Many cities are partnering with the Mission America Coalition to bring transformation through collaboration and a prayer-care-share lifestyle of evangelism. Other cities are not official LC2C partners but have collaborative cityreaching movements taking place as well.
Loving Our Communities to Christ Partner Cities
(updated July 2009)
Branson, Missouri (pop. 7,400)
Branson is a popular tourist destination that has become known as the “live music capital of the world” with more stage theater seats than even Broadway. Set in the Ozark Mountains, it’s a destination city for outdoor enthusiasts as well. Spiritually, God has been unifying His Church in Branson. For the last 12 years, pastors have been meeting together for prayer monthly, and “spiritual influencers” in the marketplace are becoming involved as well. Loving Our Communities to Christ leaders in Branson are discussing the spiritual priorities of the area. They are finding ways to channel information to all parts of the Body of Christ about God’s work in the community and needs yet to be met.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (pop. 190,000)
Serve the City
Historically known as an industrial, working class city, Cedar Rapids is Iowa’s second largest city. It is nicknamed the City of Five Seasons—the four traditional seasons and a fifth “to enjoy the other four.” In June 2008, the Cedar River surpassed the 500-year flood plain and nine square miles—about 1300 city blocks—of the heart of Cedar Rapids were under water. Nearly 4,000 homes were evacuated. The city is still rebuilding from the flood’s devastation. One outcome of the tragedy was an unprecedented unity and rallying on the part of the Church to serve its community. The networks of churches, ministries, and Christians in the community became a lifeline for the city as police and emergency responders needed instant means to contact residents and evacuate neighborhoods. The Church came to the fore, played a critical role in the worst of the crisis, and continues to pray, care, and share and be closely involved with the community through recovery and rebuilding. The challenge for the Church in this city is to provide faithful follow-up with all those it has touched through recent circumstances, and to keep its stamina as flood recovery moves into its second year with many needs yet to meet.
Charleston, West Virginia (pop. 55,000)
Church in the City
Charleston is the Capital City of West Virginia and is situated in the midst of the Great Kanawha River Valley, which drew European settlers because of its abundance of salt deposits. In fact, Celtic Christians visited and inhabited the state as early as 550 AD, carving Christian blessings into the stones of cliffs, which still are visible today. LC2C partner The Church in the City believes that God’s sovereign intent for this area began very long ago! Collaboration among churches there began in the 1970s with Jesus Christ Unlimited Ministries. Its purpose was to unite Christians to reach others for Christ. As part of the current-day, prayer-care-share effort, The Church in the City is partnering with Focus on the Family Community Outreach Team, assessing needs in the area and developing a vision for what it believes God is doing in the region.
Charlotte, North Carolina (pop. 716,000)
Charlotte is the largest city in the Carolinas and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Once known as the “City of Churches,” Charlotte has over 700 congregations. The city is home to many significant ministries, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Charlotte has a long history of citywide prayer through the Metrolina Prayer Network, formed in the 1980s. Charlotte Awake is the the local network of pastors and ministry leaders, and the LC2C partner organization. Among its efforts are a strategy for ending hunger in the metro area and a campaign for prayer-care-share champions in 100 key churches in the city.
Coachella Valley, California (pop. 410,000)
Lighthouses of the Valley
The Coachella Valley in Southern California is a 45-mile desert valley comprised of fourteen contiguous communities, including the resort destination of Palm Springs. It is one of the world's premier golf destinations, and one of Condé Nast’s top 10 global vacation destinations. It’s also one of the fastest growing areas in the country with a population mix of conservative and liberal. The Lighthouse of the Valley Movement (LOV) began with pastors coming together to pray and seek unity and God’s blessing for their communities. It has grown to include a cross-denominational group of more than 100 pastors, churches, para-church groups and marketplace leaders. A major challenge for the Church in the Coachella Valley is that the spiritual darkness there is growing at a significant rate. The Light of Christ is spreading at an increasing rate as well through the LOV Movement, and the result is a great clash between light and darkness.
Corvallis, Oreg. (pop. 50,000)
Church of the Valley – Corvallis
Love INC of Benton County
Corvallis is often ranked in small-city surveys as one of the most desirable places to live, hosting a large Hewlett Packard plant and Oregon State University. The “CitiChurch of Corvallis” traces its origins back to united prayer among pastors in the early 1980s, which paved the way for the Corvallis to be one of the original LC2C pilot cities. About 80 leaders participate in a CitiPrayer gathering each week, and reports of conversions and transformed lives are increasing. The prayer-care-share lifestyle has taken root among leaders. The Church is involved in many service and outreach events in the community in collaboration with other national efforts such as Love INC and Alpha, as well as local efforts with needy children and their families, outreaches to international students, and more.
