Psalm 77:11 (ESV)
11I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
As we break our Awaken Fast today, Pastor Chris led us in a 20-year anniversary week celebration of the wonders of God’s work in our midst! He recounted with joy the history of our shared foundation from unassuming places like Spanaway and PLU. One fact is certain in this journey and continues: We are the people of God designed to share the good news of God to our neighbors and the nations!
Our church history and mission can be summed up in a single gospel passage. Luke, one of the twelve disciples, gives the account of Jesus opening the Old Testament scroll on the Sabbath and reading the words of Isaiah, then to the surprise of his hearers declaring that he was the fulfillment of this scripture:
Luke 4:18–19 (ESV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
A Chronological Look at the Story of City Central Church
- 1998…Clover Creek Bible Fellowship in Spanaway, Pastors Mike and Cindy Riches
…Simultaneously a stirring of the Holy Spirit in the student body of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU); Students were coming to the end of themselves surrendering to Jesus; their obedience culminated in the genesis of New Song Church, the young adult Saturday night service started by Brian and Christy Brennt (now on staff at YWAM)
- 1999…Renewal Week in November a time of deep repentance overcame the leadership and the body; people wrote out unconfessed Sins then came forward to nail them to an altar cross. Sins like adultery, murder, etc. The elders were cut to the heart.
- 2000…Super Bowl Sunday became Spiritual Warfare Sunday, following thirty days of prayer and fasting, God opened our eyes to the reality of the battle in the spiritual realm as it manifest in a man who was tormented by demonic forces; we had bible knowledge but no deliverance prayer experience to pray him into freedom
…We started to learn the road of abundant life: our authority in Christ, realities of spiritual warfare, hearing from the Lord in a Biblical way, Gods Original Design for people, the nature of strongholds (like fear, unbelief, control), and healing of injustices (rejection, betrayal, abuse, neglect, curses)
…We lived in expectation. Expecting to hear God speak and reveal something new. People started to pour in from all around the world. They came to get restored and made whole.
- 2000…February 16th a prophetic word (new to us!) was received declaring Tacoma the center of a spiritual blaze that would spread; this became known as the Pacific Rim Movement (PRM), here are some excerpts:
|…the Pacific Rim Movement is a mighty thing….the undergirding supports are being put in place right now up and down both sides of the Pacific….Many of you have joined arms, hands, and hearts….Your Father has linked them together….angels have been dispatched from the throne in heaven…will come suddenly to destroy the enemies…who are far outnumbered….captives are going to be set free….a map of the Pacific Northwest….looks very old….begins to look scorched from underneath Tacoma….small fire starts….repeated at Vancouver, B.C., Spokane WA, and then at Portland, OR….merge into one large fire….flames so high….a mighty wind blows the flames across the Pacific….All the nations on the Pacific….no one, no thing able to stop this fire….evidence by things He will do, the miraculous….salvation, healing, and deliverance….it’s impact will be felt around the world due to diverse ethnicity….This has been planned….Tacoma will be like a center point on a compass for a while….due north and all the nations will be attracted to Tacoma….the curvature of the earth will not restrict the radiance of the light reaching people around the world.|
We started preparing for a visitation…and have not stopped.
- 2001…Summer of Revival with Pastor Gerry Fry
- …October 28th Bill S. is healed of Lou Gehrig’s disease…he confessed his healing to the church in all three Sunday services….confirmed Tuesday, Oct. 31st by doctor
- 2002…Flatbed Evangelistic Events (events around the south sound worship and teaching from a large, flatbed trailer)
- 2004…Original City Central Word: The Lord shows a building in the center of Tacoma. He calls it “City Central”…The building is completely on fire. It is raging and burning with fire. Speaking to reaching the next generation, being an equipping center that has a revolving door, reaching the lost. We knew we needed to be in the city.
- 2005…“New Song-City Central”, Moved Downtown to First Congregational Church in May and City Central became its own church
- 2007…Moved to Urban Grace space in summer
- 2009…“City Central Mission Base,” moved into Tacoma Convention Center in fall. Identity Confusion.
- 2010…Pastors Brian and Christy Brennt transition to Kona, Hawaii
- 2010-2011…Move to a Tacoma middle-school to start the replanting process; asked ourselves, “Are we a church or missions base?” Season of 2-3 years of formation. (Sunday night services)
- 2012…Moved into our current building, began renting in August (one Sunday morning service); vision and mission set: Adore God, Become like Jesus, and Contend for the Kingdom; Reach the lost, Restore the broken, and Equip the People of God
- 2015…Pastors Chris and Jena Hippe now lead “City Central Church;” Beautiful growth, by fall we start a second service at 9 a.m.
- 2015-2018…behind the scenes work formalizing equipping pathways, personnel, structure (foundation, framing)
- 2019… time to grow, take territory, purchase buildings to accommodate Saturday night services, more ministry space, permanent signage, media equipment, limitless outreach to young people
This rich history is marked by major spiritual growth in the lives and relationships of the people of our church:
- Creation of Love and Unity Within Body
- Increased Communion and Fellowship of My People with Me and Me with My People
- Coming Together of the Body; Inter-church Relationships and Ministry
- True Repentance Followed by Righteousness
- A Breaking Down of Denominational Walls
- Church Services – solid, scriptural church marked by evangelism and freedom ministry
- A Church of Hundreds of Strong Leaders – could be sent globally, but called locally to rejuvenate the city
- Ministry of Personal Restoration – freedom ministry, restoring sight to the blind
- Discipleship – training others to train in evangelism and freedom
- Prophetic Ministry/Prayer Teams – hearing God’s voice for others’ edification
- Power of Worship – healing, deliverance, humility, courage, selfless
- Restoration of Children – fathers to children, children to fathers
- Fearless Teaching – fully biblical, tested
- Issue of Authority – fruitful ministry under spiritual covering only for God’s glory
- Servants who Hear and Obey – obedience is better than sacrifice
- Evangelism – an agent of change for the Kingdom
- Deliverance Ministry – battling the forces of darkness, freeing the oppressed
Can you see it? You are invited to join in ownership of this mighty story! We are 41% of the way to our goal of $1.5 M to fund the purchase of the two buildings. We love all of you who have responded in faith to commit to the vision God has for us. For all of us, it is time to “Own it” – to make City Central your church, knowing that God does the planting and growing. It will take all of us.
- What do you suppose a person brand new to City Central might think after reading, or hearing, the origins and journey of this body of believers?
- How do you know when you’ve found a church home? What moves you from spectator to participant in your home church?
- How does hearing the history of City Central inspire you to make a commitment to the future here?
- What aspects of the vision for reaching our neighbors and the nations do you connect with most?
- What is God asking you to do to take ‘ownership’ in the future of City Central?
- How might you step out in faith to see the vision realized of a place to call our own – a base of operations to reach the city for Christ?