The Churches of Christ in Christian Union

New CCCU Churches

Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic strategy in the world. Thus, it is central to our purpose. Below are updates on new church plants and recently established CCCU churches.

Christian Union Church, Democratic Republic of Congo

Dr. Ralph Hux shares, "At the General Church Extension meeting in May, the Caribbean Global District announced the launch of a new ministry of their district in the African country of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Caribbean District is not only looking for and developing church planting opportunities in the West Indies, but in many other places around the world where connections and opportunities with the district exist. The following is a brief report of the work currently underway in DRC. Please add this new church and planting effort to your prayer list and let us support one of our newest works on the continent of Africa. If you would like to give financial support for this project, please contact the General Church Extension Department."

Bishop David Chandler: "I am happy to report that the ministry of The Christian Union Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is doing well by the grace of God. It is located in and around the town of Goma which is in the north eastern sector of the DRC close to the Rwandan border. The ministry is led by Pastor Celestin Mulanda and has three congregations comprising of an average of 60 members including children. Health and poverty are their two main challenges as they continue to deal with the treat of Ebola and now Covid-19. They need training for their leaders and discipleship materials for the members besides financial assistance to purchase sanitation material and to enhance the buildings they occupy for worship. Thank you for your continued prayer, love, and concern."

Elim Evangelical Christian Fellowship, New Jersey - Pastor Bowles Taitt

I have often heard it said that God has a sense of humor. If that is indeed true, then I can attest to it. If one had told me seven months ago that I would be planting a church, I would have laughed. Impossible! Not me. That’s not my area of giftedness. Pastoring an established church - definitely. Leading a plateaued or dying church in a revitalization project - sure. But planting a church, never. Now here I am, months into starting a church plant with the assistance of Anesta Ambroise.

How did this all come about? For the past two years I have been concerned about the members of our church {Miller Evangelical Christian Union} who were relocating from Brooklyn to New Jersey. After stepping down from the position of pastor in January 2019, the new pastor, Justin Lockhart, Anesta Ambroise and myself, briefly spoke about the need for someone to plant a daughter church in New Jersey to meet the needs of our members who had relocated there. Never in a million years did I desire or plan to be that individual. As I stated that is not my area of giftedness. But God had other plans. Bit by bit he started to burn a passion within me for a New Jersey church plant and in December, he made it clear in no uncertain terms that I was to be the one to head up that project. I have learned over the years that God doesn’t always call the gifted but he always gifts the called, so here I am.

I relocated from Brooklyn to New Jersey in January of this year and started meeting for Bible Study in the homes of the members of the core group on a rotating basis. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic we now meet via Zoom. There are 6 families in the core group. The plan is to start outreach once the pandemic is over and we secure a place to meet.

The name Elim is taken from Exodus 15: 27 - Then they {the Israelites} came to Elim where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

1. Elim represented a place to experience God and fellowship with each other – the presence of God always stayed in the camp when the people rested.
2. It was a place of provision – God provided twelve springs of fresh water for the weary travelers.
3. It was a place of rest in the shade of seventy palm trees for the Israelites from their escape out of Egypt and their journey through the Red Sea into the wilderness.
4. It was a place of preparation – Moses would have had the opportunity to prepare them for their journey to the Promised Land.

The Significance of the name Elim for our Church Plant
1. It signifies a place of Spiritual rest and refreshing where the presence of God can be experienced.
2. A place of refuge and hope for seekers and new believers.
3. A safe place for children and young people where they can debrief from all the negative forces around them and reload to face the temptations of the world that clamor for their attention.
4. It is a place where believers are equipped to spread the love of God and take the message of salvation to unbelievers.

Elim Evangelical Christian Fellowship is to be an Oasis (place of refuge) where people from all walks of life love and worship God; love, inspire and strengthen each other – the church gathered; and are equipped to be a great commission movement - the church scattered.

