Meet the pastors
Senior Pastor Işık Abla
Işık Abla was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and raised in a Muslim home. Throughout her life, she experienced verbal, sexual and physical abuse, and found herself in an extremely violent abusive marriage to a Muslim man. In 1996, she fled to America after her husband tried to kill her. Işık fell into a deep depression and became suicidal after years of struggling in her career and in her personal life. On the day she was planning to end her life, she had a personal encounter with God and surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. Receiving the Lord’s call to full- time ministry, she attended Ambassador’s Commission School of Ministry, and became an ordained minister. She also studied Berean Bible Courses at Global University. In 2009, Işık began hosting a satellite TV program to Turkey. Two years later, she founded Işık Abla Ministries. Today, her programs are in over 200 countries in six languages, reaching millions. Işık studied a Master’s in Biblical Studies at Regent University’s School of Divinity. In 2018, she completed leadership and communication programs at both Yale and Harvard Universities. She is also a certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach. Her message of hope, love, and redemption, found only in a loving God, resonates and continues to reach the world for Christ.
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.
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. Church leadership and the congregation are multiracial, multinational and multigenerational. 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.