Two North Alabama Conference new church pastors are a part of Asbury Theological Seminary’s Church Planting Fellows Program for 2018-19. Rev. Christian Cheairs, who is is launching Viewpoint Church out of Trinity UMC in Homewood (South Central District), and Rev. Chris Stallings, founding pastor of reFresh Church in Priceville (Northwest District), are a part of a cohort of 12 participants from all across the eastern United States, as well as two from Jamaica and Singapore.
The Fellows Program is a covenant, intentional learning community intended to foster camaraderie among selected church planters. From May 2018 to April 2019, each participant commits to active engagement with other Fellows through monthly group coaching calls led by a member of Asbury Seminary’s Church Planting Team, on-on-one coaching calls with a seminary faculty member and submitting a reflective summary paper from the year’s experience.
North Alabama Conference Executive Director of New Church Development Dr. Richard Hunter explains that during the one year fellowship, in addition to being coached by leaders in the field, the planters will also attend seminars together, share best practices and visit model new church plants around the region.
The pastors' new congregations have also have been awarded Church Planters Fellowship Grants through the Asbury Seminary Church Planting Initiative. Viewpoint received $6,000 and reFresh received $4,000.