Finding Jesus Close to Home
I met Dan, my husband, while we were in Bible College. He was in his last year, and it was my first year. Shortly after, we were married in Maine, where I am originally from, and life took off. We started interviewing for different staff positions at churches. We visited Florida, Mississippi, and Missouri. We kept asking, “Where does God want us to be?”
But where, God?
Through all the searching, we ended up taking secular jobs and staying in Maine. I was a dental assistant, and Dan worked in construction and security, but we never stopped pursuing what God wanted for us. We kept looking for a church we felt like we could serve during this waiting period. Eventually we found a church an hour north of us where Dan became the youth and children’s pastor.
Two years later God began to stir our hearts again. Little did we know He was calling us to be part of a church plant called Kennebec Community Church (KCC). We felt the presence of God in the little church plant. Dan became the associate pastor and we faithfully served and loved KCC.
A year and a half later, the lead pastor of KCC felt he was called to serve God in Alabama, and the church asked Dan if he would lead as pastor. We knew God was working. His purpose was prevailing, but this change was very nerve-wracking. Full-time ministry seemed scary! We had a four-month-old, and a lot of things seemed uncertain. Dan was only 26 years old, and our family was young. The church plant was young, too. We prayed about it and ultimately decided Maine was where God wanted us, despite our fears. There are so many communities in Maine that don’t have a strong gospel witness. There are so many people who are lost and hurting. Going to church in Maine is not something people do because it’s socially acceptable; people here only go to church when they have a relationship with Christ. Maine is one of the least-churched states in the United States, so we want to be a part of changing that.
When Dan took over as pastor, a few things were in place for outreach, but Dan has a heart for the lost and reaching people, so we dove right in. We started sport camps, and we found they reached people. We would have sports camps for a whole week, and then we would invite them back to our church on Sunday for the closing ceremony. We began to see the fruit of our labor. People would come to church and would leave realizing KCC was so different than churches they previously attended. They were amazed how church could be relevant and real.
Following through valleys
Church planting has definitely not been easy. We struggle to get everything done. Dan is a hard worker, and if somebody else doesn’t do what needs to be done, he will be there doing it. Whatever the job is, he will be there—even cleaning the bathrooms before Sunday. We’ve spent many Saturdays at the church cleaning and setting everything up. We don’t mind doing it; we have a love for this church and what we’re doing here. We believe in it, so we’re going to do it.
The long hours aren’t easy with three young children. My girls look forward to the day daddy is going to be home. Some weeks he doesn’t have any days off, but he always tries his best to make time for us. I have to always remind myself why we do what we do—people need to hear about Jesus and His saving grace. Whenever I see a baptism, I get choked up. God is using everything we do. When I see the fruit, I know our labor is worth all the effort, even just for one person.
Looking to the future
We are excited to see where God continues to take us. The next five years are going to be busy with the little children we have and a growing church. I don’t know what God has for us, but I know it’s going to be big, and we’re ready to pursue it.
Kennebec Community Church is an SBC church plant in Augusta, Maine. For more information about Kennebec Community Church or the Coleman family, visit anniearmstrong.com.