In 2003, Family Church of Fredonia launched its first satellite church in Jamestown. After a year, the church was incorporated and is today one of the largest churches in the Jamestown area.
Since then, two other Family Churches have been successfully planted - one in Warren, Pa., and one in South Dayton. In September of 2013, the total number will rise again as another two churches are launched - Olean and North East, Pa.
The Rev. Michael Lokietek, who is the senior pastor of Family Church Fredonia and recently founded Family Church International, has the fervent passion to launch more churches throughout the area, and beyond.
"For years, I've believed that God has called us to reach this region with the gospel," said Lokietek. "This is another step toward that. Starting two more churches is just a taste of things to come."
The Rev. Mike and Courtney Anderson, who currently pastor the South Dayton church, will head up the Olean work. Services will be held weekly on Saturdays at 6 p.m. starting Sept. 7. They'll begin in the Hampton Inn located on Main Street in Olean - a fairly traditional way to start a Family Church. The Family Church Jamestown began in Jamestown's Holiday Inn, and Starbrick Family Church in Warren's Holiday Inn.
"Our motto for Family Church of Cattaraugus County (South Dayton and Olean) has been 'where the promises of God become a reality,'" said Rev. Anderson, who, with his wife, has led South Dayton since its inception in 2010. "There is so much in the Bible that God wants for people to have, and it's our desire to show that to them."
Heading up the North East work will be the Rev. Tim and Penny Pilarski. Currently, the Rev. Pilarski serves at the Fredonia church, and will be leaving to launch North East Family Church on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. The church is located at 16 N. Lake St. in the historic Pennsylvania village.
"We are excited about becoming part of the North East community," said the Rev. Pilarski. "North East is a great area, so full of life. Everyone we've met has been very friendly."
The Pilarskis are currently attending ministry training school, and have served faithfully in the ministry of helps in Fredonia for nearly two decades. Having just retired from a lifelong career in New York State Corrections, the Rev. Pilarski is excited to step into the next phase of his life.
Looking forward, the Rev. Lokietek intends to keep going with the trend of church planting.
"We've started a ministry training center in Jamestown, and we're constantly preparing ministers to be sent out to start churches," he said. "God has divinely orchestrated every church we've planted, and we're excited for what He has for the Family Churches going forward."
For more information on the Family Churches, visit fcintl.org.