Douglas Assembly of God pastor Brian Rossignol was excited—delighted, in fact—to see God working in a big way in his community recently.
Something quite unique happened in Douglas last Sunday morning as a record number of nine different churches came together to lead worship services in Jackalope Square for nearly 400 people.
Community Church is an annual Jackalope Days tradition. Various churches have led the services over the years, but this is the first time that nine of our city’s churches have led the service together at a single event.
First Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Crossroads Baptist Church, Douglas Assembly of God, Unity Christian Fellowship, Outpost Christian Church, The Gathering, Christ Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church have joyfully taken over Jackalope Square with a single mission: to praise and love Jesus -Christ on a sunny summer Sunday morning.
As Rossignol explained how they all decided to work together, he said five churches led the 2021 service. from there.
“When I was initially asked by Jen Goodwin (The Enterprise program manager) to do the service, I was curious to know how the services had operated in the past. There have been different churches that have run the service, but there was a desire for it to become more than one church (directed service).
“I contacted Matt Fox of Unity Christian Fellowship, who had done service in the past. He was immediately on board with the idea of us doing service together. Gathering and its associate pastor Sara Philippi, and within minutes they were on board as well.Our first service was a success with Pastor Frank speaking,” he recalls.
Rassemblement pastor Frank died in February. He was a shining example of love and, by all accounts, highly regarded within the Douglas community.
Rossignol said that when considering a speaker for this year’s service, Pastor Dan Hickman was his obvious choice, due to “his long service as pastor at Douglas. He served 20 years, from 1980 to 2000. Pastor Dan kept close friendships within the community and has been linked to Douglas ever since (he moved). This year we had nine churches on board. Each church took different parts of the service. The worship team had representatives from five different churches. What encouraged me the most was the enthusiasm and willingness of these churches – many of the nine churches joined with great enthusiasm! Nightingale said, an obvious smile lighting up the sound of his voice.
Rossignol’s ultimate vision with the annual service is to “bring churches, Christians and ministers together, to see each other as allies, not rivals.”
“I believe we can accomplish so much more when we work together, when we find common ground to lean on, when we set aside small differences. . . and see the possibilities. It was so beautiful to see us together like that! Work as one body of Christ. Mobilize and pool our resources. My hope for 2023 is to see 12 churches on board and reach even more people in service. We also hope to do more cooperative initiatives in the future,” he said.
After the services, a huge potluck was shared among congregants who spent about an hour socializing.
Rossignol’s happiness at seeing so many churches and people gathered in one place was apparent.
“One thing I can say with certainty is that a lot of people in attendance wanted to see more community church services like these over the summer,” he said.