Exactly eighteen years ago—May 31, 1998—one hundred-fifty people showed up on a Sunday night in Pekin, Illinois for a new church plant pastored by two twenty-somethings (me and Annette) whose slogan was (and yes, we have since changed it) “GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD ROCK & ROLL, AND JESUS!”
Little did we know then that our journey would lead us to ten different locations in six cities—that would include nine years of setting up and tearing down—before landing our very own permanent facility (and current location) in East Peoria.
We have learned so much of “what not to do” (including driving to the edge of town to practice leaving), but all-in-all, we wouldn’t change any of it! Who am I kidding, we would change a lot of it—but if we knew then what we know now, we may not have stuck it out.
We are so glad we did. Here’s just one reason.
This is John. He’s holding a $5 gas card that he received from us in the mail after he first visited RockChurch. He returned for a second visit, recommitted his life to Christ, and went public with his faith through water baptism on Easter Sunday. He invited his sister watch him get baptized. She not only attended, but gave her life to Christ!
Back to the picture. He handed the gas card to me and said, “This is what led me to return to RockChurch. I don’t know how much it’s worth—and I don’t care if it’s worth one million dollars—I want to give it back so it can be used again to have the same impact it had on me.”
This is just one example that confirms we did the right thing by sticking it out during our early years, and by early years, I mean the first eleven! We are so grateful for the countless stories of life-change just like this that reaffirm God’s calling on our lives to plant and pastor RockChurch.
And it wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team (staff, leaders, and volunteers) that have served alongside us throughout this eighteen year journey to reach unchurched and de-churched people with the Gospel!
We hope to see you soon (in person, online, or via RockChurch app) for some:
Good people (while throwing down some great coffee).
Good rock & roll (full volume worship).
And JESUS (no other way).
The best is yet to come.