The new campus of Sonrise UMC in Fort Wayne opened on Oct. 5 with 138 people in worship. According to church leaders, there was excitement in the gymnasium of Roanoke Elementary School where this new worshipping community gathered to celebrate by "Reaching UP to God, Reaching AROUND one another, and Reaching OUT" in the love of Jesus Christ!"
The Rev. Stan Buck, senior pastor of Sonrise, says to Hoosier United Methodists, "Thank you for your prayers and your support of this new birth in our church! Giving new birth brings growth - I'm convinced of that! Our people are more mission focused, and more people are involved in ministry because of this new site. Giving is up, attendance is up, life change is up and our sense of mission is moving up as we Reach UP!"
Buck said there were about 50 members from the Sonrise "launch team" the previous three weeks for "preview" services - and a few "well wishers" for this first week - so about 75 worshippers were new.
In a town of 1,500 residents 10-miles southwest of Fort Wayne, Buck is encouraged by this start. There are 2,000 homes in the "Roanoke" zip code area with a total population or about 6,000 residents. Planners sent two postcards to area residents announcing the new campus.