Recznik Named Director of Mission Advancement

john recznik
From l-r, Sr. Ann Shields, SGL; Pete Burak; John Recznik; Peter Herbeck; and Ralph Martin.

The Renewal Ministries’ family recently welcomed John Recznik as the Director of Mission Advancement.

Ralph Martin explained the purpose of this new position: “As more doors open for us to serve the wider Church, it has become increasingly difficult for us to get to know some of our donors, as we had previously been able to do. We are grateful John will be able to represent us and the mission of Renewal Ministries to our existing and potential donors. If he is ever in your area, I hope you can make time to see him!”

John has twenty-seven years of experience in retail management. He managed the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s (FUS) bookstore for over nineteen years. His skills from FUS will help him “communicate to our supporters the mission of Renewal Ministries and its many different facets,” he said.

In February, John said he started to feel “a nudge from the Lord that maybe there was another type of work or management He wanted me to do.”

However, nothing else seemed to be the right fit. Then, while visiting his son over Memorial Day weekend, John heard the Lord speak to him in prayer: “I have a non-profit for you. It’s a greenhouse, and you can make it grow.”

John shared the experience with his wife, Mary, and they wrote it down and spent the next month praying about it. Later, John’s son said he had a friend hoping to hire someone for donor relations. That friend was Pete Burak, the director of i.d.9:16.

John submitted his resume, interviewed, and was offered the position on August 4. That date is significant, because many years earlier, John heard the Lord say, “Seventeen years, time to move.” He had written those words down and pondered what they could mean. While moving, John had to look up the date that he and his wife had purchased their home. It was Aug. 5, 1999; the date John received the Renewal Ministries’ job was the last day of their seventeenth year in that home.

All this affirmation was important, because John and Mary had to leave a close-knit community—all of John’s eight siblings and their families; his parents; and the Community of God’s Love, of which they had been members for thirty-two years.

In fact, John’s conversion and Ralph Martin’s A Crisis of Truth both helped lead his entire family to Steubenville. John shared his testimony:

I was born and raised Catholic, but I fell away as a teen. For seven years, I pursued what the world had to offer—alcohol, drugs, rock and roll. Then, in 1982, I went to a prayer meeting. I went to give my life to Jesus. One of my family members had recently given their life to the Lord, and I knew it was time for me to make that commitment, and to let Him fix my life.

That night, the Lord completely removed any desire for drinking or drugs. It started me on a new path of daily prayer and walking with Him. I landed in a Catholic Church and felt the Lord say, “Bloom where you are planted.” Then, I read A Crisis of Truth, in which Ralph said that the only university he recommended was the Franciscan University of Steubenville. So I moved there in 1984 with my brother and sister and later met my wife there.

Within five years, all of John’s siblings and his parents had moved to Steubenville from Amherst, Ohio. John explained: “The baptism of the Holy Spirit moved through my entire family.”

Fortunately, John and Mary’s children are now all living in Michigan—the youngest two because of John’s own move. They have three children: a son Eddie, who has a wife and four children; a son Casey, who has a wife and two children; and a daughter, Joanie, who is working and getting involved in the i.d.9:16 community.

John said, “Fr. Mike Scanlan (former FUS president and Renewal Ministries’ close friend and former board member who passed away earlier this year) hugely influenced my life, and to come here with Ralph, Peter, Sr. Ann, and Pete, and to work with them in their mission of spreading the Gospel is inspiring. I look forward to getting to know Renewal Ministries’ supporters, to meeting these people of faith from around the country, and to providing them with the opportunity to receive the blessings that Lord has for them, as they choose to support Renewal Ministries’ mission.”

Peter Herbeck explained why John was the best fit for this position: “Beside that fact that John had impressed us in the interview, in choosing him, it felt like Fr. Scanlan was there with us. We worked so closely with Fr. Mike, and John has that same heart and spirit.”