Tenth’s Partnership with Church Plants in and around Philadelphia

An Encouraging Update!

by Deryck Barson and Michel Hatem August 28, 2015

Some of the final words of Jesus to his disciples were to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that he had commanded them (Matthew 28:19–20). Tenth’s Church Planting Committee actively engages and supports a number of church planters in their call to plant churches in our city. As a church, we currently support the following churches, church planters, and church planting leaders: 

  • At Epiphany Fellowship Church of Camden: Doug Logan, Ernest Grant, and Trevor Chin
  • At Northeast Community Church: Vinny Tauriello (minister to the English-speaking), Maranatha Chung (minister to the Chinese-speaking), and Jason Stryd (minister to the Albanian-speaking)
  • At Mercy Hill Presbyterian Church: Phil Henry
  • At Evangelism for Indonesian Reformed Mission: (EfIRM): Eddy Soejanto
  • We also support Bruce Finn, church planting regional coordinator; Glenn McDowell, church planting coach; and the PCA’s Mission to North America (MNA)

It has been very encouraging to see how God has been at work this last year. At the beginning of the year, we saw Grace and Peace Community Church in South Philadelphia, a daughter church of Tenth, being organized as a particular church. This means Grace and Peace church has matured to the point of having its own permanent Session and being financially self-sustaining.

Further encouragement can be drawn from the following stories that reflect some of the intentional ways in which churches supported by Tenth are on mission with the gospel. These give us glimpses into how to pray for them and highlight some of the ways that these church plants are daily endeavoring to love God and to love their neighbors in the places where he has placed them:

For the past several years, Maranatha, Tenth’s youth group, has been involved in running a two-week summer camp in partnership with Northeast Community Church (NECC). At camp, neighborhood kids from diverse ethnic backgrounds hear the gospel, with some embracing it. Also, Northeast Community Church and the non-profit “GROW Northeast” recently partnered with the Medical Campus Outreach summer program to host a health screening fair to meet medical needs and share the love of Christ. In early July, there was a combined church outreach and BBQ in which the Albanian, Chinese, and English-speaking communities joined together to engage the neighborhood. Each fall, winter, and spring the church hosts about 200 English as Second Language (ESL) students from the neighborhood, and uses the Bible as their textbook. 

One of the ways that Epiphany Fellowship Church of Camden engages its neighbors is in their annual Back 2 School Book Bag Drive. In partnership with several churches last year, they gave out 600 book bags filled with school supplies. They also shared the gospel and gave out meals and sneakers to the community. As a result, several families have come to faith. The neighbors were introduced to Christ and realized their true need of him who supplies every need according to his riches in glory. This included one young lady with seven children who was embraced by the church community and has begun serving in the children’s ministry.  

Mercy Hill Presbyterian Church is a new church plant in South Jersey, called to witness God’s goodness to the people who don’t know him in the Philadelphia suburbs of Gloucester County. To that end, their “Crowded Houses” ministry was recently renamed “Missional Communities” to better convey their role. Their focus is to gather Christians on a regular basis to think about how they can make an impact for Jesus in their neighborhood/town. This includes studying the Bible together, hosting events for unchurched friends and neighbors, serving together (e.g., at a local nursing home or women’s shelter), and eating together and praying for their mission field.

We praise God that through these churches the gospel message is being proclaimed, individuals are coming to faith in Christ, and believers are growing in faith and maturity. The task at hand is not always easy, but God is with them. Let’s continue to pray for them and find ways to support the wonderful work that God is doing through them.