El Paso, Texas / Juarez, Mexico / Las Cruces, New Mexico (pop. 2,000,000)
Las Cruces Prayer Network
El Paso sits on the U.S.-Mexico border within walking distance to Juarez, Mexico, and about 40 miles from Las Cruces, New Mexico. This tri-city region forms the largest bi-national metropolitan area in the world. Due to a large Hispanic presence in the region, a large percentage of the population is Roman Catholic. The Church in this tri-city area has good rapport in the community and with local government. Both the mayor of El Paso and the mayor of Juarez have invited local leaders to meet and pray with them. However, the area is also a flashpoint—an entrance for drugs being imported into the United States. As Christians in these cities unite to pray, care, and share for and with non-believers, the enemy is fighting for a stronghold.
Eugene / Springfield, Oregon (pop. 346,000)
God is at work through LC2C partner the One Hope Network in Eugene / Springfield. Find One Hope videos online at www.vimeo.com/onehope.
Fox Valley, Illinois (pop. 1,000,000)
Love Fox Valley
About 40 miles west of Chicago, the “spiritual twin cities” of Aurora and Elgin are nestled along the Fox River, and are among the largest cities in the state of Illinois. This region is home to more than 400 churches, with 80 of them engaged in some way with the ongoing city movement. LC2C partner Love Fox Valley is a movement of unity and Kingdom of God activity—collaboration of community churches with a common vision to enhance the lives of those living in the Fox Valley area. With many outreach and community service events across the area, the Church is a regular presence in the community in the Fox Valley. One of the mayors in the region has been involved in LOVE Fox Valley, as well as other key leaders in the cities. The challenge for church and ministry leaders in the Fox Valley is to mobilize their people at the grassroots level in the prayer-care-share lifestyle.
Fresno, California (pop. 490,800)
In 1995, Fresno was the most violent city in California per capita, but a strong prayer movement was taking place in Fresno from 1991-2001. By the year 2000, crime had dropped 43% and Fresno was named one of ten all-American cities. (This annual award by the National Civic League recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.) The foundation of prayer in this region has led to a long history of unity among pastors and church mission leaders, and good relationships between Christian ministries. Now, many of the top local government leaders in Fresno are Christians and several coalitions and networks are focused on community transformation. More than 1,000 Lighthouses pray, care, and share with their neighbors. Since partnering with Loving Our Communities to Christ, 100 pastors and ministry leaders have gone through prayer-care-share training, along with 1500 lay people.
Grays Harbor, Washington (pop. 71,000)
A county on the Mid-Washington Coast, Grays Harbor has been hard hit economically for several years. The pastors there have good and growing relationships through Harbor Ministers Fellowship and participate in an annual Prayer Summit. In addition, local congregations hold an annual community service day – Love Grays Harbor – with as much “personal touch” as possible to the people they serve. A core of a dozen pastors are committed to Loving Our Communities to Christ (with others expressing various levels of support) and have a heart to cast the vision and raise up other leaders. God has provided incredible opportunities in this region, including the role to help distribute significant dollars to those in need in the area. He is at work in this region.
Newton, Kansas (pop. 17,000)
The Missional Church Network
Newton is a small community in the metro Wichita area. About half of Newton’s 25 churches are part of the LC2C Missional Church Network (MCN), with a growing base of awareness and support. MCN has become the communication avenue for faith-based events throughout Harvey county. It helped create a Compassionate Ministries Round Table, which has networked compassion groups and helped target areas of need in the community for local churches and agencies to fill. MCN holds a Harvest of Love, Community Assistance campaigns, and a community worship service annually. Ongoing care efforts include the Lighthouse Project and Canning Hunger. The first pastors’ prayer summit was held in 2009.
Phoenix, Arizona (metro pop. 4.3 million)
Phoenix, known as the Valley of the Sun, is the twelfth-largest metro area in the U.S.—just behind Detroit and ahead of San Francisco—Phoenix has a good spirit of collaboration for a large city. A citywide movement covers the area in 24/7 prayer, and an ongoing gathering of local leaders is committed to collaboration. Several efforts, including an Ethnic America Summit and a Luis Palau festival, have fostered collaboration among church and ministry leaders. LC2C is working closely with existing city-reaching efforts in Phoenix.
