St. Pete | Justin Woodall
Launched: January 2016
City Church St. Petersburg is a scratch plant in downtown St. Petersburg. My wife and I moved to the city without a core group or even a large rolodex of candidates a little more than three years ago. In that time we have grown from a home prayer group, to a bible study that met in a coffee shop, eventually procuring a 2000 square foot section of a commercial building in the Edge District. God’s faithfulness has been incredible. From the people we have seen come to know Jesus, to the things we can only attribute to God (a couple from Covenant college moved to town the same week we did). As we have grown most of our people haven’t come from other churches, but have been the de-churched and the unchurched. Seeing Jesus become meaningful and beautiful to these people has been one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced. As we look ahead, City Church faces a great challenge when it comes to space. Downtown is without many of the typical homes for church plants. We are working on the final details of a contract with the movie theater in the heart of downtown. Our church reflects the growing population of young professionals flocking to St. Pete. The city is a far cry from the old days where it was God’s waiting room. As the city continues to grow at a break-neck pace, we pray that City Church will hold forth the Gospel in a town that has a shocking lack of churches, and even fewer reformed churches.
Facilities - finding space in St. Petersburg has been brutally difficult. We have had numerous fits and starts. We are currently finishing up a contract to move into the movie theater at the Sundial. Pray for us as we transition to this space on the first of the year. It will be a big adjustment for our church which has never had to setup/tear-down.
More leaders - since City Church has grown primarily through de-churched, unchurched, and some transplants from out of town, we do not have a large stable of mature leadership. This is further exacerbated by the fact that 80% of our congregation is between the age of 25 and 40. As we look to the future, leaders must be built, not just installed.
Pastoral load - because of our demographics, many of our folks are coming/coming back to the church with real pain. This combined with the need to continue to reach out and grow creates a pretty large workload, which Angie and I carry the very large weight of.
VINTAGE GRACE CHURCH
Jacksonville | Russell Jeffares
Launched: January 2016
Vintage Grace continues to have amazing times of worship each week at the Eagle Landing clubhouses. Even with the weekly setup and tear down, our people love to gather to worship together. We just received two families into membership. We have two more who are excited to join but were not able to attend the new member’s class.
We are working hard to continually reach new people. Therefore, we are always seeking new ways that we can connect with our community and serve. Throughout the year we are hosting events, plugging into community events, and seeking ways to serve our neighbors and community. Here’s some of the ways we are seeking to connect:
Neighborhood Events We are regularly hosting events and outreaches to our direct neighbors.
OakLeaf Expo Twice a year, our community hosts an event that allows businesses and venders set up booths to promote themselves. We have been a part of this every time. We set up a free kids’ craft as a means to meeting new families. At our last Expo, a family connected with us and now are driving 25 minutes each week to attend Vintage.
English a Second Language One of the most exciting new ways that we are reaching out into our community is through a new ESL class. They are meeting weekly with as many as 15 students.
REDEEMER SOUTHWEST CHURCH
WINTER HAVEN | Jeff Skipper
Launched: January 2016
Redeemer Southwest started off the Fall with a successful men’s ministry event and will offer another new member’s course next month. Our main ministry initiatives for 2018-19 center around leadership development: to continue training officer candidates, to hire pastoral help, and to raise up new community group leaders through intentional discipleship. Please pray for wisdom and discernment through the hiring process, for a door to open on a new worship location, and that the beautiful gospel community that has developed in our church would continue to grow up in Christ.
GREATER HOPE CHURCH
MULBERRY | Stan McMahan
Launched: December 2017
Praise God for His ongoing work in Mulberry! We’re grateful for continuing opportunities to minister to new people and for the new members that we continue to receive. The stories of people trusting Jesus and finding a home in the church are very encouraging. We’re also encouraged to see more people excited about joining our mission to Mulberry. Our biggest priorities in 2018-2019 are (1) praying for God’s work in our city, (2) sharing the gospel through our relationships, and (3) serving our neighbors through community events, volunteering in schools, and mercy ministry.
