The Birth of the First Ekklesia Beyond Church
“Ekklesia Beyond” was born amid the 2020 epidemic. It started with online meetings, and gradually graduated to Sunday services and small group fellowships from their base in Houston, Texas. On May 16, 2021, the church was officially named “Ekklesia Beyond Church”, in keeping with the vision that God has entrusted it: Internet Church, Church Inter Netting. Their goal was to help brothers and sisters mature and grow in Christ, becoming the seeds for church planting and to gradually form a network of “churches on the other side”.
In 2021, they experienced the faithfulness and safe keeping of the Lord, the unity of brothers and sisters in the church working together in various ministries, and the expansion of God’s kingdom through their prayers and service. Overseas mission trips were launched, and the church participated in short-term mission trips to Honduras and Kenya organized by Living Hope. They also supported the church planting training organized by the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the US and Canada (CBF) in Houston and their Church Planters’ Retreat. The church participated in the disaster relief efforts in Henan Province, China, sending rice cookers and small kitchen appliances to brothers and sisters in the disaster stricken areas.
In 2021, the foundation of a physical “Ekklesia Beyond Church” was laid. They purchased an apartment to provide hospitality to visiting pastors, rented an office space, and increased the number of ministry volunteers. Nearly 100 people sought membership at the church. They also started an English Sunday School ministry with four volunteers serving weekly. God has allowed the number of weekly meetings and small groups to grow, and the impact of the church continues to expand, and has become a source of encouragement to other churches involved in their own online ministries.
In July 2021, the First Ekklesia Beyond Church was officially constituted and on February 12, 2022, the church held its inaugural in-person worship with 35 people in attendance which included representatives of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the US and Canada (CBF) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB). During the worship, founding Pastor and their Church Planting Pastor, Rev. Peter Liu whose vision started the church, noted that the church was unique in several ways: It was a church plant without a full time Pastor; without a physical plant; and without any support from a “mother” church. But it was a church that supported the ministry of the CBF and had engaged in missions even before it began as a church. Rev. Peter Leong, one of the Administrative Advisors of CBF, brought greetings from the Baptist General Convention of Texas as its Ambassador and from Rev. Amos Lee, Executive Director of the CBF who was not able to attend the Service due to his inability to travel be-cause of health issues. He encouraged the church by noting that in the two years of the pandemic, God was at work through the brothers and sisters in the Beyond Church in reaching out and building up each other, culminating in its formation. Rev. Jeremy Sin, National Church Planting Catalyst at NAMB affirmed the church in being faithful in living out the teachings of the apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:2 by preaching the Gospel “in season and out of season” even when others saw the pandemic as an insur-mountable challenge, feeling fearful, hopeless and helpless, the church laid hold of the opportunity to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing true peace and the hope of life eternal. Rev. Ted Lam, retired Pastor of the Tulsa International Baptist Church, and a member of the CBF Church Planting Team, brought the message for the day from Ephesians 4:23-24. He encouraged the congregation to seize the opportunity of a new day that has dawned for the Chinese church in North America as a new wave of migration has hit our shores with Mandarin speakers this time around and what that meant for the Gospel ministry.
All in all, it was a very uplifting worship and a celebration of a new milestone for the church. We praise God that He has allowed Ekklesia Church to be an encouragement to other churches serving their own congregations online in the new normal. We thank all the pastors and our coworkers for their support and prayers. May the Church continue to be diligent in doing the Lord’s work in preaching the Gospel in season and out of season.
Church Contact Information:
3535 Briarpark Dr, Suite 135,