Monday, June 8, 2009

Christ Church at Grove Farm

In Swickley, Pennsylvania Bill Arnold and I attended the church of one of my spiritual heroes, the Rev. Dr. John Guest. John is an Anglican pastor who I have not only respected for his incredible Bible teaching, but his evangelistic gifts of calling people to faith in Jesus Christ. An Englishman, he came to faith himself at a Billy Graham crusade in England and has led a life of faithfulness and obedience to our Lord. We were able to have lunch with him and his Senior Associate Pastor, Bruce Cote, on the day before so I could ask questions about their church and ministry.

Christ Church began in the late 1990’s as a prayer group in a home and has grown to a large congregation which saw 1615 people attend its services last week. They say they are an independent church which worships in the Anglican Tradition. On this Trinity Sunday we attended its 9:00 first service and its 11:15 third service and looked in on most of its Sunday School classes. The 9:00 service was Morning Prayer and Sermon (they have Communion once a month) and the 11:15, "3rd Service" as they call it, was Morning Prayer and Sermon in a contemporary twist.

Wow! Wow! It was exciting to see the Lord at work in this church. The sermons (two different ones) were clear, concise, and gave a clear invitation to follow Jesus (note: the 11:15 third service runs at the same time as the 11:15 second service so we heard two different preachers). The atmosphere and the environment of the church’s layout was warm, inviting, pleasant, and engaging. The use of contemporary items was informative – a cafĂ© which is open all morning until after the late services, children’s ministry and youth ministry worship spaces which were awesome, and banners and signage which were very well-done. The Presence of the Holy Spirit was not only obvious in both of the services we attended, but in talking and fellowshipping with the people. The dedication to the Bible and historic aspects of Christianity was also very encouraging with Bible classes, prayer groups, and home groups.

Check out their website at (I am told they are launching a new website on June 15).

See what they are doing.

Listen to one of John's sermons.

You will be greatly encouraged in your walk with Jesus.

* Picture above is Bruce Cote (left) and John Guest at the Allegeny Country Club in Swickley, PA.

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