Over the past three decades, USMB has employed some type of national church planting initiative that has produced considerable fruit. Mission USA was a particular focus of USMB from 1996 to 2016. During those two decades, Mission USA operated alongside district church planting boards and committees to plant many now-thriving Mennonite Brethren churches. Two of these Mission USA backed churches, Greenhouse Church in Utah and Axiom Church in Arizona, recently celebrated their 10-year anniversaries.
Jason and Nicole Quiring were lead planters and continue as the lead pastoral couple for Greenhouse Church in Saratoga Springs, a community that had never previously seen an effective evangelical church. Eleven people made up the first congregation in a city and surrounding area that is predominantly Mormon. Over the past 10 years God has opened opportunities for Greenhouse to put down deep roots within the city.
The Quirings determined to lay a foundation of trust with the community, especially in light of the primarily Mormon culture that is often leery of evangelical Christianity. Greenhouse applied a more organic, missional, relational approach which is slower growing but has been a good fit for the area.
“We have always prayed God would only grow us as fast as we are healthy and we believe he has done just that,” Nicole says. “We funnel everything through our mission to love God, love people and serve the world.”
For the anniversary celebration July 30, the church celebrated in a local city park with a concert, free food, games and incredible fireworks. “Those fireworks were so symbolic to God’s faithfulness these last 10 years but also a shoutout about his work for all the valley to see,” the Quirings say. “The power and beauty of the fireworks was a display of God relentlessly pursuing each one of us.”
Great things appear to be on the horizon for the next 10 years as well.
Axiom Church in Peoria began with church planters Gavin and Nicole Linderman and Gavin’s brother, Lance, and was birthed from a singles/young marrieds group out of mother church, Copper Hills Church, a 1996 Mission USA church plant. From the beginning the vision was to plant a church that was enmeshed within the community, with integration into the life of the community through many special events and active service. However, the search for initial meeting space was a major hurdle. Rental facility prices were extremely high.
Axiom finally located a space that had previously been a small gym/dance studio and retrofitted it. As Axiom quickly grew, that facility soon became obsolete, and in 2018, Axiom purchased an old lumberyard building and refurbished it for worship. A well-known coffee shop, Driftwood, is attached and is part of the overall outreach plan, being instrumental in bringing recognition and people to Axiom. Now quite well known in Peoria, Axiom continues to grow with the largest attending age group being young families. Thus, a new kids’ facility is next on the priority list.
Axiom celebrated its 10-year anniversary Aug. 6, with a special evening including a catered meal, linen tablecloths, a humorous “roasting” of the church staff by two elders and much music. Lance and Gavin told the story of the church’s history, showing pictures and a video which emotionally portrayed God’s faithfulness over the church’s first decade. Axiom is ready for the “future church.” With much anticipation, the church talked expectantly about what God would do in the future.
“We plan to keep doing what we’ve been doing, preaching the gospel in Peoria,” Gavin said. “Reaching people who need Jesus and being a light in our community.”