On Easter Sunday, churches across North America and throughout the world celebrated Christ’s resurrection. The Wesleyan Church also celebrated its ability to be a transforming presence through the launching of new churches, like the stories below.
Faith Legacy Church (FLC) in Sacramento, California, launched its Pavilions campus, with 152 people present. According to Rev. Brennan McCurdy, campus pastor, the community has been welcoming and those in attendance were excited to be part of launching the new campus.
One positive community impact already is with the school in which the church meets.
“The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) [of Sierra Oaks K-8 Elementary School] has asked us, as a church, to form an official partnership with them for volunteer and mentor programs and helping at the school,” said McCurdy. The FLC Pavilions campus has also adopted the school’s staff by providing them lunch during a special appreciation day. Additionally, the church partners with the school to help provide people and equipment to assist at school functions.
McCurdy sees the school partnership as a way to continue to minister to the community.
Each Sunday since the launch, the Pavilions service team communicates via group chat the first 30 minutes after everyone gets home from the service. One team member, who works with the children’s program, Legacy Kids, told the story of a little boy who asked on launch day if God loved people of his ethnicity. The child’s question allowed the team member to share God’s love with him and assure the boy that he is loved by God.
“There were many moments like this, small but important ones, on our launch day,” said McCurdy.
McCurdy said people are curious to learn more about God as nonbelievers are attending FLC Pavilions each week. He references one family that “to our knowledge have not made a confession of Jesus being their personal Lord and Savior, but they are at church every week and we can see God moving in their lives with each message given and worship song sung.”
On the other side of the United States, Bethany Wesleyan Church (BWC) in Cherryville, Pennsylvania, launched a new campus in Lehighton on Easter Sunday too. That first Sunday at BWC Lehighton, more than 300 people attended and 25 placed their faith in Christ for the first time. Since then, more than 100 people have attended each weekly service.
Rev. Michael Saunders and Rev. Scott Welton serve as co-pastors at BWC Lehighton.
Saunders told a story of a couple who made a decision for Christ after not attending any church for over 30 years.
“On the Saturday afternoon prior to launch, one of the launch team felt compelled to stop and invite an elderly couple he observed sitting on the porch of their home as he drove by,” said Saunders. “They came to the Easter service and made a decision for Christ. A later visit at their home by the person who invited them revealed that God, indeed, had done an incredible and miraculous thing in their lives. They are so excited to be part of the new campus.”
Just like FLC Pavilions campus in Sacramento, BWC Lehighton is impacting its own community, including the school, Lehighton Area Middle School, in which it meets.
“The school administrators have been more than accommodating,” said Rev. Kevin Fetterhoff, lead pastor of Bethany Wesleyan Church. “The principal told us that with us there on Sunday, the school would benefit from God’s presence there during the week.”
The church has also donated resources to a program to provide lunches to underprivileged children, a local food distribution ministry and CareNet crisis pregnancy program. The city mayor has invited BWC Lehighton to join the community festival by providing an outdoor Sunday service at a local park. BWC Lehighton has invited other area churches to partner with them for the park service.
A new church plant in Garden City, Kansas, also launched on Easter Sunday. Madalyn Martinez, pastor of The Community – La Comunidad, is excited about the lives being changed in western Kansas.
“Although we were a small core team, we decided to do what we knew to do and trust God to do what only he can,” said Martinez. Twenty-seven people attended that first service and eight placed their faith in Jesus. Read more about ministry at The Community – La Comunidad here.
“I love seeing churches multiply because I love seeing people far from God exposed to the kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Ed Love, director of Church Multiplication for The Wesleyan Church. “I’m convinced, if a true multiplication movement is going to take place, it’ll be because impassioned sending churches are willing to break through their fears, respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and launch new faith communities in places where people need the life transforming message of Jesus.”
Read about another church plant launch in Florida.