Where do churches come from? God’s Word is clear; the church was born
in the heart of God when He sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world. Jesus
Himself said,I will build my church; and the gates of Hades
will not overpower it(Matthew 16:18, NAS).
Now, more than 2000 years later, I believe Scripture also gives us a
blueprint onhownew churches are
established. The pattern in the New Testament is one of churches planting
churches. In today’s world, that may involve a combination of churches,
associations, a state Baptist convention, or a mission board—but ultimately,
it’s existing churches that start churches.
The Salmon Valley Baptist Church (SVBC) is a prime example of a
church-starting church. Tucked away in the Salmon River Valley three hours
north of Idaho Falls, SVBC runs about 170 in attendance and has planted a
church in Coeur d’Alene in the panhandle of Idaho. The church also has started
the Lemhi River Cowboy Church. Mike Palmer, pastor of SVBC and a North American
Mission Board trustee, preaches at the cowboy church on Sunday evenings. Plans
are underway to send out a lay church planter to start a church in nearby
Challis. All this is done in cooperation with the local association, state
convention, and the North American Mission Board.
Driving 280 miles south of the Montana/Idaho border on U.S. Highway 93
would take you through 24 zip codes, 10 towns, and numerous small communities,
but you would only pass by two Southern Baptist churches—SVBC and The Country
Church in Moore. The Country Church, a two-year-old church nestled in the Big
Lost River Valley, already has plans to plant more churches in their
I pray for the day when every Southern Baptist church will be involved in
church planting. That involvement can be in a number of different
• Church Planting Activities—Help a new church with prayer walking, backyard
Bible clubs, evangelistic surveys, or Scripture distribution.
• Sponsor or Co-sponsor—Come alongside a new church with finances, prayer,
• Core Group—You could send members out from your own congregation to help
plant a church.
It will take all kinds of churches to reach the different people and places
of North America. Whether it’s a church for Asian immigrants in Vancouver, a
church for Hispanic migrant workers in Kentucky, a church for stressed-out
college students in New York, or a church for farmers and cowboys in Nebraska,
everyone needs a church that communicates the gospel in a way they can
You can help provide that church. New churches come from the Lord, and they
come from you, your church, and your Acts 1:8 partners. Be a part of helping to
start a church. You can do it. We can help.
—Geoff Hammond, president, The North American Mission Board
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC