Mike Gonyer remembers a time in the late nineties, when he made the decision to press into God’s Word to find the answers he was seeking regarding healing. For years, he had struggled with multiple health issues and doctors were unable to provide him with lasting relief. Mike’s wife, Rose, just a friend at the time, had been listening to Andrew for years and introduced Mike to Andrew's teaching. Andrew’s materials made it possible for the couple to dig into the Word and learn as much as their hungry hearts desired.
Mike listened to Andrew’s teachings, The Believer’s Authority and You've Already got It, and as a result began receiving the healing he so desperately sought. At the time, Mike and Rose both led Bible study groups, and as they continued to see the Word produce fruit in their lives, they began to share what they were learning with their study groups as well. “We were seeing miracles and healings regularly,” Mike said.
It wasn’t long before the Gonyers started thinking about attending Charis Bible College. At the time, Mike worked for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in his home state of Michigan, and Rose was on staff at the church the two attended. Initially, as the couple considered attending Bible college, they planned to make their move following retirement. Soon, however, their desire to attend CBC intensified. Mike attended CBC's Men’s Advance in February 2005 and recalls Andrew ministering a series on A Place Called There. His excitement to enroll at CBC began to get the best of him, but when he brought it before the Lord in prayer, he heard, “Not yet.” Disappointed, but obedient, Mike returned to work in Michigan.
Two months later, Mike was informed that his employer was closing his facility, and he was given the option to apply for another position within the company and relocate or take a severance package. Once again, Mike and Rose prayed about their next move; they heard God tell them to take the severance and go to school. The compensation Mike received was enough to pay for the couple’s schooling and living expenses for their three years at CBC.
Following graduation, Mike accepted a position at CBC as the director of the third year program, a program specifically for students planning to go into full-time ministry. Rose was also hired by CBC as an adjunct faculty member. The Gonyers spent the next two years teaching, pastoring and encouraging the students—positions they both very much enjoyed.
Mike and Rose now know that the time they spent on staff at CBC was excellent preparation for where the Lord was bringing them. In February, 2010, the Gonyers were on a CBC mission trip in Ireland when the Lord woke Mike in the middle of the night and said, “Get ready, you’re moving to Michigan.” Mike shared the word with Rose, and the two began to pray for God’s plan and timing.
In April, Mike and Rose felt led to put their Colorado home up for sale, and despite the terrible housing market, the Gonyer’s home sold in two weeks time. Still unsure where they were to go or what they were to do, the two stayed in Colorado and moved into temporary housing. “We didn’t know where the Lord wanted us to move in Michigan and we continued to seek Him until we heard, 'the Ann Arbor area,'” Rose said.
Although the Gonyers knew they were called to pastoral ministry, and they knew where they were headed, they were still not clear whether they would be assisting with an existing church or planting a new church. The two moved into an apartment in the Ann Arbor area and Mike took on a temporary job while they waited to hear from the Lord. As they waited, God faithfully and vividly presented His plan to them, and Mike and Rose understood that they were to plant a church. “We were to establish the church, build the foundation of grace within the body and reach out to a very lost and struggling world here in this area,” Mike said.
“It was during our first year at CBC that I knew we would be pastoring someday, so when Mike told me we were going to Michigan, I knew what it was to do. I never told Mike all that I knew in my heart because he needed to hear it from the Lord first. It would be the word from the Lord that would sustain him in the hard times,” said Rose.
Mike and Rose officially launched House On The Rock Church in January, and call it a privilege to pastor and care for His people. The couple loves to see the proverbial, "lights come on" when the people they minister to begin to understand God's grace, love and faithfulness. They are thrilled when they hear of the lives being changed as people are set free from religion. “The grace of God and His love are like a breath of fresh air in a place that religion has been dominant for so long. We are seeing such closeness in the body of believers in our church,” Rose said.
With patience and trust, Mike and Rose have been faithful to listen and obey, and as a result they are now living their destiny and changing lives. “So here we are, going step by step. We are here for the long haul and have no plan B. And, we are expecting great things because we work for the Chief Shepherd who will not fail or forsake His people,” said Mike.
House On The Rock Church meets at the Marriott of Ann Arbor, 1275 South Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Healing School meets Sundays from 9:30–10:15 and regular Sunday services begin at 10:45 a.m. For more information about the church or the Gonyer's ministry call or email 734-562-9053 or email@example.com.