19 Kids and Counting Wiki

John Eric Shrader (born June 29, 1977) is the first child and first son of Rick and Jodi Shrader.

He is the brother of Sarah Waller, Seth Shrader, Jared Shrader, and Joel Shrader.

He is the husband of Esther Shrader and the father of their 12 children, Enoch, Alatheia, Timothy, Nehemiah, Agape, Elijah, Charis, Sophia, Stephen, Isaiah, Caleb, and Joseph.

Early life

John Eric Shrader was born on June 29, 1977, to Rick Shrader and Jodi Muirhead. He was the couple's first child, and they went on to have four more children after him.

John's father was a Baptist pastor. It is assumed that this was a change from his father's extended family based on John's characterization of his paternal grandfather as a "drunken womanizer".

John was saved at five years old, and was baptized shortly after. As a young child, he was the church pianist. He felt the call to be a preacher at 10 years old. Along with his siblings, John was home-schooled. He also went on a number of missions while growing up, with locations including Mexico, Russia, Japan, and Peru. At some point in his young life he also attended a Christian boot camp.

Personal life


John married Esther Joy Keller on November 3, 2001.


The couple has 12 children.

Their first child, son Enoch Mathew was born on January 17, 2003.

Their second child, daughter Alatheia Grace was born on March 13, 2004.

Their third child, son Timothy Michael was born on August 2, 2005.

Their fourth child, son Nehemiah James was born on January 20, 2007.

Their fifth child, daughter Agape Faith was born on June 3, 2008.

Their sixth child, son Elijah David was born on February 28, 2010.

Their seventh child, daughter Charis Elisabeth was born on June 25, 2011.

Their eighth child, daughter Sophia Joy was born on March 6, 2013.

Their ninth child, son Stephen Lushomo was born on September 10, 2014.

Their tenth child, son Isaiah Kasimpe was born on June 2, 2016.

Their eleventh child, son Caleb Zambia was born on January 2, 2018.

Their twelfth child, son Joseph Tumelo was born on March 8, 2020.



John pursued his undergraduate studies at a Baptist church school in Independence, Missouri, that operated under Tri-City Baptist Church. After that, he transferred to Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary in Newington, Connecticut, where he earned a Masters of Biblical Studies in 2001.

Pastoral career

After earning his master's, John served as the associate pastor at Tri-County Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, under his father for five years. He then served under Pastor Albert Fare at New Testament Baptist Church in Brewster, Washington, for a year and a half before moving to a church plant in The Dalles, Oregon.

Missionary work

John felt called to serve overseas while preaching in Oregon. In 2011, the opportunity opened up to move to Zambia through TeamZambia lead by David Rea. He and his wife went on a survey trip in 2012, where they felt this was where God wanted their family to serve. John began his pre-missionary deputation in August of 2012, and he and his family moved to Zambia some time in 2013.


A number of the former disciples from John's church in Zambia have recently started calling him out for being prideful and narcissistic.

In April of 2017, John posted on his Facebook that one of his disciples, Aracde Niyomwungere, had "turned against" him and started contacting others about him on Facebook. Shortly after, he began asking his Facebook friends to let him know if Arcade contacted them about him.