David Wollen

Alisa Childers is a former CCM recording artist with the Dove award-winning group ZOEgirl. But once she came off the road in her mid-thirties, she suffered a crisis of faith. The source of her newfound uncertainty and doubt? Her secretly deconstructing pastor.

On today’s episode of the Great Stories Podcast, Alisa shares the story of her detour into progressive Christianity, as well as how the Lord delivered her to embrace a vibrant, rational, and informed faith that is grounded in historical Christianity. If you or a loved one is wrestling with doubt or uncertainty, we pray this conversation will help.


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Scripture has been interpreted many different ways over the years, but how can you tell the difference between false gospels and the one Jesus lived and taught? On today’s episode of the Great Stories Podcast, Charles Morris and David Wollen are joined by Brandon Kimber, the director and editor of American Gospel: Christ Crucified. Together, they offer a biblical response to the growing deconstruction and progressive Christianity movement in America.

Brandon Kimber created the American Gospel series to take a critical look at some of the distorted, corrupted versions of the gospel circulating in western culture today. In this important and timely conversation, he discusses some of the problematic takes on Christ’s crucifixion and how Christians can respond with grace and truth.


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How can Christian parents and grandparents hope to disciple their children amid the struggles of everyday life? Even more, how can we use these often chaotic moments as golden opportunities to lead them to Jesus?

On today’s episode of the Great Stories podcast, Charles Morris and David Wollen are joined by Christian parents, including David’s wife, Marci, who share their own unique approaches to raising children to know and love Jesus. Later in the episode, Charles Morris goes on to discuss the tender subject of what to do when your child walks away from the faith.

On this episode, you’ll also hear from two members of the Haven Team. Tamara Chamberlain is an author, podcaster, and mother of three children with her husband, Dale. She also serves as Haven’s director of project management. Troy Lamberth is a filmmaker, podcaster, pastor, co-founder of Five Solas Media, and father of three children with his wife, Melissa. He also serves as Haven’s executive producer.


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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:

1. RESTING IN JESUS
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.

2. COMMITMENT TO GLOBAL MISSIONS
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.

3. REVIVAL
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.


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Where is Jesus when you need Him most? Whether it’s a chronic condition or a tragic accident, even believers find themselves ill-equipped to handle the myriad of afflictions that often catch us by surprise. That’s why it’s so important to learn now from those who have come before us, people like Joni Eareckson Tada who discovered just how essential it is to practice daily closeness with Christ.

“Suffering has a way of heaving you beyond the shallows of life where your faith tends to feel ankle-deep. It casts you out into the fathomless depths of God, a place where Jesus is the only One who can touch bottom.” —Joni Eareckson Tada, The Practice of the Presence of Jesus

In this conversation with Charles Morris and David Wollen, Joni discusses the many ways she experiences the presence of Jesus in her own daily life—even when overwhelmed with pain and fatigue. Whatever you may be going through right now, we pray this conversation will help you discover new ways to experience Christ daily, even when He seems far away.



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What does it mean to practice the presence of God? Rather than relying on “cafeteria-style spirituality,” Joni Eareckson Tada reminds us that God shares His joy on His terms—and His terms call for us to, in some measure, suffer like Jesus.

In fact, Joni goes on to describe how Christians too often want to numb or run away from pain and discomfort. But if we want to get to know this “man of sorrows,” God wants us to feel our own afflictions deeply.

Listen in to the full Haven Today radio series featuring Joni’s full interview to hear more about practicing the presence of Jesus.


The Practice of the Presence of Jesus by Joni Eareckson Tada

Daily Meditations on the Nearness of Our Savior


Discover the joy of intentionally dwelling in the presence of God as Joni Eareckson Tada weaves contemporary insights with the timeless wisdom of seventeenth-century monk Brother Lawrence.

“Suffering has a way of heaving you beyond the shallows of life where your faith feels ankle-deep. It casts you out into the fathomless depths of God.” — Joni, from the Introduction

The Practice of the Presence of Jesus ushers in wisdom from two everyday saints—Joni and Brother Lawrence—to teach and inspire you to experience the nearness of God in your life. Through rich devotional content from Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God, accompanied by original art and never-before-published insights from Joni, you’ll experience a unique blend of past and present wisdom on such themes as humility, thankfulness, fear, worship, obedience, and more. Each devotion ushers you into the peace of the Good Shepherd.

