By Stan Friedman
LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (December 1, 2014) — The twentieth anniversary of Hillcrest Covenant Church’s decision to plant Deerbrook Covenant Church in Lee’s Summit was celebrated recently, with representatives of several churches planted by Hillcrest attending. The church officially was planted in 1996, two years after the decision to start the congregation.
Hillcrest, located in Prairie Village, Kansas, was planted by First Covenant Church of Kansas City, Missouri, so the celebration ultimately was in honor of what happened when that congregation made the decision to start new churches.
First Covenant, which was founded in 1887, planted Hillcrest in 1961. In addition to Deerbrook, Hillcrest planted Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, Kansas in 1974 and helped start Christ the Servant Covenant Church in Olathe, Kansas, in the 1970s. It currently is planting Pan Y Vino, Iglesia Cristiano. Community Covenant planted Harvest Ridge Covenant Church in Shawnee, Kansas in 1996.
“The commitment to reach new generations and populations with the gospel has propelled the churches of Kansas City to start new churches for over 50 years,” said Brian Johnson, director of church planting for the Midwest Conference. “Today these churches, some of which are ‘great-grandchildren’ of First Covenant, Kansas City, continue to work together to transform lives by planting new churches. Celebrations like Deerbook’s help us remember that not that long ago, faith-filled people went out on a limb and sacrificed much to start their church.”
Roger Gilbert, current pastor of Deerbrook, said, “We are thankful for the faithful history of First Covenant in planting Hillcrest Covenant in 1961 and the great number of churches planted by Hillcrest.” He added, “We have our plans and our prayers. God brings the success.”