christ between May 1997 and May 2000.

Soon after André started school, he realized that his income was not meeting his expenses. He and the church prayed for God’s provision, and soon after, he received a phone call from the head of the Power Team, John Jacobs. John offered to pay for his seminary training if André would travel with them. Soon, André was traveling ten days a month, while still working part time at the church and attending classes.

As André continued his D.Min. degree, he wondered what God was preparing him for. In June of 1999 he got a phone call from a college friend named Tony in Seattle. Tony had a Bible study that he was hoping to transition into a church and wanted André’s advice and encouragement. He flew up there to visit, and preached to a group of seven people.

By January the next year, the group had grown to 40 people and had become a church. André called about nine guys with whom he had ministered in the past and seven of them flew up to meet him in Seattle for a research trip. Everyone left excited.

In Dallas, doors started closing for André. The Power Team experienced a falling away of the leadership, so he resigned. Dr. Evans offered André an associate pastor position at the church, but it required a three-year commitment. Feeling like God was beginning something else, he didn’t think he could make that commitment to the church.

Within three months, the church in Seattle asked André to consider coming to be their pastor.

“Doors started swinging open. Even down to a family in the church offering to pay our moving expenses. God was making it clear that we needed to move.”

André has been head pastor of the thriving Christ the King Bible Fellowship in Seattle since Aug. 6, 2000. All seven of the people who came out on the research trip relocated to Seattle with him. The church is growing supernaturally, mostly through new converts. And they just received a corporation grant of 1.5 million that will allow them to buy a church building.

While André is still working on finishing the dissertation for his D.Min., he has no doubt that he is where he is supposed to be. God’s hand of provision is unmistakable not only in his current ministry, but also in his journey.

“All the transitions in my ministry life came while I was being faithful to God where I was. Now that I’m in the senior pastorate and I see all that is involved, I know how important those 14 years of preparation were. Every place was a new opportunity to learn.”