Meet the pastors
Senior Pastor Işık Abla
IŞIK ABLA was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and raised in a Muslim home. Throughout her childhood and young adult life she experienced verbal and physical abuse and found herself in an extremely violent abusive marriage to a Muslim man. Işık earned a bachelor’s degree in literature, followed by an advanced business degree. She worked in high-ranking executive positions for some of the largest corporations in Turkey and traveled throughout Europe. In 1996, she fled to America from her violent Muslim husband after he tried to kill her. After years of struggling to start her career all over again in a foreign country and failing in many areas of her personal life, Işık fell into a deep depression. She became suicidal. On the day she was planning to end her life, she had a personal encounter with God. That day, she surrendered her life to Jesus, and she received the supernatural healing and redemption of Jesus Christ. From that moment on, her life remarkably changed for the better. After receiving the Lord’s call to full-time ministry, she attended Ambassador’s Commission School of Ministry. Soon after her graduation, she became an ordained minister. She studied Biblical studies at a Divinity School. Following she attended Yale and Harvard Universities for leadership training. Today, Işık’s programs are broadcast in over 200 countries on six continents in multiple languages available to all the Middle East and North Africa. Ministry content is provided in English, Turkish, Arabic, Indonesian, Farsi, and Urdu. Her message of hope, love, and redemption, found only in a loving God, resonates with and continues to reach the Muslim world for Christ. As a Muslim background believer, she is uniquely positioned, knowing the culture, language, and social norms, to share the good news of Jesus Christ authentically and relationally to Muslims.
Co-Senior Pastor Rick
Ricardo was born in a rough New York City neighborhood. He was a gang member, used drugs and eventually dropped out of high school. When he was 19 years old, he moved to Texas and joined a UFO cult. Even still the prayers of his mother and the hand of God kept him safe. A frequent bar-goer and smoker, he was miraculously delivered of his desire for drugs, alcohol and cigarettes- four years before his salvation! In 1994, God turned his life around, and unlike his past hangout spots, he could be found working in a ministry capacity, painting or cleaning the church, singing in the choir, evangelizing the lost, and prison ministry. He felt the Lord prompt him to study scripture through programs and courses by the church early in his faith walk. Lovingly known as “Pastor Rick”, he has a passion for prison ministry. He visits twice every week, where he preaches, worships and prays for inmates. He also works alongside the chaplain one day per week. He met his wife, Işık, while attending church. Together, God is using them to touch the hearts and lives of people of all ages and backgrounds at home and around the world.
A PLACE WHERE ALL COLORS, TRIBES AND NATIONS UNITE WITH GOD’S LOVE. -REVELATION 7:9
After a viral Facebook video post in 2016, I felt the Lord’s prompting to call the ministry’s Facebook audience to 40-days of prayer and fasting. Every day, I would preach what the Holy Spirit brought to my heart. It was a powerful time seeking God, and many wrote in and shared how Facebook live programs significantly changed their lives! Many pleaded to make this more permanent, and on the final day of the fast, the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that this was to be a permanent broadcast under a new name, Dream Church.
In 2019, God gave me the vision to start Dream Church to church the unchurched. Today it has grown in size and scope to something I never could have imagined, and all glory goes to God! Dream Church is where all people, all colors and all nations gather together from around the world, united by God’s love. To date, we have had 320 broadcasts with an estimated 40 million views. Our mission is to authentically present Jesus Christ to the world, partner with indigenous churches and follow up teams, and serve as a catalyst in the Body of Christ.
We have an international congregation, spanning the globe, with Dream Church locations in the United States, Turkey, Cyprus, and Pakistan. Church leadership and the congregation are multi-racial, multi-national and multi-generational. We are missional and intentional about making disciple-makers. This is truly a global church. This is the body of Christ uniting together!
International congregation, spanning the globe.
Multiracial, multinational, multi-generational makeup in both leadership and congregation.
Untraditional church. Not your typical online church.
The Dream Church Online Campus engagement strategy involves multilingual online missionaries, and a safe space to worship, pray, and connect with us.
100% mission-focused church. We are intentional about making disciple-makers.