Our Team


They’re a great bunch…

A group of people who love God, love people and want to further the gospel through teaching it to the Christian leaders of tomorrow. They’re a great bunch, we’re sure you’ll love them!

Ben Pfahlert – MTS National Director

Ben did not come from a Christian family.  God saved him through very simple means.  A bloke called Rhys read one chapter of Mark’s Gospel each week with him during 1988.

Ben became a Christian in 1989 and is very committed to the ‘invest deeply in a few’ model of discipleship.  Jesus did it.  Paul did it and Rhys did it.

Ben worked as a Civil Engineer in Melbourne for three years. He did an MTS Apprenticeship alongside his wife under Gordon and Fiona Cheng, through AFES at RMIT University 1992-1993.  Ben and Emma both studied at Moore Theological College (Sydney) before returning to Melbourne in 2001.  Ben wore three hats between 2001 and 2006: he was an AFES University Minister, the Pastor of the evening congregation of Scots Presbyterian Church and the MTS Network Coordinator for Victoria.  Ben was appointed MTS National Director in 2007 and is thoroughly committed to MTS’ Vision ‘to win the world for Christ by multiplying Gospel workers through ministry apprenticeships.’

Ben and Emma have 4 adult/high school age children.  Ben loves ordinary family dinners, chatting with the kids, triathlons, upside down fires and watching a good TV show with Emma (eg.  “Alone” on SBS).  Ben also loves seeing (+ supporting) grass roots MTS movements all around the world.

Ben also believes that ‘2 minutes in glory will be far more satisfying than 80 years of the best pleasures this world has to offer.’

Russell Smidt – Director of Training

Russ joined the MTS Staff in May 2022, but has been connected to MTS since attending Club 5 Conferences in the late 90s. He did an apprenticeship at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Carlingford (2003-04), then after 4 years at bible college recruited and trained apprentices as a pastor in NSW/ACT Presbyterian churches.

Russ grew up in Grafton (NSW), where he did his first ‘apprenticeship’ as a scaffolder/dogman in the family business before moving to the ‘big smoke’ to study Civil Engineering at University of Sydney. He worked as a Geotechnical Engineer in Sydney and has served as a pastor in Sydney (Epping Presbyterian Church, 2009-13) and Canberra (New Life Presbyterian Church, Gungahlin, 2014-22).

With his wife and 4 sons, Russ lives in Canberra. He carves out time to umpire community AFL, watch his sons play AFL, kayak the rapids of the Murrumbidgee River and play tenor horn in the Canberra Brass Band.

Since being knocked over by God’s grace and becoming a Christian in 1996, nothing has been more important to him than making Jesus known and helping others to receive God’s grace.

Brett Douglas – Director of Operations & Pastoral Development

Brett joined MTS in May 2018 and was blessed to come to know the Lord Jesus through a Christian family home, and became a Christian as a teenager in Wollongong.

After serving in the Royal Australian Navy for 11 years, Brett subsequently worked in a variety of logistics, service, and business improvement roles. He first came into contact with MTS when he moved to Sydney in the early 1990s, and since then has shared the MTS vision to raise up future gospel workers.

Brett is excited to see how God will use his professional skills to help multiply gospel workers through MTS apprenticeships.

Brett is married to Cathrein and they have three children. Outside work he loves spending time with his family, teaching SRE, cycling with friends, and enjoying a good coffee.

Murray Wale – Registrar

Murray commenced working for MTS at the end of 2011 as the registrar. He provides support to apprentices, trainers and churches in a variety of ways, including pastoral care, helping churches to begin training apprentices, guiding people through Pathways and the MTS curriculum, as well as providing advice on compliance.

When he is not at work, Murray enjoys spending time with his family, sci-fi, wi-fi and cryptic crosswords (which he never manages to finish!).

Carmel Vincent – Events Coordinator

Carmel joined MTS in December 2021 as the Events Coordinator. She is passionate about seeing people come to know Jesus and grow in their love and knowledge of God and his word. She loves organising events that bring like-minded Christians together to raise up gospel workers for the glory of God.

After working in banking and finance for many years, Carmel moved to the St George area and dedicated herself to serving in both children’s and women’s ministry at her church, St George North Anglican, while also working for the church in administrative and finance roles. During this time she also completed a Graduate Diploma of Divinity at SMBC.

Carmel is married to Neil and they have two young adult sons. Outside work she loves settling down with a good book, listening to music, spending time with her family and going for long walks along the beach with Neil and their dog Archie (preferably with take-away coffees).

Crossbeam Communications – Communications & Marketing

Crossbeam Communications is a specialist communications, marketing and fundraising agency serving Christian organisations. Crossbeam Communications is run by a small team of passionate Christian professionals led by Elisabeth Carter.

