April 10, 2020

The “I’m Looking For A Good Church” Project

UPDATE II: Some of your comments are getting dumped by spam filters for multiple links. I can sort through the trash if I have time and you let me know. ALSO some of you “Need a Church” folk need to check back in the discussion. You’ve been answered.

I get a constant stream of letters from people who need a good church. Some are in bad churches. Some can’t find a church.

So here’s what I want to do:

1) Write NEEDS a Church or KNOWS a Church at the top of your comment.

2) I want everyone who is looking for a church to post a BRIEF comment designed like this one:

Your NAME First. Then GENERAL LOCATION, specific enough to get a decent answer, but not implying you aren’t willing to drive a few miles. Example: “Louisville Area.” Then describe BRIEFLY what tradition you’re looking for or any other vital info. Don’t tell your entire sad story. We’re all pitiful 🙂

3) THEN Anyone with knowledge of a church that might match up can provide their information.

Got it? OK, I’m turning off moderation. Be helpful.

Comments

  1. Knows a church

    St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero, IL (near West burbs)

    http://www.stgeorgecicero.org/main/about.aspx

    Multi-ethnic, mostly Middle Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. Kind of pan-Orthodox because it has Greeks, American converts, and a few others. Straight up Orthodoxy.

    It also has 2 sister churches (church plants?): Holy Transfiguration in Warrenville (http://htaoc.com/), and All Saints (http://www.allsaintsorthodox.org/) on Chicago’s North Side which are churches populated with more American converts.

    Yes, I know, I’m Jewish, but this church is near my home and I did make a journey of faith that involved a few branches of Christianity.

  2. http://www.ecclesiadenver.org

    Downtown Denver, CO

    10 month Old Church plant. 40 people from 10 days old to 50’s.

    About a third of the church is in seminary or a seminary graduate (one professor of NT).

    Big on community, interactive teaching time, ancient/future liturgy, and serving the city.

    Eglatarian. Interested in the whole body’s input in decision making.

  3. NEEDS a church

    Dothan AL and related Northern Panhandle of Florida area

    evangelical and fairly conservative church (i.e. women pastors, dancing, etc is ok – but must stick to things like that the lifestyle of homosexuality is a sin, must support the idea that abortion is murder)

    in a liturgical tradition (and none of these that push their only liturgical service to early in the morning at the same time as all the young people groups because they assume the young people want the contemporary service) oh and great music is a plus

    Biblical Preaching

    (and hopefully a very welcoming church)

    I currently go to a church that hits the nail on the head except for that it is not a liturgical kind of church (which is why I put anon. because I don’t want to diss my current church – because it is full of lovely people who are doing the will of God – I just would like to find someplace to fullfill my liturgical bent – even if only in combination with my current church (i.e. one close enough to go to for special occasions in the liturgical year or whatever)

  4. NEEDS A CHURCH

    Los Angeles – South Bay

    I am a 23 year old, new to the area, looking for a church home. I am looking for Biblical preaching, weekly Bible study, and mission-mindedness (locally & globally).

  5. Need a church or a faith community

    Olympia area

    I’m looking for a group of Jesus followers who are focused on mercy ministries and/or community outreach, and that are all about really supporting each other and helping each other learn better how to follow Jesus.

    Outside of holding to the Nicene Creed, I really don’t care about any of the rest of it – liturgical/contemporary, church building/house, doctrinal/non-denominational, compared with what I’m lookin for it’s not at all important to me.

    Dave, if I was in Houston I would definitely check out Peace Community 🙂

  6. Need A Church

    I am seeking a church patterned after the New Covenant communities of the New Testament. I also would like to fellowship with Christian seeking to live contemplative lives.
    We live in Holland, Michigan. We are not into the emerging church movement or modern worship movement. Our background in Reformed and contemplative. We reject infant baptism and classical Reformed covenant theology.

  7. Charles –

    There’s an Acts 29 church plant in Long Beach, if that’s close to where you are in the South Bay. I haven’t been there, I live in the Valley, but it’s worth looking into.

    City Lights Community Church

    http://www.citylightschurch.org/

  8. Houghton:
    Rebecca (posted 18Apr 8:55 p.m.) gives good steer. Both Presbyterian Church in America and Orthodox Presbyterian Church churches in Normon, OKC area. One may well fit you.

  9. Jodi:
    Honolulu area has either an Orthodox Presbyterian or Presbyterian Church in America congregation. Can’t remember which. I know via a young married couple (he’s in military) who have recently found this group and who have delighted in their find.

  10. Anon:
    See if the Charismatic Episcopal Church has something in your area. http://www.iccec.org

  11. KNOWS a church
    Raleigh NC
    Reformed, interdenominational, Acts 29 network church.
    Conservative theology, culturally liberal. Preaches straight up the sacrifices required to follow Christ and the sovereignty of God, but not judgmental about where you are in your faith walk when you get there.
    http://www.vintage21.com

  12. NEED A CHURCH

    Bakersfield, CA area

    Anything that is authentic and preaches the gospel, but NOT the culture wars. No legalism, please, and no nationalism. And somewhere that avoids politics for the most part; it’s not the gospel. No over-the-top attempts at being culturally “relevant.” Not uber-Calvinist, please.

    I’m not tied to any particular denomination or tradition. Please, please, something with some depth to the sermons and teaching, an understanding of the nature of God’s Kingdom, the brokenness of believers, the fact that faith is a journey, the necessity of lament, and somewhere that creates opportunities for friendships to develop that ultimately form the basis for community.

  13. For Randall and Nelson:

    KNOWS A CHURCH In Knoxville TN

    http://www.cornerstonechurchofknoxville.com/

    Part of Sovereign Grace Ministries sovgracemin.org

    C. J. recently interviewed the Senior Pastor, find part 1 of 3 here. http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Blog/post/Meet-Bill-Kittrell-(1).aspx

    Contemporary-Reformed-Charismatic.

  14. Knows a church:

    Montgomery, AL: Gateway Baptist (SBC but doesn’t feel like it). Very missional, both international and inner-city. I think about 200, but growing. A lot of young families. Multi-cultural for Alabama.

    http://www.gatewaybaptist.com/templates/System/default.asp?id=27607

    Colorado Springs, CO: Northview Evangelical Free. Unusually theologically sophisticated congregation (about four seminary grads plus two students in a congregation of about 80), but very much a family-like culture. A lot of adoptions, foreign and domestic.

    http://www.northviewchurch.org/

    Both are straight-forward expository preaching, not a lot of “programs,” praise team-style worship with mix of hymns and praise songs.

  15. KNOWS SOME GOOD CHURCHES

    A ton of ’em, actually, all over the world. 1,000 that I’ve been collecting for nearly a decade, based on criteria that the Good Doctor Spencer may or may not approve of in its entirety. From a variety of traditions, house church to high church with all the smells and bells.

    The list starts here & is divided by country and then state for the U.S:

    http://zoecarnate.com/#globalc

  16. Dear anon.,

    I KNOW A CHURCH for you and others looking in the panhandle.

    New Hope Baptist in Marianna, FL.

    Click on my name for the church’s website.

    Been to a lot of churches, but this one is a breath of fresh air.

    Reformed, missional (China for 9 years), 100+ members (no “inactive” member list), family-oriented, welcoming, hymn-based worship with worship team, semi-liturgical, made of broken people tired of playing church.

    I feel like I’m selling a used car here, but “you have to see it to believe it.”

  17. Knows a Church for the Ogden UT. Area.
    Rebecca, It isn’t Baptist, or Nondenom so forgive me. But St Pauls Lutheran is a great congregation. I snagged my wife from there. Pastor is Gary Tricky, and Jason Reitz.
    Unless you want to commute to Tooele, where I happen to be. There is a better church here 🙂

  18. KNOWS A CHURCH:

    Xenos Christian Fellowship http://www.xenos.org/
    Columbus, Ohio and surrounding area

    Xenos home groups are a small spiritual community of 10-30 adults meeting every other week (sometimes weekly) in a home for bible study, prayer, making friends, and mutual support.

    All home groups are clustered by our larger central bible teachings (Central Teachings or CT) which meet at various times on Sunday (Xenos Main Campus, OSU 4th Street Pavilion, and Westside).

  19. NEEDS A CHURCH:
    Louisville, Kentucky area. Currently SBC – it is getting hard to stomach the church politics and rerun sermons!

    Need reformed – leaning toward traditional worship.

  20. Hi Michael,

    Maybe this is a competing idea, but I really like the layout of Can I Wear Jeans.

    He asks a number of questions about music, preaching, dress code etc, and the responses are divided by country and state.

    Mike Bell

  21. KNOWS A CHURCH (CANADIAN)

    Where: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Tradition: Lutheran (LCC)

    Name: St Paul’s Lutheran

    Orthodox Lutheran – weekly Holy Communion, no powerpoint /overheads etc., traditional (no band), friendly, Gospel proclaimed weekly, mixed congregation (young / old / locally born / immigrant etc).

    http://www.stpaulslutheran.ca
    thescylding@gmail.com

    For Orthodox bretheren, I can recommend St Vincent of Lerins, Saskatoon (Antiochan).

  22. Knows a church:

    For Buck

    I’d look at Providence Church (ProvidenceKirk.com); I know the pastor, Virgil Hurt, somewhat and have attended some of their singings. They are more Presbyterian than Baptist, although technically I believe open to either.

    I love my church–Dayspring Christian Fellowship in Amherst–and would be happy to take you with us some Sunday. It is not, however, either Calvinist or very strong on exposition. (It’s in the Amish/Mennonite tradition.)

    Email me at bonesbrother@yahoo.com

  23. KNOWS A CHURCH

    Southern Ca. Outside Los Angeles in Hacienda Heights

    Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

    http://www.htlcms.org

    Pastor Bill Cwirla of Liturgical Gangsta fame.

    Southern Ca. South Orange County, Capistrano Beach

    Faith Lutheran Church Capo Beach

    http://www.faith-lcms.org

    Pastor Ron Hodel

    I belong to Holy Trinity and have been there 16 years. Have visited Faith numerous times and have many friends there. Both churches are really solid and fine examples of orthodox Lutheranism.

  24. KNOWS A CHURCH: @Jodi in Hawaii, above:

    A childhood friend of mine is an LCMS pastor in Ewa Beach, HI. His name is Pat Poock. (say “Poke”) Church stats are here: http://tinyurl.com/dcl726

    Traditional worship, every Sunday Communion. It’s a start. If you talk to Pr. Poock, tell him Jenny from Liberia sent you.

  25. KNOWS A CHURCH

    I’m not going to go through singular descriptions of these churches. They’re traditional, liturgical, confessional and most have communion every week. The pastors of these churches are the kind who won’t blow their own horns, but they’re all phenomenally good at preaching the law in all its strength followed by the Gospel in all its sweetness.

    I wish I knew of more churches like these in more areas. These are the ones I can personally vouch for. If I could ever update and add to this list, I certainly would.

    (These are all Lutheran churches, LCMS. Some of these church websites allow you to listen to past sermons – great resources! Also, my business partner, Pat Kyle, posted a couple already which I was going to post, but I removed those so that these aren’t redundant.)

    — DENVER, CO AREA —

    Trinity Lutheran Church
    http://www.gototrinity.com/
    The oldest Lutheran church in the Denver area.

    University Hills Lutheran Church
    http://www.uhillslutheran.org/

    Hope Lutheran Church
    http://www.hope-aurora.org/pages/Welcome.html

    — WATERLOO, IA AREA —

    Faith Lutheran Church
    http://tinyurl.com/ck8wab

    — SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA —

    Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church
    http://www.pomonalutheran.org/

    Reformation Lutheran Church
    http://www.reflutheran.org/
    (This is the once exception to the rule, being an ELCA church rather than LCMS. But Pastor Lackey trained under Gerhard Forde and is a fantastic preacher. The service at this church has some contemporary elements but is still liturgical.)

  26. Charles, This church has been in Paramount for 75 years (starting full of dutch immigrants) but by the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God has transitioned from tradition to mission. It is a church looked to by our denomination, the Reformed Church in America, on how to be servants in their communities and bring the light of Christ to a hurting world. Check out our website http://www.erc.la/ to see if God is calling you there.

  27. AT Chaffee says

    Know a church
    Dave in NW Ohio

    Don’t know if this is what you are looking for (and hopefully it isn’t the church you are trying to leave) but we used to attend Ebenezer Mennonite in Bluffton. A great feature was the heavy missions emphasis, and there was a good-sized library with some theology among the pop Christian materials. They did stage one of those Hell House evangelism crusades, but only once that I know of. There are many family/community activities but it wasn’t the focus of worship. Good people. Note: that was a few years ago and there have been pastoral changes since.

    http://www.ebenezermennonite.org/

  28. “Alex Silva
    NEED A CHURCH:

    In Atlanta, GA…”

    Alex,

    If Traditional Roman Catholicism might interest you , or at least pique your curiosity, the Atl. Archdiocese has an “Extraordinary Form” Mass parish http://www.francisdesales.com/ in Mableton. It’s a converted Baptist Church, and the parish is administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).

    For anyone in Indy looking for same or similar, or just an orthodox Roman Catholic Parish, http://www.holyrosaryindy.org is on the SE side by Eli Lilly’s HQ. We’ve got EF Latin, and OF English Masses nearly every day. No noise, no clapping, no praise bands, lots of Organ, and even some Latin in the OF English masses.

  29. Christopher Lake says

    Sorry, of course, I meant Louisville, KY. I live in *Albuquerque,* NM, and I misspell Louisville! 🙂

  30. Christopher Lake says

    I’m going to re-post my initial comment, with corrected spelling:

    For Robin, looking in the Louisville, KY area,

    I am a Reformed Baptist and used to be a member of a GREAT Reformed-leaning church. Sound in teaching, traditional in worship, warm in fellowship. Anyway, one of their former staff members is currently helping to pastor Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Here is the link to their website: http://www.thirdavenue.org/

    If that church is not within driving distance for you, go to http://www.9marks.org/ and do a “Church Search” for Kentucky. The 9 Marks site has many good, Reformed, expository teaching churches.

  31. Christopher Lake says

    I don’t know what’s going on… I tried to post again, and it’s in moderation… please either post my first comment or the last one! 🙂

  32. Looks like I deleted one thinking it was a duplicate. Spam filter is grabbing most posts with two links. Otherwise they are OK. Sorry.

  33. this service post idea is great….it’s interesting, to me at least, what people are adamantly NOT looking for in a church. think I’ll reference this thread to one of my associate pastor friends whose job it is to make church inviting…..hey, that’s my job too, come to think of it. 🙂

  34. greg r
    tell your friend that if the word demopgraphics comes up:
    1. you are in the wrong place
    2. he/she is in the wrong profession

  35. demographics

  36. I’m challenged by the concept of a “good church” repository. Not because they don’t exist, but because we all seek different elements in churches.

    Some might look at the preacher’s quality of teaching, some a the music (praise vs. hymns vs psalms, etc), some at the children’s programs, some at adult ministries, schedules, and even at the depth of relationships within.

    Further, some within a particular church may believe they have “loving small groups”, but their ideas of small groups may not be something that I would consider small groups, but, in actuality, Sunday School discussions where the folks don’t invest into each other throughout the week.

    It’s all very relative. Especially with the trend of many folks believing theirs is “the best” when it might not be what the “church shopper” is seeking.

  37. Rob Lofland: don’t be so quick to knock demographics, especially if it indicates true Christian coloblindness. Not saying it’s a be-all, end-all metric for success in a church, but it’s a positive fruit when you have some diversity.

  38. More thought. The NEEDS a church idea, I think, is a better one that KNOWS a church. But, as long as the KNOWS a church is done objectively, I suppose it does have some merit).

    NEEDS a church.

    Rome, NY (50 miles east of Syracuse and 25 miles west of Utica).

    Focus on actual relationships, small groups (meeting weeknights in homes), true love and caring in the body, regular prayer. Spiritual warfare, but no tongues. (hey, I’m cool with it, just not my bag). Focus on true healing of the heart vs. sin management. Looking for regular communion (weekly or in weeknight small groups). Not all “pastor” driven, but with laity led ministry. Looking for believers who do not rely on the pastor to do their own job. Looking for people who are involved in the local community (outside the church) as much as or more than INSIDE the church.

    I have a “city on the hill” mentality and see the church as being about serving and loving the community. Being Jesus.

    Thank you.

  39. to Robin in Olympia

    KNOW a church in Olympia area
    named Turning Point, non-denom

    it’s a church plant, here’s the web site URL:
    http://www.turningpointolympia.com

    my brother-in-law & sis started it 3 or 4 yrs ago; they are caring folks and have gathered a group of loving caring folks who love the Lord; it might be a fit for you
    blessings on you—-
    Candy

  40. Ted/Patrick

    Wondering if you know of any good Lutheran churches in the Riverside, CA area?

  41. Karen,

    I know that there are a number of Lutheran churches in Riverside and the surrounding area, unfortunately, I don’t really know anything about them, nor have I heard anything specific about them. You will probably have to visit around.

    I have moved my family out of the Metro LA area to the Corona/Chino area(adjacent to Riverside) and haven’t found much to write home about in those areas.

    There is a solid LCMS church in Lake Elsinore. We visited a couple times in the last several weeks and we like it. No bells, whistles, or fireworks, but decent liturgy and solid preaching. I’ve known Pastor Kolander for about eight years, and he is a good Pastor and theologian. Their website is:

    http://www.firstluth.com/

  42. Maj Tony
    Demographics in this case and in most I would suspect were used in my old church and still are as a marketing tool to target as certain demographic.
    I find it offensive.

  43. John Jarrett says

    KNOW’S A CHURCH in NORMAN, OK

    Tradition: Emergent Church

    Strong Point: If you are looking for Acts 2 Community, THIS IS YOUR CHURCH~!~!~!

  44. Cheri Windsor says

    I’m not looking for a country club…social club
    ….playgrounds…basketball courts…women’s scrapbook club…NO PLAY-ACTING…AS I RECALL Jesus pointed out that better left to the self-rightous hypocrites. Just the Word of God…the Christ you could still find in the mouth at the pulpit. Love is Truth…Truth is REAL Love. Not abetting…not hindering…not keeping blind and in the pit. DEFIRE…”Good”…according to Jesus
    …which IS …Hearing FATHER…HIS Teaching and DOing. Tired of the WORLDLY-church…like a prostitute CALLING out to the cars driving by…”COME IN and spend your money on me”. ARE there any TRUTH based churches…in Montgomery, Alabama…that have not severed themselves from the Holy Root? HAVE VISITED…and found lacking
    …in want of Him…TRUE RICHES.

  45. Not really looking for a church, but hey – saw Scott in Carson and I’m around Carson too. Would love to chat sometime since I don’t know anyone else around here who reads this sort of stuff. lietofine@yahoo.com

  46. NEEDS A CHURCH

    Los Angeles (East side, Silverlake but also close to Glendale)

    Episcopalian and looking for a liturgical high-church setting (would prefer to stay in the Episcopal church). We are a young couple and have visited several area churches but always find ourselves to be the youngest people in church by far. So, would really like a church with a small group of young couples in their mid-20’s to early 30’s. Want a very open-minded, social-justice focused church. Help!