This month, Haven Ministries announced its biggest leadership transition in 25 years with Charles Morris “going emeritus” and David Wollen taking up the torch as the fifth president and host in this ministry’s 90 year history. On today’s episode of the Great Stories Podcast, you’ll get to hear a recent conversation they had while taking listener questions over ZOOM.

Recorded live on January 17, 2024, this captivating event provided a unique opportunity for Haven’s community to delve into David Wollen’s passion for ministry, his deep connection with Haven, and his fervent desire to keep sharing the great story that is all about Jesus.



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War between Israel and Hamas have dominated the headlines for months. And yet news about what Christ is doing, even in the midst of great suffering and conflict, is often overlooked. Here to talk about it, as well as how modern Jews are discovering Christ in Old Testament Scriptures, is the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus, David Brickner.

Three months have now passed since Hamas invaded Israel, sparking a war that continues to rage on today. Following that initial attack, Haven listeners responded by sending more than $200,000 directly to Israel to provide help and hope through Jews for Jesus. On today’s episode, David Brickner will also offer updates from the field on how this support has been used to feed Israelis — both physically and spiritually.

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All good things must come to an end. But in Christ, there are always new beginnings. On today’s episode of the Great Stories Podcast, Charles Morris introduces Haven Today’s new speaker and president, David Wollen.

It’s been almost 25 years now since Charles became the fourth speaker of Haven Today, and as he “goes emeritus,” Charles will still co-host the program with David for a short season. So, join them for a great discussion about Haven’s past, present, and future, and learn more about the work of Christ in David’s life.


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Almost twenty-five years ago, I was entrusted with the ministry of Haven. I knew that one day I would be passing the torch of this 90-year-old ministry to someone else. What I did not know is that this person would be a good friend of mine.

With great excitement and joy, I announce this year I will shift into an emeritus role and welcome David Wollen as the president and future host of Haven Today.

If you listened to the on-air announcement on Haven Today, then you’ve already heard the news. Either way, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about my longtime friend who will be ushering this ministry into a new era. For more information on how this transition will take place over the coming months, click here.

I first met David and his soon-to-be wife, Marci, at a Christmas concert at Biola University. We were complete strangers, or so I thought. During intermission, we struck up a conversation. I realized that I was close friends with the man who would soon be his father-in-law. Our paths crossed again two years later as I was seeking an assistant. I wasn’t just looking for someone to merely handle administrative tasks but also someone with a diverse skill set, leadership potential, and who deeply resonated with the vision that this ministry is all about Jesus. David was the perfect fit. One year in, he became our COO.

Not only did David and I become fast friends, but so did our families.

Charles Morris and David Wollen through the years

I remember how Janet and I prayed with David and Marci for their first child, which the Lord delayed for a long season. What a joy it was for me to be there for their daughter’s first birthday and see her smashing a cupcake into her face with so much glee! What a reminder of answered prayer.

Over the years we enjoyed hikes, picnics, and spiritual retreats. We’ve prayed together, celebrated together, and even mourned together. I count it true joy to call David Wollen my brother in Christ and friend.

The idea of one day passing the torch used to make me nervous. I didn’t know who would become the fifth speaker of Haven Ministries. I prayed for God to bring about the perfect person in His timing. That is exactly what He did.

I can attest to David’s experience and knowledge as someone who teaches the Word of God, his desire to serve others in his leadership, and his eagerness to know Christ more. Even his most recent experience in international missions will be valuable as he returns to Haven. But in knowing David, I have been most encouraged by his daily dependence on Jesus.

When you tune in to Haven Today this month, you will continue to hear my voice alongside David’s. As time progresses, I will dial back my presence in the program while continuing to serve in a support role. I look forward to seeing how God will use this 90-year-old ministry in the years to come.


About the Author

Charles Morris served as Haven’s host and president from 1999 through 2023, and is still actively serving in an emeritus role on the air and in leadership.

Charles now lives in Washington with his wife, Janet. Together, they wrote Saving a Life, Jesus in the Midst of Success, and Missing Jesus. They have three children and are the proud grandparents of Charlotte, Gracie, Ricky, Charlie, and Cosette. In 2017, Morris collaborated with New York Times bestselling author Craig Borlase and wrote Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus which chronicles the stories of Christians in the Middle East today.