Our story

The vision for Restoration City started in the hearts of Laura and John McGowan. After 10 years of serving college students and young adults in the DC area, they dreamed of planting a gospel shaped church that would be a home for college students, young professionals and families. But Restoration City wasn’t just about uniting generations, it was about loving and serving a city. It was about the power of the gospel to transform lives.

John and Laura knew that turning that vision into reality would require a like minded sending church and a great team of people. That’s where The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina enters the story. John and Laura were invited to participate in Summit’s Church Planting Residency and jumped at the chance to learn from all God is doing through The Summit. So, they left the suburbs of DC to spend 10 months in Raleigh-Durham to learn about church planting and refine the vision for Restoration City. During those 10 months, God brought together an incredible team of 46 people who formed the launch team and first members of Restoration City Church.

Since our public launch in October of 2014, we’ve seen God do so much in and through our church. We’re a community of faith living for the glory of Christ and the good of our city. We’re grateful for all of the ways He empowers us to live that out and would love to have you along for the ride!

Meet The Team

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John McGowan

Lead Pastor & Directional Elder
John and Laura McGowan led the team that originally planted Restoration City and continue to lead our church today.

Originally from Syracuse, New York, John first came to Washington, D.C. as a college student. It was during his junior year at Georgetown that he discovered the beauty of the gospel and became a follower of Jesus. Since then, John has had a passion to see others come to know Jesus and follow Him with their lives. After spending seven years leading a college ministry, and three as the teaching pastor of a young adult ministry, John completed a one-year church planting residency with The Summit Church prior to planting Restoration City.  He also holds a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.

John and Laura have been married since 2010 and have two sons, Jack and Aidan, and a daughter, Emma. They currently live inside the beltway and love the adventure of raising kids in the city.

John-Michael Nida

Associate Pastor: Groups + Teams
Directional Elder
John-Michael grew up in North Texas and attended the University of North Texas where he received a degree in Therapeutic Recreation.  A call to missional living eventually led him to China, where he gained a deeper understanding of the power of prayer and the importance of relational depth in our witness for Christ.  After China, John-Michael spent 2 years in South Africa working with Christian Surfers South Africa.

John-Michael and Katherine met while living and working in China, have been married since 2016 , and currently live in Springfield, VA.  They have two kiddos and share a passion for good coffee and deep relationships.

German Gomez

Shepherding Elder
Originally from Guatemala City, German Gomez grew up in the city of New Orleans where he attended Tulane University. After moving back to his hometown, German started a 20-year career in language and teacher education working as the Academic Director at institutions in Guatemala and South Korea and completing an MA in Project Management in Spain. His current job in managing education programs for a non-profit organization brought him and his wife, Paola, to DC at the end of 2015.

German came to Christ in 2000 and has, since then, experienced God’s love and mercy serving Him as an elder and pastor in Guatemala City and in Daegu, South Korea. He and his wife are passionate about serving the Latino community in Arlington.

Ted Jung

Directional Elder
Ted was born and raised in Indiana and graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  He then started working for the Navy as an engineer in Indiana where he met his wife, Renee.  They were active in their local church and received many blessings from serving in many short term mission trips to Mexico and Jamaica.

Shortly after moving into the Washington DC area it was clear to Ted and Renee that Restoration City was a great fit for them to learn from God’s Word, serve in fellowship with fellow believers and to grow closer to Christ.  They have been blessed to be part of a wonderful community group for many years which they have lead for the last 3 years.  Ted and Renee have two grown children Audrey (and son-in-law Hunter) and Alex.

Jason Hall

Directional Elder
Jason was born in Australia but grew up overseas: first in Thailand, and then in India. His parents were missionaries and he got to watch first-hand as they lived out their faith on a daily basis. Jason became a Christian at thirteen when he came to the realization that he needed to respond personally to Jesus. After moving to DC for work, Jason quickly found in RCC a church that was committed to knowing God and being in community together. Restoration City was also where Jason met his wife, Marissa. They currently lead a community group together and like exploring each other’s countries (like feeding kangaroos and going to corn mazes).

Susan Thomson

RCC Kids Director
Susan is originally from Arkansas but has not called it home since marrying Robert and learning to “thrive where God plants her” as an Air Force spouse. She has lived in 11 places over the last 34 years and can honestly say that the best memories from each are the people she encountered in each location. She and Robert are empty nesters with two grown daughters and two fantastic sons-in-law. Since becoming a believer at age 15, Susan has been on a journey of growing with the Lord through each season. The one constant in her life has been God, and He has shown Himself faithful and true even when she has not always done the same. She loves spending time with family and friends, hiking, taking long walks, reading and gardening.

Dan Kyser

RCC Resident
Dan is an Arizona native who moved to the DMV area in 2005. He's been playing music since the 4th grade and ultimately graduated from Liberty University in 2020 with a Bachelor's in Worship Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity with a concentration of Military Chaplaincy. Dan is in the Navy Reserves and loves being active and going to the gym. He plays a ton of slow-pitch softball and is always looking for a good time and new adventures. Last but not least, Dan's favorite food is Mexican! The End.

Mission & Calling

Restoration City Church exists to glorify God by making disciples who are being restored through presence, formation, and mission.


Restoration City is anchored in the historic teachings of Christian orthodoxy as articulated in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.

In Partnership With