19 Churches Planted this Year

CHICAGO (September 15, 2020)—The Evangelical Covenant Church saw fruitful church planting occur in 2019, with 19 new congregations taking root.

“A sign that the Spirit of God is being poured out upon a movement is seen in the call to plant churches,” said Paul Lessard, executive minister for Start and Strengthen Churches. “Alex Rahill, director of church planting, and his team across the ECC have done a wonderful job of finding and raising up women and men who have said yes to the call to plant. We are excited for these 19 plants and their leaders, and how they embody the spiritual energy and diversity of the Covenant—bringing kingdom values here and now.”

The following churches were planted with the Covenant in 2019.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Garden City Covenant Church
Chicago, Illinois
Pastor: Jay Catanus
Garden City was planted in 2017 and became a Covenant church plant in 2019. The church is a multiethnic and multigenerational church made up of predominantly first- and second-generation Asian American and Latino immigrants. Garden City is working in the community to help feed the hungry, work for racial justice, and build healthy partnerships.

Luz de Esperanza Covenant Church
Campton Hills, Illinois
Pastors: Rafael & Drina Lizama
Planted in 2019, Luz de Esperanza has continued outreach to its church community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing assistance to families who have been impacted by unemployment, sending the Covenant Home Altar devotional by mail to provide encouragement, creating programs for youth using social media, and continuing to pray and seek the presence of God.

EAST COAST CONFERENCE

Covenant Church of the Heights
New York, New York
Pastor: Omar Lily
With a vision is to join God in the renewal of all things, Covenant Church of the Heights desires to see New Yorkers transformed into passionately engaged followers of Jesus. The church seeks the good of their neighborhood by speaking and living the gospel as an authentic community of faith.

Reconcile Brooklyn Covenant Church
Brooklyn, New York
Pastor: Cory Morgan
Reconcile Brooklyn is a new community church plant in central Brooklyn with a commitment to the whole gospel of Jesus Christ. The church embarked on a journey to reimagine their identity—based on 2 Corinthians 5:17-19—as a community of believers reconciled by Christ and a unique purpose to join God’s mission of reconciliation in Brooklyn. Reconcile Brooklyn is committed to deeply knowing Jesus, journeying life together, and serving the suffering and forgotten people of their community.

Mosaic Covenant Church (formerly Queens Covenant Church)
Queens, New York
Pastor: Dan Sadier
Mosaic Covenant Church (formerly known as Queens Covenant Church) launched in 2019 with a heightened focus on the next generation, community development within the neighborhood, and reaching the nations with the gospel in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world.

ECC OF CANADA

Encounter Covenant Church
Mississauga, Ontario
Pastor: Edward Lee
Encounter Covenant Church was planted with the intention of providing quality discipleship to a diverse, multiethnic community. As they grow in attendance, the church already has 10 different ethnicities represented within their congregation. Their framework is that God has already placed us in our mission field around our “FFWN” (Family, Friends, Workplace/Life Environment, Neighborhoods) to make intentional connections and follow the Spirit’s lead in engaging with a kingdom mindset.

Stonehouse, an Evangelical Covenant Church
Steinbach, Manitoba
Pastor: Shannon Johnson Frieson
Stonehouse began in 2018 when a new pastor and a small group of people gathered with a call to live into a Covenant expression of the Church in Steinbach. Their hope is to be known in the community for having an open door and open table, to be present and involved in their neighborhoods and city, and to be grounded in the realities that God is for us, God is in us, and God moves through us to love the world.

THE GREAT LAKES CONFERENCE

Life Church Auburn Hills, an Evangelical Covenant Church
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Pastor: Donearl Johnson
Life Church Auburn Hills (LCAH) was planted by Life Church Southfield and launched on Easter last year. LCAH is a multiethnic community being transformed and empowered by the grace, truth, and love of Jesus. If you visit LCAH, you will hear the language of friendships that represent a focus on fostering committed, cross-cultural, and Christ-centered relationships. LCAH is deeply embedded in the local community with involvement in the school district, college community, and direct connection with the city of Auburn Hills.

MIDWEST CONFERENCE

Oasis de Salvación ECC
Arvada, Colorado
Pastors: Oscar and Carla Cortez
Oasis de Salvación ECC is a Hispanic church plant that started gathering in January 2019. Since its beginning stages, Oasis de Salvación has brought more than 70 people to Christ and has baptized 15 people. It conducts various outreach events and has even implemented an ESL class to assist the immigrant community in the area. Weekly prayer night is an essential part of its programming as well as its leadership class. The church currently gathers inside the facilities of its host church, Christ Community Covenant Church, and continues its focus and efforts on evangelism. It is committed to fully helping others grow into disciples and servants of Jesus Christ.

