February 23, 2017 — by Will & Kari Ritter


Expanding the Kingdom of God in Jerome Idaho

One of ECO’s core values is Kingdom Vitality.  We believe that congregations should vigorously reproduce new missional communities to expand the Kingdom of God! We are thrilled to announce that First Presbyterian Church in Jerome, Idaho has done just that! FPC Jerome has been involved with helping two ECO church plants become a reality. Headwaters Ministries is a beautiful and growing missional community in the Wood River Valley around Hailey, Idaho. In addition, this month marks the launch of Renew, a remarkably unique ministry in the heart of downtown Jerome. So why is FPC Jerome launching a church plant just blocks away? 

First Presbyterian Church Jerome has taken seriously ECO’s mission to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. While FPC is indeed flourishing, we know that we can make a bigger Kingdom impact if we rethink our mission field; letting our mission field determine our mission. Asking questions has been integral to the launch of Renew. 

How do you infuse life into a rural community? How do you reach out to the broken? How is it possible to plant a sustainable church that ministers to children, youth, young adults, and the poor? How can the church be a destination for the community, and an essential asset, rather than a side-note? Renew is an innovative approach to church planting, specifically one tailored to rural communities. Rural communities like Jerome suffer from a lack of public space where the majority of youth are left un-engaged, and the challenge of launching a sustainable ministry is immense. We seek to meet the needs of our community by becoming the public space that the community desperately desires, where culture encounters the Kingdom of God, and is engaged with the transforming power of Jesus.

On March 6th, 2017, after years of preparation, we will open the doors of Renew! Renew is a coffeehouse with a higher purpose. By having a business component and operating a sit-down espresso and ice cream shop, with a storefront open 7am – 9pm, Monday through Saturday, we will be a destination for the unreached in our community. We have completely renovated and updated an old deteriorating building in the center of Jerome, physically bringing new life to Main Street.  With an unapologetic Christian identity, the employees and volunteers of Renew will daily build relationships that demonstrate Christ to the broken and lost and offer real hope to the city we love!

Renew is exciting news in Jerome! City officials, business leaders, other churches, and countless individuals have shared their enthusiasm about this mighty work that God is doing downtown. Doors open and the first espresso will be brewed Monday morning March 6th. Then on Friday and Saturday we will be hosting our Grand Opening weekend, complete with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony and a huge celebration! 

Please keep this new, exciting missional community in your prayers! Please pray for a phenomenal work of the Holy Spirit in Jerome, across our nation and to the ends of the Earth! 

For more information, please visit RENEWchurches.com!


Will & Kari Ritter

Will and Kari Ritter are ECO church planters committed to “building flourishing churches that make Disciples of Jesus Christ.”  Will and Kari Ritter met on their first day at Boise State University in the fall of 1999. While Kari grew up in a family of faith, Will was not a believer at the time. God began a great work in their lives and continues to display His faithfulness to the Ritter family each and every day.  They enjoy life in rural Idaho with their four children. They share a great love for Jesus, a passion for the Gospel, and a deep burden for the hurting and unreached people in the Magic Valley. It is because of this love for Jesus and the community that they are passionate about renewing life in Jerome & creating new ways to reach the lost for Christ. Will Ritter also currently serves as Outreach Pastor at First Presbyterian Church- Jerome.

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