When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the world didn’t know the impact that it would have. The Church at Friendship northwest of Houston in Hockley, TX, is one such example. After making the difficult decision to close their doors in 2020 due to the pandemic, it became clear to church members in 2022 that God was still on the move and Houston’s First had a role to play.
Nearly two years after closing their doors, former members of the Church at Friendship decided to gather together for a church family reunion. After a larger-than-expected group showed up and gave an offering totalling $6,000 in support of reopening the church, members began asking the Lord to breathe life back into their community of believers.
Dan George, a faithful member of the Cypress Campus of Houston’s First, was recommended to the Church at Friendship as a potential interim pastor as they began meeting again.
“I only preached a few times before the church decided to call Danny Ayala to be their lead pastor. Pastor Danny was ordained at the Church at Friendship and had been active there for several years prior to the church closing,” says Dan. “After meeting Pastor Danny and other members and observing how they were giving sacrificially to meet the needs of the church with their tithes, offerings, time, and energy, I was impressed by God’s Spirit to find a way to help.”
Dan met with Pastor Jason Swiggart — Campus Pastor at our Cypress Campus — and gave him the Church at Friendship’s proposed budget for 2023. Houston’s First was able to immediately write a check covering the full amount for all twelve months as part of our Kainos vision to further Our Compassion by supporting church revitalization efforts.
The gift from Houston’s First has made a way for kainos (new) things of their own to happen at the Church at Friendship.
“We’ve made great strides in bringing life back to the church,” says Pastor Danny Ayala. “We have members returning as well as visitors on a weekly basis and are now 15 weeks strong with the startup of children’s church, childcare, and Sunday Bible Study for our members. God has big plans for the Church at Friendship and we see this as a complete blessing from God to our congregation and church.”
As our Kainos vision continues at Houston’s First, we look forward to being a part of more revitalization movements like the Church at Friendship (and Bethel Baptist Church) as we work to propel the Gospel across town and around the world.
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