LOS ANGELES – Upon meeting Pastor Rafer Owens, who is both the dynamic leader of Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church and a deputy sheriff serving in Compton in Los Angeles County, it is easy to understand why he was chosen to speak at Together LA, the three-day conference about discovering how to "love on" the metropolis, beginning this Thursday.
Owens has ministered for 17 years to not only a primarily black congregation but to a much wider audience – Compton, a city once known as a war zone for gangs.
"Our mission is to take back the city of Compton and bring the love of God and the spirit of God and overall revival to the city," he said while describing the goals of his church. "What we've done as a church is become involved in everything that the city does and everything that would help lift up the community." more >>
Last Friday, the Institute on Religion and Democracy's (IRD) Chelsen Vicari met with Deamon Scapin, the pastor of a new Capitol Hill church plant called Triumph D.C. According to the new church plant's website, Triumph seeks to be "a network of life-giving churches and a movement of leaders to influence a city that influences the world." Deamon, his wife Kristine, and their three children moved from suburban Texas in 2013 to join the revitalized movement of church planting happening inside the Washington D.C. Beltway.
Chelsen Vicari: When did you first recognize the call to lead a church plant in Washington D.C.? And, by the way, uprooting your family from suburban Texas to this crazy, chaotic, awesome city is quite daunting. What were your thoughts and feelings during such a hectic, exciting time?
Pastor Deamon Scapin: That is a huge story, but I'll try to condense it. Just out of college and newly married, we moved from Pensacola, Florida to Texas through a relationship with a spiritual father of mine to be on staff there at a church. At the time, we knew that when we were joining the staff—this was sixteen years ago or so—that we weren't going to be there forever. We were going to Texas for ministry training, development, and experience. At some point we knew we would plant a network of churches that we would have the opportunity to lead. We ended up taking over the 30-year old founding campus over and we lead there for about six years. But my wife and I knew God was leading us to do the work that we had done in Texas in another place. more >>
Warryn Campbell and his famed Grammy Award-winning singer wife, Erica Campbell, may officially open the doors of their own church next April.
Warryn, the My Block Records CEO, who has produced music for his wife and her sister, Tina, in their group Mary Mary for years, has inspired a direction for the church. Now, the super producer is taking to social media to hint that the doors to his church may open in April.
The producer posted an image of The California Worship Center logo on Instagram with the caption, "Coming 4/5/15." more >>
The head of a North Carolina-based organization that aids ministries for singles has said that too many churches consider the unmarried to be "invisible."
Kris Swiatocho, director of The Singles Network Ministries, told The Christian Post that "for most churches single adults are invisible. Mainly because most pastors, secretaries, deacons/elders are married with children. When they are in the pulpit they typically preach and identify with those that are like themselves."
"I have actually spoken with churches who are not sure they have any singles there mainly because they view singleness has a particular age-range vs. someone who isn't married from 18 to the grave." more >>
A multisite megachurch based in North Carolina has recently closed a deal on the purchase of a shopping center for approximately $10.2 million.
The Charlotte-based Elevation Church announced last week that they were buying the Matthews Plaza Shopping Center on East Independence Boulevard, located in the town of Matthews. A spokesperson with Elevation Church provided The Christian Post with a statement from Elevation Church CFO Chunks Corbett.
"We were excited to take advantage of an opportunity to purchase the plaza and secure our long-term presence in the Matthews community," said Corbett. more >>
The construction of Cuba's first Roman Catholic Church since 1959 is set to begin in the village of Sandino in the province of Pinar del Rio. Cuba has recently experienced warming ties both with the U.S. and the Vatican.
"There is money to begin, building materials to begin, and we have the permissions to start, so everything is ready," said Jorge Enrique Serpa Pérez, the bishop of Pinar del Río, according to Breitbart News.
It is a significant development in the largely Catholic country, which had exiled and jailed a number of priests belonging to the Vatican following the 1959 Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro's rise in power. more >>