God is in Christ reconciling people to himself … and he has given us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Freedom Ministries CCCU, Frankfort, Ohio - Pastor Dan Bennett

November 2020 Update

Dr. Ralph Hux shares, "I had the privilege to attend the open house service at Freedom Ministries in Frankfort, Ohio on Sunday, September 20, 2020. It was an awesome day of celebration and connecting with people that have been so instrumental in launching and helping this church grow into a healthy new church plant. In just 6 short years, this congregation with the assistance of Brookside Church and the district and general Church Extension departments, witnessed a dream and vision become a reality. From their initial meeting at the Sunroom at the Brick, to purchasing the small AME church and property, to now a 200+ worship facility is nothing short of a miracle. God has taken the vison and leadership of pastor Dan Bennett and a group of dedicated people and grew it into a mission for reaching the lost and carrying for the hurting of western Ross County. Freedom Ministries has only just begun – to God be the glory! The following is a brief testimony of why establishing new churches is so important. We need to celebrate God’s goodness, mercy, and favor among us."

I am Keith Graves. My family and I have been going to Freedom Ministries since the early part of 2016 and have been members since July 2016. Before that we did not attend church anywhere. I however grew up in and out of church. The first time that I recall being in church, I was around 5 or 6 years old in the early nineties. I remember that the pastor at the church in Wilmington, Ohio where I attended was Rev. Nelson Rhodes. My dad got very close to him and we learned a lot under his ministry. Since then we moved away from the area and fell away. Through the years we went to many other churches briefly but never got as invested as we did at the CCCU in Wilmington.

Although this was my background as a child, I wanted nothing to do with church after I turned 21. My wife started asking me to help her find a church to take our kids to and I repeatedly said no. Then one day she told me that our neighbor had invited us to go to the church where she was attending in Frankfort. I, of course, didn’t want to go but she accepted the invitation and fell in love with the church. She asked me to attend with her the next week and I agreed with one condition. I was going to ride my flame and skull covered Harley to church thinking that I would not be welcomed. She agreed. Sunday morning came and I got up, got dressed in my leather, and hopped on my Harley and followed her to the Brick in Frankfort.

When we arrived, I was greeted by Rev. Dan Bennett like he had known me my entire life and he started asking me about my Harley. I was amazed that I had been accepted and knew that God had put me there to change my life and my family’s lives from that day forward.

I tell you this to say that I thank God everyday for all the people that obeyed God’s call and were instrumental in the organization of Freedom Ministries. I was on my way to hell and was more than okay with it. I had accepted that hell was my destination until I walked into the Brick that Sunday morning and met Dan. I want to thank everyone that had a part in changing my life and making it possible for me to find a place to come back to God and raise my family in a Godly household. Because of so many that I don’t even know, I am well on my way to heaven and teaching my kids how to get there too. God bless – Sincerely – Keith Graves.

June 2020 Update:

Since the decision was made to move forward with the new sanctuary, classrooms, etc., the Lord has helped us secure a loan, raise the initial amount needed for the down payment, and helped us find a contractor who wants to do the work for Jesus. While there has been many struggles and opportunities, we are moving forward with much enthusiasm and excitement with many lives being changed. In the midst of that enthusiasm came Covid-19 and the “Stay-at-Home” order. Since then, we found creative methods to hold the church together and reach out to new people. Our services were streamed to our Facebook page on Sunday mornings live. We had a 7 a.m. prayer time Monday through Saturday. For our Tuesday night discipleship and our Thursday night Ladies’ group, we used Zoom. We offered a devotional on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m.

Our children’s team provided trivia, daily lessons, and an evening devotional as well as a prayer time every day for the children. Our youth continued to meet through Zoom for group discussions on Sunday evening while continually supporting their home studies. We are experiencing increased numbers in all of these areas.

While our tithes and offerings have slumped 15% or so, we still maintained a pattern of giving and generosity from the congregation through mail and automatic banking. The staff made phone calls regularly, provided CD’s of our services to shut-ins and care baskets for children, teens, and adults.

