Ekklesia Christian Life Fellowship

A Brief History of Ekklesia

by Sally McCowan

Ekklesia Christian Life Fellowship started as a partnership between the Kentucky District of the Assemblies of God and First Assembly of God Church of Lexington, Kentucky in 1999. Our founding Pastor was David McCowan who at the time was on staff at First Assembly and in charge of their Cell Group ministry. At that time, the Assemblies of God was looking to expand their work in Lexington and was looking for church planters and churches to help start new churches. After discussing this matter with Pastor Terry Sikes and the board of First Assembly, Pastor McCowan was released along with Mike & Kelly Hoke, and Patrick & Dawn McCamish to work with the Kentucky District and begin a new church on the southeast side of Lexington.

After going to a church planters “boot camp” and a Cell Church seminary along with the Hokes and the McCamishes, our first cell group started at the home of Patrick & Dawn on June 1st, 1999. During this time, Ekklesia was advertising on WJMM using several creative ads that helped bring new people to our fellowship. At the end of 1999, we had three cell groups. Now having a core of people in which to start corporate services, we started renting space at the Hilton Garden Inn near the Hamburg Pavilion area in Lexington. Jim Latimer was our worship leader and our first service was on February 5th, 2000. Our first service was a big success and we soon out grew our accommodations at the hotel. Later that year, Pastor McCowan met with Pastor David Redish of the Lexington Covenant church, now called The CROSSing and worked out an agreement to use their facility on Saturday evenings. So in July of 2000, we moved to our new location on 2700 Old Todds Road where we have been to this day.

Also during this time, Ekklesia produced on WJMM a 15 minute radio program called, “Living Stones.” Mike Hoke was the announcer and would present Pastor McCowan with random questions on various topics of interest. Jim Latimer was the engineer and director. In 2001 and 2002, Ekklesia sponsored two Prophetic Worship services and with the help of Rob Poindexter produced two Worship CDs from those services. Our first CD was called “Around His Throne,” and the second was “Open Our Eyes.” Both were very inspirational and anointed recordings.

Building on our Prophetic Worship special services, we to this day do a Praise & Worship service every other Saturday evening where we focus on praying for God’s Kingdom come, our church, our community, our missionaries, and for each other. From the beginning, Ekklesia has been a very unique church. We meet on Saturday evenings for our corporate meetings. We meet in homes for small group fellowship. We attend church wide retreats together even traveling as far as Toronto, Canada.

And to our surprise we are a very international church too. We have families from Kenya, Liberia, Congo, Canada, India, and the Philippines. We also have had great success with our Family Fun Nights where we’ve focused on activities and dinner for the entire family. These have been very popular and either feature the latest Veggie Tales movie or a special children’s speaker. In 2009, we had our First International Dinner Banquet where several of our international families brought their home dishes for us to sample. Through the ministry of Patrick & Rebecca Kihiu who attend Ekklesia, we sent three missions teams to Africa to minister in the country of Kenya. In the village of Mwimutoni, several in our church ministered to both school children and orphans of this village.

We began Ekklesia with one cell group and three families. Now we have seven cell groups that include one intergenerational group, two men’s groups, two women’s groups, one girl’s group and one young adult’s group. There are youth gatherings once a month and leadership mentoring for both men and women. People come to our church from various backgrounds and ethnic groups.

Even though our church is centered in Lexington, people come from all over to attend our fellowship. We have people who come from Wilmore, Lancaster, Danville, Nicholasville, Lawrenceburg, and Richmond.

Nevertheless, the best thing about our church is God’s presence and the hunger that is in everyone’s heart to grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is our desire that through serving God and loving His people we might become the place where God’s Kingdom reigns and is demonstrated in its various forms of grace. To His name be the glory. Amen!