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Our leadership and governance


Calvary’s leadership comprises three key groups.

Calvary is guided by Elders, who provide spiritual guidance and support to the Church and its leadership in matters relating to theology, spiritual practices, and pastoral matters.

Calvary is governed by a Board, who provide legal governance oversight in all matters pertaining to the Church business functions such as employment, occupational health and safety, compliance, contracts, insurance, finances, and budgets. Calvary has two Boards – one in Australia comprising 8 members and one in South Africa comprising 5 members.

Calvary is strengthened by Overseers, a small group of experienced pastors who are not part of Calvary Church, but who know Calvary’s context and its leadership, and where needed, provide spiritual protection, and accountability in matters relating to the Senior Pastor.

In addition to these levels of governance, Calvary is a member of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC), a movement of more than 1,000 Pentecostal churches across Australia.

Our Governance

Calvary’s Board provides legal governance oversight in all matters pertaining to the Church business functions such as employment, occupational health and safety, compliance, contracts, insurance, finances, and budgets.

Pastor Dustan Bell

Senior Pastor / Board Chairperson

As Senior Pastor of Calvary Christian Church, Dustan has been a part of Calvary since 2006, serving in various ministry and leadership roles before moving to South Africa to pioneer Calvary East London in 2018. Dustan and his wife Sarah, returned to Australia in 2019 to lead the church and its team of pastors and leaders.

Fay Barker

Director, Chair of Policy Committee, Chair of Constitution Working Group.

Fay has served as a professional Director for over 15 years in business, civic and non-profit contexts, including RACQ Limited, The RACQ Foundation, The CEO Circle, The Townsville Hospital Foundation, Breakwater Island Trust Limited, The Townsville Chamber of Commerce, Lifeline North Queensland, Townsville Port Authority and Townsville Enterprise Limited. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a 2006 recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for service to business, the arts and local government. Fay has been a part of Calvary for more than 20 years, attending the Townsville campus.

Simon Bugden


Simon works as both an Emergency Doctor and Senior HealthCare Manager with a particular interest in strong governance, caring people management and effective implementation. His qualifications are in Emergency Medicine, Health Management and Business Management. Simon and his family have been at Calvary Sunshine Coast since 2012.

Steve Downes

Director. Executive Principal/CEO of Calvary Education Group

Steve is the Executive Principal/CEO of the Calvary Education Group which includes Calvary Christian College (P-12), Calvary Early Learning Centre, Eaton College, and Calvary Teaching School. With more than 28 years of experience in the State and Christian school sectors, his role includes the management and oversight of a multi-million-dollar budget, a team of over 260 employees, and 1100+ students. Steve also serves as a Director for Associated Christian Schools QLD, and Gulf Christian College in Normanton and has been part of Calvary Church since 2011.

Paul Hutchinson

Director & Board Treasurer

Currently working as a Business Manager for a Christian School in Cairns, Paul has developed a deep working knowledge of church and school finances. Previously as Executive Manager Business Services within a large government organisation, Paul oversaw a multi-million-dollar budget and corporate portfolios of health and safety, human resources, finance, fleet and equipment and capital works including maintenance. in another previous role, Paul was Executive Manager Capital Works for an emergency services agency where his focus was strategic service delivery planning for the future. Paul has qualifications in project management, business management and disaster management. From 2003, Paul and his family were part of the Sunshine Coast campus, before moving to Cairns in 2014 and joining the Calvary campus there.

Ben Paine


Ben has over 15 years experience in Banking and Finance, with his current role being Relationship Executive at Commonwealth Bank. Ben has particular interest in financial education, aiming to improve the financial wellbeing of businesses and families in his local community. Having served on the Calvary Finance Committee since 2020, Ben provides valuable commercial experience. Ben has been in fellowship at the Sunshine Coast campus since 2008, and currently serves in the children’s ministry alongside his wife Alice and their three young children.

Pastor Matthew Pappas

Board Secretary - non-voting

As General Manager for Calvary Christian Church, Matthew has been on staff at Calvary since 2010 serving in various ministry and leadership roles. In addition to being an ACC credentialed minister, Matthew also has extensive experience in the construction industry and in project management. Prior to working for Calvary, he held a senior management position in a large construction company, overseeing training and developing staff along with managing large commercial, industrial and residential projects with multi-million dollar budgets. Matthew also serves as a Director for Calvary Christian College and has qualifications through Effective Governance Australia and AICD.

Pastor Neil Smith


Neil Smith is the International Director of Planetshakers. Having been in ministry for almost 30 years, Neil is passionate about building the local church but believes that ministry must extend beyond the four walls of the church. He has a vision for cultural transformation across communities, cities and nations.
Neil’s background in building, high-rise development and project management has equipped him to oversee many local church building projects all around the world.
Over the last decade, Neil has also worked on community development projects, focusing on building government relationships and corporate partnerships. This has included his work as the as the CEO of Empower Australia which expanded the charity's food relief efforts in the pandemic of 2020 - giving out over 1 million meals that year. In Papua New Guinea and Fiji, Neil has spearheaded church based initiatives in partnership with governments and local bodies to bring sustainable development in the spheres of business, education, and health.

Nathan Spicer


As Director at Christian Vision (CV), Nathan is responsible for overseeing the development and management of missions-effective digital products, including the global evangelism movement, yesHEis.
He has proven experience and expertise in leading large and diverse teams, developing and overseeing the implementation of strategies, effective communication across cultures/demographics and leadership of creative areas such as marketing, community and content. Nathan has been a part of Calvary Sunshine Coast since 2009.

Pastor Karyn Wright


Karyn and her family have been a part of Calvary since 2015. She served in various ministry and leadership roles before taking on her current position as Compliance and Wellbeing Officer for Calvary’s Business Office. Holding a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), Karyn has a professional background in community services management, social policy and organisational development along with experience in the preparation of policy, procedures and in building strong organisations. Karyn has deep interests in community development, child protection, people care, people focussed systems and staff wellbeing.

Our Policies

Calvary Christian Church in Australia has adopted the ACC Child Protection Policy, as well as instituting a Privacy Policy and Whistleblower Policy which can be viewed via the button below.

View our Policies