James & Denise Jordan
James and Denise were saved during the charismatic revival of the early 1970’s. They were birthed into ‘Palmerston North Christian Centre’, which was in a revival at that time. Within a short time of being saved they started a home group in a small town close by, with another couple, which subsequently grew quickly. Because of the freshness and power of the move of the Spirit the home group was able to sustain meetings every day of the week. It was easy and fun. There was a unity in the Spirit and Jesus was so real and very powerfully present. They experienced, on a regular basis, people knocking on their door, standing there weeping and wanting to know Jesus. During that time James received a number of prophetic words saying that he would be a teacher of the Word and a prophet to the nations, and that the Word of God must become a part of him.
In response to these words and following a deep desire in their hearts they went to Orama Bible School on Great Barrier Island in 1976. The course included two years full-time study plus an intern year. The focus was the Word of God. The founder of the school, Neville Winger, was a true prophet and one of the spiritual fathers in New Zealand at that time. Neville was a man who was deeply grounded in the Scriptures and had much authority in the Spirit. The community at Orama also ran what was known as a ‘seeker program’ where people from all walks of life lived within the community. The seekers were often broken and burned out, alcohol and drug users, as well as those struggling with health issues. Denise was asked to work within the seeker program, counselling and caring for them.
Jack Winter and Daystar
In 1977 Jack Winter came as a speaker to Orama. Unknown to James and Denise, this would be a very pivotal moment in their life and walk with God. During this time James heard the Lord speak very clearly to him about being ‘a Joshua’ to Jack and he understood that this would mean becoming to Jack what Joshua was to Moses. The other significant thing to happen at this time was that Jack began to receive the whole understanding of who God the Father really is. In 1978 James and Denise and their three young children went to spend time in Jack and Dorothy Winter’s ministry (Daystar Ministries) in the USA.
Return to Orama
After this time James and Denise returned to Orama where James lectured in the Bible School and ran the seeker program which involved counselling, liaising with medical authorities and probation officers, etc. Denise was responsible for overseeing the counselling within the Orama community. She was drawing from a huge amount of practical experience, reading widely and having regular supervision from a registered psychiatrist. It was during this period that James started receiving invitations to teach at YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Schools on the Fatherheart of God.
In 1984 James and Denise moved back to the New Zealand mainland to help establish a Christian community with a similar vision to Orama. For a period of time Denise also worked in the Anglican Trust for Women and Children alongside a Clinical Psychologist in South Auckland. Her work also involved child protection and working with Social Workers and local Police. At this time there were many referrals coming from pastors and churches from around the North Island of New Zealand. During this time they also began a house meeting that grew into a church. James also began responding to more overseas teaching invitations with YWAM.
In the midst of all the activity Denise began to find that she had less and less energy for the ministry. She started to hope that people wouldn’t be able to come for ministry, that something would prevent them being able to come! Shocked at her reaction she began to hear ‘the voice’ that says, “You need to pray more, to love more, to fast more and read the Bible more in order to motivate yourself more.” She became so reluctant to minister that at one time she even hid in the cupboard when a visitor came to the door! When she was invited to preach at a meeting she ended up holding up the Bible and declaring that it was only a whole list of rules that she couldn’t keep. Soon after, as they were ready to go out to church one Sunday morning, she sat down on the stairs weeping uncontrollably and saying, “I can’t do this anymore. I just cannot face these people one more time!” This was the beginning of a three year burnout.
Knowing that they had to get out of the ministry, they decided to take a break in Australia. In November 1988 they went to Brisbane, Australia where James worked, selling personal development programs to businesses, and Denise sold real estate. During that time they fulfilled a prior commitment to speak on the Fatherheart of God at four YWAM Discipleship Training Schools. During this period the burnout really kicked in, with James experiencing major burnout too. With their bodies shaking, crying all day long and still unable to cope, they returned to New Zealand in June 1989 and stayed with Denise’s mother in Taupo. Denise worked in a café and James worked in a music store and at the end of that year they moved to Auckland to be with their daughter and her newborn baby. James started selling life assurance and did well, making a living from commissions and Denise bought a lunch bar. However, they were still suffering from extreme burnout and couldn’t see any prospect of recovery from this.
