Love, Grow, Serve, The story of Centerpoint Christian Fellowship
Editor's Notw: This article was previously published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Advocate, which had the theme of Trusting that God is enough.
The story of Centerpoint Christian Fellowship (CCF) in the Mohawk District showcases how a New Faith Community becomes a success by trusting that God is enough.
Starting in 2008-2009, the initial meetings of CCF took place from at the old Trenton Town Hall in Barneveld, NY. They quickly realized that they needed much more space for worship, study, fellowship, and outreach. God provided means necessary to acquire a commercial building and adjoining 50 acres. Half of the 13,000 sq. ft. building space would be converted into a sanctuary, Sunday school rooms, and office space comprising two floors, and the other half of the space would continue to be leased out to the existing tenants in the building, including a dance studio and a dog-grooming business.
In July 2013, Pastor Wayne Clemens was appointed to Centerpoint Christian Fellowship and tremendous growth soon followed; attendance has more than tripled with over 100 worshippers at two Sunday morning services.This was made possible through an extremely active leadership team that Wayne developed using the Next Step sessions, which help members determine their spiritual gifts (learn more about Next Step in Volume 8, Issue 1 of the Advocate, pages 26-27).
The leadership team is comprised of Lay Leader, Barb Mezzanini; Hospitality Team Leader, Rebecca Simpson; Discipleship Team Leader, Don Simpson; Social Media Minister, Jeremy Swanson; and Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Kathy Peters.
Each of these team members described how they became members of CCF and much of it has to do with Wayne and his loving, non-judging, non-pressuring acceptance.
Barb has been a member of CCF for a year and a half. She became a member because of a large community event CCF hosts in the summer, called Music Fest. She said,“I planned to go and check out Music Fest and I stayed the whole day, became a member of the church, and never looked back! You can feel the spirit moving here and Wayne is just so welcoming. He’s definitely a servant of God.”
Kathy has also been a member of CCF for a year and a half. She had worked at a Christian bookstore that Wayne frequented often. Wayne said, “I prayed daily for Kathy to fill the void we had in children’s ministry. Then, she called me one day telling me that she needed to be a part of CCF’s children ministry.” Wayne had never mentioned the void to Kathy; she heard God’s call. Kathy said, “And now we see the fruit. When I started, there were about 6-8 kids; now, we have about 25.”
Don and Rebecca are husband and wife. Don first came to CCF two-and-a-half years ago for a men’s bible study that included several men from many different churches and backgrounds. Then, he started going on nature trail walks with Wayne. He said,“Never once did Wayne ask me to go to church.” Soon after, Don encouraged his wife and children to attend the church.
Rebecca has a natural gift of hospitality and she has the beaming, positive attitude that one would expect of a hospitality leader. She said, “I love making sure our guests enjoy their experience here and are excited to come back.” First-time guests receive a stainless steel coffee travel mug, with goodies inside, including a Dunkin Donut gift card.
Wayne said, “We go out of our way to provide radical hospitality for our guests.” He explains that he refers to them as guests and does not use the “v” word (visitors) because visitors are thought of as people who stop by for a short period of time, whereas guests are those that are very important to you; they are those that you take out the fine china for.
Jeremy has been a member of CCF for two years. He said, “I need to feel accepted because, here I am a guy with all these tattoos. The first-time, I came in a nice button-down shirt and I was immediately accepted. The next weekend, I came in a t-shirt and ripped -up shorts and was just as accepted. I can fully be myself here.”
The ambience inside Centerpoint Christian Fellowship is just as welcoming as the members. Like God’s open arms, walls were literally taken down inside CCF to create a wide-open space, with the sanctuary and a fellowship area combined together. One side has rows of chairs that can seat 120 people and the pulpit; next to that is an area that has a counter for coffee and treats, with tables and chairs to join others in fellowship.
The grounds reflect God’s beautiful creation, with a 1.25 mile nature trail, meandering through a wooded area—the perfect place for prayer and reflection. There is a space for fellowship outdoors as well with a pavilion that was constructed in 2014.
Wayne plays the acoustic guitar for the church’s praise band and his powerful, amazing voice displays the Spirit of God, in contemporary songs like God is on the Move.
God most definitely is on the move at Centerpoint Christian Fellowship.This is why in In March of 2015 CenterPoint was officially incorporated, and at the Upper New York Annual Conference in June of 2016, CenterPoint became officially chartered.The church successfully fulfils its mission to
Love... God & others
Grow… together in community
Serve… our neighbors & the world.