To present and represent Jesus
and His love to the world.
First Love History
First Love Ministries began when one man accepted the call of God to take
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Paul Conger, the son of a preacher,
started First Love in 1990 and began preaching all over the US as an
evangelist. Doors began to open for his unique way of evangelism and Paul
began doing tent revivals and church meetings throughout the nation.
He was soon directed to go to India to minister and something happened
on that trip that would change the lives of many people and the future
of First Love Ministries.
Paul was walking down the streets of Kolkata when he was approached by a man that offered him a small 8 year old girl for one hour. He turned the man down and kept walking, appalled that the man would do such a thing. As he continued to walk the streets he was approached by the same man but this time the man offered him a smaller 4 year old girl for one hour. Paul was heart broken to look down into the eyes of this little girl who looked up at him, wondering if he was going to take her and what terrible things would be done to her. Paul, once again, turned away from the man.
That night, he could not get the look in that little girls eyes out of his head. When he woke the next morning he knew what he had to do. He went back to that same area where he saw the man and found him, and was able to rescue the little 4 year old girl. He took the girl back to some friends house in Kolkata that he trusted, where they helped raise her as Paul supported her financially. That small girl was the first girl of over 500 that have now been rescued since 1990.
Paul established First Love Ministries of India, built two girls homes, has supported several churches, taught/trained pastors and changed many lives as the Holy Spirit has worked through him in India. He also built a powerful Godly team that manages the girls homes and staff which ensures the girls are all taken very good care of, educated and taught the Word of God as they are empowered to become powerful women of God who can change the world!
In 2002 a friend told Paul of a great ministry in Tarapoto Peru that needed someone to help support their vision of growth and expansion of the Kingdom of God by building churches and training ministry leaders and pastors. Paul visited Esmirna Iglesia in Tarapoto and listened to the founding pastor Apostle Gomez tell of the hundreds of churches that he had planted and heard the heart of this great man of God. Paul knew that this was a ministry that he wanted to partner with.
He then made a commitment to help build 100 churches. First Love invests in a yearly pastor’s conference for all the pastors of the churches to come to every year, some even making the 3 day journey just to attend this incredible time together. Typically we do this pastors conference the first week of February to help train and teach these pastors and empower them to become powerful men and women of God that will change the world!
To aid in the training process Paul had a vision to start a Bible Institute in Peru. He purchased some land on the outside of Tarapoto that would one day become a training ground for world changers! Since 2011 First Love has this campus with a large storage facility, men’s dorms, women’s dorms, a garden, many fruit trees, pig house and a chicken house. We also have a care taker that makes sure the facilities and property is kept up nice.
To help keep the churches and pastors moving forward in growth and accountability we have established pastor reports that all the pastors fill out monthly. These monthly reports are required in order for the pastor and churches to be qualified to receive funds for building their church. To help manage First Love Ministry of Peru we have a paid staff that makes certain that everything is managed and done properly. They are men and women of God that have a heart for ministry and God has certainly blessed First Love with these wonderful people.
In 2011 Paul was introduced to Pastor Dann Erlina of Cagayan de Oro on the Mindanao island of the Philippines. Pastor Dann has been in the ministry for over 40 years and has planted many churches. He has raised up other pastors and sent them out to do the work of the Lord. First Love has partnered with Pastor Dann to help him plant and build more churches and train more pastor/leaders to be great men and women of God and to build the Kingdom of God. We have built several churches in the Philippines and plan on establishing a greater presence in this incredible country as God directs and opens doors.
Paul was a powerful man of integrity, character, passion and love for God and God’s people. In February of 2018 Paul passed away while on a mission’s trip to Tarapoto, Peru during the yearly pastor’s conference. He suffered a heat stroke which led to further complications and Paul went home to be with the Lord on February 5th, 2018.
In March of 2018 the First Love Ministries US board made the decision to ask Pastor David Austin, Senior Pastor of The Ridge Community Church in Pea Ridge, Arkansas to take over as President of First Love Ministries. God continues to do great things through First Love Ministries.
1 Corinthians 13 (NKJV)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
ABOUT DAVID AUSTIN
President of First Love Ministries
David Austin lives in Pea Ridge, Arkansas and is a dynamic speaker, pastor, missionary, singer/songwriter/musician, visionary, and servant leader. He has written/recorded top 40 songs in the nation and is a powerfully anointed worship leader. He has a passion for speaking life and love into people and their situations. The core of his ministry is love and his approach to equipping and empowering people in their walk with Christ is meeting them where they are and speaking directly to their situations.
He is the Senior Pastor of The Ridge Community Church in Pea Ridge, Arkansas and the President of First Love Ministries, a 501c(3) non-profit International missions organization. David is a devoted husband to Julie Austin(@julieintheknow) and father of two daughters.
As Senior Pastor of The Ridge Community Church, David has brought fresh vision, leadership, and discipleship to the forefront and is focused on growing the Kingdom of God. As President of First Love Ministries, he preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, empowers leaders, builds churches, rescues young girls from the prison of sex slavery and owns/supports orphanages.