The difficulty of this season remains a struggle. We are anticipating as a church the time we can be together again (Hopefully by the time of this publication, we are meeting together again.). This past Easter we were able to offer a streamed Sunrise Service and a drive-in morning worship service. Both of the services benefited our church togetherness and many decisions for Christ were identified.

We are attempting to be creative and trying continually to find new methods for ministry while balancing the isolation and insulation that attacks the unity of our new work here in Frankfort, Ohio. The building project continues to move forward at an accelerated pace with possibilities of our next assembly being in that building. We still have many hurdles to address and covet your prayers for the many new converts that worship at Freedom, for the financial opportunities of this new building project, and for normal stewardship.

May God’s Kingdom continue to advance. Thank you for your interest in what is happening at FMC.

January 2020 Update:

Dr. Ralph Hux shares, "Around this time of the year in 2014 Pastor Dan Bennett, the Brookside Church, and the General Church Extension Department began dreaming about and sensing God’s calling to consider the possibility of launch a new church in Frankfort, Ohio. Many didn’t think that a new church was needed or even could make it in the sleepy little village of Frankfort, but the burden on Dan’s heart and others from Brookside remained and continued to burn on our hearts. What began as an extension ministry of Brookside Church developed and grew into its own ministry. Pastor Dan sent out a letter to the supporters of Freedom Ministries updating us about the blessings of God and casting the vision for the congregation’s future. I was so excited as I read his letter I wanted to share with all of you and with those who have a heart for church planting their wonderful story. God is still in “the church planting business!” With the right pastor, the right vision, the right support from an established congregation, the collective support of the denomination and above all else the call, passion, and burden of God on the hearts of people, we can see great things accomplished. The following is the letter Pastor Dan Bennett shared."

Friends of Freedom,

It has been quite some time since you received an update on the ministry that God opened in Frankfort through the support, prayers, and participation of so many. It is with great joy that we share with you our present position and all the things happening at the church. These past two years have been a whirlwind of change and growth. We have:

  • Become independent – financially and functionally and are no longer a project!
  • Developed our own leadership team through elections
  • A church that loves not only each other but those who come to visit.
  • Received support and officially became recognized as a full functioning church by the denomination.
  • Seen 22 salvations this past year and baptized 12 adults, 3 teens, and 4 children
  • Now have a membership of 49
  • A Sunday night student ministry that continues to grow
  • Two women’s groups meeting on Monday and Thursday
  • Adult Sunday school every Sunday morning and Sunday night pilot service once a month.
  • Averaged in attendance over 80 since April 2019 with a high of 115 and a low of 61
  • Many other celebrations with families and individuals
  • Services that are spiritually inspiring and meaningful
  • Children’s ministry that continues to grow and develop with outreach weekly

I trust you know that without your vision, foresight, and sacrifice, we would not have realized the successes of God’s anointing on this work nor witnessed the affects and sacrifice people have made that continually are changing lives. God must surely be pleased! Thank you for all you have accomplished and God bless you in your life of service to the extended kingdom.
The story continues. Today as we reflect on Freedom Ministries we begin to recognize the challenge that is before us. We presently have the blessing of the denomination to build a new facility that will increase our capacity of attendance three times our current ability giving us needed classroom, nursery, and office space. With the excitement of a new facility comes challenges. The church is moving forward and believes this is God’s vision. We have secured a loan for two thirds of the project, raised almost one third but need to raise the remainder before we can begin building. While others are saying it’s not possible, we are trusting God is able. Pray with us as we develop a stewardship campaign for the remaining $100,000. Our theme is “Building Forward.” It is our intension to reach tomorrow’s church. I trust this update will excite, inspire, and encourage you.

Pastor Dan Bennett

For further information on any of our new CCCU churches, please contact the General Secretary's Office for the General Church Extension Department at the Global Ministry Center or your local Church Extension President.