Our Leading Pastor is Abri Brancken. Abri was born in 1973 in Durban, South Africa. After completing school, Abri served in the South African Defence Force as part of his one-year compulsory military service. In 1994 he enrolled in formal Theological studies at the Waterberg Training Centre and completed 4 years of full time studies, obtaining his degree in Religious Studies. During his studies he met his wife to be Leoni, who was born in Sasolburg, and they got married in 1996.
In 1998 Abri & Leoni moved to Pretoria and joined a mega church where they became actively involved in the church’s missions departments' short term international outreaches program. In 2001 he received a call to anther mega church (Moreletapark Church) in Pretoria where he served as Arts Director and Senior Worship Leader for four years, overseeing the worship, dance and drama departments of the then 17 000-member church. In 2006 Abri and his family moved to Israel in order to gain a greater understanding of the culture and traditions in which the Bible was written. They resided in Migdal, Galilee. Abri furthered his informal anthropological studies while in Israel.
In 2007 they returned to South Africa and he co-planted the Living Word East congregation in Pretoria where he served for 6 years. In December 2012 Abri and his family moved to Mauritius to pastor the Living Word Church on the island, a multi-cultural evangelical congregation. They served there until February 2016. In March 2016 they moved to Auckland to join MBCC.
Abri is also a strategist, author & songwriter. His books can be purchased online through Amazon.com, Lulu.com and other media platforms. In 2014 Abri was awarded his Doctorate (Ph.D) in Biblical Studies after completing 2 1/2 years of research on the topic of "Life Alteration through GRIN Technologies". His thesis was entitled, "Altering God's Design", and addressed the complex issues surrounding the morals and ethics of altering life on earth through genetic engineering and other GRIN technologies. He argued against the advancement towards Transhumanism and the creation of new life forms, whether plant, animal or human, through GRIN technologies. Abri is also a qualified Chaplain and over the years Abri & Leoni have travelled to more than 30 countries for business and church related projects. Some of them include Israel, Russia, America, England, Brazil, Holland, Belgium, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Egypt, Greece, Malawi, Mauritius, Hong Kong, etc. Abri & Leoni enjoys assisting people from around the globe and from all walks of life to take the necessary steps towards greater spiritual growth, fulfilment and success. The LORD has blessed them with three boys.