Our biggest prayer request continues to be faithfulness and fruitfulness as we continue our mission. We want to be faithful—to live our lives, love our neighbors, and follow Jesus because He loved us first. Please pray that we focus on Jesus and the joy of following Him rather than getting (or not getting) credit, glory, or success for ourselves. We want to be fruitful—to see our neighbors embrace Jesus and find life in Him. We planted Greater Hope Church for this very reason. Please join us in prayer for more opportunities to tell the good news of Jesus, for more conversions, and for more people who will find a place to belong in His family at Greater Hope Church.
GOOD SHEPHERD CHURCH
LAKELAND | Jeremy Kemp
Launched: January 2018
Good Shepherd has transitioned from the restfulness of the summer to the full-throttle fall! City Groups are kicking off again, which is our primary venue for spiritual growth together and missional engagement in the city. Glimpse of Good Shepherd is coming up soon, providing newcomers with an overview of our church story, vision, and process of membership. We just received three new members into the congregation and are looking forward to more coming through the next membership class in October. We continue to engage with the college students and young adults in our area through everyday relationships as well as organized efforts such as the Southeastern University Engage Church Expo (pictured above): we gave away over 30 CBR Journals and lots of Concord Coffee, a success for sure. We would appreciate prayer for our City Group ministry, that our groups would be healthy and effective at both community and mission and that Jesus would be enjoyed as we see conversions outside the church and spiritual refreshment inside the church through our church planting efforts in SE Lakeland.
GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH
NORTH LAKELAND | Josh Floyd
Launched: September 2018
Grace Community Church officially launched public worship on Sunday, September 16! It was such a sweet time of: meeting new faces from the community, seeing years of prayers and preparation coming to fruition and worshipping our Lord and Savior through word and song! Our launch team was made up of 30 people and by the grace of God we had 93 people there on launch Sunday! We are so encouraged to see who will begin to call GCC their church home in the coming weeks and months. Our main ministry initiatives are Sunday morning worship, several community groups and looking for ways to be a blessing to our city! Please pray that the Lord use GCC in any way he sees fit to help bring people to saving faith in him!
PONTE VEDRA | James Brignac
Launched: SEPTEMBER 2016
This quarter at Waypoint, we are doing two things with the specific goal of growing our body spiritually. We have started a new preaching series titled “We Believe” which is a study of the Apostles’ Creed and the goal is to insure that our church understands the foundational aspects of our church. The second is that we have really focused on discipleship and leadership development within the church. The main way we are planning to do this is by starting several Journey Groups (using the materials from Perimeter Church). One of our other goals has been thinking of new and creative ways to reach our specific community. One of those opportunities was to participate in a Feed My Starving Children Packing Event hosted by Ponte Vedra Presbyterian (our mother church). We have hundreds of volunteers (many from outside our two churches) join us as we sought to serve the needy abroad.
Pray that our upcoming discipleship ministry programs are fruitful and lead to our congregation growing spiritually.
Pray for more leaders to be raised up and begin taking on a greater role within the church.
Pray for more outreach opportunities as we seek to reach the lost within our community more effectively.
CHRIST SATISFIES CHURCH
TAMPA | Jimbo Mullen
Launched: MAY 2018
Since May 20, 2018, Christ Satisfies Presbyterian Church has been meeting regularly on Sunday afternoons in the College Hill neighborhood of Tampa. Our service has averaged about 25 people, and we have focused on using the ordinary means of grace i.e. expository preaching, prayer, Westminster Shorter Catechism, etc. We have seen a great diversity of socioeconomic groups represented at our service – from a Caucasian Army Colonel who worked with the Green Berets to an African American gang banger from the community; from a young man who was shot in front of the liquor store across the street a year and a half ago to a tax attorney who loves the truth of the gospel and reaching out to people; and from a young woman who is completing her Ph.D. to a neighborhood woman who is homeless. We have been using various mercy ministry outreaches to draw people in to hear the truth including: Baskets of Love (pantry items), Back-to-School backpacks, monthly community meals (BBQ) after the service, etc. The Lord has provided opportunities to enter into discipleship relationships with 4 different men that are new to our church plant. One young man in his mid-thirties is married and has six children. He seems to be a possible future elder candidate. He, his wife and children have been faithfully attending CSPC for approximately three months. They travel about an hour each way. They are eager to serve in the church and have made plans to move at the end of this month for the purpose of being closer to the church. God is saving souls and sanctifying His people through His gospel. We are honored to be a part of all that He is doing!