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
- We continue to receive many first-time guest follow up texts with positive feedback:
- “I really enjoy church…it was so powerful. All of it was amazing.”
- “I was in awe of God’s handiwork tonight! God is so good! All glory to Jesus! :)”
- “Thank you so much (Celebrate). I was so grateful for all the love I felt!!!”
- “I am so excited about Celebrate Church! I can’t wait until Sunday.”
- “Thank you!! Truly enjoyed the service!! My boyfriend hadn’t been to church in 25+ years. He was so moved he cried as we were walking to the car. We’ll be back Saturday again!!”
- A family in the church adopted a baby girl, born November 28, 2018. This adoption becomes the 22nd at Celebrate pressing on toward 50. Congrats Mark & Mercy. and baby Jaelyn!
- In a pastoral visit after a service, a woman shared that she had decided that she needed to get out of bed and be around people as she was tired of the life that she had been leading and wanted to find “peace” in her life. Guess what the sermon that weekend was about? Absolutely spot on, and she is now a part of Celebrate Recovery, has been attending service each weekend, and is talking about baptism and becoming part of a LIFE Group as her next steps!
- “Our LIFE Group was collecting money to help someone in our group as they are going through a rough time and as I was talking about this to another in our group a gentleman overheard and said he was helped in a time of need and wanted to pay it forward so he contributed not even knowing who we were helping. How awesome!”
- A Celebrator set out to collect 100 books for Terry Redlin… read his Facebook post below, sharing his heart:“Here’s some of the best advice I feel I could give anyone. In every single thing you do, don’t settle for it just being ok. Let God know that you want to just rock it, then let Him show up and show off. When I started collecting books for Terry Redlin students about a month ago, I sat there asking myself what would make this book drive successful. 100 books? 250 books? I had no idea. I prayed a lot and asked the Big Man to do what only He can do, and today, He poured down incredible blessings over a hurting community. 1,600 books… That’s what we came up with. Six…teen…hundred. Letting the world know I was after them multiple times sucked. Driving around to collect them sucked. Allowing them to take up half my living room sucked. Loading and unloading them into my car today really, really sucked. Knowing that kids who don’t have books now will… man, that’s what it’s all about. This event blew my mind. What an absolute home run. Thank you, thank you to all who donated, served, and prayed over this event. I’m stoked for the next one!”
- Our Elementary students have been learning about compassion; this week they learned that one way of being compassionate is to show encouragement. At the end of the service, as parents were coming into the room, several children brought their parents to the banner that they made to encourage others. It wasn’t a generic “thank you” but rather the children were challenged to write it to someone in particular and in many cases, it was to a parent. The children were excited to show their parents the encouraging words as they came in. We continue to hear stories of the lessons the children learn being shown in their daily lives!
- From a parent: “I have switched to coming consistently to the 9am service because “those guys are so amazing with my son! He always gets fist bumps and the teachers are always excited he’s there. I have no problem getting out of the door earlier and coming to church if my son is loved by a group of men like that!!!!” We have the most amazing team members, who make the children feel welcomed and excited about being in service each and every weekend.
- This past weekend a parent shared with a leader how every day of the week when getting their daughter ready for the day it is a fight. However Sunday morning she gets right up and is so eager to get out the door and to church. This is an amazing WIN of creating an environment that is welcoming and so impactful a child cannot wait until she is there again!
(* denotes churches in pre-launch phase)
Brandon, South Dakota
Celebrate Community Church
John & Dayna Semchenko
Launched September 11, 2016
- We have a person attending church who recently was released from jail. Last week the person was abruptly taken from his home on a charge that allegedly occurred while he was in jail. God pulled through allowing for a family friend to cover the bail, and a family member to cover the attorney few to represent him in court. Through it, he has been praising God and believing that His plan is best. He continues to be sober over the last 17 months.
- A man, who attended for the first time recently, received Christ and renewed his commitment to his wife after a service. That week he joined a LIFE Group with his wife and joined our facility cleaning team.
- The cleaning team has added 8 new people in January, all but one of which are beginning to serve for the first time.
- The car ministry team was able to help an elderly couple, on a fixed income get their car up and running before the cold weather hit.
- One of our new life groups has adopted Helping Hands assisted living and is choosing to play bingo with them on Monday evenings.
- Our Safety team is leading trainings for our kids and first impressions teams. This team has created detailed emergency plans for our facility and is doing an outstanding job creating a safe and welcoming environment for guests.
- January saw 17 first time guests, 10 decisions for Christ, and 3 people expressing interest in getting baptized.
- Praise reports from guests:
- “You all make my heart smile. Thank you for showing me the way back to God. I will never be able to repay you or tell you how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for us.”
- A single mom is going through cancer treatment. She was referred to us by a prayer request from Celebrate in Sioux Falls. Two life groups have adopted her and have been able to bless her family with material and spiritual support.
- Please pray for wisdom and humility. We specifically ask for our new leaders in first impressions and production as we are seeking to enlist and equip more people while taking our effectiveness to the next level.
