SEEDNet, the project of visionOhio that has become known for its unique role in planting churches in apartment complexes and low-income communities, has become an independent organization. Still partnering with local churches and VisionOhio, the new corporate standing of SEEDNet includes a board of directors who meet four times a year and regional leaders who meet periodically to ask “50,000 foot questions” that focus on the movement and nurture those in the leadership positions.
SEEDNet began under the umbrella of VisionOhio, a Grace Brethren regional church-planting network that helps catalyze local churches to plant other churches. In 2006, VisionOhio member Nathan Wells (then serving as the youth pastor at Ashland Grace Brethren Church) gathered a few others to start intentionally building relationships with the adults living at a low income community nearby. Eastgate Bible Church, the first apartment-complex congregation, grew out of that initiative.
“God put on my heart to keep planting churches,” explains Wells. “Specifically in spiritually, emotionally, economically, and developmentally oppressed areas (SEED). The people living there aren’t just surviving hard times, their lives are oppressed. They are oppressed by their own blatant sin, by fear, godless- ness, brokenness, sadness, anger, poverty, and addiction,” said Wells.
SEEDNet currently has congregations in ten different apartment complexes from Cleveland to Columbus. They have already been approached by apartment owners and asked to plant churches in more than 300 multi-family dwellings throughout Ohio, a challenge they have tackled head-on.
“The apartment complexes are filled with oppressed people who are in desperate need. And Christ is meeting them there,” continues Wells. “The soil is ripe and the need is great to bring the gospel and plant churches among them that will nurture their souls, and give them a spiritual community in which to thrive and grow. Their walk with Christ is tender and precious. They need the gospel and they need a church.”
SEEDNet is funded through gifts from individuals and churches. To learn more about this ministry, see the SEED- Net blog at seednetblog.wordpress.com. (You also can subscribe to have regular updates sent to your email inbox.)