Over past year, God has placed an unshakable burden upon Gabe and Kari Garcia's hearts to reach a new community with the love and truth of Christ. Throughout a season of prayer and seeking godly counsel, they were encouraged to investigate the possibility of church planting. Through that process, they sensed God's hand in calling, affirming, and creating a pathway toward planting in the Bay Area.
Gabe describes well why he and Kari have felt compelled to plant a church in the Bay Area:
"Today's research suggests that the Bay Area is one of the most unchurched areas of our country. And while it is tempting to believe we have enough churches, the reality is that most cities and communities need new churches to reach new people, different generations, and unique people groups. We plant churches because we believe it is the natural outflow of the Great Commission. We pray and prepare to church plant because we are burdened to see disciples of Jesus gathered, equipped, and unleashed for a mission."
The Garcia family will be moving to Oakland late this spring from Santa Clarita, where Gabe has served at Grace Baptist Church for the past seven years. The Garcias are excited to learn about and invest in their community as they build relationships in Oakland.
For several years running, the major cities of the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland) have been identified as some of the most unchurched cities in America. According to Barna Group, 60% of residents in these cities are not connected to a church. The major cities of the Bay Area also top the lists of the most de-churched cities and of the most post-Christian cities.
It's for these very reasons that we're excited to partner with Gabe and Kari Garcia to establish a new church in the diverse city of Oakland. The Garcias desire to see disciples of Jesus gathered, equipped, and unleashed for mission in the Bay Area. They aim to plant a multi-ethnic, multi-class, and multi-generational church in Oakland that connects with the people of their city, and that helps start other churches within the region.
As natives of the region, Gabe and Kari recognize a great opportunity for the gospel to bring together the beautifully diverse people of Oakland.
Would you join us in praying for the Garcia family as they prepare to move — that God would go before them, leading them and preparing the way for fruitful relationships in Oakland?
And would you join us in praying even now for his provision of a new church for Oakland?
Join us in establishing a new church for Oakland.