How We Began
Pastors Donnie and Sue Shaffer were married in 1978 and have 4 children, two daughter-in-laws, one son-in-law, and five grandchildren. Donnie was ordained in 1986, and when their two boys were 4 and 6 God called them into the mission field. They were led to join a mission effort called “Project Amazon” which plants churches in the Amazon Basin in Brazil still to this day. In fact, over 500 churches have been planted there since its inception. Quickly, they learned Portuguese (the native tongue in Brazil) and found themselves ministering in many different ways. The work began with translating all of the MTI (Ministers Training Institute) curriculum into Portuguese to be used to train leaders for church planting. In addition, one of the young people encouraged Mrs. Sue to speak on pro-life issues. She was offered opportunities to speak all over Brazil in schools, universities, and churches. She also began to place children for adoption as an outgrowth.
After 11 years in Brazil, doing everything from ministry training to administering vaccinations and experiencing all sorts of adventures, Pastors Donnie and Sue and their children Josh, Daniel, Michael and Cristiana were called back to Central, LA. Donnie continued his involvement with MTI, which has expanded online to countries like Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Nigeria. He then started The Church in Central, which is now Central Church. It began meeting at Kristenwood Reception Center, then moved to the Sullivan Center, before moving to its current location off of Hwy 64 in February of 2011.