Evanston Bible Fellowship was started in 1987 as church plant from Oxford Bible Fellowship in Oxford, Ohio, and we want to continue to be a part of planting new churches, particularly churches that can serve students at a nearby college campus. Through the years, some from EBF have been equipped and sent to be church planters, with many EBF members choosing to go as the launch teams. We started planting churches in 2010 and have planted three thus far.
We place church planters who have been integral members of our church. Before leaving EBF to plant a new church, planters are discipled, giving attention to personal holiness, strategy, theology, preaching, and leadership. It's been our thrilling privilege to dream with these planters and to see churches take shape from an initial vision to reality.
We consider this a good start and, by God's grace, hope to plant many more churches in the future. To learn more about how you might gain ministry experience and participate in one of our future church plants, see our EBF Launch page.
The vision for Trinity City Church began while its current pastor, Bryan Lair, was a member of EBF. Bryan and his wife are Minnesota natives and had moved to the Evanston area while Bryan attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Bryan served at EBF as a member of the pastoral staff and later as an elder. EBF partnered with Hope Community Church in Minneapolis and the North Central District of the EFCA. Together they suppored Bryan and his family as they moved back to Minnesota, specifically with the vision to plant a church among the many colleges and universities in St. Paul.
Trinity City Church officially launched on October 10, 2010. Their church has continued to grow changing locations and adding to their staff. Trinity draws students, young professionals, and many others who are exploring the Christian faith.
Agapé Chicago began as an Ethos community at EBF. Jeremiah Vaught, a Trinity Evangelical Divinity School student from North Carolina, served as a pastoral apprentice at EBF from 2010 to 2012. Early on during his time at EBF, Jeremiah began discussions with the elders about starting a church plant. Jeremiah led an Ethos group that spent intentional time doing ministry in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Eventually, Jeremiah, his wife, Maysa, and about 20 others from EBF were sent from EBF to start a church plant in Rogers Park near Loyola University. Agapé Chicago officially launched on February 12, 2012.
Pastor Jeremiah continues to lead Agapé Chicago, which has seen continued growth. Their aim as a church is to be known for love within the Rogers Park community, specifically for their love of Jesus, for their neighbors, for their city, and for their church.
Throughout the years, EBF Launch has seen many graduates of the University of Florida serve as pastoral apprentices, two of them in one year, 2011-2012: Chipper Flaniken and Ryan Harding. Both had moved to the Chicago area to pursue degrees at Trinity. During that time, EBF began conversations with Chipper and two other churches from different denominations in the Gainesville area about planting a church near the UF campus in downtown Gainesville. Chipper and his wife, Kristen, along with Ryan and his wife, Katie, were joined by four other EBF members in moving to Gainesville.
City Church of Gainesville launched in Feburary 2014 with the team from EBF and members from the two partner churches. City Church seeks to be "an authentic community walking with God in our city." They are currently pursuing a building campaign to make space for more people.