Stories & Wins

There is nothing more powerful than a changed life. Everyone has a story, and every story matters. We celebrate the WINS that are happening through Celebrate's locations and church plants. God is Good!


Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sycamore, Meadows, Hispanic, African, and Online

Sycamore Location 

  • Notes from guests:
    • “Every time we walk or walk away from a service or function we look at each other and say ‘wow, the teaching was so applicable and we love it here! THANK YOU to our sweet Lord and to all of you!”
    • “Thank you so much – I really enjoyed the service and looking forward to coming back this weekend.”
  • We were approached by Terry Redlin Elementary, about a request that each child would have their very own book. We were able to meet that request and purchase 326 age and reading level appropriate books – one for every child in the school. We also showed support through our TIME – we had Celebrators that attended the reading party, helped to hand out pizza that we provided, helped students and families learn how to use the library, and continued to make connections and build upon our existing relationship with the Terry Redlin community.
  • Celebrate – not only are you part of something that is impacting our community, but people are watching; we are planting seeds that we’ll never even know about. Someone watching online, out of state, shared the Dream On vision with a co-worker who has been discouraged. Not only were they impacted by the messages, but they shared it with their pastor who was so inspired by Keith’s vision for reaching the community.
  • ALSO, someone from a different country shared the Dream On series online with their pastor who has been feeling they aren’t doing enough. His pastor has been consistently online for the Dream on series, and has been inspired by this series to reach more people than ever before! It’s amazing the way God is working even through technology! Way to be an example, Celebrate.
  • A note from a new attender to DivorceCare: “I’m new to this group but in the two times I’ve attended the Tuesday night session, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more accepted and welcome.  I can’t thank everyone enough for making me feel that I’m no longer alone in this journey.  This path is a difficult one and uncharted for me but it’s nice to know the Ultimate Guide is watching over me and helping traverse each step.  He’s given me a blessing by introducing me to this group and its members.”
  • Pastor Keith has been encouraging a pastor from Michigan who’s been going through some tough times.  The pastor heard about the vision we’re living out here at Celebrate, and believes in it so much, that he sent a sacrificial, one-time gift towards the Dream On campaign, thanking Pastor Keith for letting he and his wife be a small part.  Wow!
  • A win shared from a LIFE Group: “This weekend’s service impacted many of the members profoundly. One lady said she was overwhelmed (in a praiseworthy way) at all the voices that were lifted up in praise. She commented at how EVERYONE seemed to be singing and how that experience brought a sense of community to her worship. Another lady said she typically hesitates at altar calls, though at the end of service found herself going up to the front with no hesitation. While standing and singing up there, she felt a release and complete warmth fill her. Another gal came to the realization that the devotionals are preparing the congregation for reaching out to areas that are outside of our comfort zones.”
  • The numbers (October 2018):
    • 94 first-time guests
    • 3 baptisms
    • 108 commitments for Jesus
  • Care Ministries:
    • 54 people actively involved in our DivorceCare ministry, 27 in DivorceCare for Kids
    • 37 people involved with the GriefShare ministry, finding healing and hope
    • 12 people being loved and supported through CancerCare
    • 110 people finding healing from hurts, hang-ups and habits through Celebrate Recovery
    • 6 people in Financial Peace University
    • 5 Mother’s actively involved in the Single Mother’s ministry
    • 18 families involved in the adoption ministry Replanted group (32 adults and 69 children)!
    • 80 people finding freedom through Celebrate Freedom prison ministry

Hispanic Ministry

  • God has been very good with the Hispanic ministry, we have families that visit us every Sunday from Sioux City, Watertown and other nearby cities. This past Sunday we had a night of worship where more than 150 people attended over the weekend, and more than 2000 people were impacted by Facebook Live. We are seeing families and young people restored. On November 11th we will have baptisms. Thank you Lord and thank you Celebrate.

Celebrate KiDS

  • Celebrate KiDS elementary classes just finished a series on contentment and being satisfied with what we have.  One of the winners of the Dream On bikes was super excited to have won the bike! When he got home, however, he thought about it and decided to re-gift it to a child who doesn’t have a bicycle. We continue to see children taking the lessons they are learning and applying them in life!
  • In November, Celebrate KiDS held a Child Dedication ceremony.  This is an amazing partnership between the church and parents, as we walk with them, support them, and help them teach their children about Jesus and His love for them.
  • We received a note from a father who was so thankful for what we all do here for the children while teaching them about the love of Jesus and building relationships. He also shared how when getting his daughter ready for preschool she said “I don’t want to go to school I want to go to church.” How incredible that we are creating a space for children to feel welcome and loved while fostering relationships.

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

Brandon, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko

  • This month:
    • We had 3 decisions for Christ, 21 first time guests, 6 new LIFE Group leaders, and 24 people indicated first time interest in joining a group step already out of our Dream On campaign.
    • A LIFE Group spearheaded a collection for a local food pantry which totaled 1,037 lbs of food and $225 cash.
    • A member who had asked for prayer for a Biopsy was told by the Dr. that the mass in her throat was, “not there anymore.”  We give GOD the glory for his healing power!
    • After contributing to the Hurricane Michael relief we have given over $5400 to needs over and above budget from the First of what we have received.  These dollars have gone for helping with single moms car repairs, medical bills, groceries, hearing aids, and helping a single mom with ovarian cancer.
    • Our total attendance has seen a significant surge in October with four consecutive weeks over 300.
    • 13 men completed a 3 week multiplication mini camp that has grown from 2 people since last year at this time. 
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Please pray for wisdom and humility as we move forward with our Dream On campaign, LIFE Groups, and sending people to neighboring communities.

Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah

  • This month:
    • October was awesome with great attendance and offerings and 4 people receiving Christ!
    • I turned 50 this month and Quarry Rock Church really encouraged me and celebrated my birthday and pastor appreciation month with enthusiasm.
    • Our trunk or treat was a great success as we served 284 Kids from the community!
  • Prayer requests:
    • Pray that November brings guests, excitement and transformed lives!

Fargo, North Dakota*

Story Church
Wade & Chelsey Coffey

  • This month:
    • We have now expanded our kids ministry into 2 rooms! We have babies and preschool in one and elementary in another!
    • We had our Boo at the Zoo outreach event was a chilly success! We were able to interact with 5,500 people (kids and parents). We have not seen the fruit of it yet but what a great way to get our name out there!
    • At the beginning of October the women’s Lifegroup volunteered at The Perry Center which is a maternity home for pregnant single women in need. We are planning on doing this monthly going forward to build relationships with these women.


  • Prayer Requests:
    • We are still looking for a space we can launch in. We may have a viable option with the fairgrounds but praying for Gods confirmation! As soon as that happens we will set a launch date. Continued prayers for growth in both attendance and leadership (core) team.

Lake Andes, South Dakota*

Don Ryswyk

  • This month:
    • We spent the month going through the series “Forgotten Virtues”.  It seemed as though each week hit close to home with someone in the congregation.  The “Forgiveness” sermon left several people weeping and made for some heart-warming conversations with me.
    • Conversations after church have blossomed.   The walls are slowly coming down.  Lake Andes is a small town and everybody knows everybody’s business but the people in church will sit and share for long periods of time with other people in the church.  It is so encouraging to see a diverse mixture of people hold hands and pray for each other.
    • I am blessed to work with the Lake Andes Sunday School crew.   We had twenty-two kids and twenty-eight kids in Sunday School this past month.  The kids have a new favorite song in which they love to sing and dance  – “Every move I make, I make in you, Jesus…….na, na, na, na….etc”.  Have to be there to see it!!!
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Please pray that people would see Celebrate Lake Andes as their church home and step forward into more leadership.

Omaha, Nebraska

Meadows Church
Monte & Jody Gannon

  • This month:
    • Our 1-year anniversary city-serve celebration was a huge success as we were able to host and serve over 100 people in our community.  We shared a meal and stories with each other, our kids played together, and we prayed together.   God showed up in a big way!
    • We had SIX people make decisions for Christ!
    • We started our 13th Life Group.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • For clarity and wisdom for our church as we begin year two of leading people to Christ and their God-given purpose.

Pharr, Texas

Marv & Deanna Odegaard

  • This month:
    • The gospel is being preached, praise songs are being sung, and people are being blessed.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Much sickness among our people. Many prayers for healing were answered last month.

San Rafael, Mexico

Celebrate Community Church
Eliud & Brenda Garza

  • This month:
    • We celebrated 6 years as a Celebrate Church plant!
    • We saw 3 people make first time decisions.
    • We had 11 first time visitors
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Pastor Eliud is suffering from a budging disc in his back causing much pain in his leg. Pray for healing.
    • Pray for the provision for the final stages of the building of the new sanctuary.

Yankton, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd

  • This month:
    • We had 12 first time guests in October and an average attendance of 60. One person gave their life to Christ and another renewed their decision.
    • A mom from our church family was driving in a car with nine of her children when they were in an accident. The car rolled three times and the top was completely smashed. All the kids were able to walk away. One child had a scrape on her knee, one had her glasses broken, one got a bloody nose, and one had a sore neck. The hospital released them all shortly after they arrived in the ER. One little girl said, ”I was praying to Jesus while our car was rolling” Then she asked, “Will you be sure to tell Tammy (our KiDS leader) I’m OK?” Three members of the mom’s LIFE Group ran up to the ER and made sure the family was OK and stayed until the mom was released, and gave them a ride home.
    • We had two people from our church have major surgery. Their LIFE Group hosts not only prayed with them before surgery, but also went and visited them in their home after.
    • We have started a LIFE group with a focus on Recovery. The HOST of this group is passionate about starting a full Celebrate Recovery program in 2019. He was able to visit the Celebrate Recovery in Sioux Falls to learn.
  • Prayer Requests:
    • Each LIFE Group is hosting a serving event during the month of November. This not only provides an opportunity to outreach in the community, but also gives a chance to build deeper relationships in the group and invite others to join the group.
    • We will be promoting our Christmas series called “Celebrate Christmas” throughout the community. Pray this season will help connect people to Christ.
    • After much prayer and discussion with Alane, Jeff (Celebrate Yankton’s Pastor) decided to leave his position at the Boys and Girls Club. He is currently exploring the option of either two part time jobs or another full time job that will allow him more energy to focus on his role as Pastor.

Watch stories of changed lives.

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Jonathon's Story

Austin's Story

Austin's Story

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Chas & Char's Story

Joe & Suzy's Story

Joe & Suzy's Story

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