WHY WE EXIST
Project 2028 is an Administrative Commission of our Presbytery charged with actively taking up the work of church planting in our area. We seek to plant five new churches within the Presbytery of the Southeast by 2028.
WHAT WE DO
You can think of this work as a hand with five expressions or touch points:
- PRAY for church planters and church plants. Pray, think, and dream intentionally about regions, areas, and communities in our Presbytery.
- Gather as a team of PARTNERS. We gather several times a year to discuss church planting, hear from our planters and projects, and take action on our goals.
- Generate RESOURCES and spend them wisely. Gifts to Project 2028 (from member churches, churches who give as they can, or individuals) are held at the Presbytery and spent according to our vision, values, and plans.
- Create RESIDENCIES as 2-year, residential training programs where people can learn, grow, develop plans, listen to the Lord’s call for place and people, and launch new church plants.
- Care for our church PLANTERS and PLANTS. Gardening and farming are patient and prayerful work: we want to support and pray for our workers as they labor in their fields.
HOW WE DO IT
We let our values inform our choice and guide our actions. We are committed to:
- Consistent PRAYER
- Missional and evangelistic PLANTS
- PLANTERS that are theologically trained and financially/emotionally supported
- RESIDENCIES at and in local church plants
- Prioritizing FUTURE PLANTS in growing and/or underserved areas
FOR 2022, HERE’S HOW WE DID THAT
PRAYER. We actively pray:
For Church Plant projects and the communities of people they seek to minister to: currently, Water Stone in West Atlanta, Maranatha Fellowship along Hwy 58 in Chattanooga, and Resurrection in Chattanooga + future hopes.
For Church Planters and teams – Chris Manley (Elizabeth) at Maranatha, Matt Koehn (Tiffany) at Water Stone, Ryan VanHorn (Erin) at Resurrection, and Will Johnson (Audriana).
For wisdom in timing, finding, and planning our next Church Planting Resident (early 2024), and for future planters and dreamers willing to take up the commission for evangelism.
For an outpouring of God’s spirit and provision as we seek a larger church planting movement among the four EPC Presbyteries across the southern states. The south is booming in population and gospel needs. “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38): for the Lord to raise up, call, and send those he has appointed for this work and for wisdom on our part to discern, call, and help provide.
Seeking more partners – churches committed to membership in Project 2028 and giving at least $6000 per year to share in leadership and sustain its work. We have a few open seats for Ruling Elders (independently of church partners).
This is a pivotal moment for us (3 years into our work and helping launch a wider network in the south). The opportunity is great. We need to step forward in partnership around the call of the gospel and have a new missionary encounter with the people of our culture desperately seeking something more. The call and love of Jesus Christ must compel us here! (Mat 29:19-20 and 2 Cor 5:13-21)
Financial Report: Income: $88,458.84 / Expenses: $108,895.78. We project 2023 expenses near $120,000. As you can figure, we are taking care to schedule our spending in a sustainable way that keeps our commitments. We are actively seeking new partnerships and fundraising efforts.
2022 primary disbursements went to Resurrection (as part of a 2021-22 commitment), support for Chris Manley and Matt Koehn, and gathering as a team this past Fall at the invaluable EPC Church Planting Conference in Colorado.
2023 Commitment Priorities: Finishing Matt’s residency, Maranatha Fellowship (Chris Manley) and Water Stone Church (Matt Koehn), and future residencies and network partnerships. We are seeking to grow the resources God has given us: finding new partners, watching church plants return and give to project 2028.
If you’d like to make a gift to Project 2028, please write a check to Presbytery of the Southeast with Project 2028 in the memo line and mail to:
P.O. Box 573
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Matt Koehn is completing his residency (will finish mid-2023)! Matt has been our first two-year resident in Maryville, TN (At Church of the Redeemer under Dave Strunk) and is entering his last 6 months and preparing to make the move to launch Water Stone Church in west Atlanta. We all shared in massive joy as he was ordained in October 2022 and we anticipate more joy as he begins his work full-time.
After Matt finishes, we will evaluate our residency plan and start searching for the next resident (to hopefully begin early 2024). Residences are roughly funded ⅓ each by Project 2028, the host church, and the church planter’s own fundraising.
CHURCH PLANTERS & PLANTS
Resurrection (Chattanooga) continued in joyful worship, began training potential elders, developed a task force to seek a more permanent and secure location, and extended discipleship and community efforts.
Chris Manley (Maranatha) completed a residency at Kairos Church (Ooltewah, TN) in leading Missional Communities, began coaching in church development, and shifted his focus full time to developing a church of missional communities.
Matt completed seminary, ordination, he and Tiffany had their first child, and chose a location for a new church plant in 2023.
Q: Should I or my church give to Project 2028 or a specific planter?
A: Where funds are limited, our encouragement is to give where you have vision & where there is trust. Where budgets are not (as) limited, we’d love for churches to maintain their commitment to the Project AND take on a church planter!
Q: How can I pray for the needs of a church planter or plant?
A: Ask them directly – get on their mail/email list, seek them out, cultivate a relationship with them. You’ll have no idea how much that means.
WHO WE ARE: MEMBERSHIP
- Bob Bethel (ChristChurch Dalton)
- Piers van der Merwe (Cedar Springs, Knoxville)
- Ken Bell (Church of the Redeemer, Alcoa)
- Bob Berry (Signal Mountain Pres)
- Matthew Everhart (Hope Fellowship, Chickamauga)
- Eric Geil (ChristChurch Dalton) – Chair of Church Planting and Receiving
- Andy Cornett (Signal Mountain Pres) – Outgoing Chair
- Dave Strunk (Church of the Redeemer) – Resident Director, Chair for 2023
- Ryan Van Horn (Resurrection)
- Will Johnson
- Diane Mizell (Presbytery Treasurer)
- Bill Dudley (Presbytery: Stated Clerk)