The Anticipation of the Advent Season Reflected in Church Planting
Local church planters watch God do what only He can do to bring people to Him throughout Cleveland
Church planting is much like the advent season. There’s great anticipation, praying, waiting and longing for what is to come. It’s a time when what God has stirred in the hearts of many promises to give new life and hope to those who are watching with great expectation – all because of Jesus.
Transform216 (T216), Building Hope in the City’s (BHITC) church planting initiative, is a constant reminder to celebrate what is to come, even through seasons of silence, trials and unanswered questions, because God is faithful to do what He says He will do. As BHITC walks alongside urban church planters and their families with mentoring, coaching and support, God continues to reveal the Church He is building in Cleveland.
Eight church planters are currently enrolled in T216, each with unique visions for reaching the neighborhoods God has placed on their hearts to reach. As three have launched new public worship services recently, there are many great updates to share.
City Church: Ohio City
Last year, BHITC told the story of Nate Friedrichsen and his family, who were planting City Church, a new church community in Ohio City on Cleveland’s near west side. The church officially launched public weekly worship services this fall, and today, they are excited about what God is doing within their church plant, its members and in the neighborhood.
“I love how eclectic Ohio City is as a neighborhood. By the grace of God, that eclecticism is finding its way into our church,” says Nate, the church’s pastor. “We celebrated four baptisms in our first service. One of those baptized has a particularly powerful story of her recent conversion. God used the slow, steady witness of a few of our members to bring her to faith. It’s exciting to see God knit us together as a family and use the church to support some of our members through the ups and downs of life.”
City Church meets on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am at the historic Franklin Circle Church in Ohio City. Stop in…they’d love to have you join them!
Cove City Church: University Circle
Less than 10 miles east, Cove City Church meets in the Tinkham Veale University Center on Case Western Reserve University’s campus. Josh Miller, its pastor, says, “We’ve seen people from the surrounding neighborhoods show up and become a part of the church community, with as many as 75 attending a worship service.”
Northeast Ohio natives, Josh and his wife moved back to the Cleveland area this past August to plant Cove City Church, which was something God placed on their hearts more than four years ago. He says, “Our hope is for people to find a home that embraces them where they are in their journey.” Watch for his story in BHITC’s winter newsletter!
Cove City Church meets on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am in the Tinkham Veale Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd., Cleveland. Come check them out!
Renew Church Cleveland: West Park/ Kamm’s Corner
Back on the west side, in Cleveland’s West Park/Kamm’s Corner neighborhood, Pete Pinkowski and his family launched public worship services for Renew Church Cleveland this fall, as well. BHITC told you about this family in our summer newsletter. The church plant’s launch team of about 20 prayed, prepared and awaited who God would bring on their first Sunday, and in His faithfulness, 30 first time guests joined them! Since then, they’ve seen “God build His church,” as Pinkowski says.
“Every week God surprises us! In fact, one Sunday we thought our attendance numbers would be down because several families were either sick or out of town, and God showed us again that He is the one who builds the church by making that Sunday the biggest Sunday attendance since launch! God is on the move!”
Renew Church Cleveland meets Sundays at 10:00 am at the Newton D Baker School of the Arts, 3690 W. 159th St., Cleveland. Come join them!