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The Foundry: Connecting a Community to Christ

A new church plant in West Virginia is helping to mold people into the image of Christ.

While serving as associate pastors at an Assemblies of God church just outside Baltimore, Maryland, Justin and Kara Myers prayerfully felt transition was about to happen, but every possible opportunity seemed to fizzle.

Justin says, “During that time we felt God saying, 'What I have for you doesn’t exist yet.'" That's when God began birthing a vision for church planting in Justin and Kara's heart, which resulted in their moving to the college town of Morgantown, West Virginia.

The population of Morgantown is approximately 30,000, but when West Virginia University is in session, that figure doubles.

The Myerses arrived in Morgantown in June 2014 with only a little support and no venue readily available to hold services.

But soon after their arrival, they began to connect with friends, some of whom Justin had gone to college with several years earlier, who considered Morgantown their home and had a desire to be a part of helping plant the church.

"In September 2014, Kara and I met with some of these leaders and began to dream,” Justin says. “I put on paper what God had placed in my heart and that included the church name, The Foundry.

"A foundry is where things take shape, where formation happens. It’s where metal is poured into a mold for gear casting so that it can become functional and useable to help build other things. We chose a gear as The Foundry’s website logo because each gear must be interconnected with other gears. At The Foundry our goal is to connect our lives, molded in His image, with others to move forward."

During that meeting, Justin and Kara set March 2015 as a pre-launch date for the church. Justin shared with the group how God had put in their hearts a vision to start a church where people would love God and each other and create community.

In order to get people in the community interested and informed about The Foundry, the group decided to start weekly Connect Groups. A local Methodist church provided a large room where they could meet. Soon the Connect Groups grew to about 20 people — couples in their mid-20s and college graduates.

But as the church’s March 2015 pre-launch date grew closer and the group grew larger, Justin and Kara were wondering, Where are we going to meet?

They approached a local business that had the lower level of their office building available. They shared with the owners their vision for a church in the community, and the owners agreed to a lease and allowed them to make major improvements to the building’s lower level to accommodate their needs.

By August 2015, the church’s community grand opening launch, The Foundry had a 150-seat sanctuary with new carpet, chairs, full media, a kids space, a nursery, and a preschool area — with the help of many people who donated time, money and heart. About 250 people attended the launch and 14 were baptized in water that day.

“We see people come to Christ in almost every service,” Justin says. “This summer, while the student population is gone, we are focused on rebuilding our discipleship ministry through our Connect Groups and will be ready to welcome back our students. Our goal at The Foundry is to build a generational church.

"When you look across our congregation, you see persons with no hair to gray hair; you see old to very young. What’s amazing is that the people have such a strong serving ethic. We make sure everyone has a place to serve.”

The Foundry is not only reaching out to the community of Morgantown and giving back to church planting so that another church can be planted, they are supporting missionaries, helping to impact Africa, India, the Middle East, and Nicaragua with the gospel.

“The Matching Funds provided by AGTrust donors, in partnership with Church Multiplication Network,” Justin says, “have helped The Foundry continue to grow, connect with more people, do more outreach in the community, and add to the kingdom of God.”