The story of a church that began in Bonney Lake
Sept. 2009 | Huff Home
Jan. 2010 | Launched Services in Regal Theater
March 2011 | Went Mobile, Victor Falls Elementary
August 2011 | Moved to Bonney Lake High School
December 2012 | Helped Launch Living Hope in Sumner, WA
September 2015 | Living Hope Sumner becomes Open Life Sumner
January 2018 | Open Life Sumner joins Open Life in Bonney Lake
Open Life Church is the result of a divine interruption during a board meeting at Northwest Family Church (NFC) on February 10, 2009 in Auburn, WA. The Northwest Ministry Network was present and asking if anyone on that church’s staff would feel the call to start a new church in Bonney Lake. It was church that would exist for those who were not already in a relationship with Jesus. Thad Huff, youth pastor for 13 years at that point with the last 4 being at NFC, felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit, and the journey of determining if it was God, or the pizza he ate earlier that night, began. (Narrator: It wasn’t the pizza) Having lived in Bonney Lake for 4 years at that point, Thad & Dana Huff and family accepted the shift in focus from youth in Auburn to the unchurched in their community!
Thad & Dana assembled a team by asking many of their friends through Facebook and neighbors if they would join in on the mission of Jesus in Bonney Lake; “people leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus.” Over the course of the summer of 2009, the formation point of a launch team began. They settled on a pre-launch gathering in the Huff home in the fall of 2009. On January 10, 2010, Open Life started meeting weekly in the Regal Theater with 121 people (pictured above). Since the launch, Open Life has experienced great favor and has become a key organization in the life of the city of Bonney Lake, as they build and serve the community through moments like the, School Supply Give, the Community Big Give, and being strategically generous through various community partnerships. They have now moved the weekly gathering to Bonney Lake High School in the heart of the city and enjoy being able to invest back into the local school district.
We have discovered the reality of being a church movement and not just a church gathering.
The desire to reproduce churches both locally and globally took further shape on Christmas Eve 2012 when Open Life partnered with the launch of another expression of the church in Sumner, Living Hope. Living Hope chose to lean back into Open Life and become Open Life Sumner in the fall of 2015. Even after two years of recruiting staff and launching even more initiatives within the community this campus needed to combine with Bonney Lake at Bonney Lake High School where we all currently gather. We have learned what it takes to lead a self-sustaining campus and are thankful for the 5 years we were able to invest into this campus.
Next is Orting or Wilkeson, as we have been invited by multiple people to come and be a presence of the gospel in these cities. We are currently in the phase of neighboring and in Orting we have a couple called to lead this community, but still searching for our lead for Wilkeson. We could potentially go after these campuses in 2018/2019.
In total, we see at least 10 communities that will benefit from Open Life launching an expression or campus there that is living out our culture and DNA in the context of that community. We continue to apprentice and look for open doors as we lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.