…of New Heritage Community
Pastors Randy Reinhardt (Covenant Community Church) and Fred Lessans (Living Water Fellowship) became closely associated in the mid-eighties in the context of a pastors’ prayer group that met regularly for prayer and mutual support. It was in this context that a growing friendship began to emerge.
In 1995, the Lord began to indicate that perhaps He had something greater for our two congregations. A member, who had been part of each congregation at different times, shared a prophetic vision that her friend had regarding the two congregations. Amazingly, this “friend” lived in Canada and had no real knowledge about either congregation. In essence, the vision seemed to indicate that the two congregations would be brought together in a more significant way. However several years would go by before this would be fully realized.
Given our desire for more relationship between our two congregations, we began to share events together, i.e., picnics, Christmas Eve and Good Friday services. During this time, Randy and Fred also began meeting together for greater accountability and personal support thus furthering their brotherhood and preparing the way for what was to come.
Finally, in the summer of 1998, the Lord began to give further indication that He was calling the two congregations into a more profound relationship.
Over the years, both Randy and Fred had often talked about the similarities between the two congregations and “joked” about the two congregations becoming one. But in 1998, the “joking” ceased. On a retreat, Fred sensed the Lord gave him a passage of Scripture in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37 verses 15-17…
“The word of the Lord came to me: “’Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘for Judah and the children of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write upon it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him’; and join them together into one stick, that they may become one in your hand.’”
Upon returning home, Fred shared with Randy what he felt the Lord might be saying through this passage of Scripture. After more prayer and reflection, they initiated a process of prayer and consultation with the elders of each congregation as to whether God could be calling them together. A year later in August of 1999, a proposal to unite together was brought before the two congregations. Thus began a process of “courtship” to determine whether this was in fact God’s will and direction.
During the next nine months we shared Sunday services, meals, fellowship times and social events in order to better discern God’s will and direction. After covering the entire process with much prayer, discussion and consultation with congregational members, we came to a mutual decision in the Spring of 2000 that God was indeed calling us to become one congregation. On June 1, 2000, we formalized our union as New Heritage Community – to the glory of God!