“MTS has been partnering with Crossbeam for about 4 years (before they were called “Crossbeam”). We LOVE working with these guys. They are efficient, wise, great writers, strategic, helpful, caring and godly. I unreservedly commend them to you”.
– Ben Pfahlert, MTS National Director

James Hoey – MTS Victorian Partnership Developer

James joined MTS at the start of 2021 and is based in Victoria. He has the great joy and privilege of working with Victorian ministry leaders and potential apprentices and helping them keep their eyes on God’s harvest field.

James previously worked as a Podiatrist in private practice, community health, correctional facilities and as a National Clinical Manager. He did an MTS Apprenticeship at Grace Christian Community in Melbourne after which he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney from 2017-2020.

James is married to Melody and they have the joy of being parents to Levi.


Jodi Brooker – Operations & Support Administrator

Jodi started with the MTS Team in May 2022. She is from the Newcastle area, and graduated with a Business Degree from The University of Newcastle at the end of 2021.

Jodi grew up in church and always knew of God, but took her faith seriously at the age of 16 after seeing a powerful testimony from a guest at a youth group event. She considers accepting Jesus into her heart one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Prior to MTS, Jodi gained experience in both hospitality and retail, and is very excited to now be working in a gospel-minded organisation. In her spare time, Jodi likes to spend time with her Fiancé, Jordan, and catch up with friends and watch documentaries. Her Siamese cat Coco is very special to her.


Emma Moxham – Executive Assistant to Ben Pfahlert

Emma re-joined the MTS team in January 2024 as Ben’s Executive Assistant. She previously worked with MTS in 2021 as the Events Administrator.

Emma holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing & Human Resource Management) from the University of Wollongong. It was during her time at university that Emma began to consider how God might use her whole life in service of him.

Emma loves everything that MTS is on about – winning the world for Christ through multiplying gospel workers. She completed an MTS apprenticeship in 2022-23. She completed the Cornhill-MTS pathway and highly recommends it. She loves helping people take their next step with Jesus, whether that is meeting him for the first time, or five hundred and fifty first time!

Emma is married to Ethan (current MTS apprentice at Park Road Anglican Church) and they have a cavoodle puppy named Selah. They love good coffee, road trips down the south coast, and adding to books to their already extensive library.


Rebecca Cockroft – Ministry Administrator

Rebecca joined MTS in May 2023. She came to faith through watching her parents as they faithfully and prayerfully worked as missionaries in Nepal. Rebecca is passionate about the change that Christ makes in a person’s life, moving people from death to life!

After completing a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and running a music tutoring business, Rebecca completed an MTS apprenticeship in 2017-18 and was given the opportunity of learning and supporting the work of Ministry at Vine Church, Surry Hills. She then went on to work for the Salvation Army as a Community Caseworker in work that gave her the opportunity to share her faith as and practically support those who are extremely disadvantaged in the community.

Rebecca is married to Isaac, and they have 2 children. Outside work, she loves playing with her young children, long walks and conversations with friends and any musical/concert/gig she can get to.

John Thomas – Events & Volunteer Teams Administrator

John joined the MTS team in September 2023. John studied his Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Health Communication. During his Master’s degree, John began working at Ogilvy PR where he worked in both public relations and public affairs in the healthcare space.

At MTS, John works with Carmel Vincent (Events Coordinator) on Events such as MTS Recruit and MTS G8 Conference.

John is married to Bella, and they are active in their church – John has been involved in music at church for a number of years and also enjoyed being a youth leader during his university years and seeing those younger than him grow in their faith in the Lord Jesus.

In his spare time, John likes to play and watch sport. In particular John is a passionate Sydney Roosters and Arsenal fan.

Clare Merkel – MTW-MTS Partnership Developer

Clare joined MTS in October 2023 after spending 12 years in pastoral women’s ministry. Clare focuses on coaching gospel leaders to train and recruit female apprentices.

Prior to joining MTS, Clare worked as an Exercise Physiologist before undertaking a ministry apprenticeship at Albury Presbyterian Church and Abbotsford Presbyterian Church, from 2010-2011.

Clare grew up in a Christian home. Since 2012, Clare has been actively involved in Bathurst Presbyterian Church alongside her husband Tristan. Clare’s dedication to mentoring and training is evident through her experience in training three female MTS apprentices.

Outside of work, Clare enjoys staying active through running, walking and pilates. She also values quality time with friends. As a mother to four kids, Clare embraces the challenges and joys of parenthood, investing in her children as the next generation of disciples.

Melody Hoey – Events Support Officer (Victoria)

Melody returned to MTS in January 2024 to provide events and administrative support to the MTS movement in Victoria, alongside James Hoey. Melody has previously worked as the Events Coordinator for MTS in NSW and loved seeing Christians at all different stages of thinking come together to consider how they can be serving Jesus with their lives – she prays that as the MTS movement in Victoria grows, it would also bring together the same breadth of Christians in the future!

Hailing from Melbourne, Melody loves a good coffee and being out and about with her soon to be family of four.