This Sunday here at E-Free I will start a new week series on Acts 2:41-47 that we are calling, "I Love My Church!" In this series we will see how the early church didn't just "do church" together, they "did life" together. The main emphasis will be a challenge to not just "attend" E-Free but to "connect" with E-Free. I believe strongly in this principle because the local church has meant so much to me over the course of my life. Let me share with you my journey with the local church:
Goodyear Heights Community Church in Akron, Ohio: This is the church that I grew up in as a child. In fact, when I was very little, my Grandpa Distler pastored this church. It was through the ministry of this church that I found Christ, was baptized and surrendered to full-time ministry.
Cuyahoga Fall Baptist Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio: This was my church during my High School years. It was at this church that I preached my very first sermon as a Junior in High School at the sunrise service on Easter Sunday. After that morning there was nothing else I wanted to do but preach.
Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland: This was the church I attended during my first two summers in college after my parents moved from Ohio to Maryland. It was here that I met my lifetime mentor who was the youth pastor at this church at the time.
Community Church in West Milton, Ohio: This is where I spent the last two summers in college as a Youth Intern. Following graduation this is where I spent my first 7 years of full-time ministry as youth pastor and then assistant pastor. These were some of my most fondest years of ministry where God really developed my ministry skills and philosophy.
Osceola Grace Brethren Church: This is where I had my first Senior Pastorate for 9 years of my ministry. This was a wonderful church where I was really able to continue to develop my ministry skills and passions.
Grace Church in Lititz, PA: I spent the next 6 years of my ministry as Senior Pastor of this church in Lancaster County, PA. I still am amazed to this day at the wave of spiritual fruit that God gave during those years as we saw amazing amounts of people impacted for Jesus.
Gaylord Evangelical Free Church: This is the church that God has led me to be Lead Pastor of today. I have only been here for 5 months, yet it is exciting to see what God is putting together as we anticipate another "God wave" to take place here in northern Michigan.
I love the local church!