Network: US West

The Town Church was planted in Eureka, CA in the fall of 2010 and meets two blocks off Hwy 101 which runs right through the middle of town. Eureka is a small city with a poor economy, struggling to recover from a decline in the fishing & timber industries. While Eureka and Humboldt County have long been linked with marijuana cultivation and culture, our region’s dependence on the cannabis industry has become much more mainstream. Our crime rates, drug use, and homelessness continue to rise.

Aside from economic challenges, our church is also called to minister to a region that is in many ways hostile towards Christianity. Whether it is the staunchly progressive liberal or the fiercely independent conservative, the gospel of Jesus presents stumbling blocks which are not well received. In response, many of the churches in our area are very inward focused and sometimes take an adversarial stance towards the community. In the midst of this, our church is mainly reaching younger working families who are looking for stability, community, and grace in this challenging environment. We have also taken steps to be gracious and generous to our community as a whole when opportunities arise.

Our church was graciously given a building in 2016, and we have worked to build relationships using our gathering space. During the Christmas season, we partnered with a local homeless ministry, Betty Kwan Chinn Outreach, to provide dinner, clothing, toys, and love to the homeless community and the neighborhood around our building. It was a beautiful picture of gospel reconciliation to see the rich and poor, city leaders and panhandlers, cops and criminals all together in one room to share in the grace of a good meal. Betty Chinn has asked us to host these meals four times a year.

Also, we are currently in negotiations with the city of Eureka to host a Homeless Community Day Center. In partnership with Betty Chinn and her staff, we would open our building each day to those who need to get off the streets, give them a place to store their belongings safely, get connected with social services and begin to work toward permanent housing and employment.

The Town Church has also begun to build relationships with our local foster care and adoption community and services. Our county is woefully short-staffed and under-resourced when it comes to social services. Along with other churches, our church family is working toward helping provide homes for kids in the foster care system, support and encouragement for foster families, and the grace of Jesus to all who are affected by the pain of broken families.

Lane Kennard, our one other elder, and his family have been with us since we planted the Town Church. Beginning last spring, they have been moving toward planting a new missional community in their town of Fortuna (20 minutes south of Eureka) and have begun to see much fruit in their efforts. In August of 2017, they baptized five new believers (see attached photos) and celebrated their faith in Jesus. Lane and his family will be going out to fulfill a calling of planting a new church in Fortuna, and we are praying that God will bless their labor, prepare them for their ministry, raise up new leaders to assist them in the work and provide for their financial needs.

We also ask that you join us in praying:

  • For vibrant spiritual growth and encouragement within our church as we remain faithful to our calling in Eureka.
  • That people we have been witnessing to and praying for would put their trust in Jesus.
  • For our relationship with the city, the county, and other churches in our area be deepened and strengthened and that we remain faithful to the gospel as we serve together.
  • For new leaders and volunteers to be trained up to take the place of those who have left or have been sent out to do ministry in other churches.
  • For wisdom on how to lead young families and single people who are wrestling with challenges related to family life, vocation, ministry, mission and rest.

Each year, Acts 29 US West has the joy of funding a number of church plants. Town Church is one of 17 church plants we’re funding in 2017. You can read about more of these church plants on our blog!

Nate Downey
Written by: Nate Downey on December 11, 2017

Nate Downey is the planter and pastor of the Town Church in Eureka, CA. He has lived in the area for more than 30 years, and pursued church planting out of a desire to see more of the gospel displayed and declared in the home area that he loved so much. Nate and his wife Dallass have been married more than 12 years, and have four children. He enjoys reading, running, surfing, movies, craft beer and the beach.

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