This Sunday marks our 3 year anniversary as a church. We are celebrating by welcoming over two dozen new members into our church community. This truly has been an incredible journey and something that only God could have done. Here’s a timeline that shows some of the things that God has done.
September 2012 - After graduating from the Sovereign Grace Pastor's College, Pastor Jeff transitions to a full time church plant resident at Sovereign Grace Church of Marlton and begins to pray and plan out the planting of Christ Church.
March 2013 - Christ Church has its first interest meeting in Marlton, NJ.
April- November 2013 - Pastor Jeff meets with dozens and dozens of people interested in being part of this new church. Through much prayer and discussion 30 adults, along with 15 children, commit to being part of the core team. These people begin to move into South Philadelphia.
March 9th, 2014 - Christ Church is officially commissioned and sent out from Sovereign Grace Church of Marlton.
March 16, 2014 - Christ Church starts meeting as a team in the Gregory’s living room. Pastor Jeff had just gotten released from the hospital the night before after suffering a flare in his Crohn's disease and spoke with a PICC line in his arm.
April 9th, 2014 - Christ Church signed a lease for the building at 229 Moore Street. The plan was to have it renovated and ready by September 2014 for a public launch of Christ Church.
September 2014 - Building renovations are behind schedule and are not done as planned. Pastor Jeff goes into the hospital again for extensive surgery and is out seven weeks. Guest preachers fill in, but the public launch has to be pushed back until January 2015.
January 2015 - The building is still not done. Pastor Jeff is still very sick.
March 16, 2015 - The Certificate of Occupancy is finally delivered. The church building can be opened.
March 22, 2015 - First public service of Christ Church South Philly.
April 5, 2015 - First Easter Service and baptism at Christ Church.
May 5, 2015 - First Wedding at Christ Church. Dante and Zoe Gates.
June 2015 - First New Members of Christ Church.
July 2015 - First Summer Festival about 100 people show up.
November 2015 - First Neighborhood Thanksgiving meal about 75 people show up.
March 13, 2016 - One Year Anniversary. 60 people in attendance.
Fast forward to March 11, 2018
91 members added
172 people who call Christ Church “Home”
14 baptisms (12 currently in the queue)
17 babies dedicated
3 Pastoral Interns, 1 Pastor in Training, 2 Deacons, 8 Small Group Leaders, 2 Sunday Ministry Directors, 2 Music Leaders, 103 Volunteers
Last Summer Festival had approximately 900 people in attendance
Last Thanksgiving Dinner had 175 people in attendance
We have served 300 meals to people in our neighborhood through Easter Outreach
We have formed a non profit called Transformation to Recovery which is our addictions ministry and are 1 week away from opening our first recovery home
We have a youth outreach in Furness High School and are opening up a relationship with Kirkbride Elementary School
It is amazing to think of all that God has done. Between the building and our pastor’s health scare, we never should have survived our first year. But through that adversity, God has lead us to become a thriving neighborhood church that by the grace of God is faithfully proclaiming the gospel in South Philadelphia. Seeing all God has done makes us eager for what we believe God will do. We have never been more excited about the future, or desperately aware of our ongoing dependence on the Lord.
If you are in the area, come out to Christ Church this Sunday and see some of what God is doing. If you haven’t been to church in awhile, or never have been and are skeptical, this is a safe place for you. Everyone is welcome to come as they are and will be welcomed just as God has lovingly welcomed us.