Where Are They Now? Updates From Our CPI Church Planters!

What happens when a pastor receives a Church Planting Initiative grant to launch a church or completes the Residency Program? Well, there is quite a bit more to the story. You are invited to join us on their journey and in praying for CPI’s church planters and their church families. Here are a few updates and prayer requests from them.

House of Grace International Church | Emmanuel Amani
Residency Class of 2020

Praise God, hopefully you’re doing well by the grace of the Lord! It is through God’s merciful assistance that the House of Grace International Ministry church family is doing very well. Despite Covid-19’s hit, we can say that the Lord has been an Ebenezer* to us. He is always there for us and continues to meet our needs. We lost three people during this pandemic. Although we miss them, we truly trust God that we will see them again on Resurrection Day!

We ask you to please keep us in your prayers. Our church family would like to purchase our own church premises and we are seeking God’s wisdom and provision.  

*Ebenezer is from the Hebrew language and literally means “stone of help.” See 1 Samuel 7:12.

New Story Church | Scott Lackey
Residency Class of 2020

We have been meeting as a church for two years! We are focused on joining God by participating in the New Story that He is writing in our city. Through God moving at New Story, more than 30 people have given their lives to Christ, 90 people serve on our story team, and over 100 people are connected to a Story Group. We are blown away by our church's heart to serve in our community. One week after the tragic shooting on May 14, we collected 53 bags of groceries for Operation Hope.  Every month, we serve somewhere in our community, and we have given generously to our various ministry partners. People are discovering what it means to find their New Story in Christ.

We, as the Church, are writing a New Story of new life and creation. We are grateful for all that God is doing and we are going to continue to say "yes" to whatever He calls us to do!

Please pray that we continue to reach more people, and that we eventually find a permanent building. 

theWELL Ebenezer Campus | CJ Ahrens
Residency Class of 2020

God is on the move in West Seneca! As we continue to pray for revival, we see lives encouraged daily by the welcoming, Spirit-filled atmosphere on campus.

The vision of being a light to the surrounding community has brought us countless relationships and opportunities to serve hundreds of families in our mission field. The Ebenezer Campus has quickly become a refuge for the lost, broken, and needy, as well as an ever-flowing conduit for God’s love to spread beyond our four walls.

Our various on-campus ministries, including two Christ-centered recovery ministries, re:generation (Mon. 6:30PM) and Collateral Hope and Recovery (Wed. 6:30PM), account for many lives turning to Christ from crisis. They give us a fighting chance to paint a picture of God’s mercy. Our outreach continually grows, enabling us to reach those with needs through our on-campus “Ebenezer Free Store,” which provides clothes and household items throughout the year. We have engaged with our community and God has claimed 2784 Seneca St. as His battlegrounds for redemption! Our monthly worship nights held in our Battle Grounds Café have served to be a great way for us to wage war against sin and circumstance. 

Neighborly reviews continue to encourage us to offer our space for God’s purpose and plan. He has not disappointed us yet! This Campus is open for the broken; a church without broken people is a broken church.

Be in prayer for us as we strive to fully engage with each and every life that enters our ever-growing Sunday gathering. Pray for our leaders, and the leaders to come. Pray that God has His way in West Seneca and our surrounding community by bringing the revelation of His amazing grace to every man, woman, and child. A revival is on the horizon!

Sheridan Parkside Life Center | Eric Napoli
Grant Recipient 2018

Greetings from Sheridan Parkside Life Center!

God has been doing so much in our first year since the launch. In 2021, we opened the doors in June and officially had our grand opening October 10. It has been a busy season that has continued to bring more and more people into our facility to learn of the hope of Christ as we serve dignity, value, and joy to the whole neighborhood.

Our focus is solely to reach the 1,000 homes of Sheridan Parkside. As a ministry, we have the free laundry open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We are expanding to Thursdays and possibly one Saturday a month as volunteers continue to come. The need is certainly there.

We have our free adult clothing pantry open at the same time as the laundry and have set ourselves up as a casual, self-serve café. Our partnerships with Olive Garden, Panera, Paula’s Donuts, and the Goodness Project are helping to make that a reality.

Our Healthy Cooking Kitchen is now operating every other Tuesday with Chef Steve teaching practical and delicious menus for making in the home.

Our outreach to the Holmes Elementary School is a strong element of our reach into the community. In May, we will host our second Teacher Appreciation Luncheon to serve all the staff and administration there. We are also meeting with the school social workers to consider where we might effectively touch the most needy families of Parkside and the Holmes’ family community.

Our community church operates as a multi-denominational outreach. We have been open since June of 2021, holding a weekly service on Sundays at 4pm and a community dinner at 5pm. The service is largely relationship building. We hear the good things that God has been doing, teach each participant, and search the Scriptures to hear what God wants to say to our hearts.

Out of this community church, our first outreach to the Collins Correctional Facility developed. Through all of these efforts, we are looking to the future to see what servants and leaders God will be building in our midst.

We are very grateful for your partnership with us. It has been a very busy and fruitful year. It is time for us now to develop new leader positions, look for interns, and assess how we can provide for these servants during their work with us.

Thank you for not forgetting about us, and for desiring to know what God is doing in our midst. I know you have a lot on your plates there and we appreciate all the prayer support you can send our way. Volunteers are welcome too!

One Church (Medina Campus) | Rick Rouse
Grant Recipient 2017

We are grateful for the CPI grant to help us launch our Medina Campus. It’s hard to believe it is four years old already! We continue to see believers grow their faith and own the mission. Our latest news is that we purchased our own building and opened at the new location in mid-September. The new location is in the center of town. We will no longer lease!

Another exciting event was launching a new campus in North Tonawanda on Easter Sunday. There have been new commitments to Jesus and the launch team has been awesome in continuing to build the church.

When I think about these past years, God has led and directed us to build the kingdom by growing One Church from one church in one location in Akron to one church in three locations. We are looking forward to seeing where number four will be!

Visit Our CPI Churches! You are warmly invited to visit our Church Planting Initiative church families for worship services any time. Please check their websites or reach out to them directly for current locations and times.

Anchor Church | Steve Johnson
310 Starin Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216

Cave of David | Jonathan Bokongole
175 Rano Street, Buffalo, NY 14207 

Christ Central Buffalo | Chris Jhu
504 Frankhauser Road, Buffalo, NY 14221

House of Grace International Church | Emmanuel Amani
332 Baynes Street, Buffalo, NY 14213

Mission Of Christ Church | Yoshua Bashizi
175 Potomac Street, Buffalo, NY 14213

New Story Church | Scott Lackey
3200 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14217

One Church (Medina Campus) | Rick Rouse
120 Park Avenue, Medina, NY 14103

Saransthan International Fellowship | Purna Tamang
763 Englewood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14223

The Garden Church Buffalo | Frankie Andrews
2358 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216

The Journey Church | Art Hall
2784 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14224

theWELL Buffalo (Ebenezer Campus) | CJ Ahrens
2784 Seneca Street, West Seneca, NY 14224

Article reprinted with permission from On Mission Review © 2022.