Jason Brown, lead pastor of Oceanview Fellowship in Melbourne, Fla. (a church planted recently with the help of Assist CX), remembers when he first felt called to full-time ministry at Momentum Youth Conference. Now, 27 years later, he is leading a brand-new congregation in worship each Sunday evening on the coast of the Atlantic.
Oceanview Fellowship (OVF) is Suntree Grace Church’s first official Charis Fellowship church plant. Brown has been pastoring Suntree Grace for the last five years, and in that time the congregation experienced great growth.
“We decided we could be more effective in reaching others for Christ if we shared our growth instead of limiting it to one location,” says Brown. “We have a number of families that live beachside, so we started there.”
The leadership team at OVF consists of Brown, who is lead pastor while continuing to pastor Suntree Grace Church, Bill Tweeddale, who serves as an elder, and Austin Schllomeyer who serves administratively between Suntree Grace and OVF.
The services are held Sunday evenings with the goal of reaching a community that enjoys being in the sun and waves during the day and are then free during the evenings to attend church. Between encouragement from mentors and seeing Jesus at work, Brown has confidence in the good things OVF will accomplish.
“We have been able to see Jesus work through both Suntree Grace and OVF in ways that only He could work. Since day one there are many who have decided to follow Christ, and we continue to grow,” Brown says. “We have already started identifying and praying for the team who will plant the next two or three churches in 2019.”
Brown has seen God glorified in His provision for the church in many ways already. God provided a beautiful space in which OVF can begin to form their new church family. Additionally, because so many in the congregation are new believers, there is a lot of excitement because of the evidence of changed lives.
“We have new believers leading new believers to Christ and baptizing them on a regular basis. God has provided for every single one of our needs. In the future, we hope to plant an entire region of autonomous churches under the administrative support of Suntree Grace,” Brown says.
As Brown continues to lead the new congregation, he clings to God’s Word in Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
As the OVF congregation continues to grow and get to know one another, they find that understanding what each member brings to the table is imperative.
Brown shares, “We want to know Jesus, but we also understand that Jesus wants us to know and love one another. The loving one another has served as the best way to display for the watching world who Jesus is (John 13:35) and what He has done.”
[Connect:] To send a note of encouragement to Pastor Brown, click here.