Kevin and Nicole Carpenter

Living Faith Church

Kevin and Nicole CarpenterDanville wasn’t the kind of place in which my family ever expected to plant a church. When God called us to plant a church, we expected to do so in the middle of the city. But God showed us an immense need and an incredible opportunity to push back lostness in suburban Indianapolis. We were given land, a building and the support of a local SBC church that wanted to see its community reached for Christ. We’ve already seen God use that incredible opportunity to give us a jump-start in this bedroom community.

We’re reaching people like Tiffany Marzal and her son Caleb. Tiffany longed to raise her son in a Christian environment, but she knew little about what that really meant. After attending our church for some time, she came to realize she didn’t need more church; instead, she needed a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We had the privilege of baptizing Tiffany and Caleb in one of our worship services.

Understanding that we’re better together, we look forward to many more years of serving on the frontlines of ministry with Southern Baptists.

Pray that God will continue to provide ways for Living Faith to reach the community.

Pray for more Tiffanys and Calebs to find faith in Christ.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:24:09 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Yosef and Bethlehem Desta 

Indianapolis Grace Ethiopian Church

Yosef and Bethlehem DestaWe came to Indianapolis to visit a college friend who was encouraging us to start a church here. We accepted his challenge. So, though we had originally planned on staying only a couple of days, about five years ago we made Indianapolis our home. The challenge we face now is reaching the 3,000 Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants living in the Indianapolis area.

Though we have a lot to celebrate as we see many in this community embracing Christ, we need the continued prayers and partnerships of Southern Baptists. We find among Southern Baptists many wonderful men and women who not only have experience and skill in supporting church planting, but also a commitment to the task and a passion to see it accomplished.

We need brothers and sisters who are passionate for the gospel and committed to expanding the kingdom of God throughout the nations.

Pray for Yosef as he leads Grace Ethiopian Church and reaches immigrants with the gospel.

Pray for growing favor for Yosef and his church in Indianapolis.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:21:28 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Christopher and Heidi Elliott

Oasis of Hope Southern Baptist Church

Christopher and Heidi ElliottWe were called to start church planting in 2005 when God opened our eyes to the impoverished areas of Indianapolis. The surrounding areas of Indianapolis, particularly the east side of the city, are deeply impoverished and suffering from a gospel famine.

While people may have heard the name of Jesus, a majority don’t know what He did for them. Many associate the church with building campaigns and campaigns for raising money so the church can continue to exist.

The real poverty in these areas of Indianapolis is lack of leadership. There is very little leadership, even at the most basic level of family leaders and fathers. One of the challenges and opportunities we have is to find the rare gem of a man who believes in Christ and who actually is a leader in his community.

Our goal in the next few years is to start a church of no more than 30 people every two blocks. I feel confident that as these churches grow and make disciples, we will see our impoverished communities transformed by the leadership of Christ through His people.

Pray that Oasis of Hope will connect people with the gospel and impact the city.

Pray for a church planting movement in Indianapolis.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:18:10 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Emilio Gaspar

Iglesia Christiana Vida Eterna

Emilio GasparWhen our family moved to Indianapolis in 2010, we knew no one in the city, we had no money, and we had no church building. Yet God had called us to start a new church to reach the city’s growing Hispanic population.

God is using our church to push back lostness among one of the least reached people groups in the city of Indianapolis. When I arrived in Indianapolis, there were only two other SBC churches reaching Hispanics. In the past three years I’ve built a relationship with Hispanics in our city by meeting them at laundromats, parks, restaurants, grocery stores and everywhere else Hispanic people spend their time.

Early on I met Luis Maytorel—an American citizen whose parents are from Mexico—at a laundromat. Luis gave me his contact info. Later, he accepted Christ and was baptized at our church. I believe in the future, God may call Luis into church planting ministry.

