October 18 - 31, 2014
Celebrate two decades of service with Faith Family Church BY TRACY HOUSE
In October 1994, when Faith Family Church opened its doors, the congregation was meager. “We started the church 20 years ago at Sanborn Elementary School in Chandler,” says founding and senior pastor Andy White. “We started in October and we advertised in newspapers and radio and our ﬁrst service, nobody showed up.” For the ﬁrst six months, the congregation didn’t grow too much, but that all changed. Now Faith Family Church is celebrating two decades of service. “By the time we got to our ﬁrst anniversary, we had 80 people,” he says. “It was interesting because, in the beginning, I ﬁgured that God’s plan for the church was rapid growth, because I knew who I was. But really I think God’s little agenda was for us was to help develop our character as a church and we’ve been a very good family church for years.” Faith Family Church has been involved in the community thanks to its Jumpstart Ministry, which reaches out to thousands of underprivileged children. “We’ve given away over 600 bicycles and we have a big Christmas production for the kids,” he says. “We’ve actually seen a reduction in the crime in these areas. We’ve become well-known in these areas after all these years.” As part of its outreach, Faith Family Church has small group meetings and ministries as well as mid-week service at 7 p.m. Wednesdays; and children’s ministry
on Sunday mornings and youth ministry at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. “We’re a rock-solid church,” White says with pride. “We’ve been on a journey like everybody else, but we haven’t had to back up and apologize for crazy things. We do our best to be a church that subscribes to the Bible. We don’t rely on fanfare or smoking mirrors.” From renting space in schools to its current location, a 30,000-square-foot church built in 2009, Faith Family Church boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, White says. “We have a child care with space for 120 children,” he says. “We have started a Christian school. It’s going to be kindergarten and ﬁrst grade next year.” This school year the church started Life Christian Academy, with a kindergarten program. The plan is to add an additional grade each year to 12th grade. “We have a very warm, a very connected church,” White says. “We put a strong emphasis on relationships and building relationships. Because when it comes down to it, that’s what you need— you need friends, you need family to support you. You need people on your side and we really work hard to make that happen.” Growing to 300 members, the church is strong on discipleship, White explains. “We feel like our niche is we are a spiritﬁlled family church and that we are a part of the Rhema Bible Church Association,” he says.
A GATHERING OF FRIENDS: The public is invited to the 20th anniversary celebration of Faith Family Church, Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26. Submitted photo
Longevity is the key to Faith Family Church’s success. There are families who have stayed with the church since the beginning. “I love seeing families grow and seeing kids that went from 2 years old, out there successful in business and having kids of their own. I plan on staying here until I’m done on Earth.” The Faith Family Church’s 20-year anniversary fall festival is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. The event features a petting zoo, hayrides, a 50s band and games for the whole family. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, Barry Perez of Harvest Time International will speak. Following that evening is the 20th anniversary Celebration of Seasons from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “We’re calling it the four seasons of praise,” White says. “We’re going to be
looking at the four seasons of our church— the ﬁrst ﬁve years, our next ﬁve years.” There will be guest speakers and people who were part of the church during its seasons. “It’s going to be interesting to the people who have been here all the way through.” Bringing family together and worship, White says “the biggest compliment I ever get is when people say ‘This is a very balanced church.’ We don’t try to be extreme in one way or another. We try to be stable and balanced.” The community is invited to the 20year celebration of Faith Family Church, 11530 E. Queen Creek Rd., Chandler. For more information about the church or the celebration, visit www.faithfc.org Tracy House is the news editor for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.