- Please pray for the continued growth of our LiFE Groups. We now have 13 groups meeting with an average attendance in excess of 80 each week. Our goal is to grow that number to 30 groups with 150 in attendance by the end of the year. We are also seeking to grow our membership to 100. We are praying for 250 Decisions for Christ this year.
Canton, South Dakota
Sheldon & Jo Hovaldt
Launched September 10, 2006
- We are now having our messages going out on Vimeo.
- We are now posting to Facebook daily, which is getting very good traffic.
- Please pray that as we become more immersed in Canton and God’s ministry here, we would maintain focus on the path in front of us, and on the journey God has called us to take!
Dell Rapids, South Dakota
Quarry Rock Church
Milt & Maddie Borah
Launched September 10, 2006
- We celebrate that four people received Jesus this month!
- We were able to get some more remodeling done in the church that hadn’t really been touched since we bought the building. Our children’s ministry is growing and we really needed the newly remodeled space!
- Maddie and I got away for a nice vacation to Florida and we had 2 great speakers that Quarry Rock absolutely loved! It’s good to see everyone taking ownership and getting things done while I’m away.
- Continue to pray that God uses the Nehemiah Leadership Training to raise up leaders for our church, our community and their own families and lives.
- Pray that as God brings guests, that we really value them and take FULL advantage of that only first impression!
- Pray for Aaron & Amie. They still feel a slight pull into ministry. I’m very hopeful and optimistic they are!
Fargo, North Dakota
Wade & Chelsey Coffey
Launched February 3, 2019
- Our Christmas Eve service at the historical church at Bonanzaville went awesome (photo above). It was an all-around beautiful service with nearly 80 in attendance! We had 8 commitments and 5 recommitments for a total of 13 decisions for Christ!
- We had our first service at the awesome new venue that God has graciously provided with 7 first time guests in attendance!
- For continued growth and for our church launch on February 3rd!
Lake Andes, South Dakota
Celebrate Lake Andes
Launched September 10, 2017
- We had several first-time guests this past month, primarily because they were invited by church attendees.
- A couple from Menno has visited Lake Andes Sunday School several times. They are sincerely thinking about joining the team.
- We averaged 31 kids in Sunday School this month. That is about three vans full of kids and we only have two vans. The kids like to come to Sunday School!
- Please pray that people would see Celebrate Lake Andes as their church home and step forward into more leadership.
Monte & Jody Gannon
Launched October 8, 2017
- In January we had 22 first time guests and saw 10 decisions for Christ!
- Had over a dozen people sign up for Dream Teams (serving teams).
- Pray for us as we prepare to go from one to two services on March 3.
Marv & Deanna Odegaard
Launched November, 2006
- Monday morning Bible study continues to thrive (photo 1).
- Our church quilting ministry handed out quilts to the kids at school (photo 2).
- January got us off to a great start increase in attendance. On the 2nd Sunday, we had 210 attending (had been averaging 150).
- We had the opportunity to lead an 82-year-old lady to the Lord.
- We have the largest choir we have ever had. Some more new people from a different neighborhood. I would say we are being blessed.
- Pray for a way for us to get the other residents in our neighborhood to come to church.
- Things are great at the present time. Our messages, our music, and our prayers are that we do what we think God wants us to do.
- We are having people attend our service from other parks in the area.
- Pray for several people struggling with cancer.
San Rafael, Mexico
Celebrate Community Church
Eliud & Brenda Garza
Launched October 14, 2012
- 38 first time guests.
- 17 first time decisions.
- Special Christmas service had 274 in attendance.
- For me and my family. We need God’s strength to continue with this journey. There’s been times of discouragement but have managed to get thru. For the leadership team that God keeps us united. For God’s provision financially. We are going through a difficult time.
Yankton, South Dakota
Celebrate Community Church
Jeff & Alane Todd
Launched April 1 (Easter), 2017
- We had our very first LIFE Group Host gathering. We had five current hosts and two potential Hosts attend. It was a great time of sharing wins, casting vision, and setting expectations for Host and communication. We are going to meet every 3rd Monday of each month.
- Our women’s LIFE Group has multiplied! The new group now meets Monday mornings from 10-12pm and meets the needs of women who work evenings and stay at home moms. We also have two other potential LIFE Groups that may launch next month.
- During the month of January, we were in a series called Fitness. We reached out to a local gym owner and asked if they would be willing to come and speak on the importance of physical fitness and they agreed! It was a cool outreach to them and also encouraged us to be physically healthy.
- Our Celebrate Recovery group is continuing to develop. It currently is an Everybody LIFE Group on Wednesday nights, hosted by AA couple. We ask for continued direction as they take steps towards launching.
- Starting Monday, Feb 25th, we are launching 40 days in the Word LIFE Group campaign. In the eight weeks leading up to Easter, our entire church is going to read through the New Testament. Each LIFE Group is going to discuss five questions about the passages each week. Pray God will open hearts and minds.
- Unity in the body and we would reach those in our community who need it most!