Happy Birthday CFC
With all the strife and conflict that happened in the 1960’s, there was also a relentless hope. Paired with that hope came an authentic search for real peace, love, and authenticity. The Jesus Movement had affected many of the youth in our nation, and a hunger for the word of God started to sweep the country. The 1970’s were an interesting decade as a result, captioned with its own flaws, but ripe with potential. The Spirit of God was taking us back to the Word of God, and the effects of it were felt right here in Evansville.
As in many cases, women are usually the earliest adapters when it comes to acknowledging the human longing for God and moving to affect it. Here in our hometown, God used two ladies with a gift of teaching to touch the lives of hundreds of local women directly, and their influence was multiplied as a result. A retired schoolteacher and our own Founding Pastor’s mother were part of the catalysts God used to lead that local charge. I’ve spoken with some men who’ve been a part of our church for a long time, and they attribute much of our foundation to God’s grace in using all of these women to affect the lives of their families, which in turn brought many of them together at CFC.
Combining those elements with the gifts and relationships of our Founding Pastor, David Niednagel and his wife, Judy, the stage was set for what would become CFC. So, by God’s grace and mercy, 44 years ago this very weekend, August 4, 1974, 100 chairs were set to hold their first gathering inside the University of Evansville’s Union Building. They had hoped for 50 people. By God’s grace, 450 showed up.
As I look back on our history, I’m reminded that I’ve only been part of the work since 2006. And yet, I can still see the threads of our foundation in the tapestry. CFC has always been an “equipping” church. It’s a place where you can grow as a disciple of Christ with the understanding that this growth is also preparation to make disciples—to multiply your influence as a follower of Jesus. This reproduction can easily be seen here in our hometown, but it’s also seen in places around the world where the commission to make disciples of all people has taken us.
This weekend we will look closely, for some of us for the first time, at the core values of our local church that remain and have grown over time. Whether you are new, or have been here since the beginning, we celebrate this weekend not merely for the sake of being nostalgic, but for coming to a clear vision of our identity as a church. This is how we started. This is why. And this is who we are.