Pastoring In East Auckland
In 1991, after a period of recovery, James was invited to become the Pastor of a Baptist Church in Auckland. Denise sold the lunch bar and they moved to Glendowie (a suburb of Auckland.) At that time Denise was invited by a local Doctor to run a counselling practice within his surgery. She did this, along with doing pastoral counselling, until 1997. She really loved this work and the people that she worked with. During this time she was one of the pioneers of the ‘Living Waters’ program in New Zealand.
James & Denise visited Toronto in late 1994 and the result of this was a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their own church. People were coming from all around the region, including leaders who were burned out, disheartened, and discouraged. They once again encountered life and went away energised and reinvigorated and with hope. It was a time of renewal when people realised they had a Father who loves them, they experienced restoration through hope. James and Denise pastored that church until the end of 1995.
God calls from the lowest point
Despite all the growth, painful events led them to one of the lowest points of their lives. It was at the end of this time, in 1997, that Jack Winter contacted them and invited them to join him in ministering the Father’s love. He encouraged them to see if this would be the time that God had spoken of through many prophetic words over the years before, of James being released into the nations.
Living out of bags
They left New Zealand in October 1997 and didn’t unpack their suitcases for four and a half years. At times they were traveling with Jack, and staying with him and his wife Dorothy in Pasadena. At other times it was just James and Denise ministering on their own. It was a period of nonstop travel and ministry. Their first invitations were to Canada, U.S.A. Holland, Denmark and Germany. Despite the intensity of the schedule they had a grace on their lives for this period – it wasn’t hard work. They ministered extensively in Europe, North America, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom, speaking in churches and conferences as well as to small gatherings in homes. After they spoke in churches they would stay on for a few days doing one on one ministry. This went on for years and they had no idea where it was all going. It was a time of amazing adventure and a real faith journey.
The birthing of Sonship and the Mother heart of God
It was at this time that Denise began to see from Scripture that God is as much Mother as He is Father. To her this was mind-blowing, almost too good to be true! This revelation exploded in her heart and it finally made sense to her that God gave us mothers to show us what He was like. Denise realised that the lack of Storge (or familial) love was linked to sexual addiction, but that the need for comfort-love can be filled by God as a ‘mother’.
In 1999, at the first Fatherheart forum, James spoke for the first time on the heart of Sonship and Denise on the Mother heart of God. These messages have since become widespread.
‘A Schools’ were birthed out of a realisation that, when we come to know the Father, the basis of our Christianity changes. James and Denise began to see in their ministering that there was a tangible impartation that people received that changed the way they perceived the Father. Where His love took them beyond healing and into Sonship and that this paradigm shift occurred when there was more time than a short conference could offer.
The first A School was held in Hemel Hempstead, England in March/April of 2004. The first New Zealand school was in 2006 in Taupo. It was held over three weeks and almost forty people from different nations around the world came.
There are now many A Schools and B Schools held around the world by appointed Fatherheart Ministries Team Leaders.
In 2008 James and Denise ran the first 3 month ‘Inheriting the Nations School – The Journey of Sonship’ at Orama, on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. This school continues to be held each year from September to December.
A New Season
In 2016, recognising the need for a wider gifting to take the ministry forward into the next season and for them to spend more time based in New Zealand, James and Denise handed the leadership of Fatherheart Ministries over to Mark Head (read more here). As the founders and as a mother and father to the ministry, James and Denise continue to have a prophetic voice into it at the leadership level.
The whole ministry has come out of James and Denise’s desire to walk with God in reality; “not pretending that we were something that we’re not, or that we know something that we don’t.”
They found out through burnout and failure that ‘faithing it’ doesn’t work!
“We have found that Father truly is gracious and compassionate slow to anger and abounding in love – that in knowing Him as sons and daughters we can rest and enjoy our Christian life!”