Church Revitalization

Surveys by George Barna and others indicate that as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of the churches in North America are in a state of plateau or decline. The goal of our church revitalization efforts is to reverse that trend by providing presbyteries and churches the necessary resources to positively impact church vitality.

The quick links below will take you to the appropriate section of this page.

Objectives
Bart L. Hess Award for Church Vitality
Z–4:10 (Small Church) Network

OBJECTIVES 

 

The EPC's church revitalization efforts have three goals:

  • To identify EPC churches which are most likely to benefit from a church vitality process.
  • To resource churches, in consultation with presbyteries, in developing a master plan that identifies mission, goals and objectives.
  • To identify appropriate resources and materials that will aid churches in enhancing vitality.

BARTLETT L. HESS AWARD FOR CHURCH VITALITY 

 

Bart L. HessThe Bartlett L. Hess Award is given annually to the EPC church that has demonstrated the most innovative approach to church growth or revitalization. Church growth—in both its spiritual and numerical aspects—is an essential part of the mission of the church. The Hess Award provides a vehicle by which positive, reproducible innovation is encouraged and shared with others in the EPC.

WHO IS BART HESS?
Dr. Bartlett L. (Bart) Hess was a great leader. He was a visionary. He pastored rural, ethnic, urban, and suburban churches with skill and care. He planted daughter churches and revitalized tired churches. Dr. Hess was one of the founding fathers of the EPC. All to the glory of God!

At age 86, his last pastorate was a successful interim ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Trenton, Michigan. He was age 81 when he led the team planting Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For 36 years he served the Ward Presbyterian Churches of Detroit and Livonia (simultaneously for 12 years with his wife Margaret driving him between churches while he took a quick nap). Then, at the request of his Presbytery, Dr. Hess focused only on Ward Livonia until it grew to some 5,000 members.

Dr. Hess believed that the people of his church were the "living stones" of 1 Peter 2:5. He counted his stones one by one, and was known for saying, "If one of the stones is missing, pastor and people need to know why." If you were absent from his church for three Sundays, you could expect on the third Sunday afternoon his rumbling voice on the phone saying, "This is your pastor calling." If you were a first-time visitor in his church, by Sunday evening you would have heard from him. By Monday morning your name would be on the Evangelism Pastor's desk, and if you returned the next Sunday, Dr. Hess would greet you by name. 

Click here to download the Bartlett L. Hess Award nomination form

BARTLETT L. HESS AWARD RECIPIENTS

2016
Ardara United Presbyterian Church
Ardara, Pennsylvania
Glenn Meyers, Pastor

 Ardara United Presbyterian Church, Ardara PA

2015
Christ Church East Bay
Berkeley, California
Bart Garrett, Pastor

2014
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk
Nassau, Bahamas
Bryn MacPhail, Pastor

2013
Lake Forest Church
Huntersville, North Carolina
Mike Moses, Pastor

2012
Waterbrook Community Church
Longs, Suth Carolina
Tom Clymer, Pastor

2011
Tunica Presbyterian Church
Tunica, Mississippi
Paul Husband, Pastor

2010
Clayton Community Church
Clayton, California
Shawn Robinson, Pastor

2009
All Saints Church
Memphis, Tennessee
Warring Porter, Pastor

2008
City Church of Homestead
Homestead, Florida
Chris Coppolo, Pastor

2007
Greentree Community Church
Kirkwood, Missouri.
Tom Ricks, Pastor

2006
Mt. Pleasant Community Church
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Scott McKee, Pastor

First Presbyterian Church
Houma, Louisiana
Robert Hamd, Pastor

2005
Cleveland Presbyterian Church
Abingdon, Virginia
Tom Musselman, Pastor

Goodwill Presbyterian Church
Montgomery, New York
John Torres, Pastor

Greenwood Community Church
Greenwood Village, Colorado
Tom Melton, Pastor

2004
Hope Presbyterian Church
Memphis, Tennessee
Craig Strickland, Pastor

2003
The City of Refuge
Houston, Texas
Rufus Smith IV, Pastor

2002
First Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Anna, Illinois
Steve Wilkinson, Pastor

2001
Brainerd Presbyterian Church
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Ron Ragon, Pastor

2000
Forest Hill Church
Charlotte, North Carolina
David Chadwork, Pastor

1999
Military Avenue Presbyterian Church
Detroit, Michigan
Randy Brown, Pastor

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Z - 4:10 (SMALL CHURCH) NETWORK 

 

Did you know that six out of ten EPC churches meet with fewer than 200 people each Sunday, or that four out of every ten meet with less than 100? The Z–4:10 Network exist to equip and encourage the leaders of these "small steeple" churches. 

In addition to the Z–4:10 Network resources, the Small Church Network Fund provides resources to develop programs, purchase leadership training materials, and assist leaders of small churches with financial need to attend regional conferences that will affirm the small church in its missional purpose and practice. Would you prayerfully consider how you can help us raise $5,000 in 2016 to help our many Z–4:10 churches? Click here to join in this partnership (in the "designation" pulldown menu, choose Pastoral and Chaplain Projects, then Small Church Network (479). Thank you!

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