From Rainbows to Electric Avenue
At several key moments during their years of ministry, Mark and Lori Welch have seen a rainbow in the sky — almost like a confirmation of the direction they were heading. When they started The Pointe, an Alliance church in Antelope/West Roseville, California, there it was again.
Their church is a living illustration of how diverse people can be unified in their commitment to Christ, to each other, and to their community. In 2009, a small Alliance start-up congregation found itself without a pastor. Another core group from a different denomination needed a church family. And Pastor Mark, from a third denomination, found himself available. Located in the ethnically varied area of Sacramento, this combination seemed more like a recipe for disaster than a setting for a new church. But man’s wisdom isn’t God’s wisdom. With the encouragement of the Central Pacific District, this hodgepodge reorganized into a new church plant with a new name — The Pointe. “As Lori and I drove back from our meeting with the district, there was a rainbow over the city,” Pastor Mark shared.
They kept things simple in the beginning, focusing on disciple making. Pastoral staff was, and still is, completely bi-vocational. They met at a new high school in the area that allowed them outdoor storage and mid-week use of the facility. But the growing church needed a permanent solution, so a partnership with ADF began.
After reviewing all of the options, The Pointe pursued leasing an existing property. One building became the obvious choice — located on the thoroughfare through the community, close to housing areas, and vacant for 10 years. After some negotiating, a lease-to-own agreement was made.
As the church started honing in on purchase price options, they realized that funds for renovating would also be needed. The next step — a capital campaign. “It was time to get serious as a congregation about a 24/7 facility,” he continues, “The day we started the campaign, Lori and I drove past the property that evening. There was a huge rainbow over the building. We still didn’t have a contract, we weren’t sure how much we could raise, but this gave us confidence from the Lord.”
The Pointe raised enough to finish the building. Four months of renovations, coordinated by Lori, Pastor Mark’s invaluable ministry partner, concluded with final building department approval on Good Friday. Easter Sunday 2016 was their grand opening. Shortly thereafter, ADF provided the funds to exercise the purchase option on the building. “Now the community sees that we’re here to stay … all made possible by ADF,” Pastor Mark explains.
The Pointe intentionally put most of its resources into “Electric Avenue Kids Church,” painted by a top mural artist, complete with a turbo slide to classrooms and a store where kids can earn prizes by memorizing Scripture. “We want to reach the kids at a young age, and then reach their parents.”
The mission of The Pointe is four-fold — to connect believers to Jesus and others; to grow disciples personally and in life groups; to serve the church and the community; and to share the good news. It’s a cycle they call Invest to Invite! Pastor Mark sums it up, “We see ourselves as a small part of the greater mission of the Alliance — to drive back the darkness, to bring Christ to all people at home and abroad, and to speed His coming as we get that mission accomplished."