This I regard as history's highest function, to let no worthy action be uncommemorated…
The ministry of MOVE was for all intents and a purpose was a child born out of necessity. Several other States from across the nation were already involved in the promotion of a greater emphases on new church evangelism in their own states, and now it was time for Missouri to take its place in that movement.
The beginning for us was a workshop led by Jerry Kilson at the 1980 Missouri Christian Convention entitled “Growing in Him through New Church Planting.” Lloyd Pelfrey, then president of Central Christian College of the Bible, called the first meeting on October 17th-18th 1980 at Parkview Christian Church in Sedalia. Interested persons from all across the state came together for the purpose of expanding the impact of new church evangelism throughout the State.
On the first day of meetings Frank Brown of Carmi, IL, who served as coordinator for a similar project in Illinois called “Project 300,” brought a motivational message and Lloyd Pelfrey presented a report on the state of the Church in Missouri.
The next day October 18th 1980 M.O.V.E. was officially launched, and the work of planting new Churches in Missouri began. During the first few years M.O.V.E. operated strictly on volunteerism, though it soon became apparent that such an operation could not function properly without a dedicated full time staff. On October 1, 1984 Jerry Kilson was hired as the ministries Coordinator, a task that he still fulfills today.
In 1985 M.O.V.E. helped Missouri Christian Churches lead the nation in having the most churches of any state participate in the “Lift up Christ” crusades. The organization also sponsored and conducted 14 church growth seminars, to help existing churches with growth opportunities. In October of that year the M.O.V.E. office was established at Capital City Christian Church in Jefferson City, giving the organization an official base of operations. Through the rest of the 80’s MOVE was instrumental in starting 10 Churches.
Though M.O.V.E. was launched as a committee under the Missouri Christian Convention it received its own incorporation in 1989. Though no longer officially connected to the MCC the two organizations continue to maintain a close fraternal relationship. M.O.V.E. moved into the 1990’s on fire and ready to conquer the state for Christ…
In the first year of the new decade M.O.V.E. launched a dynamic new project called “Missouri Vision.” This project was designed to raise funds to launch 10 new churches. Through that project funds were raised, churches were planted, lives were changed, communities were transformed, and God was glorified… M.O.V.E’s, mission of encouraging, equipping, and establishing churches was being fulfilled in some amazing ways.
Throughout the 90’s M.O.V.E. established or helped establish another 11 churches across the state of Missouri. The ministry was also committed to fulfilling the other two aspects of their “three-fold” mission, which is to encourage churches and individuals to become involved in Church planting and to equip those individuals and groups to carry out that task.
With the increase in ministry opportunities, came the need for additional staff. To meet those needs Elmer Fuller and Marvin Platt came on board as Associate Evangelists and Rhonda Brown was brought on as part time office secretary.
The ministry of M.O.V.E. was making great advances in the world of church planting, which at the time was far from its current position at of the ministry world. Because of these advances and because of his leadership in the area in 1991 Jerry Kilson, M.O.V.E.’s executive director was honored by his peers in the church planting world by being chosen as the president of the National New Church Conference (now called Exponential).
It was during the beginning of this new century that some changes began taking place within the ministry of M.O.V.E. Churches were still being planted, but M.O.V.E. had reached the point where its current office was too small to meet the needs of a growing ministry. So after spending nearly 20 years on the campus of Capital City Christian Church, M.O.V.E. moved into an expanded set of offices at 1022 Northeast Dr. Ste.B just down the road from Capital City Church. Throughout the last decade of the 20th century M.O.V.E. directly established or aided in the establishment of another 8 churches.
It was also exciting for the organization to see yet another dream finding fulfillment, that of seeing churches and individuals get excited about being involved in church planting in Missouri. We praise God for the efforts of those individuals and churches who have stepped out on faith and become an active partners in the work of new church evangelism in our state, and have given much and planted numerous other congregations.
2010 And Beyond!
On October 18th 2010 the Ministry of M.O.V.E. reached a great milestone in her history. 30 years of excellence in ministry… 30 years of fulfilling her part in the supreme task of the church, by planting new churches across the state of Missouri.
In March of 2011 another change took place within the ministry of M.O.V.E. Jim Kilson came on board as the organizations first Communications Director. After spending 12 years in pastoral ministry God brought him back to his Missouri roots… back to his church planting roots. He’s currently in the process of overhauling the communications systems for the ministry as well as assisting with many other aspects of M.O.V.E.’s ministry.
As we begin this new decade, M.O.V.E. is as committed as ever to the purpose which she was founded for so many years ago. We are currently working with 2 new church plants, and have another 4 in the beginning phases.
M.O.V.E. has had an amazing past, and we’re excited about what God has in store for us in the coming years. That part of our history is yet to be written… but we forge ahead knowing that God is going to work through this ministry in a mighty way!
“If we put our hands in Jesus’ hands, and follow where He leads we can’t miss!”
Lewis A. Foster