4th Level currently operates as a not-for-profit ministry under the umbrella of Sunbury City Church, a Southern Baptist church in Central Pennsylvania. Our hope is to see 4th Level become an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses full-time on multiplying disciplemakers.
Derek van ruler
Derek came to faith in Christ while studying at Cal Poly Pomona through the college ministry named Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). It was in Cru when he first experienced intentional discipleship when a mentor helped him grow spiritually and equip him for ministry.
Shortly after graduating, he joined Cru’s full-time staff and served on college campuses in Freiburg, Germany, and Menomonie, Wisconsin. During this time, Derek learned the importance of discipling future leaders, seeing generational discipleship established, and ministering in cross-cultural environments. While serving in Menomonie, Derek oversaw the replanting of a student ministry after a massive division. He led a team of students to implement a new strategy of reaching the campus for Christ and training new leaders. As his time serving on campus came to a close, Derek was able to transfer leadership to student leaders, some of whom went on to serve God in full-time ministry. In addition to serving in Menomonie, he also led teams of students on evangelistic mission trips to the beaches of Panama City, Florida (over Spring Break), the inner city of Chicago, and the West African nation of Ghana.
After his time with Cru, Derek, and his wife moved to Dallas, Texas, where he received his Master’s of Divinity from Redeemer Seminary (now Reformed Theological Seminary, Dallas) and a Certificate of Biblical Counseling from CCEF (Christian Counseling Education Foundation). While in seminary, Derek became a member of The Village Church and served both as a Home Group leader and a Home Group Coach, overseeing other Home Group Leaders. It provided him the opportunity to see firsthand what a gospel-centered church looks like while learning how to shepherd others towards greater maturity and multiplication.
After his seminary season concluded, Derek accepted a call to pastor Sunbury City Church, a small church plant in rural Central Pennsylvania, where he has served since 2014. In his first few years of ministry at SCC, he transitioned the church towards a missional community model of ministry and firmly established an elder-led, congregationally-governed polity. He has cast a vision, led by example, trained, and equipped many within his church to evangelize and make disciples. Derek has formed volunteer teams, including a team of volunteer staff who handle many of the church’s day-to-day operations. He also previously served churches in Pennsylvania, as the President of a local regional chapter of The Gospel Coalition (TGC), and in North Carolina through church partnerships.
Currently, Derek is involved in training and coaching future church planters, pastors, and leaders across central Pennsylvania and beyond.