THE GATHERING GIVES BACK TO ANNIE

Garth Leno - The Gathering

WINDSOR, ONTARIO — When The Gathering began meeting as a Bible study, they knew very little about the Southern Baptist Convention.  But less than three years later, The Gathering is now a cooperating church that gave $9300 in their first Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

 

The Gathering began as a Bible study in the home of church planter, Garth Leno in the fall of 2013 with several friends.  It wasn’t long before the small group had outgrown the Leno home. The church leadership decided that it was time to take the next steps towards becoming a church.  As they began to seek what kind of church God wanted them to be, one of the first decisions was what network or denomination to join.  Leno says, “We wanted to form our own DNA and then find an affiliate who matched up with us.”

 

No one in the congregation came from an SBC background, so they were not aware of a Canadian affiliate. “We searched out a number of other groups, but the SBC was most aligned with our values”, Leno says. Through the relationship with the SBC, Leno met and became friends with Wayne Parker, pastor of Merriman Baptist Church, and the SEND City Detroit missionary.  Parker assisted the church in applying to receive a North American Mission Board start up grant.  

 

They didn’t know it at the time, but the NAMB grant came from the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering ®.  Leno says, “We really didn’t know what this was or who Annie Armstrong was either, but were thankful because through it, the Gospel is being better spread throughout our city.” Within less than a year of meeting on Sundays, The Gathering was able to afford a new location where their attendance has grown from 140 each week to more than 200 people.  With the grant from NAMB, donations from partnering SBC churches and the church’s weekly offerings, they were able to secure the space and remain debt free.  


Leno says, “When I told our congregation that we now had a chance to give back to the organization that help get us started, they were excited to get behind it.”

 

The goal for the 2016 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is $70 million. To learn more about the Week of Prayer, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and how your church can be mobilized to push back lostness in North America, visit www.anniearmstrong.com. To read about the

2016 featured missionaries, visit www.anniearmstrong.com/missionaries-2016.

One of many activities during the early years of the church. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

One of many activities during the early years of the church. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Sunday worship at The Gathering in Windsor, Ontario. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Sunday worship at The Gathering in Windsor, Ontario.

(Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Baptism at The Gathering is always a joyous occasion. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Baptism at The Gathering is always a joyous occasion.

(Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Celebrating life outdoors at The Gathering church. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

Celebrating life outdoors at The Gathering church. 

(Photo courtesy of The Gathering)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Garth Leno is Senior Pastor of The Gathering in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He holds the Doctor of Ministry degree from Bethel Theological Seminary, the Master of Theology and the Master of Divinity degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Garth has published widely, he has travelled frequently speaking at conferences and retreats

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Celebrating life outdoors at The Gathering church. (Photo courtesy of The Gathering)