19 Kids and Counting Wiki

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

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

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

Early life

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

Along with his siblings, John was homeschooled growing up.

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 Jessie Shrader 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 ten years old. He went on a number of missions growing up, with locations including: Mexico, Russia, Japan, and Peru. At some point as a child, he attended a Christian boot camp.

Personal life


On May 23, 2001, John got engaged to Esther Keller.


On November 3, 2001, John married Esther Joy Keller in Harris County, Texas.


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 Nathan, 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 11, 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.

Their thirteenth child, Baby Shrader, due early October 2022.



John pursued his undergraduate studies at a Baptist church school in Independence, Missouri, that operated under Tri-City Baptist Church. In 2000, he transferred to Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary in Newington, Connecticut, where he earned a Master's Degree in Biblical Studies in 2001.


After earning his Master's, John served as the Associate Pastor at Tri-County Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, under his father Rick Shrader for five years. He then served under Pastor Albert Fare at New Testament Baptist Church in Brewster, Washington, for a year and a half. He worked as a Pastor at Heritage Bible Baptist Church in The Dalles, Oregon from July 2008 to July 2012.


John felt called to serve overseas while preaching in Oregon. In 2011, the opportunity opened up to move to Zambia through TeamZambia led by David Rea. He and his wife Esther went on a survey trip in March 2012, where they felt that this was where God wanted their family to serve. John began his pre-missionary deputation in August 2012, and he and his family moved to Kafue, Zambia on June 6, 2014.


A number of former disciples from John's church in Zambia have called him out for being "prideful" and "narcissistic".

In April 2017, John posted on his Facebook page that one of his disciples, Arcade 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.

In late 2017, John was the subject of investigation for illegal activities and problems regarding his visa. The specific accusations are unknown. On December 31, 2017, John said that he had been found innocent.