Omaha congregation triples in size in 20 months
Mission USA news story
Stony Brook Church, Omaha, Neb., is a USMB church plant that is growing numerically, spiritually and as a self-supporting congregation. Chad and Elaine Stoner and Stephen and Mary K Humber are leading this two-year-old congregation.
Stony Brook Church, a USMB church plant started in October 2010, continues its pattern of growth and making a difference in the lives of many people in Omaha, Neb.
Under the leadership of Lead Pastor Chad Stoner and his wife, Elaine, along with Associate Pastor Stephen Humber and his wife, Mary K, the church has tripled in size in 20 months. But the story of growth is so much more than numbers. It is about life-change as Jesus transforms people.
Attendees of the church were recently asked why they are thankful for Stony Brook Church. Their answers highlight that this young church family is learning and serving together.
“Stony Brook is a shelter in a time of storm.”
“It is a place to belong, accepting people for who they are and where they are in their faith journey.”
“I can learn more about Jesus and his love.”
“Stony Brook is unlike any other church (I’ve attended). I hear the Truth every single week and am challenged to become more like God. I have learned more in this church community than ever before and my family and I are changed. We’re a part of something BIG…”
“I have seen lives changed and hearts moved toward Christ. I myself am serving and enjoy knowing that I have a part in God’s kingdom work. I have seen miracles happen, which reminds me of how good God is.”
Stephen Humber, previously associate pastor at Parkview MB Church in Hillsboro, Kan., joined the Stony Brook staff last summer. The Humbers have been immersed in the work of ministering to people who are in various stages in their personal journeys with Jesus, and they love their ministry.
Humber says, “This is hard work, but it is amazing work. We see God working in people’s lives every week. We see young people and adults coming to know Jesus and others who have re-discovered him.”
The Stoners and Humbers met at a church planter assessment in Lakeside, Ohio in 2010. “It was amazing how God orchestrated that. We hit it off immediately and knew right off that God was up to something as he brought us together,” says Stoner.
“We have a problem,” says Mission USA Director Don Morris. “Stony Brook is space-challenged. Plans are to begin a third worship service this summer. But even with that, they are quickly running out of space. What a terrific problem to have!”
Not only is the church growing numerically, but also in giving. The church is already 60 percent toward the goal of becoming a self-sustaining congregation.
“Our people have learned very quickly that part of living life with Jesus is being generous,” says Stoner. “We’ve made significant strides in becoming self-sufficient in just the past six months.”
Numerical growth, a generous spirit, individual and family transformations, baptisms, a wonderful atmosphere, intense worship, learning how to be true disciples of Jesus—these are all aspects of Stony Brook Church, a true MB church plant success story.