Rhode Island (pop. 1,000,000)
One million residents of Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts comprise a challenging environment for gospel ministry. With one of the lowest national percentages of evangelicals (2%), one of the highest percentage of Roman Catholics (63%), and one of the most liberal political climates, which often views evangelicals with suspicion, it might be hard to be optimistic about the prospects for transformation in this region. And yet Rhode Island's evangelical community is one of the fastest growing in the country, where remarkable evidence of the work of God's Spirit abounds. Six annual state-wide Pastors' Prayer Summits experienced by over 65 local pastors have contributed to a new sense of unity and common purpose. This has given birth to, or invigorated, numerous cross-denominational endeavors, including the formation of LoveRI. This growing partnership includes more than 30 churches and ministry organizations that are committed to nurturing the "Prayer-Care-Share" lifestyle together in a way that can impact this LC2C "city-state" of just 1000 square miles.
San Bernardino, California (pop. 205,000)
Known as the Inland Empire, the city of San Bernardino is one of the oldest communities in California. The Church there has an incredible impact on the social needs of the city – feeding the hungry, caring for troubled teens in cooperation with the courts, and pastors “Praying on the Premises” at local schools. The schools have seen a remarkable decrease in expulsions and behavior problems as a result of the pastors’ prayer, so authorities have given an open invitation for pastors to be at every middle school and high school. Ethnic groups are working together in San Bernardino as well, and many are involved in missions. Spiritual leaders in the city are transformational and dynamic people in good relationships with each other. The impact of the Church on the community has created a respect in the area for the churches and spiritual leaders.
Santa Rosa, California (pop. 161,000)
Together in Christ Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is located about 55 miles north of San Francisco and is the largest city in Sonoma County, an area of 450,000 people. One of the original nine LC2C pilot cities, Santa Rosa has had a significant prayer movement since the 1990s and well-established partnerships and collaboration among churches, ministries, and city officials. The local alliance of church, civic, and marketplace leaders, called Together in Christ, has found favor with the mayor, the city council, and the governor through its community service efforts.
Thomasville, Georgia(pop. 19,000)
Community Transformation, Inc.
Thomasville Family and Marriage Net (www.thomasvillefamily.com) Thomasville, in southwest Georgia near the Florida border, is known as the City of Roses with its annual Rose Festival of some 7,000 roses throughout the town. LC2C partner Community Transformation, Inc., is a coalition of pastors that grew out of annual National Day of Prayer meetings. Weekly pastors’ prayer meetings and quarterly Marketplace Leader Prayer Summits are taking place, and this collaboration has built unity among 100 of the top influencers of the city. Connections are strong between pastors and work-life leaders, across racial lines, denominational lines, economic barriers, and educational divides as well. Community Transformation, Inc., also founded Thomasville Family and Marriage Net, Inc., which fosters collaboration among local ministries for equipping and empowering the community with resources to “build, heal, and enrich family relationships.”
Treasure Valley, Idaho (metro pop. 607,000)
The Treasure Valley is the Boise, Idaho, metro area, hosting more than 40 percent of the Idaho population. Several major ministries in the region offer strong connections for the Church to come together—Mission Aviation Fellowship and International Renewal Ministries. Through International Renewal Ministries, annual Prayer Summits have been held for years, helping establish deep relationships throughout the Body of Christ. A diverse group of 42 pastors signed on to Loving Our Communities to Christ from the start. They have a great desire to develop God’s heart for the area and are amazed at what they are already seeing in their collaboration.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (pop. 160,000)
Tuscaloosa Prayer Network
Tuscaloosa sits on the banks of the Black Warrior River in West Alabama. Home to the University of Alabama, the city typifies all things related to Southern football. The Tuscaloosa Prayer Network (TPN) has a long history of prayer summits and good relationships and favor with local media and city government officials. The mayor has invited prayer and sought out TPN to help target neighborhoods of need in the city with his Hope Initiative. Through this, TPN has open opportunities for prayer-care-share activities to serve the community. In addition, the mayor’s Hope Initiative has led to African-American and white congregations coming together to worship and pray and the Holy Spirit has moved powerfully. God is breaking down long-standing racial animosity and building up His Church in Tuscaloosa.
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