“The greatest thing I feel I can do right now is help the next generation of Christian leaders accomplish more than I ever have.”
Mike Cavanaugh
Founder, Not Many Fathers

About Mike Cavanaugh

Mike Cavanaugh currently serves as the founder and director of Not Many Fathers, a ministry dedicated to mentoring emerging Christian leaders in how to make wise decisions, preach dynamically, and boldly initiate their visions so they can reach their God-given potential.

Mike was the founder and director of BASIC College Ministries, which after 40 years is still impacting students for Christ today. He also founded and directed Mobilized to Serve which for 15 years challenged single adults to serve Christ. During this time he also wrote a book called God’s Call to the Single Adult that sold over 100,000 copies and is still published today under the title The Power and Purpose of Singleness.

Mike formally incorporated and pastored Elim Gospel Church, a dynamic congregation of nearly 1,000 in Lima, NY for 20 years leading them to raise the funds and construct a 60,000 square foot ministry center. He also served as the full-time Vice President of Elim Fellowship a ministerial organization where he worked with hundreds of pastors and Christian leaders.

Most recently Mike served for 8 years as the President of Elim Bible Institute and College, where he led the school to achieve full accreditation and saw hundreds of thousands of dollars of aid released for students. He is very proud that the school is now the only accredited charismatic Bible school in New York State. He is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Bakke Graduate University.

A motivating speaker known for his clarity and humor, Mike has traveled extensively in the U.S. and overseas equipping leaders and challenging young people to transform the world for Christ. 

He and his wife, Terri, reside in Lima, NY, and have three adult children and nine grandchildren. Two of his children are missionaries to Asia and one is a marketplace entrepreneur; each of them is dedicated to world impact.

More than 40 years
of ministry experience

Lean on Pastor Mike’s experience in your own group or 1:1 Zoom session.


books sold


years as pastor


dollars raised


countries impacted
  • 1979

    Founded BASIC College Ministries

    After graduating Bible school, I had a burning desire to reach college students in a different way. Rather than founding a parachurch approach, we helped the local churches establish ministries on the campuses near them. This ministry has been reaching multitudes of students for the last 40 years.

  • 1981

    Founded Mobilized To Serve singles ministry

    While BASIC was taking off, I decided to hold a conference for single adults. Little did I know that for the next 15 years I would travel the world with a message about the incredible potential of single people in the church. Conferences exploded to over 2000 people in attendance.

  • 1986

    "God’s Call to the Single Adult" published

    As part of Mobilized To Serve (MTS), I wrote a book that captured the message of the movement. Most of what was written for singles at that time was focused on how to prepare them for marriage. This book focused on the fact that God had a purpose for the season of singleness and that singles should be aggressively pursuing their purpose—not waiting for a relationship to fulfill them.

  • 1988

    Became Pastor and formally incorporated Elim Gospel Church

    In the midst of all that was happening with college students and single adults, God burdened my heart for the church on the campus at Elim. At this time the church became a separate entity from the college, and I became its pastor for the next 20 years.

  • 1994

    Church transformed by powerful revival experience

    Learning how to lead during a time of revival was new to me. Services ran continuously for 3 weeks, with services at 10am and 7pm that would each last 5 hours long. People drove in from miles around to experience what was happening. The afterglow of this revival deeply affected us for several years and launched our vision to build a new ministry center.

  • 1996

    Building campaign began for 1,200 seat ministry center

    This was a major challenge for the church leaders to design the new 60,000 sq/ft ministry center and to raise the millions of dollars necessary for its construction. Though I was challenged beyond my wildest dreams with this project, I learned more about leadership during this time than ever before.

  • 2009

    Traveled serving ministers of Elim Fellowship as Vice-President

    After 20 years of pastoring, I successfully transitioned a 27-year-old young man as my successor leading the church. This was the fulfillment of my dream to be a model to older leaders in how to transition their churches to next generation leadership. At this time, I began to bring day-to-day leadership to Elim Fellowship and to travel among its 900 credential holders. I learned so much from the incredible frontline ministers.

  • 2012

    Inaugurated as President of Elim Bible Institute & College

    I took the position of President of my alma mater Elim Bible Institute & College because I had a burning passion to prepare young people to powerfully impact their world for Jesus Christ. I stood on the shoulders of many who have gone before in the nearly 100 years of Elim’s history. During my tenure, I helped stabilize the school financially and led the school to become a fully accredited college—enabling our students to receive both state and federal aid.

  • 2020

    Founded Not Many Fathers

    After stepping down the president of the college, I founded Not Many Fathers. Through this ministry I want to help emerging Christian leaders in how to make wise decisions, preach dynamically, and boldly initiate their visions so they can fulfill their God-given potential. I do this through personal mentoring, speaking, and with resources including seminars, eBooks, audio, and video teaching.

Join a mentor group and grow to new levels in ministry & life!