After opening new locations in Mayville and Tonawanda, Family Church will now impact a total of eight regional communities.
The Rev. Michael Lokietek's influence is spreading across the northeast. From 20 years of leading Family Church Fredonia, to mission work in Spain, he has also started five other regional Family Churches: Jamestown, South Dayton, Olean, Starbrick, Pa., and North East, Pa.
The first service at the Mayville location was held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday at Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center, 215 W. Lake Road in Mayville. The service was open to the public.
Photo by Dusten Rader
Chautauqua Suites in Mayville is pictured. Family Church will begin hosting meetings at the suites beginning on Easter Sunday.
The Revs. Jeff and Renee Mitchener will serve as pioneers for the Mayville location. The couple and their three children, Mark, Caleb and Ezra, have been members at Family Church Jamestown for more than eight years.
"When you're pioneering a new church there's a lot more things to do and a lot less people to do it," The Rev.?Jeff Mitchener said. "But, we put a strong importance on serving in the church because we believe that's how God uses people. He picks those who are faithful and willing to do whatever needs to be done. Whenever someone is called to do something that is ordained by God it's really exciting to be able to be used for that."
According to Mitchener, Family Church is a Bible-based, word-oriented organization with the mission of bringing the gospel to the people to prepare for the return of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
"One of the biggest things is changing lives through the word of God," Mitchener said. "I believe very strongly in the message that is taught at Family Church because it changed my life. When you find something good you want to share it with everybody. We teach the uncompromised word of God, and we stick to scripture - I've seen it change lives."
In addition to the new Mayville location, Family Church is also opening a Tonawanda site this Sunday. The site is located at a storefront on Hinds Street. It will be pastored by the Revs. Chris and Chrystal Herman.
For more information, visit fcmayville.org or fcintl.org.
According to the Rev. Tim Stahlman, pastor of Family Church Jamestown, the Mitcheners were selected to pioneer the Mayville work because of their proven faithfulness and love for the community.
"(Jeff) and his wife Renee go out of their way just to frequent the restaurants and local businesses in Mayville," Stahlman said. "(The) Rev. Mitchener even drives from Jamestown just to get his hair cut in Mayville in order to spend more time there. They are a committed young family, and have served with complete excellence in many capacities for more than eight years at Family Church. We have always known that we would have a church in that community and the Mitcheners are the perfect choice."