Renuevo ECC
Arvada, Colorado
Pastors: Roberto and Marilyn Rojas
In May 2018, pastors Roberto and Marilyn Rojas moved to Arvada to begin a church-planting residency, with a goal to assemble a launch team to plant Renuevo ECC. Renuevo was launched in March 2019 as a funded Covenant church plant. Due to COVID-19, pastors Roberto and Marilyn are currently continuing to serve bivocationally. Fellowship Covenant Church, Arvada, has been a partner ministry and host to Renuevo ECC.

NORTHWEST CONFERENCE

The Crossing Covenant Church
Hudson, Wisconsin
Pastor: Michelle Arndt
The Crossing is a new church serving Houlton and the surrounding area that opened its doors early in 2019. The Crossing’s mission comes from something Jesus talked about often—loving God and loving others. In fact, in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus called this the greatest way to live.

North City Covenant Church
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pastors: Justin Daniel and ChristianAnn Larson
North City launched in September 2019 with a strong focus on missional neighborhood and community engagement. Before the pandemic they met in a community elementary school and forged a strong partnership with them. North City is now a network of smaller micro-church expressions called North City Communities that meet in backyards, parks, and online. North City alternates between gathering as a large group and gathering in north city communities from week to week.

Nuestra Esperanza Covenant Church
New Hope, Minnesota
Pastors: Hector and Betty Reyes
Nuestra Esperanza is a church plant located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a region with a high population of immigrants. They are serving an under-resourced immigrant community primarily from Latin America.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST CONFERENCE

Seattle Chinese Covenant Church
Bellevue, Washington
Pastor: Ian Chang
Seattle Chinese Covenant Church was planted by Pastor Ian Cheng in February 2019, and officially launched a year later in February 2020 with a regular attendance of 40 people. Soon after the launch, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the church made the decision to hold its services online. Seattle Chinese Covenant Church recently merged with another local church plant and has grown to a regular attendance of 120 people.

PACIFIC SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE

The Harbor Covenant Church
Los Angeles, California
Pastor: Israel Solomon
The Harbor Covenant Church in Los Angeles opened in January of 2020, three months before the pandemic. Over the past year, the church has been involved in the South LA community in various ways. Since the church is not physically gathering at the school they were renting, they have used the rent money to serve people in the community who have been impacted by the coronavirus. To date, Harbor Covenant Church has been able to designate more than $15,000 to pay for families’ rent and groceries and provide supplies to help keep them safe. They have also been able to financially support nonprofit organizations and small businesses in South LA that are struggling to keep their doors open.

Reunion Covenant Church
Oakland, California
Pastors: Andy and Sarah Madsen
Reunion Covenant Church is based in the eclectic and gritty Temescal District—a culturally diverse neighborhood with lower church representation than other parts of Oakland. The church community has gained rich friendships with other Oakland churches and co-housing communities, and partners with local ministries to at-risk youth, immigrants, as well as people who are addicted and houseless. The church body loves to eat together, play together, and bring their collective gifts and voices together for worship gatherings.

El Camino de Jesus
Porterville, California
Pastor: William Flores
El Camino de Jesus began in July 2018 in Porterville, California, and serves a vast community of immigrant field workers. Located in the middle of the most productive valley of the Golden State, it is also the poorest and most barren turf for the soul and spirit. El Camino de Jesus is the church in “dry bones valley” and they proclaim, in words and works, that everyone counts for the Good Shepherd, that no one is lesser or forgotten by him.

Iglesia Christiana Shalom Elohim
Petaluma, California
Pastor: Edwin Guzman
Iglesia Cristiana Shalom Elohim exists to support and encourage all people to pursue a life filled with peace and joy in relationship with Jesus Christ. The church’s story began in February 2013, when three families, tired of divisive religion and the family breakdown that can cause, came together and founded the church.

Iglesia Monte Vista Del Pacto
San Diego, California
Pastor: David Ceja
Iglesia Monte Vista Del Pacto is a bilingual church in the city, for the city. They believe that in community we grow in our faith, in relationship with God, and with one another.

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About the Author

Cathy is the managing editor of the Covenant Companion. She lives in Chicago and hates driving so much that she bikes to work even when it's 20 degrees and snowing. She blogs with seven other Covenant women at theoloqui.net and recently acquired an English mastiff puppy named Helmut.

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