New Church Sees 59 People Come to Christ in Five Weeks
As a pastor's kid growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Jonathan Palmer was certain of two things -- he loved the city of Des Moines and he loved ministry. So while he and his wife, Heather, were living in Columbus, Ohio, and praying about where to plant a church, Des Moines seemed like a natural fit.
In 2014, Forbes rated Des Moines, Iowa, the number one city for young professionals to live. However, on any given Sunday the attendance at churches in this area is at only 20 percent of their capacity.
"There is a huge need for more healthy churches in this city. There are so many families living without hope in Jesus Christ." Jonathan Palmer says. "If every church was filled up two times on a Sunday, 80 percent of the people would have nowhere to sit.
"On Monday, September 8, 2014, I was reading my Bible and came across this verse in Isaiah 1:19 (NIV): 'If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.' When I read that, I knew if Heather and I wanted to be obedient to God, we had to be willing to do whatever He asked us. And in that moment, I knew we were supposed to plant a church. The question was where?
"Though it was a huge leap of faith, God made it clear in our hearts that we were to return home to Des Moines to plant a church," Palmer says. "Return to the place where I was born and raised. Return to the city where my dad pastored for 21 years."
With this in focus, Palmer went to Des Moines and found a venue in the metro area for the church plant -- the auditorium of Johnston High School, where he had graduated from 10 years prior. Assisted by a 70-person launch team and CMN Matching Funds, provided by AGTrust partners, Summitcreek opened its doors on September 13, 2015, to a tremendous response. During the first five weeks, the church saw 59 people come to Christ and seven baptized in water. The average weekly attendance is now 173.
"Our nursery is full, new people are coming every week, and we can't wait to see how God continues to use Summitcreek to impact this city and the world," Palmer says.
The $30,000 in CMN Matching Funds, provided by AGTrust, was integral to the successful launch of Summitcreek, according to Palmer. "We get feedback all the time that the high school we meet in does NOT look like a high school," Palmer says. "That is because AGTrust provided us with the equipment and resources to help the church look its best, so we could focus on reaching people."
As a plant of parent church, The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas (Pastor Scott Wilson), Summitcreek Church is focused on a mission to introduce the people of Des Moines and the world to Jesus and help every person reach his or her God-given potential.
Summitcreek has partnered with New Life Center (an inner-city church in Des Moines) in efforts to help them build the first-ever Dream Center in Des Moines and the church is also partnering with an organization to help build a Bible school in Tanzania, East Africa.
"I give all the credit of our early growth at the church to God," Palmer says. "He is the One who brought the amazing team to the church. He is the One who changes lives, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power and wisdom to do what He's called us to do."
At least 385 church plants like Summitcreek Church (AG) have received up to $30,000 in matching funds, thanks to the faithful giving of AGTrust donors.