In the summer of 2009, Bryan Sloan and Cassidy Moore began meeting weekly for a year long discipleship program in hopes of being equipped to make disciples more faithfully (Downline Ministries). During that time, the Lord put it on Bryan's heart to consider planting a church, which was later confirmed by Cassidy as well. In the spring of 2010, in addition to meeting weekly together, Bryan and Cassidy began meeting weekly with their families and others in Cassidy's home to pray and study the Bible together. They really wanted to know what it would look like to live their lives on mission together. The Fields Church was born out of this desire to make disciples of all nations and to be a church in the world.
During this time, Bryan was on staff as the Student Pastor at Lamar Baptist Church in North Arlington and began sharing his heart with the leadership of the church. Together they made a plan for Bryan to continue serving through the summer and transition out in the Fall.
In October of 2010, The Fields Church was planted and began meeting weekly on Sunday nights to worship and study Galatians at Bryan and Joy's home. After 6 months of weekly gatherings and monthly vision nights, an opportunity arose to move into the Cooper St. YMCA.
Why the Y? We had been praying and looking for a place to plant our church and partner with during the week to show and share the Gospel with the community. Having looked at day cares, schools, theaters, rec centers, and rental space, the Y seemed to be God's perfect fit. The Y is a type of local "well" in that the local community gathers there regularly. Not only that, but there is a wide diversity of age, ethnicity, languages, education, socio economic levels, and religious backgrounds represented at the Y.
The only problem was, they charged $650 a week to use their space which was far beyond our limit of $200. Nevertheless, after much prayer and consideration, Bryan met with the director of the Y to share his heart and desire to plant a church at the Y. We didn't want to just rent the space, but partner with the Y to help them fulfill their Christian mission. After a short meeting it was clear that God was in this and they agreed to move forward in partnership for only $200 a week!
So, on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011, we had our first worship gathering at the Y as The Fields Church – and we've been meeting there ever since.
Bryan began preaching through the book of Colossians in a series called "Jesus is _____." Since then, we've preached through 13 books of the bible, parts of the Psalms, John, and Revelation, along with several topical series. We launched our Missional Groups early on in the life of our church and have seen great fruit come from these groups. Several of those stories beautifully display the vision and mission of our church being fulfilled. In 2013 we established elder leadership and in 2015 we affirmed our first members into membership at The Fields. One of our first official members was Graham Jones. Graham began leading our church in worship and came on staff at The Fields. Over the years, he's written some original music covering Psalm 46, 54, 121, Luke 1-2, Ephesians 2:1-10, and the book of Hebrews to help us better worship Christ.
From the start, we have set aside time to pray for the nations every single Sunday. Since then, we've prayed for every nation in the world, along with individual cities, people groups, missionaries, agencies, and world religions. We've also been committed to giving at least 20%, if not 30%, of our offerings to mission and church planting efforts in our Y, the city, and the world. In additon to our regular mission trips to Latvia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Utah, we have also had the privilege of sending several of our own members to live on the mission field in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Since 2011, we've installed prayer boxes at the Y and regularly serve their staff to show them the love of Christ. We've even seen several of them come to faith, be baptized in the Y pool, and join as members of our church. We show up to every Y event we can with volunteers, crafts, activities, give aways, and gospel centered resources to pass out to everyone! We have established faith based enrichment programs at the Y and hope to one day have several more programs going as well. In addition, Bryan has served on the Cooper St. YMCA Advisory Board, the AMA YMCA Metro Board, and now the AMA YMCA Executive Board.
In addition, we've also helped several other local churches get connected with and planted in other local YMCA's. We are also partnering with other local, national, and global pastors and Christian leaders in the YMCA to build a network of churches in the YMCA (CITY Movement). Here are some of our friends that helped us begin serving and gathering in our local YMCA.
- Antioch Community Church in the Countryside YMCA of Lebanon, OH
- The Gathering Church in the Countryside YMCA of Mainville, OH
We hope and pray God gives us many more years to grow as a church, partner with the Y, and fulfill our vision to be A Church in the World.
Watch this video to see more about how God has moved through our church!