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

  • Recently a pastor of care had a conversation with a guest: by having social media and streaming our sermons on Facebook live, we are able to reach such a wide variety of people, of all places. We have seen God using social media to heal lives and create relationships. Thank you to the creative team and all of the hard work that they do behind the scenes.
  • A first time guest visited twice last month. He said they love Celebrate and plan to attend as long as they are able (they are from out of town). He cherishes Celebrate and the new friendships with the pastors.
  • Billy attended for the first time as part of our Celebrate Freedom prison ministry. He was excited and plans on coming back next weekend with his wife and child!
  • This month we received a story via our website: “Celebrate held my hand during devastation and tragedy. Remained by my side during the judgement of community. Pushed me not to give up when all I wanted to do was just that. Showed me true love and faithfulness. Love is to give yourself when someone needs you the most. Today, I give myself to others as I was taught by those at Celebrate.”

Celebrate KiDS

  • A grandfather shared a story with us about his grandchildren taking what they learn in church out in the community. “During a funeral for a family member the Pastor asked us to say the Lord’s prayer with him. As we were praying the children were praying and doing so boldly and loudly that he was overcome with emotion and became silent, letting the children carry on and lead.” How incredible to hear that they are taking the very lessons they learn during the weekend and living it out, what we do matters and you are all part of this!!
  • We heard from a grandma about how she was invited to come to church by her grandson because he wanted to come and needed someone to bring him. She wasn’t looking to find a church home however has come to love Celebrate and is regularly attending and grateful for his persistence. How incredible the impact is of an invitation and from a child! No matter how young, they are capable of making a difference in their community for Jesus.
  • Our ministry for children for special needs is called the Success Ministry. It is offered during the 11AM service on Sunday. This past weekend the value of a consistent team connecting with a child payed off!  A child who had a rough start the first few times attending was greeted by the welcome team by name, walked into the room by a team member and lead to the Success Ministry area where he interacted and bonded right away! Win for the child, win for the team and peace of mind for the family knowing that their child is welcome and wanted.
  • In July, we had our 4th annual KiDS Leadership camp with 17 children in attendance. These are students who attend Celebrate KiDS on the weekends and exhibit leadership skills, they are selected by their leaders to be part of this a two-day intensive camp. During this camp students are given lessons on how God has purposed us each individually and gifted us to carry that out. We had a great time pouring into the next generation and allowing them to explore what it means to be in ministry!

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

Brandon, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko

Launched September 11, 2016

This month:

  • 8 new families visited Celebrate Brandon in July.  
  • 3 people indicated interest in Baptism, and 1 person committed their life to Christ!
  • One of the new families said they felt welcome the moment they walked in, one  of our Dream Team members were able to connect with her and invite her to LIFE Group.
  • 23 men gathered for a BBQ and fellowship event on July 10th.  We grilled, ate together and heard from Pastor Tom Crick from Celebrate Sioux Falls and several men from his LIFE Group. We are praying for LIFE Group leaders and our Men’s Ministry.
  • Celebrate Brandon hosted DQ and Children’s miracle network, and had over 200 people in our church building for this CMN fundraiser. It was a great opportunity to connect with people who had never been to our church facility.
  • We started a 30 day prayer initiative on July 16th . 18 people are participating by counting their prayer steps while praying for our church, community, schools, and the upcoming “At the Movies” series.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for our church mission and members, community of Brandon, schools, and people in our community who are seeking. 

Canton, South Dakota

Celebrate Canton
Sheldon & Jo Hovaldt

Launched September 10, 2006

This month:

  • We remodeled/flipped our sanctuary. Now people can come in a couple minutes late, use the restrooms, or be retrieved for a child without being in front of everybody. It was a comfort thing that guests (and even regulars) can not be in the spotlight all of the time.
  • We completed our second Fifth Sunday Serve ($1 Car Wash), we washed forty cars in three hours, with 18 Family members involved. Great conversations have started, three families are looking for a church home. We will see what fruit comes from it, it’s in God’s hands.

Prayer requests:

  • Please pray for growth over the summer – personal and church.
  • That our community service on July 28th, at Jack Fox Park would be life changing for those volunteering and those attending.
  • For Celebrate Church – to represent God well during the events of Celebrate Canton festivities, July 27-28.

Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah

Launched September 10, 2006

This month:

  • Quarry Rock really took a liking to Christian Palmer who is a Celebrate Church planting intern while he was with us. He blessed our church so much and he really loved on them and I (Milt) believe some of the things Christian helped us with will be long lasting in a great direction!
  • July was a good month of really soaking up “Letters to the Church.” We are grateful for this book and are excited to see how God moves us in the months ahead.

Prayer requests:

  • Pray that God really uses “At The Movies” in a powerful way in Dells, Brandon, Bozeman, and Sioux Falls.
  • Pray for powerful momentum going into September. Our goal is to press into LIFE Groups. We want to have 6 by November. We currently have 3!

Fargo, North Dakota

Story Church
Wade & Chelsey Coffey

Launched February 3, 2019

This month:

  • Even though attendance was down in July, we had several first time guests come and connect! Between adults and kids we had 10 first time guests just last Sunday!
  • We had to meet at a different location the first 2 weekends of July and it was an awesome experience worshipping in the park! The kids also had an awesome time of learning and fun in a mini camp like experience those two weeks.
  • Our entire leadership team has finished the letters to the church book and great discussion has stemmed.

Prayer Requests:

  • Prayers of praise for the items above and every person who has grown in Christ through our church.
  • Continued prayers for Gods direction for Story Church in what it looks like for us to be more like one of the first church’s in Acts.
  • Prayers for growth for our church spiritually and numerically.

Lake Andes, South Dakota

Celebrate Lake Andes

Launched September 10, 2017

  • Don Ryswyk stepped down as the pastor at the end of April, and since then we have had a great summer together as a number of people from Celebrate Sioux Falls are coming to lead and teach us every weekend. We will have a long term pastor in place hopefully soon, as we know there are many people to reach for Jesus in the Lake Andes area.

Omaha, Nebraska

Meadows Church
Monte & Jody Gannon

Launched October 8, 2017

This month:

  • We had 14 people make decisions for Christ!
  • We launched two more LIFE Groups in July giving us a total of 13 groups!
  • One gentleman who gave his life to Christ a couple weeks ago is truly an amazing story. He went from not believing to believing and after surrendering his life to Jesus, he has brought over 10 new guests with him to church over the past two weeks. He is also getting baptized next month and feels God is calling him into the ministry. An amazing story of God using a changed life to change lives! 

Prayer Requests:

  •  Please pray for our Divorce Care Ministry, Celebrate Recovery Ministry, and Youth Ministry. All three are poised to do amazing things this Fall, however we need God to guide us to a facility where the ministry can take place.
  • Pray for our upcoming baptism event on August 25, excited to see how many people are going to openly declare their faith in Christ!

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:

  • We have started our 9th LIFE Group in Galeana, which is the county seat for our area. We have 40 people attending that group in only 2 months!
  • In the LIFE Group in Galeana, the city mayor is coming and other elected officials. They are finding great encouragement through God’s Word.
  • We have a youth praise band that is rocking it during our worship services. This has been an answer to prayer as for many years.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for 17 youth students who are attending our District youth convention. Pray that their lives would be impacted and that they would make a difference for Jesus in their schools and city. 

Yankton, South Dakota

Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd

Launched April 1 (Easter), 2017

This month:

  • Our first baptism celebration was great! We had our gathering at Gavins Point and 2 people were baptized!
  • Tom and Jan Crick from Celebrate Sioux Falls came down and led our LIFE Group hosts in a training. It was an extremely valuable time and we look forward to more time with them.
  • We launched a new Men’s LIFE Group! We now have five total.

Prayer Requests:

  • We have been asked to serve at Riverboat Days again this year. Pray that we would bless our community in this key event.
  • Our LIFE Groups will be assisting at a Memorial 5k for one of our families who lost their son last year. Pray that we can be a blessing to the family and show His love to the participants.
  • As summer winds down and a new school year launches, pray that we will stay faithful and continue to reach more people for Him!

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

Fill out my online form.


Share This
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone