Op-Ed: One Year In, We’re Still Committed to All Generations


People worshipping during a 1-year anniversary service of Empowerment Church in March. | Below, Empowerment’s pastor, Rev. Teddy Matthews, preaches during service. || Shanel Romain/VFP

emp1Sunday, April 30, 2017 || By Rev. Teddy Matthews || @maywoodnews

Starting a church is no easy task. In the beginning, we had no members, no facility, no budget. What we did have, however, is a call and the understanding that it was time to act on that call.

My wife, daughter, mom, and a few close friends and family began a local Bible study in the fall of 2015 at the River Forest Public Library. That’s when the vision was cast and the need for a church became clearer than ever to me.

Despite reports stating that churchgoing was declining nationally and that young people were turning away from the church, our Bible study proved that people of all ages have a desire to grow and learn.

In early 2016, I shared publically for the first time that we were starting a new church in order to reach people, restore lives, and impact generations — which remains the mission of Empowerment Church.

In our short existence, we’re proud to say that we serve five different generations—from our babies to our seasoned saints. We’re living out our commitment to impact generations.

We recently celebrated our church anniversary with record-breaking attendance, which indicates clearly that we’re going in the right direction. In just one year of existence, we’ve executed a range of outreach initiatives.

Some of those initiatives include partnering with District 89 to provide backpacks and school supplies in the fall, hosting a coat drive in the winter and serving over 100 kids in the community during our first Easter egg hunt. The list could go on and on. We’ve seen God do amazing works through the hands of those committed to serving his church.

We host our weekly services at the Cinemark Theater in Melrose Park, where we have seen growth and life transformation take place. Our E-Kids children’s ministry meets weekly during the same time as our adult service. It is an experience where children under 12 are provided the opportunity to learn and grow on their level.

Our online platform and social media allow us to serve those all over the world. Our street team goes out weekly to provide outreach and evangelism in some of the local community hotspots, including the malls and restaurants.

Suffice it to say, I’m excited about what is happening and consider it a great privilege to serve our church and the community at-large. I’m excited to see what God will continue to do as we stay focused on His purpose and mission of reaching people, restoring lives and impacting generations.

For more information about Empowerment Church, you can visit www.empowerment.church or Facebook.com/empowermentchurchchicago. VFP

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