Like King David in biblical times, I grew up as a shepherd boy helping my father tend sheep in my native land of Guatemala. Today it is a privilege to partner with Southern Baptists as I shepherd a young, growing congregation in Indianapolis.

Pray that God would provide a new location for Vida Eterna to worship.

Pray for Emilio as he reaches Hispanics wherever he encounters them.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:15:17 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Kerry and Twyla Jackson

Pre-launch Phase

Kerry and Twyla JacksonGod began to reveal to me a couple of years ago that my ministry in Atlanta was coming to a close. My wife, Twyla, and I began to pray, seeking His new direction for us. During this period, two good friends began to ask us to consider ministry in Indianapolis. This wasn’t our first invitation to move to Indy. We began to think about the move again.

We took a vision tour and prayerwalked the cultural arts district of Massachusetts Avenue. We went back home to Atlanta to continue to pray, seeking God’s direction. We began to take the initial steps to see if this was from God. Everything fell into place rather quickly.

Bob Burton was one of the people who asked me to pray about moving to Indy to plant a church. Now we are here and are networking for evangelism and gathering a core team. We just started our first small group.

The cooperation seen through Southern Baptist missions is a tremendous blessing. I’ve been Southern Baptist since I decided to follow Christ at age 9. Partnering with other Southern Baptist churches is an incredible gift.

Pray for Kerry’s ministry at the Art Bank Art Gallery and the Stutz Artists Association.

Ask God to send more mission teams to share in the work.


Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:12:11 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Barry and Amy Rager

Pre-launch Phase

Barry and Amy RagerIn 2008 my wife, Amy, and I attended the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis. The Convention highlighted lostness and the need for church planting. Our hearts began to ache for Indianapolis and the lost souls there. We even snuck out of the meeting to explore the city. From that moment on, we had a desire to plant a church here.

We considered moving to Indianapolis that year but felt committed to the pastorate I had just taken in Kentucky, and had the conviction that a planter should be sent out of a local church. The desire to plant in Indy never left our minds or hearts, so when our sending church approached us to see if we would be interested in planting in an urban center, we rejoiced and began making plans. Seven months later we were on our mission field. 

One of the areas in Indianapolis we are attempting to reach is the inner-city neighborhood of Mapleton-Fall Creek. This neighborhood is especially broken and in need of Jesus. It is estimated that 95 percent of the people there do not know Jesus. This neighborhood is full of people in need of the redemptive work of Christ.  

Pray for people like Dominique who came to faith through the Rager’s Bible study.

Pray for their work with college students.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:11:01 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Brandon and Emily Shields

Soma Church

Brandon and Emily ShieldsWhen God called us to plant a church in the Midwest, we looked for a city that has a big impact on North America. Indianapolis clearly fits this mold. It’s the 12th largest city in the United States, yet has an anemic evangelical presence. Though we came to the area thinking we’d plant in the suburbs, God opened our eyes to Midtown Indianapolis, a quickly growing area with a large recent influx of 25-35 year olds. 

In the last two years we have reached people such as Brooks. Brooks grew up in an Indianapolis church but had only a minimal understanding of the gospel. I urged him to connect to a small group where he could learn to become rooted in what really matters. In time he became a Christian and was baptized at our church.

Brooks is one of 200 people who call our church home most weekends. Thanks to the generosity of Southern Baptists, we believe that is only the beginning of how God will use our church to reach Midtown Indianapolis.

Pray that God will help Soma Church train the people they are reaching to be ministry leaders.

Pray for Brandon as he reaches members of the next generation.

Date Created: 3/23/2014 7:09:40 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus

Terms of Use

  • We strive to maintain an atmosphere of free and open discussion, but comments are moderated.
  • Comments must be signed by your full name. If you log in through Twitter or Yahoo please include your full name at the end of your comment. Anonymous comments will not be published.
  • Comments containing profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate content will be edited or rejected at the sole discretion of the North American Mission Board. Comments are the responsibility of their authors and do not represent the position of NAMB.