20 Churches Welcomed into Covenant Membership

DETROIT, MI (June 28, 2013) – Delegates to the 128th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church welcomed 20 churches into membership, reflecting a cumulative membership of 1,108 and a cumulative average attendance of 2,309 individuals.

Following are the new churches, grouped by conference, including a brief history on each.

Central Conference

Cross Fellowship in Chicago, Illinois. Pastor Jorge L. Escarpita – approximate attendance 20.

Cross Fellowship is a church plant that was founded in 2010. Its membership and attendees reflect a mosaic of ethnicity, socio-economics, and gender. The primary reason for desiring membership in the Covenant is that the Covenant better reflects their understanding of Christian identity and mission than their previous denominational affiliation.

New Community Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois. Pastor David W. Swanson – approximate attendance 70.

New Community Covenant Church (Bronzeville) was a church plant sent by New Community Covenant Church in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with the partnership of the Covenant and the Central Conference. They began meeting weekly on the city’s south side in 2010.

St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove, Illinois. Pastor Isabel (Bunny) Hughes – approximate attendance 45.

St. Luke’s Christian Community Church, located in a northwest suburb of Chicago, is multi-ethnic and culturally diverse, with Caucasian, Filipino, Korean, and African American members. St. Luke’s offers space in its facility for a pre-school, Head Start program, and a Korean-speaking congregation. Although St. Luke’s has been affiliated with the Congregational Church, all but one of its pastors has held licensure with the Evangelical Covenant Church. St. Luke’s desires membership in the Covenant because its theological beliefs are in line with the Covenant’s constitution and the membership has a strong desire to be connected with a church body whose affirmations clearly articulate their sense of call.

East Coast Conference

Evergreen Covenant Church in Sanford, Maine. Pastor Frank Catalano – approximate attendance 54.

Evergreen Covenant Church was planted in 2008 and draws people from throughout southern Maine. The congregation founded an award-winning after-school program, participates in the summer free lunch program, and has an international partnership with the Covenant Church of Ecuador.

Great Lakes Conference

City Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan. Pastor Semmeal Thomas – approximate attendance 170.

City Covenant Church was planted in September of 2009 via an organization called City Mission in the Brightmoor community of Detroit. The church initially met as a Bible study and grew from 12 to 40 people. The congregation has partnered with Crossroads Church, a Covenant congregation in South Lyon, and Cheboygan Covenant Church. The church offers ministries seven days a week, including hot evening meals, food baskets, family nights, and a community breakfast on Sunday mornings before worship.

CityView Covenant Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pastors Leeann and Wayne Younger – approximate attendance 50.

The congregation was formally organized in 2010. The Youngers felt called by God to establish a ‘family’ church for those who had not yet understood that the family of God is a family for them.

Detroit Bible Tabernacle in Detroit, Michigan. Pastor Kenneth Harris – approximate attendance 60.

Detroit Bible Tabernacle began as a home Bible fellowship in 1980 with ties to the National Baptist and Southern Baptist conventions. It is located on the city’s west side in an economically challenged community.

Miracle of Faith Ministries in Detroit, Michigan. Pastor Theodore Peck – approximate attendance 200.

Miracle of Faith Ministries was planted in the basement of Pastor Theodore Peck’s home with 24 charter members. A majority of the congregation are African Americans under the age of 50.

The Bridge Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan. Pastor Janine Davis – approximate attendance 30.

The Bridge Covenant Church was called to the Warrendale community of Detroit. Parent church Citadel of Faith Covenant Church released people and funds to help get the congregation started. A Kingdom Builders grant from the Covenant enabled the church to minister through a food pantry, clothing pantry, community development, and a job readiness ministry.

Midsouth Conference

Harvest Community Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Wayne Park – approximate attendance 100.

Harvest Community Church is a predominantly Asian-American church that meets on Houston’s ‘energy corridor’, a growing demographic center of the fast changing city of Houston. The congregation was planted about seven years ago.

Lifepath Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Elliot Scott – approximate attendance 275.

Lifepath Church has partnered with a local school and led the formation of Mission Cy-Fair, a non-profit community development organization that serves two apartment complexes.

North Pacific Conference

Cannon Beach Community Church in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Pastor David Robinson – approximate attendance 200.

Cannon Beach Community Church serves its community of 1,800 year-round residential residents. Cannon Beach is a resort and vacation town that is widely recognized as a home for dozens of art galleries and residential artists. In addition to weekly contemporary and blended worship services, the congregation also holds an Evensong style of worship on the first and third Sundays.

Northwest Conference

Awaken Covenant Community in Lillydale, Minnesota. Pastor Micah Witham – approximate attendance 150.

Awaken Covenant began in 2010 and meets in the Joke Joint Comedy Club facility and targets post-evangelicals, post-moderns, and generally people who are critical of church. The church started the Lilydale Food Patch, which grew and donated more than 1,200 pounds of food last summer. The congregation also partners with
Garlough Elementary school, providing reading buddies, pen pals, and volunteers for events.

Blue Oaks Covenant Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Pastor Nicole Bullock – approximate attendance 150.

Blue Oaks Covenant Church began in 2010 and was parented by Sanctuary Covenant Church. It is located in a busy residential area and meets in a Seventh Day Adventist church.

La Bendicion Evangelical Covenant Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Pastor Juan Humberto Lopez Perez – approximate attendance 70.

La Bendicion Evangelical Covenant Church began meeting at Redeemer Covenant Church in 2009 after the Hispanic congregation was offered free use of the building. Later that year, it was inaugurated as a new plant. Both congregations have since worked together in numerous ministries, including summer soccer and the Hispanic Heritage Festival.

Real Life Covenant Church in Waseca, Minnesota. Pastor Michael Behm – approximate attendance 120.

Vista Evangelical Covenant Church in New Richland, Minnesota, voted to parent Real Life Covenant Church in July 2009. The congregation continues to outgrow each of its meeting spaces and currently is looking for another site.

Restoration Covenant Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Pastor Rob Jacobson – approximate attendance 150.

Restoration Covenant Church was birthed in 2010 out of Faith Covenant Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. The church reaches into the community through ministries that include a mobile pantry and monthly food donations to a neighboring elementary school.

Pacific Southwest Conference

Church Without Walls in Berkeley, California. Pastor Dana Cunliffe – approximate attendance 120.

Church Without Walls is a multi-ethnic congregation that began with 14 people who had prayed about starting a congregation. In addition to its Sunday English-speaking service, the congregation also hosts a weekly Spanish-speaking ministry. Outreaches include Summer Outdoor Movie Nights.

Covenant Grove Covenant Church in Modesto, California. Pastor Scott Nelson – approximate attendance 150.

Covenant Grove Church was started in 2009 by Modesto Covenant Church, with a heart to reach unchurched people in east Modesto. It was launched with 45 people and grew to 120 people in the first year. The church has sent two teams to serve in Spain as well as Modesto, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and southern California. The church has a day camp each summer for kids with special needs.

Restoration Covenant Church in Redlands, California. Pastor John MacDonald – approximate attendance 125.

Restoration Covenant began in January 2007. From the beginning, the congregation has been involved with the local food closet, starting a new ministry of delivering food to local HIV-positive families. Meeting on the campus at the University of Redlands has helped the church attract college students and support the local InterVarsity chapter. Life Covenant Church in Torrance and Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rolling Hills Estates have helped support the church.

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