Streetsboro -- Frost Road Chapel in Streetsboro and Glenwood Christian Fellowship of Boardman Township merged to become Venture Church Sept. 8.
Balloon launches, marking the initiative to form "one church in two locations," followed the 10:45 a.m. Sunday worship services at both sites.
The Frost Road Chapel congregation did not have as many members it would have liked, according to The Rev. Nathan Doyle of Venture Church in Boardman. It was because of this Doyle decided to propose merging the two churches. Doyle has served as pastor at Glenwood Christian Fellowship since 2004.
He said his interest in multi-site operations developed after he visited a church of another denomination in Chicago. The concept provides greater outreach opportunities for members and has proven to spur revival and growth.
"By merging together, we share pastors, finances and other assets," said The Rev. Chris Kuzma of the Streetsboro location. Kuzma has been "a pastor at the Streetsboro location" for the last year.
The primitive Methodist denomination began in England in the early 1800s, supporting Methodist revival not long after the death of one of the founders of Methodism, John Wesley.
"The vision is to be able to help revitalize other churches and also be able to plant churches," said Kuzma who hopes other churches can benefit from this collaboration in the future.
Doyle will be specializing in preaching and teaching, and the Streetsboro congregation will be able to view his live masses from the Boardman location. This is the first time either of these churches will be using this type of technology.
Kuzma will be handling a lot of administration work for both churches.
During the balloon launch, a prayer of dedication was said. There were approximately 50 or 60 congregation members in attendance. The ceremony was followed by a luncheon.
"We're really excited about it," said Doyle. "Most churches have a competitive view, but we realize now that God brought us together and unified us. We're not looking at each other to see who has more members."
Doyle's grandfather was a pastor for Frost Road Chapel in the '60s and served there for more than 20 years. There has been a relationship between these two churches for a long time.
"It's been kind of like a family history for the two churches," he said.
At Venture Church in Streetsboro, Kuzma also recently initiated a "Family Night" program on Wednesdays, based on one that Doyle has directed at Glenwood Christian Fellowship in Boardman. It includes dinner followed by small group Bible studies for adults and a Kids Club.
Worship services at Venture Church in Streetsboro are at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. Venture Church in Boardman offers a traditional Exalt Service at 9 a.m. and a Radiate Service of modern worship at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163