Mark & Lina Cavallaro – Church Planters

I am always intrigued how God the Holy Spirit chooses the lives of ordinary people to carry out His purposes on earth.

Pioneer church planters are some of the most unheralded people in the christian world. 

In my opinion they deserve our accolades, honour and respect.

One such couple are Pastors Mark & Lina Cavallaro.

This is the story of their Church Planting Adventures in Australia since 1983.

Mark and Lina Cavallaro have been planting churches for over 35years.

Mark had a powerful conversion at 21 years and Lina at 19 years of age.

Both Mark and Lina were born in Ingham North Queensland and come from sugarcane farming backgrounds. 

After their conversion they met a Pastor John A. Friend from the Assembly of God on Magnetic Island in 1979.

Thus began their formal Bible training.

They both trained at Rhema Bible College Calvary Temple Townsville which is now called Calvary. 

Pastors David and Marie Cartledge and Pastors John and Lorraine Friend were their tutors.

While carrying out their theological studies, they also began a street ministry in Flinders Street Townsville called, ‘The Ark’ with a slogan that said, “A great place to be when it rains”.

An average of 3 souls per week came to Christ through this initiative.

Life Groups were led by students including, Pastor David Rauchle and Pastor Bruce Lindley. 

In July 1993 they received an invitation to plant their first church in Singleton N.S.W, a coal-mining centre.

The invitation to plant came from the ACC church in Tudor Street Newcastle.

Pastor David Cartledge laid hands on them, prophesised a powerful word of faith and sent them off to pioneer an ACC church from scratch.

Mark, Lina and their 18month old son John arrived in Singleton in the winter of July 1983.

They began to gather souls one by one.

Within 8 short years the church grew to 360 members with a primary school built on 13 acres at the entrance of town.

Singleton Christian Family Centre became the fastest growing country church in N.S.W.

Many drug addicts and counter culture young people were saved and discipled.

Farmers, coal miners and young families began to fill the church enrolling their children in the new Primary School.

During this time, Mark also served on the N.S.W Church Planting Team called ‘Expansion Ministries’ oversighting new Church Plants in N.S.W.

Their next adventure at planting a church was back in Brisbane in the northern suburb of Warner.

It began with 4 families meeting in their home at 16 Allamanda Crescent, Albany Creek.

Very quickly it grew and became a strong thriving church of 550 with multiple ministries into the community.

The Lord blessed the work with the purchase of 7 acres for $250,000 from an old time Pentecostal, Mr Van Beem.

With Mark & Lina’s unique faith & ability to make connections with people, a new church building was commenced in February 1993.

The year 2000 saw the completion of the building at Cooparoo Road Warner with a coffee shop called ‘Café Connections’ carrying the Gloria Jeans coffee lines.

The Church building was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of the Pine Rivers Shire Mrs Yvonne Chapman, who significantly prayed God’s blessing and peace over the congregation at the conclusion of her address. 

Below are some video’s reclaimed for posterity from that momentous day when the Albany Hills Christian Church was officially opened.


With the opening of the church at Warner came God’s blessings, growth and multiplication of church plants and small groups.

Mark & Lina reached out to many during the years since then and have been instrumental in assisting many others in planting churches.

They are quoted to have said “The greatest assets to building the kingdom have not been lands and dollars but leaders who lead and people who willingly give themselves to loving God and loving people” – Judges 5.

Some other initiatives they have given birth to are;

“ACTS INC” (Australian Care & Trauma Services) was birthed after the opening of the new building.

A.C.T.S also partnered with 9 other branches in the South Eastern corner of Queensland with numerous recovery programs for the sexually abused, unemployed and high school youth.

Then there was the Refugee Assistance Program providing accommodation for refugees from various countries and the Community Visitors Scheme.

Lina served as the Director of ACTS from 2003 – 2006.

Government Grants up to $300,000 were secured with funding coming from State and Federal departments.

Albany Hills Christian Church planted churches and supported missions locally and globally.

The mission statement: Reach – Restore – Release – Reproduce to fulfil the Great Commission.

Nowhere was too close or too far to plant and many attempts were made to extend the kingdom. 

Currently Mark and Lina are based at Emerge Church when not involved in supporting and working with smaller churches. 

Their ministry is called 

“Global Frontier Inc.”

PO Box 3078,

Warner Qld 4500    

ABN: 19298034275 Mb: 0404 862 896 Mb: 0448 410 403

When asked about the qualification of a Church Planter, Ps Mark replied in his own inimitable way and gave some reasons why not to plant a Church

  • If you need a job or “need the money” 
  • If it is the only way you can get to preach
  • You have a pet theory or something to prove
  • You have never led anyone to Christ
  • If your wife/husband/family is not with you or out of order
  • If you are spear heading a church split
  • If no one is sending or supporting you (Romans 10:14-15)
  • If you have been saved a very short time
  • If you do not honour and respect your leaders
  • If you intend to miss district/state/national conferences
  • If you have not completed the Church Planting Assessment 


  • Stable long-term leadership
  • The same DNA or culture through the leadership team
  • Having an easy clear and consistent pathway of discipleship
  • Developing a culture of good, godly hospitality
  • Maintain a personal private prayer and journaling daily habit
  • Developing flexible structures designed for growth is essential
  • Discipleship Path – lead by the leaders
  • Life Groups fortnightly and team meetings fortnightly – mindful to avoid burnout by design
  • Prepare leadership and departments for Kids, Families, Youth, and seniors  & cross-cultural groups/services
  • Each leader is to nurture honesty, integrity and loyalty 
  • Senior Pastors and Leaders must have a passion for souls and be personal soul winners outside the pulpit
  • Have a positive attitude with an attitude to never give up to breakthrough the various barriers
  • Establish a clear vision with clear S.M.A.R.T goals 
  • Nurture creative and innovative ideas to reach the community to attract the community
  • Have a sense of fun, adventure and celebration in all that is done


  • MEN – fishing group, father and son week-end, men’s business bbq, investment speaker, visit the outback
  • WOMEN – various meetings, craft, cooking, health, training, mother and daughter high tea, parenting
  • YOUTH – camps, finishing school, bon fires, 
  • FAMILY – south African Braai, Italian/Arabian/Mexican/Indian Night, picnic, movies, talent night
  • KIDS – fun day, picnic and games, animal farm and gardening Sunday special, young talent night
  • COUPLES – hosting a bi annual honeymoon weekend or boat cruise, how to fight fare, teaching


  • Search for Life, Boundaries, Door of Hope, Breaking the Cycle of Addiction, Making Marriage Better
  • Allocate one of the four terms for Life Group leaders to invite community and deliver one of the above
  • All local finances stay with the new church plant and the sending church remains a constant support.
  • Each plant is encouraged to become self-propagating, funding and self-governing.

This is an area of great discussion in the current culture of church planting.

Many lessons have been learnt over the last 35 years. It Can Be Done.

In conclusion, recently Ps Mark Cavallaro gave this video interview of his life & Ministry.

I commend them to your support in prayer and resources. 

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