Stephen and Kellie both grew up in Georgia dreaming of being missionaries. Following God’s leading, they met as teammates teaching English in China for a year as adventurous, world-changing college students. They walked away from that experience with a love for the Chinese and a growing love for each other that continues to this day. They happily spent their first three years of marriage in Birmingham, and then in 2003 they returned to China to raise a family and join in God’s kingdom work there. Stephen and Kellie have four children: Miles (10/2005), Amelia (11/2007), Grady (5/2010), and Oliver (3/2012).
In January of 2020 the Merwin family went to a week-long conference in Thailand, just as the coronavirus began to spread. They never made it back home. Instead, God brought them to the States to renew their call to reach the nations by ministering to international students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with Reformed University Fellowship International. Stephen began ministering at UAB on January 1, 2022 and is still numb with joy that God is calling them to this work.