Behind the Scenes

Who is David Wollen? And how will his faith in Jesus shape the way he approaches this new era of ministry for Haven? In this exclusive Q&A session, Charles Morris provides Haven listeners and supporters with the chance to delve deeper into the heart of Haven’s new president.

Can you share one thing you love about Haven Ministries?

I love that Haven lives up to its name. This ministry is for people (like me) who are longing for Jesus. Amid so much chaos in our world, every day brings a renewed hunger for Him and His Word. Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Originally this ministry called itself The Haven of Rest, and is committed to being “all about Jesus.” These commitments define this ministry, and are precious to me.

Can you share about how you met Jesus personally?

I gave my life to Jesus when I was four years old. I know that sounds a bit young, but I wanted to follow Him, even then, and I’ve never looked back. My parents discipled me. My grandparents did as well. My late grandfather, Lee Moe, was a preacher and a great student of the Bible. I inherited much of his theological library and often read his notes in the margins of his books. There have been so many other influential, godly people throughout the years who have poured into my walk with Jesus. By the way, Charles, I count you among those who have influenced me most.

But having said all that—it’s not because of other people that I follow Jesus. It’s because of Jesus, Himself. He’s met me countless times in my study of the Word and in prayer, especially moments marked by pain and suffering.

David Wollen and Charles Morris recording in the studio

David and Charles recording in the studio

Do you have a “life verse” or favorite verse of Scripture?

That’s a hard one because, in all truth, my favorite verse is the one through which God is speaking to me on any given day. However, if I had to choose, it would be Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This is bold. It ought to stop us in our tracks. The implications for the daily Christian life are profound. I look forward to teaching from this passage on Haven sometime soon.

What does the Wollen family enjoy doing together?

Well, first of all, there are five of us. Marci and I have three kids. Two girls, ages 12 and 10, and a 5-year-old son.

We love to be outside together. We love to cook. In fact, the best date for Marci and me would be to drop off our kids at a friend’s house and come back home to cook ourselves a nice dinner. But the girls are also learning to cook and bake. They have asked for cookbooks for Christmas and birthdays. I love that.

We’re also a musical family. I play the piano almost every day, and sometimes at church on Sunday. My oldest daughter plays the viola. The other plays the violin. And my son sings at the top of his lungs whenever music is present. He may well be more musical than the rest of us put together. Time will tell. And, I thank God for Marci in all this—she loves music, too, and supports the cacophony in our home with so much patience!

Haven's New President David Wollen with wife Marci Wollen in their home

David at home with his wife, Marci

How do you pray the Lord would use Haven in the coming years?

May the Lord have His way with Haven! May His will be done. I pray that first.

But you’re asking about my dreams and convictions for this ministry. I believe God planted His purpose for Haven into our DNA from the beginning of this ministry. There are multiple strands, even in the early era, which were braided into our past and have continued in each era of the ministry. Each strand is precious and indispensable to our future. Here are three:

Haven is a ministry that comes alongside people who are weary and burdened. The imagery of our namesake hymn says it all: “I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest.” This is what souls are longing for in our chaotic world. The storms of life are constant and we need an Anchor that will hold us fast. There is only one—the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray we will continue to bring people nearer to Him—wherever and however they listen.

Through the years, Haven has been a Great Commission champion and shined a spotlight on what the Lord Jesus is doing all over the world. You continued this legacy by extending Haven’s ministry into China, Iraq, Ukraine, Israel, Haiti, and Cuba. This is also a passion for me, and I’m eager to continue this aspect of Haven.

It’s something only the Spirit of God can do—and has often done throughout history—calling vast numbers of lost people to faith in Jesus in a concentrated moment of time. In the past, God used Haven powerfully to help bring this about in the 1940s leading into the Evangelical Boom of the 1950s. Billy Graham emerged as the most prominent figure of that era, but Haven also took part.

Will the Lord use Haven in a similar way again? It’s in the Lord’s hands. In the meantime, I am praying, “Lord, if it pleases you, would you do this again in my lifetime? Would you use Haven to stoke the fires of revival once again?”

Whatever happens, at Haven, I believe God has called us to walk alongside people, speaking to what’s going on in the world, opening the Word together, and pointing every listener back to Jesus each day. This is the baton you’ve carried so well, Charles. May God give me and the team at Haven the faith to carry that baton and run well in the years to come.