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 Recovery has still been averaging over 70 people and now is in the process of starting on another night at our Sycamore location. We will soon have this life changing ministry on two nights on both the east and west side of town.
  • Our team talked with one of our volunteers and asked what prompted him to come to Celebrate. He said that as a tax consultant he kept seeing Christians (many from Celebrate) who were tithing even though they didn’t make an exorbitant amount of money. He visited Celebrate to see what would make someone want to do that.
  • We had 65 LIFE Group inquiries through our website and app for January. We now have 133 LIFE Groups.
  • 40 people were at the launch of our first Financial Peace University class for 2018.
  • Celebrate found out that Community Outreach, a local ministry that provides financial help for those in Sioux Falls, experienced a shortfall for the end of 2017. We responded by taking care of the budgeted utility shortfall for the remainder of 2017, with a gift of $10,000.
  • Celebrate KiDS served 2,146 individual children in 2017, with 126 commitments to live for Jesus! That is a lot of seeds being plant and lives touched. At times we think our audience is the 400-500 per week, but it’s really so many more individual lives being touched (plus their families). What an awesome opportunity we have to serve God together! Every week we have the blessing of speaking into the lives of children. Through your smile, words and heart, these kids can come to know Jesus in a real way.
  • One weekend in January we had 23 first time guests at Sycamore, which is a new record. Two weeks later we had with 24 first time guests (not including KiDS)! Not including KiDS, we had 96 first time guests go through guest services in December!

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

Brandon, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko

  • We had 14 people in attendance at our membership gathering.  All 14 are new to Celebrate in the last 9 months and are interested in becoming members.
  • We added 7 people to our kids and production serving teams, bringing our people serving to 74.
  • We had 2 decisions for Christ.

Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah

  • We just finished a short series in January on God’s favor and 4 people gave their hearts to Jesus this month through this series!
  • Several people made decisions to stop relying on their own strength but to rely on the favor of God. Because the favor of God follows us as we follow Jesus!
  • We purchased our own baptistry this month and it should arrive in the next couple weeks! We’re excited!
  • Pray: for volunteers to come forward. The same people do so much and I really don’t want to see them getting frustrated and/or burnt out. We know from the PD model that many will not do anything even when asked, but there are many just waiting to be asked. That will be our goal in February!

Fargo, North Dakota*

Story Church
Wade & Chelsey Coffey

  • We had a successful and relatively smooth move into our new (and first ever) house in West Fargo—Thanks to the help of our church family! 🙂
  • Flowers were sent by our church to the funeral of the grandmother of one of our team members. Her uncle, who is going through a divorce and has also been closed off to the Gospel, was so moved by the gesture and by what is happening in her life through the church that it opened up an ongoing conversation about God and what our church is doing! What’s more, he wrote the church a check for a large sum money! Additionally, this team members cousin, who is also not a believer, has been intrigued by all of this, their “bold” conversations, and her visit to our church, that she has requested to do our current LifeGroup study remotely with her (she lives hours away)!
  • We now have leaders that are starting to reproduce leaders within the group.
  • Pray: For follow up conversations with those who attended our Super Bowl Party outreach event. For further spiritual maturation of our church team so that we are healthier and will engage our community more effectively and make a greater impact—thereby growing Gods kingdom. For any provisions we need in order to make the necessary changes as we adjust to growth and momentum.

Lake Andes, South Dakota*

Don Ryswyk

  • We had one decision for Jesus Christ in January.
  • Someone donated a van to the LA ministry.  What an amazing blessing!
  • We had 35 children in Sunday School on Sunday, January 28.  Two vans and dedicated people from Lake Andes area make it all happen.
  • Pray: Every Sunday I have people request prayer for family members and then they add “drugs and alcohol” to the request.  At times I don’t even know what to pray when I see the brokenness in their hearts.  All I can say – is pray for the people of LA.

Omaha, Nebraska

Meadows Church
Monte & Jody Gannon

  • We had one person make a decision for Christ and had 16 first-time guests.
  • We began our first Financial Peace University class and have 21 people attending.
  • We have 11 people signed up for our baptism event on Feb. 11.
  • Pray that we continually remain in God’s will and do whatever it takes to lead more people to Jesus. Pray that others will sign up for baptism and declare they are a child of God and member of His family.

Pharr, Texas

Marv & Deanna Odegaard

  • Music has been wonderful and more people are getting involved in choir. Messages are being well received and the Bible study on Monday morning has great participation as even people who are retired know they don’t have all the answers to what God wants them to know.
  • Pray that even though church is doing well, so many in our community are lost and need a Savior.

San Rafael, Mexico

Celebrate Community Church
Eliud & Brenda Garza

  • Sunday, January 21st we broke our own record in attendance on a regular Sunday service, 189.
  • We broke our own record in 1st time visitors: 13 in one regular Sunday.
  • Celebrate Zacatecas opened their very 1st Life group. They also had 6 people give their lives to Christ in January.
  • Pray: My wife, Brenda, had surgery on Feb. 6th. Pray for healing. Pray for Pastor Jaime of Celebrate Zacatecas he is being attacked by the enemy. Pray for God’s provision. Construction has been put on hold due to lack of finances..

Yankton, South Dakota*

Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd

  • We had one person make a decision for Christ this month!
  • Since Christmas, we have been averaging over 20 people each Sunday at our gatherings. Each weekend we’ve had first time guests, many of whom have returned for another time. Here is a comment from one: Even though I was very much out of my comfort zone coming on Sunday (I am a very introverted person and new places and people make me uncomfortable) , I am very glad I came…I really liked the welcome I received… I will continue to come on Sundays.
  • We are launching our second LIFE group and will possibly have a third in the next month
  • Pray: For KiDS ministry: We are going to have  a PreK/Elementary room the weekend of February 25th. Please pray for protection and guidance as we begin this key part of our church family! For LIFE Groups: We continue to reach out to others to join our groups. Ask for wisdom for our hosts and may all feel welcomed and wanted. For our Move to Launch: We are formalizing our District approval to launch. Pray for wisdom and guidance in this process.

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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