NEEDHAM. MA – From right: Pastor Marc Simeon with sponsor church pastor Emmanuel Fontaine. Behind: Eileen Fullerton of the GBBA with NAMB Strategist Joe Souza.
NEEDHAM, MA – A mission that began in Haiti and led to Boston nearly 27 years ago has come full circle. And Pastor Marc Simeon is “back in Boston for good,” he exclaimed last December as he signed a covenant agreement to become a member of the Boston Church Planting family.
It was at that End-of-the-Year Christmas party in 2011 he made things official, but it was actually in the late 1960s, early 1970s when his story began in Haiti.
“I can’t remember a time when I did not know Jesus, ” said Simeon, who grew up a the son of a deacon and singer in the local church. His father later made it to the U.S. and in 1985, at the age of 18, Simeon came to join him in Boston.
Simeon began his Christian service in earnest then in 1986 at Bethesda Haitian Baptist Church. “I was teaching Sunday schools, presiding over services as youth leader and I began to sense a call,” Simeon said.
He married in 1992, and moved to Orlando, FL to serve with Philadelphia Haitian Baptist Church. He moved back to Boston the first time in 1997, when “the call was so obvious I began going to Bible school.” He completed his undergrad in Pastoral Care and Urban ministry at Gordon Conwell. He was ordained in 2001 back at Bethesda.
Just two years later, Simeon answered the call to further his theological training and found himself at Mid-America Baptsit Theological Seminary in Germantown TN. His travels continued: he moved to Georgia in 2007 then back to Orlando, and finally in what he sensed as a surrender-type of moment, back to Boston, the place his ministry had begun. It was July, 2010 and it was time to start a church.
“I knew I wanted to to start a Baptist church,” he said. And in August of that year Christ the Rock Congregation, located at 535 Canton Avenue in Milton, MA was born.
Simeon finally connected with NAMB Strategist Joe Souza in 2011 and “things started moving fast,” he said. “Joe helped me with all the paperwork and got me plugged in with all the other planters. It was all good to finally connect, and we have been welcomed. We are on the same mission. I even saw people we have not seen since my time at Bethesda. So it was a lot like coming home.”
NEEDHAM. MA – With good tidings of great joy, the Boston Church Planting team welcomed the season of our Savior’s birth with its End-of-the-Year Church Planter Family Celebration. Held on December 9, 2011 at the GBBA, and with the help also of the BCNE, there were more than 120 people in attendance, including our church planters, wives and kids; lots of kids.
It was a time of food, fun, fellowship, and reflection on the True Gift; our Savior Jesus. It was a time to come together in worship and prayer, and gift giving. And in what was surely the highlight of the evening, the kids put together an impromptu singing performance (with a special thanks Jackie Souza).
“It was really cool,” said Jackie’s dad Joe Souza. “She got all of the church planter’s kids, like 40 of them, and did a singing thing. It was like a little Choir.”
Souza, the Boston area Lead Catalyst for NAMB, was beaming on this night, not just for his own daughter, or for the kids on the stage, but for all of the church planters and their families that have given their lives in the service of Christ in the Greater Boston area.
They are veterans. They are brand new planters. They are native New Englanders. They are from Kentucky, Estonia, Brazil and Haiti… All for the King born in a manger in Bethlehem; a merry Christmas indeed.
Medford’s Redemption Hill was featured in an article by Carol Pipes of Baptist Press last fall. From contextualizing the Medford culture to the back story that led Lead Pastor Tanner Turley and team to the Boston area, this piece is a super snapshot for future planters to gain some valuable perspective.
BOSTON (BP) — Basketball takes teamwork. As the freshman boys basketball coach at Medford High School, Tanner Turley strives to teach his players the importance of working together rather than relying on one or two standout players to win games.
He has the same goal as pastor of Redemption Hill Church in Medford, Mass., five miles from downtown Boston.
Turley, a Nehemiah church planter missionary with the North American Mission Board, moved to Medford last year with his wife Marsha to lead a church planting team that includes two other families — Jon and Leigh Chasteen and Josh and Jessica Miller — and US/C2 missionary Abbey Cook.
“It’s been a tremendous blessing to share the load of ministry with others who are likeminded, who have the same biblical vision for the church and who are committed to living out the Gospel together in the context of a team environment and community of faith,” Turley said of the team planting model.
The Medford team initially focused on investing in the community. …