When Henry Egly, an Amish bishop, left the Amish church, he planted a new church in Berne, Indiana. Since 1866, Berne Evangelical Church (BEC) has remained committed to spreading the gospel by supporting every FEC global initiative and missionary. When the opportunity came to partner with Wave Community Church in Deshler, Ohio, BEC discovered a new way to spread the gospel locally.
Two years ago, BEC invited Alex Rhuter, the founding pastor of Wave Community Church, to speak to their congregation about his work in Deshler. Wave had already launched in 2015, but they needed to renovate an old hardware store that they had acquired. The people of BEC jumped in, providing resources and work crews. BEC has also donated several needed items to Wave Community like a piano and children’s chairs.
Wave isn’t the only one in this partnership that has benefited. Kent Fahl, BEC pastor, said, “We have received more than we’ve given.” The vision to invest in their own community has reignited. Recently, on the way home from a work day at Wave Community Church, one member of the work crew remarked, “PK (Pastor Kent) what’s stopping us from doing this kind of stuff around Berne.”
The first church planted in the fellowship of churches now has a vision for investing in new church plants near them.