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HCR056: An American Family in England: Interview with Shawn Curtis

In this episode, I Interview Shawn Curtis about his desire to take his family of 8 to help plant a healthy church in northern England. We discuss:
  • The calling to plant a church that God put on Shawn’s heart several years ago.
  • The change in location from Rochester, NY to Loftus, England.
  • The response of his children to the idea of moving to another country.
  • The challenges and obstacles the family is facing as they seek the Lord’s timing.
  • The prayer requests for a job in the area near Loftus, the families involved in the church plant, and the community of Loftus, that God would soften hearts to the Gospel.

Shawn recommends the book, Total Church, by Chester and Timmis. You can find it here

Shawn and Sara would love to hear from you! You can email him at

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Shawn curtisShawn Curtis is from Rochester, NY and joined the U.S. Navy shortly after his 18th birthday. Shawn married his best friend, Sara, when they were 19 years old. Since then, they have been blessed with six children: Kyle, Lydia, Owen, Jerusha, Jonathan, and Charles, ages 8 to 1. They’ve been members of Antioch Community Church since February 2013, after moving to Durham, NC the previous year.
The Navy sent Shawn to Auburn University (War Eagle!), where he completed a B.S. in Chemistry in 2008. He spent most of the next several years attached to the nuclear ballistic missile submarine, USS NEVADA, home-ported in Bangor, WA, where Shawn served as the Assistant Engineer and Tactical Systems Officer. Shawn’s best day on the submarine was also his last at-sea, when his wife and father, Royce, were able to meet the submarine returning from a deployment and finish the ride home. That day, Shawn commanded the submarine from the sail and “landed” her for a final time upon return-to-port with Sara and Royce along to watch.
Now the Submarine Officer Instructor in the Department of Naval Science at UNC Chapel Hill, Shawn has submitted a request to resign his commission, effective in August 2014. The Curtis family is working towards answering the Lord’s call on their lives to go to Northeast England to live and work— and help to plant a new Christ-exalting, family-integrated church in the seaside town of Loftus. To correspond with Shawn, please feel free to email him at