We planted Church of the Jordan* in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, in March of 2014. The launch team met in five different schools and locations until God led us to rent an existing church in Port Saint Lucie. After the existing congregation moved to another city and that church building became empty, Church of the Jordan was able to purchase it through the wonderful grace of God and the assistance of Wesleyan Investment Foundation.
The congregation is very multi-cultural with a strong Hispanic influence. The leadership has worked hard to connect with the culture and to offer connection opportunities to bring the cultures together. We have learned the value of offering classes to the children in the community, specifically in mixed martial arts and praise dance. This has been very effective in bringing new families through the church doors.
A powerful story of conversion involves Sheila, a Puerto Rican single mom of two children. Sheila was previously deeply involved in a dangerous religion that involved animal sacrifice and strange ritualistic practices. Sheila was very involved in this religion, having turned to it as a result of divorce and deaths in her family. God miraculously has delivered her as a result of Church of the Jordan and the personal investment that the leadership made in her life. Her testimony, which she gives at every opportunity, gives glory to God. She always emphasizes that she felt no judgment from the church, only love and acceptance.
That is truly what sets our church apart from others. Our launch team consists of tremendous, loving Christ-followers whose hearts are broken for the lost. When a visitor enters the church, they are surrounded by love and caring people who want to show God’s love to others.
Our community is a tough one. Port Saint Lucie has been called the “city with no soul.” There have been several planting organizations that have decided not to plant here because it is such a tough atmosphere. Not because of crime, but because of the community being disconnected from spiritual things. Also, people have moved here because the housing is so reasonable, but they work outside the city and don’t have a real connection to their community. There aren’t enough churches to fill the need of the city. Our constant challenge is to prove that we are here to help and to gain their trust, knowing that building these relationships can result in them trusting God.
*Editor’s note: Church name has been changed to Crosstown Fellowship – A Wesleyan Church in recent months.