New Church Plant Viewed as ‘Mission Outpost’

Post a Comment » Written on April 6th, 2006     
Filed under: News
LA QUINTA, CA (April 6, 2006) – Chris Hushaw grew up in this California desert area. Now the Holy Spirit has brought him back into that wilderness.

This past Sunday, La Quinta Community Covenant Church, which Hushaw has planted, held its grand opening service. Located in the Palm Springs area, the congregation is more than a two-hour drive from the nearest Evangelical Covenant Church.

“We’re definitely a mission outpost,” quips Hushaw. “People out here don’t know what a Covenant church is.”

Most people in this rapidly growing area know what churches are, but almost none of them have attended churches in the communities from which they’ve moved, Hushaw says. “Less than 10 percent claim to be involved in a church.”

La Quinta now has more than 36,000 inhabitants, according to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, an increase of 52 percent over the nearly 24,000 residents reported in 2000. Despite the population size, the community has only four established churches – as many as are found on one block in small towns across the country, Hushaw notes. The four in the community are a Catholic church and three small independent congregations.

Last year, the county was the fastest growing in California and the second fastest in the country, Hushaw says. Seniors and others who own resort property have been the traditional residents, but many of the people moving in the area are young families.

Hushaw started last September with a core group of 65 people, many of whom he knew growing up. Attendance has reached as high as 190 at one of the preview services.

Leaders of the new church hope one day to be a “mother” church starting another congregation. Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rolling Hills Estates, California, has been providing support to La Quinta Community Covenant. Hushaw’s wife, Linda, grew up in that congregation.

Hushaw touts the area as a great place to live. “It is paradise for nine months out of the year,” he says. The summer months are different. “It spikes to over 110 almost every day.”

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