God gave Wayne and Sue Ondersma the vision for The PIER many years before it ever became a reality.
The vision came from Deuteronomy 11:13-15, which says "So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied."
God spoke into their hearts that as they faithfully obey and walk forward into planting the church that HE called them to, that He will bring the people, and through His word the people who come to The PIER "will eat and be satisfied" Wayne Ondersma at the time was director of The DOCK, an amazing ministry drop-in center where he ministered, loved, and shared God's word with the kids. As time went on, the vision of having the church within The DOCK building grew, and it became a matter of "when".
It was in the summer of 2012 when Wayne became acquainted with a movement called One Wyoming, a networking system that has the goal of planting seven new churches within this city. As Wayne’s proposal for a church plant was accepted, Wayne and his wife Sue began to pray and write down the names that God laid on their hearts for the Core team. Many were asked, and few responded with a daring, “yes”. The group of 13 met for the first time in August, to become acquainted with the mere idea of planting a church, and officially began to study together on Wednesday’s nights in October of 2012.
These core team members are not scholars of church planting, or experts in any way, but rather a collection of ordinary people like you. Hours have been spent on the floor, crying out to God for guidance. Time has been spent together, digging into God’s word, searching for that next step, reaching out to the community with prayer walks and picnics. Waiting on the Lord has been a lesson the core team has been learning, as they searched for a parent church. With amazing faith, Immanuel CRC stepped up to support The PIER, but under the condition of having a co-parent church. To the core team's joy, Faith Community responded to this call and has joined The PIER in the journey. A wonderful journey of ordinary people responding out of obedience to God’s call, to walk into the unknown in faith and boldness.
The PIER first opened its doors on Easter Sunday of 2013. That summer was an amazing time of learning together what church would look like as a family of Christ. Later that year in September, after a joint service with our parent churches, we really began to see people coming to church! People we connected with on prayer walks, others who were invited by friends: it was amazing to watch God bring people in!
The first year brought on a lot of awesome things, such as a worship leader, leadership growth, discipleship incentives, new believers in Christ, and baptisms. We thank God for caring for us through this journey, and trust that as we faithfully obey He WILL bring the people, and that through His word we will be satisfied.
In 2017 Immanuel CRC closed its doors, and the PIER began prayerfully seeking a new parent church. God responded by calling Providence CRC to come alongside us as we grow. We are very thankful for them as we continue to work together to spread the good news of Christ to our communities!