Life Action Ministries Hires Donny Vanker as Chief Executive Officer

Donny Vanker Family - CEO

Buchanan, Michigan — Life Action Ministries, a house of Christian revival-focused ministries, has named Donny Vanker as its next CEO. He succeeds Byron Paulus, the organization’s leader who oversaw the 30-year growth of ministry brands which now include: Revive Our Hearts, calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ; Life Action, church experiences and family camps for church and family revitalization; The Lodge, for leadership renewal and development; and the OneCry international prayer network.

William Vanderbloemen, Founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen, said,

“Following any leader is difficult, but finding a leader who can follow the 30-year success of Byron Paulus' tenure presented a unique challenge. We have invested years of prayerful study and research so that our specialty practice of succession might help clients like Life Action in these moments. It was an honor to walk alongside them as we discovered the person God has raised up to step into this unique succession moment. We wish them the very best, and will be watching the next chapter unfold with eager anticipation.”

Vanker shared,

“I am blessed to join a team that has seen the legitimate spiritual renewal of individuals, marriages, families, church bodies, and communities over the last fifty years. It is an incredible foundation to build upon. This ministry has phenomenal staff, innovative partners, and motivated investors in the shared vision of catalyzing movements of authentic Christianity in every sphere of human life, here and around the world.”

Vanker, a growth platform specialist, most recently served as the Chief of Staff and COO for the BARWIS Companies, an international human performance conglomerate recognized mostly for its transformative work with pro and Olympic athletes as well as its award-winning treatment for individuals with neurological injuries and disorders. Additionally, Vanker previously served on staff at several churches as a Student Ministries and Associate Pastor, beginning his career in finance and commercial construction both in the service industry and as an entrepreneur.

He received his BA in History with a minor in Theology from Wheaton College and has been married for nearly 20 years to his college sweetheart, Kristi. Together, they have four beautiful teenagers and have relocated near the Life Action Ministries National Ministry Center in Niles, Michigan. Donny’s earlier transition, from pastoring to the BARWIS Companies, was originally motivated by their search for treatment (and subsequent miraculous progress) of one of their children who suffered from cerebral palsy. His background in the business sector uniquely shaped the skills and experiences he now brings in his return to Christian nonprofit leadership. 

We loved partnering with Life Action Ministries on this search and are excited to watch them flourish in this new season of leadership.


Vanderbloemen serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession, and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally.