Fall 2021 Issue | Florida Church Planters Newsletter
New Name, New Director, and 3 New Churches
As we enter a new season of church planting in Florida, we are returning to the original name for our organization: Florida Church Planters. This name reflects our singular focus to plant healthy churches across our growing state. A fantastic foundation has been built at FCP over the years that we continue to build on today. 

In October, we welcomed Jeff Swearingen as the new director of Florida Church Planters. Jeff is currently leading FCP part-time as he continues as the Lead Pastor at Crosspoint in Cape Coral. Sometime in mid-2022 Jeff will be full-time, once the leadership transition at Crosspoint is complete. Jeff is excited about leading this vital ministry full-time and working to expand our efforts to plant healthy, self-sustaining, multiplying churches across Florida.

God is working through current and upcoming church plants. Here are three stories that God is writing. One is a current FCP church plant and the other two are churches that will be launching in 2022.
Upcoming Church Plant: Renaissance
By Aaron and Jennifer Johnson
What is Renaissance? The word itself actually means “rebirth,” and the images it evokes can be quite powerful—setting aside the old, the stagnant, the ugly, the corrupted, in favor of the new, the exciting, the beautiful, and the pure. To be born again. 

We feel that God has prepared us to bring renaissance to the Lakewood Ranch area of Florida by starting a new church there. Lakewood Ranch is a quickly growing master-planned community in the Bradenton-Sarasota area. 

People in Lakewood Ranch (and the rest of Florida) typically lack geographically close family relationships. Nearly everyone is from somewhere else. This often translates to loneliness, as well as a lack of church engagement. Renaissance Church intentionally creates environments where relationships can thrive. We are a community built on Christ’s grace and truth, doing our best to create not just church people, but actual followers of Jesus. We envision a Lakewood Ranch impacted and transformed through this Christ-centered, relational community. 

We were able to relocate into the area in May of 2021. Since then, we have seen that God has clearly been working upstream here in many ways. He has opened doors for us to get involved in our community—for example, through a Christmas outreach program put on by the local YMCA. He’s allowed us to begin a great relationship with the staff of the middle school in which we will hold our first worship services in late 2022. He’s brought many people across our paths. Some have no church background whatsoever. Others carry a lot of church hurt and haven’t been practicing believers in many years. Still others consider themselves Christians, but haven’t been able to fully connect with the churches here. We are working now to help these seemingly random individuals find community together. We believe our connection isn’t random at all, but God is arranging the parts of this church just the way He wants them to be. 

We’re truly honored that God has called our family to love God, love people, and make disciples in Lakewood Ranch. We’ve been transformed through this experience. But that really shouldn’t be surprising, because that’s what God does. He causes Renaissance. 
Upcoming Church Plant in West Palm
Jamie Snyder and Family Prepare for an August 2022 Launch
Jamie grew up in a one-horse town in Kansas. Alex grew up in the charming city of Louisville, Kentucky where the world gathers to watch the horses run. Jamie developed faith in a tiny Christian church that has long since closed its doors. Alex grew up in one of the largest churches in America; a place and people still thriving to this day. Jamie and Alex walked very
different paths, but each one lead to God, and over 15 years ago lead to one another. Jamie and Alex have a deep and infectious love for Jesus and for people. Together they have worked in ministry from the day they met.

Prior to serving for the last decade as Lead Pastor of Lakeside Christian Church, a large, multi-site congregation in Northern Kentucky, Jamie served as Lead Pastor of a congregation in Southwest Florida for four years. Their time in Florida may have been short, but it was all the time God needed to permanently etch the people and place in their hearts.

For several years the Snyders have sensed a stirring to do ministry in Florida again, though they weren’t certain when and where. Recently they learned of the incredible need in the West Palm community for new, healthy, growing churches. West Palm is a place where many people choose to spend a holiday, but for more than 1.5 million people Palm Beach County is home; and more are moving in every day. From the Northeast, from Central America, from the Caribbean Islands; really from all over the world. The population of West Palm is dense and extremely diverse. However, the people all have one thing in common; they need Jesus.

Barna Group recently ranked West Palm as the #1 most never-church community in America. Those words, never churched, wrecked the Snyders. Jamie said, "There is so much life and vitality in West Palm and yet so many people living there are missing out on the source of life and the reason for living; Jesus." After a season of discovery, the Snyders realized not only has God been preparing the way for a new church to be planted in West Palm, but that he has been preparing them to lead the way. After a season of prayer and deep reflection, the Snyders said yes!

The Snyders' vision is to launch a new church focused on leading South Florida, one person at a time, to find and follow Jesus. The yet-to-be-named church will officially launch in August of 2022. The Snyders would appreciate your prayers as they work to share Jesus in South Florida, one day at a time, with one person at a time.
Eastside Christian Church Update from Orlando
By Adam Parks, Church Planter
We launched Eastside Christian Church nearly two years ago with a core team of thirty-five volunteers and a vision to lead others to experience immeasurably more by inviting them to exchange the common for the holy. Our prayer was simple, that God would use us to build a church only he could take credit for.

Over the course of the next several months it became clear that God was doing exactly that, he was building his church. We grew from thirty-five volunteers to just over a hundred in attendance in the first nine weeks and celebrated our first two baptisms. After our tenth week we were forced to move online for the next six months as the school where we were meeting closed for Covid.

God has been more than faithful. Nearly two years and four locations later we continue to stand in awe of how God is building his church. We have seen people, who once walked away from faith, make their way back not only to worship but to serve his church again. We have seen God draw individuals who were once far from him, to place their faith in Christ for the very first time. We recently had the privilege of baptizing a UCF student and continue to have conversations each week with others who are wrestling with the decision to give their lives to Christ.

What started with a simple prayer has stretched our faith and served to advance the Kingdom on the east side of Orlando. We are so grateful for the grace of God and the generous support of Florida Church Planters to make all of this possible!
Join the Mission to Plant Churches
You can help us plant more churches in Florida by:
  1. Giving Financially - Thanks to the generosity of Christian Financial Resources underwriting all administrative costs, 100% of your donation goes directly into church planting.
  2. Praying - Pray for our current and upcoming church plants.
  3. Helping Us Find Church Planters - Maybe God is calling you to plant a church or you know someone who would be a great church planter.