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WHY CHURCH PLANTING?
The apostle Paul was a church planter. He went places where the Lord directed him. He preached the gospel. He established new congregations of Christians along the way. Paul serves as an example for a modern-day movement which has the potential to impact our community, our nation, and our world for Christ...church planting.
In 2006 East White Oak Bible Church began to develop a local outreach ministry—a difficult task for a rural church. Pastor Larry VanGundy joined our staff to lead the effort. Initial endeavors were made in west Bloomington through one-time events (the Bloomington Block Bash) and Children’s clubs (Good News Club, Summer Fun Days, Irving Reading Program).
Our roots began to grow deeper in the area as we adopted Irving Elementary School and established The Hub—our local outreach center. Through Irving we have established programs such as The Treehouse Bible Club, one-on-one tutoring, and support for the Irving Elementary staff. At The Hub we’ve hosted community game nights, movie nights, and classes such as Faith & Finances, Computer courses, Men’s Fraternity, and DivorceCare. A couple of families from The Oak, including Pastor Larry, moved into the west-side. At his new home Pastor Larry began inviting his neighbors over for regular cookouts to build deeper relationships in the neighborhood. Recently over 100 attended.
Small Gospel Communities on the west side will gradually form into a Sunday morning church gathering. Living Stone communities are based on neighbors reaching out to neighbors with the love of Jesus. Once-a-month worship services (currently held at Irving Elementary School), Lord willing, will become weekly services beginning in April 2018.
We believe that the Lord is on the move in west Bloomington. We further believe that He is directing us to plant a church there. Much like Paul believed that God wanted churches in Ephesus, Sardis, and Colossae we believe that God wants a local expression of the fellowship of believers in Jesus in west Bloomington. By God’s grace in the months to come we will witness it happen.