Lindermans to lead new church plant
Mission USA news release
Reaching young adults in the West Valley of Phoenix, Ariz., is the aim of the newest Mennonite Brethren church plant led by Gavin and Kendall Linderman. For the past year Linderman, who with his wife completed church planter assessment in November 2010, has served as a staff intern at Copper Hills Church, a late 1990s Mission USA church plant in Peoria, Ariz.
Linderman has focused his ministry among 18 to 29-year-olds, and this has become a vibrant outreach. This group, made up of mostly young couples with children, will form the nucleus of the new church. The core team is gifted, energetic and very passionate about helping launch this new church in order to reach more people with the gospel.
"(This will be) a church plant in the West Valley of Phoenix that is committed to seeing our culture transformed by the gospel through individuals, families and communities living on mission," says Linderman.
Copper Hills Church will take the lead in this project with strong support from the Pacific District Conference and Mission USA, the USMB church planting and renewal ministry.
“We have sensed for over a year that Gavin is the right person to establish this future church,” says Brad Klassen, Copper Hills pastor.
“This is another church plant project that is being accomplished through partnership,” says Mission USA director Don Morris. “It’s exciting to see Copper Hills Church ‘daughter’ another church. I know they have had an intense desire to do this for a long time.”
The Phoenix area was a major focus of church planting activity for Mission USA when the ministry was established in the mid-1990s. Ed Boschman, USMB executive director, says, "When Carol and I moved to Phoenix in 1996, I had just accepted the invitation to serve as the first executive director for Mission USA, which was at that time the new domestic mission initiative of our national family.”
“We envisioned that in the next 15 years USMB would establish a cluster of new churches in that metroplex of more than 3 million people,” says Boschman. “The fact that we are now partnering with Copper Hills Church (the first church plant in Phoenix) and the Pacific District Conference to birth a new church is nothing less than a prayer answered. We are very grateful to God for his affirmation of those prayers of faith offered 15 years ago. A vision has been revived. And for the sake of the mission of God, Phoenix is rising.”
Linderman will complete a degree in Christian studies from Grand Canyon University in May, and at that time the project team will begin meeting on a regular basis. The core team will be developed over the summer, and the church launch is expected sometime in the fall of 2012.