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

Local Wins

Welcome Center Updates

  • The Local Board of Administration (LBA) voted unanimously to proceed with the construction of the Welcome Center addition. We have the funds to complete this project with no debt.  Thank you for your continued faithfulness in giving that is making this happen!
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2020. Above is a conceptual drawing of what the Welcome Center addition will look like. Keep in mind this is just an initial concept. Final design may be different.

Celebrate KiDS

  • We have an incredible win of one of our K-2 students sharing Jesus and extending and invitation to a teacher at school. Because this girl never stopped inviting her and sharing this hope the teacher has been in contact with one of our Pastors and gave her life to Christ! The Bible tells us to share our faith with others and we have an amazing opportunity each week to pour into our children that they may take it into their community.
  • We have had a few parents express interest in helping with the kids during the Christmas concert. This is a great opportunity to get families involved with our ministry, be sure to invite others to join us as we share the hope of Jesus in our community.
  • During one of our Elementary services, a leader was reviewing the Bible story with the 5th graders in small group. A couple of the children thought the video made a mistake in the Bible story. The leader and about 5 children all opened their Bible and started studying it together. They all found what they thought was a mistake and found that it wasn’t. It was very cool to see the group really dig into the Word and learn together.
  • A parent shared with us that they were having a conversation with their children about what they want to be when they grow up. One of the children said, “I want to be a God teacher”. This is really cool to hear as this child is one who typically has a hard time listening and often times can be a distraction during service. We don’t know what God is doing in the hearts of the children we serve. This is why it is so important to build up and encourage each child, regardless of what we see on the outside.
  • We had 6 children brought by their parents to be dedicated this month. This is the beginning of a beautiful partnership between the church and the family as they commit to teaching their children about Jesus. These children are in our environments on the weekends and we have the opportunity to help guide them on their faith journey from the beginning.
  • From a team member: “Linda, Riley Peterson’s grandmother, told me that he did a great thing this week by walking his friend home who is a girl. She was scared she would get kidnapped and wanted somebody to walk her home so he did it because it was the right thing to do. She only lives just next door but she came and told me because she attributes it to what we’re doing and kids and all were teaching that he is doing it because it was just the right thing to do.
  • Matuk, one of our success ministry students took another huge step this weekend. I looked in the service and noticed that he was fully participating in the large Play It Out activity. I shared this win with his parents and their jaws dropped. They were so happy and could hardly believe it.

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

Brandon, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko

Launched September 11, 2016

This month:

  • In October, we had a first time guest that was invited by a coworker. This person is a local “Brandonite” who we have been building relationships with for 5 plus years. We were able to pray with him as he is going through a difficult season.
  • We saw 13 people make first time decisions for Christ. We had 17 new people join as members at our membership renewal. We had 59 people renew their membership. There were over 140 people served at our evening meal. We are excited for all that God is doing as He renews His church.
  • A gentleman who attended our church passed away, and it was incredible to see members of our church family wrap around his wife and young son. Though the journey will continue to be hard for this family, it was a blessing to see the church be the church. We are so proud of our people who stepped up in the time of tragedy to comfort the family, and lift up the name of Jesus to those who were mourning.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please join us in prayer, as we are in a 30 day prayer and fasting journey until Nov. 22.
  • We are praying over the opportunity for the land west of our facility.
  • Pray for God to be glorified through this, His will be done, and that the people of His church would grow deeper in their love, faith, knowledge and depth of insight.

Canton, South Dakota

Celebrate Canton
Sheldon & Jo Hovaldt

Launched September 10, 2006

This month:

  • We had a dual baptism/dedication of a set of twins.
  • We are moving into a different church building. It is on track for rezoning and remodeling, so we can hold our first service there Dec. 1st. It is right on the main highway into town and will give us great visibility!
  • We have added a family of seven, and the mother has recommitted her life to Christ.

Prayer requests:

  • That we would continue to focus on the Kingdom’s growth, and not get lost in the building project.
  • For the zoning and the building process to go according to God’s plans, and that we remember that it is His timing.
  • As we all head into this holiday season, we would all be able to look ahead and focus on what God is asking us to do, rather than be distracted by the next flickering light.

Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah

Launched September 10, 2006

This month:

  • We saw many people come forward for prayer and commitment to truly living a life of faith that’s unshakeable! The series we have been in has been awesome!
  • Our Sunday soup serving has begun again. This provides great opportunities for relationships and unity amongst our church.

Prayer requests:

  • I (Milt) would covet prayers for a very powerful and fruitful fall, that people would really learn who Jesus is and really fall in love with Him.

Fargo, North Dakota

Story Church
Wade & Chelsey Coffey

Launched February 3, 2019

This month:

  • We had a number of first time and returning guests in October.
  • We have had multiple people make recommitments and one first time commitment to Christ.
  • We had one more person that stepped into obedience by tithing to God’s church.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for continued growth of the church and that we may gain some momentum with Christmas coming up.
  • We have been talking about surrender a lot lately with our church and team. Pray for what that looks like for each of our team members and to always be led fully by God and not man. 

Lake Andes, South Dakota

Celebrate Lake Andes
Jeff & Alane Todd

Launched September 10, 2017

This month:

  • We have launched our 5PM gathering time on Sunday nights. We’ve had seven different people attend from Lake Andes.
  • There has been a committed group from the Yankton family who travel along with Pastor Jeff to Lake Andes each week. This is after they have already attended/served at Celebrate Yankton.
  • God has opened several doors in the community with connections to build relationships with community leaders as well as the school.

Prayer Request:

  • Continue to lift up the community of Lake Andes, as the damage from the flooding is still impacting the people.
  • Pray that we can spread the word about our gathering time and reach more people. We are planning a Christmas event/series and that we could show God’s love during the holidays.

Omaha, Nebraska

Meadows Church
Monte & Jody Gannon

Launched October 8, 2017

This month:

  • We had 11 people make decisions for Christ in October.
  • We celebrated our 2 year anniversary on October 8.
  • A man was arrested for trying to sell stolen equipment from our church trailer last month. We were able to visit him in jail and asked what we could do to help him. He broke down in tears and explained how he had been struggling with addiction for years and had no hope. We explained the love and forgiveness that the Father had for him and he gave his life to Christ! We now meet with him regularly and we are working with the court to get him into rehab. Come On Somebody!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for our Youth Ministry (6th – 12th grade). We are starting to meet every Wednesday beginning in November (was previously twice a month).
  • Pray that we build a solid foundation and that our youth students will invite their friends and lives will be changed.

Pharr, Texas

Paradise Church
Marv & Deanna Odegaard

Launched November, 2006

Marv Odegaard is the pastor of Paradise Church from November through April each year.

San Rafael, Mexico

Celebrate Community Church
Eliud & Brenda Garza

Launched October 14, 2012

This month:

  • Last Sunday (11/10), we had 13 people open their hearts to Jesus as their Savior.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for God’s wisdom.
  • Pray for the members of the church that they would seek God more than ever.

Yankton, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd

Launched April 1 (Easter), 2017

This month:

  • We have three people from the Yankton Work Release Center, who have began attending. One of the guys is now being trained in production and the other is helping with our tear down team.
  • One member of a LIFE Group shared they were in the hospital with their son who was going through extreme withdrawal symptoms. As the hospital staff was working to save her son’s life, she stood there and prayed. She reported it was the first time she have ever prayed in public. Her son made a full recovery and is now home!
  • With this being our second year, we had budgeted a 48% increase from year one for giving. At the six month mark, we are right on track to reach that goal. In addition, we had our first offering of over $10,000!

Prayer Requests:

  • Our next series will be “The Power of Prayer”. We will be walking through some practical applications of prayer and that our people would being to understand how effect prayers can be.
  • Pray as we are planning for Christmas and have several opportunities to bless our community and reach out in this season.
  • Pray for continued unity and love for each other.

Watch stories of changed lives.

Andre's Story

Andre's Story

Andy & Amy's Story

Andy & Amy's Story

Karen's Story

Karen's Story

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