Today represents, in many ways, the fulfillment of a nearly two-year dream. January 2015, at our annual elders’retreat, the leaders of Cornerstone begin dreaming about the possibility of a church plant in the Spring Hill, TN area. And by God’s grace this morning, Rev. Mike Fennema, our newly minted church planter for the Spring Hill area will be opening up the Word of God for us. Praise be to God!
Now, a number of you have met Mike and his wife, Stephanie, and their four beautiful children: Elliot, Oliver, Mattie, and Abigail. But many more of you have not met them. I want to take a moment in this space to tell you a little bit about them.
Mike grew up in a Christian family, attending church every Sunday. But his faith in Christ really became his own while in high school through a variety of people and circumstances including youth leaders, teachers, parents, mission trips, reading the Bible, and prayer. Throughout his time at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, his love for Jesus deepened and matured, leading several Bible Studies and short-term mission trips. It was also during this time that God used a hard providence—the death of a dear friend—to bring out a love for ministering to people the good news of Jesus Christ.
Mike graduated from college in 2003 and in 2006 he married Stephanie. It was also during this time that Mike began training for vocational ministry at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Following graduation from seminary in 2008, Mike’s call to gospel ministry was confirmed when Redeemer Church (PCA) in Evans, Georgia called him to be an Associate Pastor. In that role, Mike gave vision and oversight to the church’s youth and families ministries. A few years later in 2013 Mike accepted a new call to be the Pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church (PCA) in Sherwood, Arkansas, which is just outside of Little Rock.
After a couple of years of service at Trinity Fellowship, God began to move Mike’s interest toward church planting. Faithfully listening to God’s leading, Mike and Stephanie attended church planting assessment with Mission to North America and received a full recommendation for church planting.
What that means is that about the time we began looking for a church planter, God was already preparing a planter for us. We didn’t know his name yet, but in time it would all come clear. After a nine month search committee process, an official call was extended to Mike Fennema to be the church planter for Spring Hill, TN. Mike’s call was approved shortly thereafter by the Nashville Presbytery.
The elders are praying that the Spirit of the Lord will persuade some of you to join The Spring Hill Fellowship Team. In fact, if you are in or near Spring Hill, TN, consider what role God is calling you to play in this vital work. Notice, I didn’t say if you will have a role. I said consider what role you are to have. Maybe you will pray? We need prayer. Maybe you will give? We need resources. Maybe you will go? We need laborers in the harvest. Listen closely to Mike’s heart for the gospel and Spring Hill this morning and then answer God’s call.