Meet the Renner Family!
The Renner family has grown, over the years becoming a fully integrated American-Russian family. Rick and Denise’s sixth grandchild — Joel and Olya’s son Daniel — was born in March 2012, bringing the number of Renner family members in Russia from 5 to 14 since the Renners arrived more than two decades ago in the former Soviet Union!
Rick and Denise Renner
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.
Rick and Denise’s friendship has led to a lifelong love and a powerful partnership in building the Kingdom of God. After a decade of ministry, first as pastors and then as itinerant ministers, Rick and Denise Renner embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. In January 1991, the Renners and their sons — Paul (then 8), Philip (then 6), and Joel (then 2) — left behind all they knew to relocate their family to serve the region that only weeks earlier had become the former Soviet Union.
Rick and Denise remember kneeling together as a family and kissing the ground when they arrived at the airport in Latvia on that cold January day. In that moment, they all committed their lives to the will of God and to the people of their new homeland. The following year, Rick moved forward to launch and establish the first of its kind — and eventually the largest — Christian television network in that region of the world.
Over the years, Rick and Denise pioneered three churches, a Bible school, and a ministerial association that serves thousands of Russian-speaking pastors throughout the former USSR as well as parts of the Middle East. As Rick began training and mentoring leaders in the early days, Denise also developed a women’s ministry that is actively involved in changing the lives of women and their families today. Specifically, they minister to the needs of orphans, women prisoners, the homeless, and drug-and-alcohol addicts.
Rick, Denise, and their children began as a small circle of five, willing to go beyond their comfort zone to reach the uttermost parts of the world. Today that circle includes their sons’ wives, six grandchildren, and a large ministry staff that helps the Renners extend their reach as they exalt Jesus Christ as the Hope of all nations.
Paul Renner was eight years old when his family moved to the former Soviet Union. He traveled with his father throughout the former Soviet Union when Rick purchased time on the very first television stations that would air the Renners’ flagship broadcast Good News With Rick Renner. Today Paul serves as Associate Pastor and Event Coordinator, overseeing all the Moscow Good News Church services, music development, and outreach productions.
A notably gifted and diligent administrator, Paul also runs Good News (GN), reputed to be the finest Christian recording studio in Russia. GN records for numerous Christian artists and bands across that vast nation. Paul also serves on the board of directors for EMA, the Russian equivalent of the Gospel Music Association. He has produced music projects for numerous artists, including all music albums for RENNER Ministries and MGNC. Additionally, Paul oversees the IMPART Pastors Fellowship (formerly called the Good News Association of Pastors and Churches), which provides teaching, mentoring, and support to more than 700 participating churches.
As a result of Paul’s extraordinary work ethic, strong managerial skills, and servant’s heart, he has become one of Rick and Denise’s closest advisors and a trusted director and leader in RENNER Ministries. Paul is joined in ministry by his Russian wife Polina, who works closely with her husband in various outreaches of the church.
Paul and Polina met during a praise-and-worship service at MGNC. Prior to becoming Paul’s wife, Polina worked with the ministry as Denise’s interpreter, serving alongside her future mother-in-law in various capacities of the women’s ministry. Today Polina continues to serve the women of MGNC while working closely with Paul in ministering to young families in the church. Paul and Polina are the parents of four children: William, Anna, Cohen, and Abigail.
Philip Renner was six years old when he joined his parents in moving to the former Soviet Union and learned firsthand the power of consecration to the will of God. Today he is the Youth Pastor of the Moscow Good News Church. His music ministry gained broad recognition throughout Russia when he won a prestigious nationwide music competition. A prolific songwriter and lyricist, Philip has gained increasing recognition for his musical writings, arrangements, and translations. Secular artists seek him out for his exceptional talent, which has become a bold witness throughout the nation and the music industry there.
Music has become an effective means to open many doors and hearts as Philip uses his talent to share the Gospel both in the former Soviet Union and abroad. With several albums to his credit, Philip’s music ministry has created an international platform for him to live out his passion: to reach, strengthen, and equip youth with the Word and the Spirit of God. Philip is a fiery preacher who burns with spiritual passion and compassion for the lost and hurting. He also carries a powerful message of hope, especially for youth, challenging them to reach for their dreams and dare to realize their full potential in God. Philip is a trusted and insightful advisor for RENNER Ministries and MGNC. He and his Russian wife Ella share a strong vision to equip a generation of youth to know God, to live consecrated lives, and to walk boldly in the strength of His might.
Philip’s music videos can be seen here and his press release can be read at: http://cdbaby.com/Artist/PhilipRenner. To learn more about Philip Renner’s ministry, please view the video below. You can also visit www.PhilipRenner.com.
Philip and Ella met when they were both teenagers in MGNC’s youth group. Since they married, they’ve served together faithfully in the youth ministry. In addition to her work in the ministry with Philip, Ella is a talented businesswoman and a devoted mother to their daughter Ella.
Joel Renner was only two years old when his family moved abroad. Growing up involved in the church and immersed in the work of the ministry, ministry was simply a part of who he was from a very young age. Joel was groomed to lead by serving from the time he was old enough to pick up toys or carry a plate to the sink, receiving his earliest training by performing similar tasks in the church.
Since those early years, Joel has benefited from the unique advantage of growing up in the culture his family has been commissioned to reach. He excelled in his grasp of the Russian language and cultivated a proficient understanding of administrative and financial governance — skills that have helped make him a reliable source of counsel and leadership for RENNER Ministries and MGNC.
Joel pursued higher education in Moscow and received high academic honors. Today he serves as the International RENNER Ministries Director, overseeing all Partner Care, graphic-design and printing projects, and financial matters in both the Moscow and Tulsa offices.
Joel met his Russian wife Olya when they were both young teenagers in the MGNC youth group. He knew from the beginning that she would one day become his wife. Olya received her degree in journalism and is actively involved in all aspects of journalism and media at MGNC. Olya’s creativity in photography and design is also expressed through her home-décor business. Joel and Olya are the parents of their son Daniel.