Stories & Wins

Everyone has a story, and every story matters. There is nothing more powerful than a changed life, and your story could be the catalyst of hope in the life of another.


Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sycamore, Meadows, Hispanic, African, and Online

  • Celebrate YOUTH has over 200 students and adult leaders going to camp July 16-20!  Additionally, attendance on Wednesday nights continues to grow with 65+ first time guests in the last six weeks!
  • The Celebrate KiDS team has heard from different parents in the last few weeks, stories of the excitement their children have about coming to church and how they talk about it throughout the week. Many of them coming running in the doors on the weekend ready to learn and be with their leaders/friends.
  • This past weekend several conversations were had with graduated 5th graders about how they can get involved serving. The Bible tells us that one of the ways we can be like Jesus is to serve one another and He set this example for us many times. Through the years they have heard these examples through their Bible lessons followed by opportunities to serve. As they are entering this new season in life they are looking for ways to give back and grow in the Celebrate Family!
  • One of our LIFE Groups collected donations (personal items needed) for an organization that helps girls and women get out of sex trafficking.
  • In the last month we have had 10 Young Adults join a LIFE Group, with many more trying to fit it into their schedules.
  • One of pastors recently got to watch as God completely brought someone home. An individual came in who was at their lowest point. After a conversation with one or our pastors they started praying, reading the Bible with their spouse, and trying to seek forgiveness from their spouse. God has done an incredible work in this situation and there has been a complete 180.
  • Celebrate Recovery recently celebrated each individual’s time of recovery with Chip Night.  Each person receives a plastic chip for the amount of time they have been in recovery.  Among the recognition, two THREE YEAR and a SEVEN YEAR chip were handed out!  God is so good!

Church Plants
(* denotes churches in pre-launch phase)

Brandon, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko

  • We have experienced some strong ministry growth with 3 new people joining the music team.
  • In response to our vision weekend we had 14 new people express interest in getting involved serving the next generation. One person stated simply, ‘I’m in.”
  • A first time guest recently said, “I hate religion, but I don’t consider what you guys are doing as religion.” This person has experienced a lifetime of pain and judgment. It has been powerful to see God’s grace move against those strongholds.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Pray for our guests who are seeking relationship, acceptance and value.
    • Pray that they would experience the love and grace of God at Celebrate.
    • Pray for class 101 on July 15.
    • Pray for our kids and youth training events coming up July 8 & 15.
    • Pray for the continued growth and health of our life group leaders.

Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah

  • God is faithful and keeps bring new guests to Quarry Rock Church. We led a 16-year old girl to Christ who just moved to Dells less than 2 weeks ago.
  • The sanctuary remodeling is almost complete and funding was available to finish it all!
  • Prayer Requests:
    • That we would be actively looking at the way we love on gusts and have successful follow up.
    • Two very active families have recently moved out of Dells (one to Rochester and the other in NE Iowa). This opens some opportunity for them as well as us. Pray that it’s a positive thing for all.
    • Pray for Kenzie who just accepted Christ, that the seed planted will blossom into something awesome and beautiful!

Fargo, North Dakota*

Story Church
Wade & Chelsey Coffey

  • I (Pastor Wade) completed my final course requirement for licensing, and it was brought to the local board for approval.  I should be officially licensed in the Wesleyan Denomination by August!
  • One of our core team members was offered a huge opportunity by the military that would have doubled his family’s income but would have required him to be in Texas for one year.  After prayerful consideration and seeking wise counsel, he and his wife turned down the opportunity in favor of their belief that he is called to ministry and helping launch Story Church is a significant part of that—now that’s commitment!!!
  • We now have a 3rd person in our core team exploring education in ministry and potential calling for vocational ministry!
  • Prayer requests:
    • For continued financial provision for my family so that we can continue to be faithful to the calling of this church plant.
    • For continued guidance, wisdom, and blessing in opportunities for community outreach and engagement.
    • For God’s wisdom in a proper strategy to build towards launch, including the growth of our launch/core team, so that we can achieve our 2018 goal.



Lake Andes, South Dakota*

Don Ryswyk

  • Celebrate-Lake Andes had one decision for Jesus Christ last month!
  • On June 23 we had approximately 25 people out on the old church property, cleaning, hauling junk and sawing down dead trees.  A BIG thank you to all involved!
  • A brand new John Deere riding lawn mower was permanently loaned to the church property.  Another BIG thank to God and those involved!

Omaha, Nebraska

Meadows Church
Monte & Jody Gannon

  • This month:
    • Nine people made decisions for Christ!
    • We had 30 first-time guests.
    • We had meaningful conversations with over 130 people at our Papillion Days outreach event.
  • Natalie is a young woman who has come about once a month. She came a few weekends ago, and left during the music time. Our host team engaged in conversation, and her grandmother came out and encouraged her to come back in. She did, and after the service, she gave her life to Jesus.  Later she shared that she had left the service to go out onto the highway wanting to take her life.

  • Prayer requests:

    • For our YOUTH as they travel with the Celebrate YOUTH team to go to camp in Missouri.

    • That God continues to snap the chains in people’s lives in our Summer series Chain Breaker.

    • For our upcoming baptism event on July 15 – that many will go public with their decision for Christ!

Pharr, Texas

Marv & Deanna Odegaard

  • The gospel is being preached, praise songs are being sung, and people are being blessed. This month a couple from Quarry Rock Church in Dell Rapids, who heard me fill in for Milt Borah one Sunday are coming to church here in Texas!! They are being blessed!! God is blessing us all so unbelievably well.
  • Bill Roth who fills in for Marv during the summer struggled physically for 2 months. 2 others from the church went and laid hands and prayed over Bill. Seeing healing coming.
  • Our choir put on a great musical event.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Much sickness among our people. Many prayers for healing were answered last month.

San Rafael, Mexico

Celebrate Community Church
Eliud & Brenda Garza

  • 3 first-time decisions for Jesus were made!
  • There are 10 candidates for baptism.
  • We have started to put the roof on our new church building.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Pray for a family whose son, Jorge, has cancer.
    • Pray for our leadership team, that God continues to keep us together and in the vision.

Yankton, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd

  • June 3rd was our first Sunday gathering at our new location, Minerva’s Convention Center at the Best Western Kelly Inn. We were able to move our start time to 10am. Our first month has gone really well and we have seen 13 first time guests over the past four weeks!
  • Comment from one of our first time guest: “I really loved your service. Everyone was so welcoming, and I did not feel condemned or judged.”
  • This month we have seen a significant increase in the amount of people attending LIFE Groups. Several of these people do not have a church home and do not attend our Sunday gatherings yet.
  • Nick and Sydney Kreig, Celebrate Interns, were able to come to Yankton and spend a weekend with the Todd family. It was great to get know them and have a chance to show them the vision of what God is doing in Yankton. Sunday they attended our gathering and provided some great feedback which we are using to help reach more people for Christ.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Riverboat Days: This is a significant event in our community, and will be held August 17-19th. We are in conversation about how we can best serve in this event as a church family to reach more people with Christ’s love.
    • Fall campaign: We are planning a fall LIFE group campaign. We would like each of our regular attenders to be connected to a LIFE group, and will ask several to take a step of faith and host a group.
    • Over the past six months, four churches in Yankton have lost their lead pastor. We are in a spiritual battle, and this season in our community has been a sober reminder of this fact. Pray for these faith communities in their transition, and the Enemy would not be given a foothold.

Watch stories of changed lives.

Jonathon's Story

Jonathon's Story

Austin's Story

Austin's Story

Chas & Char's Story

Chas & Char's Story

Joe & Suzy's Story

Joe & Suzy's Story

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