USMB churches—some that are still church plants themselves—are actively planting new churches using a campus model. Two of these fledgling churches are in Grantsville, Utah, and Clovis, California.
Lakeview Church – Grantsville
As Lakeview Church, a Mennonite Brethren church plant in Stansbury Park, Utah, led by Phil Wiebe, continues to grow, they are anticipating the launch of a second campus about nine miles west of Stansbury Park in Grantsville. Pastor Jeff Hubrich and his wife, Heather, have organized a team for Grantsville and will be incorporating roughly 65 people from the Stansbury Park campus to get the new church going.
As of early February, the plan was to begin campus services Feb. 21 with a community-wide grand opening Easter Sunday. Completing a build-out of a commercial space has required considerable fundraising. The finished product will provide room to grow, including developing a children’s ministry. Purchasing rather than leasing the building has lowered the monthly facility expense by almost half.
Hubrich, previously a commercial airline pilot, is excited about what God has in store. He and Heather are connecting with people, including those currently in the Mormon (LDS) church. One man, an elder in the LDS church, recently asked Hubrich to explain the armor of God to him and has been watching Lakeview Church sermons online and is “really getting into it!”
Mountain View Community Church – Old Town
Scott Gossenberger and his wife, Jackie, never imagined that God would call them to plant a church, especially since Scott, at 61, is not a young guy. But that is exactly what God has orchestrated.
Under the support of Mountain View Community Church, Fresno, California, the Gossenbergers are planting in nearby Old Town Clovis. They began meeting Jan. 24 in a chilly outdoor amphitheater at a local junior high school, with more than 100 people in attendance. That amazing start has continued, and more people are coming every week.
Gossenberger began attending a city-wide pastor’s weekly prayer group while serving as an associate pastor at another Fresno church. Also in that group were Mountain View pastors Fred Leonard and Dave Thiessen. After a season, that began several years ago, of feeling that something was missing and that God was calling him to something different, Gossenberger asked Leonard for prayer about the situation.
Just after that conversation, the Gossenbergers visited their daughter in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On an early morning walk along a busy thoroughfare, the couple was talking and praying, wondering if perhaps Scott should return to a previous career in pharmaceutical sales. Nothing was clear.
As they walked, a car pulled up beside them, the driver rolled down his window and said something to them. They didn’t hear him, so they moved closer and the driver repeated, “The Holy Spirit told me to stop and tell you that you have a calling as a pastor.” Since the only people they knew in the city were their daughter and her husband, the Gossenbergers immediately knew this out-of-the-blue pronouncement was God answering their prayers and their search for direction in an incredibly dynamic way.
Thoughts then soon began to emerge about starting a new church in Old Town Clovis. Checking with the lead pastor of the church in which he was currently serving, Gossenberger quickly realized that the church wasn’t in a position to help. During a subsequent conversation with Leonard and Thiessen, they all realized that both parties had dreams of starting a church in Old Town. A strong connection soon formed, and a new MB church became a reality.
Gossenberger’s vision? To reach those who don’t know Jesus and to help those who do but who have been disconnected from the church.
“I want them to have a church they feel comfortable belonging to,” says Gossenberger. “I depend on the Holy Spirit for this new role, praying, trusting, preaching the Word of God and expecting God to save the lost or reenergize and encourage those who are disconnected.”