Both demographically and chronologically, City Church is a young church. Founded in 2007 and based in Tallahassee, Florida, the church’s membership is made up mostly of students and young professionals. City Church’s passion for outreach “in an ever-changing culture” is reflected in its meeting places, beginning with the high school auditorium where services were first held, to its current home in a warehouse and the local nightclub where Easter and Christmas services meet each year. In addition to drawing in large numbers of young people—including many guests who are not regular churchgoers—these two special services have become a way for the church to act on its commitment to social justice, raising both awareness and funds in support of children in Ethiopia.
During each of the two services, between worship and the Word, the nightclub stage becomes the setting for a “talk-show” style interview between a church member and a guest speaker from Bethany Christian Services. Those listening learn about the work that Bethany is doing with orphans, families, and churches in Ethiopia and are invited to become a part of it through pledging their support. In its first year of hosting this event, City Church raised pledges of over $12,000—a significant amount for a church where many of its members are on tight budgets. Many of the men and women making pledges did so in lieu of Christmas gifts to one another, choosing to give the gift of giving rather than exchanging material goods.
“Participating in this fundraiser left me with a thirst to do more…I remember hearing that children ‘need homes not orphanages’ and stopping in my tracks. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to help children in Ethiopia remain in family care, with love and all of the intangible joys that go along with that.”
~ Sarah Cowart, student and church member, City Church (formerly The Well)
For City Church, finding and working in partnership with an experienced intermediary organization provided an informed and focused opportunity to respond as Christians to the call to care for orphans and vulnerable children.
(Journeys of Faith, page 10)