In the summer and fall of 2008, twenty-three people from Victor, NY, left their church home at Pittsford Community Church (another NAB member) and met as a budding plant in their own community. Six months later, they had outgrown their homes and grown big enough to formally incorporate. Two years later, the congregation of Victor Community Church had grown to about a hundred people!
Located in a kids-and-family-oriented “bedroom community” outside Rochester, NY, the church had a vision for an evangelical, Word-focused family church with a permanent home in Victor. As they looked to God for guidance, they purchased twenty-eight acres of land with the intent to build. Before they could begin the building process, though, another property—one with a facility already built—became available to rent. Through God’s blessing, the church was able to convince the owner to sell them the property outright, and in 2015 they launched a building campaign to add twice as much square footage to the existing facility.
The congregation met the challenge of fundraising joyfully, with its 200 members raising and pledging $100,000 dollars in a year, solely for the purpose of building. Lead Pastor Steve Lamarco recalls that “everyone gave sacrificially. Kids brought in change jars. We had one family offer a large donation as a matching gift, which was more than met.” Families and businesses donated the carpeting, the cabinets, the door and window trim, and the sanctuary chairs. Many also gave of their time, “working at all hours every day”, allowing them to complete much of the project in house.
Since moving into the renovated facility in 2016, the church has more than doubled in size. Pastor Steve says “this facility has ‘put us on the map’ so to speak in the area…the location, the fact that it is ours give[s] credibility to people who may otherwise be leery of the portable church.” They have been able to effectively reach the families in their community with their “fresh, interactive” teaching, and look forward to continuing to become known as a place where “God is at work and people are welcome.” Already, Pastor Steve says, they have seen “people coming to put their faith in Christ, marriages restored, opportunities to connect with and reach out into our community…we serve a mighty God!” As a church plant themselves, church leadership has a heart to plant another congregation in the area, but is waiting for God to determine the right time. And, though in the early stages of the process, they are already planning for a further expansion to provide more needed space for their children and youth ministries!
Throughout the planting, building, and growing process, it’s clear that Victory Community Church lives up to its mission to make loving disciples who worship, grow, serve, and share. Pastor Steve believes Church Investors Fund has been vital to this growth: “Our experience is that conventional banks and lenders are not prepared or inclined to lend to churches, especially younger church plants. I am not sure how we would have done it without [Church Investors Fund].” He also has a message for the investors who made it possible: “Thank you for investing in not just your future … but the future of the church and His Kingdom. You don’t realize what a difference it makes in places you may never step foot!”