Quest, Interbay Celebrate New Ministry Partnership

Post a Comment » Written on June 8th, 2007     
Filed under: News
SEATTLE, WA (June 8, 2007) – Quest and Interbay Covenant churches celebrated their first worship service together under the Quest name on Sunday.

Under the new ministry partnership, Interbay gave Quest a building and land worth an estimated $4-6 million. The leadership and constitution of Quest remains intact.

QuestThe two churches have quite different histories. Interbay was 54 years old, and more than half of its parishioners were older than age 50. By contrast, Quest was planted just six years ago by eight people meeting in a living room. It now ministers to roughly 400 people, most of whom are in their 20s.

The merger was made even more unusual because Interbay was “very financially stable,” pastor Ray Bartel said recently. “The church could go on as it is, but we didn’t think that was the right thing to do. Many churches wait until they’re nearly dead before they consider coming together. We wanted to do this from a position of strength.”

The accompanying photo, taken by Joanie Komura during Sunday’s worship service, shows Bartel (left) and Quest pastor Eugene Cho.

Sunday’s service featured a video highlighting Interbay’s ministry over the years. Following the video, Cho asked the members from Interbay to stand so they could be blessed. Cho has called Interbay’s decision to “give itself” to the young congregation “humbling and amazing.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published a lengthy feature story on Sunday’s service. Quest has received publicity from the Seattle newspaper in the past for its innovative ministry, including the congregation’s Q Café, a nonprofit coffeehouse.

As a result, more people are taking notice of Quest. Following the most recent article, Cho wrote on his blog, “I tell this to every pastor that I encounter:  People are watching your church community more than you will ever now. We have visitors that share about how they’ve been watching, following, and observing for months or even for years before they make their first visit.”

In response to the article, one person wrote on the newspaper’s website, “Read the article via the Seattle PI and am very intrigued by how two different churches can come together. Regardless, look forward to checking you guys out some time.”

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