As I was a pastor in various traditional settings, a lot of my friends who were pastors often asked did I ever think about planting a church in Philadelphia, PA? At the time, my answer was no. But after encountering various challenges in certain pastoral settings, I received the call by God to start a church. Although I heard God’s voice instructing me to plant Vision of Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, I did not embrace this calling with joy. It was received with fear. This was very scary because I was walking into uncharted waters that I was not taught in Divinity School.
One of the major blessings I learned as a church planter is walking by FAITH. I know this is a word we often use in church. But as a church planter, I have learned that faith has to transition from being spoken to being implemented in our daily Christian walk. As I learned how to totally trust in God, He has blessed my family, the congregation, and me in ways that I could not imagine. Recently, someone donated a piano where another person donated a small printer to our church. Also, we received a financial contribution without asking. However, faith is not utilized to obtain material items. It is truly trusting in God and knowing He will take care of you.
Finally, another blessing of starting a church is witnessing how God is transforming the lives of members in the congregation and the community. When you witness a person move from brokenness to healing, it is only the power of God that has brought about this transformation. Church planting was a very serious call and met with fear. But through trusting in God, my fear was replaced by faith.
Rev. Dr. Wayne M. Weathers
Vision of Hope Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA