Where are they now? You’ve probably heard or read this phrase in reference to someone you’ve known quite a lot about in the past but perhaps haven’t heard much about lately. As a variation to this, what about some of those MB churches that were planted several years ago when Mission USA was still involved? What are they currently up to? They were planted; are they growing?
Axiom Church in Peoria, Arizona, got its start over 10 years ago and is still going strong. In fact, a few years ago they purchased a property and converted it into a great worship and connection facility. Gavin Linderman, planting pastor, says, “The foundation my wife, Kendall, and I received through tangible support from our MB family—be it prayer, friendship and finances—gave us the opportunity we needed to honor the past and bless the future. Today we are firmly planted as a reservoir in a city that is very thirsty.” Planted and growing.
Christ Church Sellwood
Christ Church Sellwood in Portland, Oregon, is just outside its 8th anniversary. Jared Pulliam, the pastor who with his wife, Julia, planted, says, “We continue to be grateful for God’s kindness to us. During seasons that always seem to be changing, Jesus continues to unite us under the banner of the gospel—and this reality is a source of great thanksgiving. As time goes by, the Lord has proved so faithful in our local congregation, granting us both persevering strength and opportunities to display the love of Christ in the world.” Planted and growing.
City Church in Pueblo, Colorado, had its beginning with just a few dedicated families. Mission USA and CEEC, the Southern District Conference church planting commission, were heavily involved in helping the church acquire a building in order to get started. Current pastor Mario Trujillo and his wife, Stephanie, were a part of that original group. “The Lord led us to an old bar in the historic business district, an unlikely spot to plant a church,” says Trujillo. “We have seen God move and transform lives. We’re located in the heart of our city in downtown Pueblo where we desire to bring revitalization to our city, bringing the gospel to bear in the broken areas of our city where Jesus brings renewal, life and hope.” Planted and growing.
Stony Brook Church
Stony Brook Church in Omaha, Nebraska, began in 2010 under the leadership of Pastor Chad Stoner and wife, Elaine. Stoner recently resigned to pursue his love for music. Jon Annin has just begun his pastoral ministry at Stony Brook. Melissa Hanna, long-term church administrator, say this about the early days of the church and how that has impacted the present: “The meeting times we had with Mission USA and the Central District Conference’s representatives at the beginning were essential to the foundational strength of Stony Brook Church when we first began and continues to this day. For example, during our recent transition in pastors, we used the knowledge learned from those meetings during our discernment process and will use it as we move forward too—such a blessing.” Planted and growing.
The Heart Church
The Heart Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, planted in 2001 by current pastor Mike Miller and his wife, Kim, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Miller writes, “With the help of Mission USA, CEEC, Enid MB Church, Fairview MB Church and Westport MB Church, we began meeting with three other families. Many have found hope and healing with this church family and many have come to faith.” Planted and growing.
A more recent project supported by Mission USA along with CEEC and Mountain View Church in Fresno, California, is Lighthouse Church in metro-Denver, Colorado. Pastor Josh Shaw and wife, Brianne, started this church in the summer of 2015 with 12 friends.
Since 2015, Lighthouse has outgrown a warehouse, a high school and now is a fast-growing church that is bursting at the seams with the love and grace of God and having added a second campus. Planted and growing.