Ekklesia’s foundations began with simple conversations in Sister Bean’s Coffee Shop between Pastor Stephan, Jody Green, Stephan Jr., and Nick Green (Jody’s son) in early November of 2010 about God and ultimately starting a church.
Bible study soon began in the home of Jody and Elizabeth Green in November of 2010, and would later alternate with the home of Pastor and First Lady Renata Kirby.
In May of 2011, we began to lease storefront property at 4114 Flintlock Avenue. After a month of renovations, the first service for Ekklesia Christian Life Ministries was held on June 24th, 2011, with 24 people in attendance. The first sermon was entitled “What Type of Church is this Church Going to Be” from Matthew 16:13-20. And from the 18th verse of that scripture when Jesus said “upon this rock, I will build my church” is where our church received her name. The Greek word for church, “Ekklesia” means a “called out” family of believers.
Because of lack of cooperation from the landlord in resolving ongoing issues, God opened up another place of worship right around the corner at 5207 Dixie Highway where we began to share the building with Ms. Sheritha Bousso of DiVashe Nail Salon. After four weeks at the Flintlock location, we moved on the first Sunday in August. It was at this location our first three members joined the mission; they were Tasha Cheatam, Alice Wilson and Christina Arrieta. We worshiped and grew in this location for nine months.
On Sunday November 13, 2011, with the help of Pastor’s Darrell Nathan, of Mt Zion Baptist Church, Clarence Brown of Lighthouse Christian Church, Steve Smith of Mt Hermon Baptist Church and Charles Kirby, Pastor Emeritis of Southern Star Baptist Church the mission was officially organized into a church with members Renata Kirby, Jody Green, Elizabeth Green, Bobby Green, Danny West, Angela Kidwell West, Tasha Cheatham, and Jerry Johnson voted unanimously to call Stephan Kirby as Pastor.
In March of 2012 we were contacted by Pastor Eliseo Mejia-Leiva of Mosaic United Method Church that a church building was available at 1401 Bluegrass Avenue. After a vote on April 15th we purchased the property at 1401, 1405, and 1407 Bluegrass Avenue. Our first worship service was held on the first Sunday in May 2012. God has blessed us so much in our first year we are a congregation of multiple ethnic, social, and spiritual backgrounds coming together for the cause and sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Looking to the future…We are in a prime position in this neighborhood to win souls for Christ. This year by God’s grace we will continue to renovate the church, the educational building and the parsonage. As is God’s will, we will continue to preach and teach unapologetically the Gospel of Jesus Christ.