In the fall of 2017, we launched
After 2 years of pre-launch work of Dinner Parties, Interest Meetings & Preview Services - the big day came! In the fall of 2017, we braced for our Launch Service - the official birth of our Sunday morning gatherings. I'll never forget the night before Launch feeling like a kid on the night before Christmas - giddy, nervous, scared - would anyone show up, what would happen? There was no turning back. We launched at The Bronx Museum of the Arts on October 15th 2017 with 98 people [and two pregnant women, so 100, we broke triple digits]! It was a beautiful, amazing day seeing people from all cultures, ages and walks of life come support what Jesus was doing in and through our budding congregation in The South Bronx. However, it didn't take long to face our first major challenge...
Winter / Spring
6 weeks after our church launched, the venue where we were meeting changed its policy and no longer allowed churches to meet at the space. We had 4 weeks during December to find a new place to meet. This could have derailed us but we prevailed & God opened a door for us to move to an elementary school down the street where we started the new phase of our church which was developing our core leaders and establishing our church culture. During this season we celebrated our first salvation and welcomed many new people into our church, many of whom have never been in a church ever! In hindsight, this whole season felt like a blur just getting our bearings and moving towards our next step as a congregation.
In Spring of 2018, we began to hit a stride and settle into a sense of rhythm. We launched "Little Saints" our family ministry to children in our church and celebrated our first Easter Sunday as a church community. We began to recognize that many of the people who were involved in our church community had a respect for the church but had never been discipled well, this caused us to launch a sermon series, "Religion Saves & Other Misconceptions about The Christian Faith" Some of the feedback we received was that it was "life changing" & "transforming" We also celebrated the ordination of Eleazar Garza Jr. as Executive Pastor.
Summer 2018 was the busiest season of ministry I have ever experienced. We welcomed multiple missions teams, interns and worked around the clock to get the word out about All Saints Church and a God who loved all people. The big highlight for me was in July, we held a Block Party and had over 300 people come out. We had free food, music, games for the kids and were able to make some incredible connections in our community. We also were able to participate in beautification projects, BBQs, partner with the school in which we meet, and pass out 10,000 pieces of literature about our church. I don't know what Year 2 holds but I am believing the best is yet to come and that God is just getting started.
What are we celebrating from this past year
- We have been able to see 5 people identify that they wanted to become followers of Jesus in the past 8 months.
- We have welcomed 50 new people to Sunday morning services, many of whom had no church background.
- We have launched our Family Ministry.
- We were able to sustain a move and our first summer as a church & continue our momentum.
- We have survived year 1 and are strong for year 2.
- Keep in mind, we did all of this on a shoestring budget with no building, no salaries and have never "stole a sheep" but have grown through grassroots evangelism & outreach.
What are we praying for this next year
- We presently have 2 aspiring ministers in our church that need to be developed and sent to plant other churches in The Bronx & around the world. Our vision is that there would be a Gospel Centered church in every neighborhood in The Bronx in our lifetime.
- We are praying for a Worship Leader from our neighborhood to help continue to cultivate our Worship Team and recruit more leaders to help him.
- We are praying for a new team of Children's Workers that can work with children under 3.
- We are praying for a permanent space to meet and hold services as well as be a centralized hub for ministry in our city.
- We are praying for this year to be the year we hold our first baptism, first membership class, first child dedication.
- We are praying for more partners to come alongside us and help us fulfill the mission of God to make disciples & plant churches in our neighborhood & in the nations, but we cannot do that without your help...
Our Financial Picture
Anticipated Internal Giving: $30,000
Denominational Support: $18,000
Individual Donors: $4,320
Partner Church #1: $2,000
Partner Church #2: $2,000
Partner Church #3: $10,000
Pastoral Staff: $36,000
Team Stipends: $4,800
Sunday Operations: $6,000
Team Development: $2,000
Partner Engagement: $1,000