It’s Official!

We are pleased to announce…
It’s Official! Tonight I am again a church planter and pastor.

Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL convened this evening and voted to agree that God has called Mary and me to stay put here in Southwest Florida to start a new church. We are happy to stay and we rejoice in their prayerful affirmation of this new endeavor.

Grace has called me to serve as their Pastor of Church Planting. My primary role will be to devote my energies in serving  eastern Lee county with the hopes that God will transform lives with the Gospel and raise up a new church for His glory.

Another exciting element in all of this is that Grace has a vision for seeing God start many more churches through a new church planting network. I will be assisting them in attempting to see this vision realized.

One blessing I celebrate, having had a small part in seeing Everglades Baptist in Okeechobee form, is to see the enormous impact for the Kingdom of God the church continues to make. I long to invest my life in eternal investments, which God can still use long after I am gone. Starting new churches is a New Testament method of doing this.

Like the birth of a child, or the new birth of a believer, the birth of a church is a miracle. Much stands in opposition of a new church ever getting started. Mary and I face the fact that unless God moves, our efforts will be in vain.

Please consider partnering with us to make an investment in this new mission. Being a prayer partner with us in hopes that God will begin a new and mighty work here in Southwest Florida is a huge investment. Your investment of time to pray for us (my family and the church) will make an extreme difference. I will use this website as our prayer newsletter.

Here are some core values that will help define what this new church will be about:

Core Values
1.  Sent Living – The local church is realistically a church of missionaries, sent by the Father to live actively participating in the mission of God which is to bring glory to Jesus Christ.

2. Bible Sufficiency – The Bible is God’s Word intended to transform lives into the image of Jesus Christ. A primary means for this to happen is through preaching that is text-driven and Spirit-empowered such that the main point of the text is the main point of the message.

3. Gospel Centrality/Sufficiency – The gospel of Jesus Christ is the central message of the church and the Christian at every stage of our existence.  We need to hear it, sing it, preach it to ourselves, apply it to our lives, and share it with the world around us.

4. Family Focused–The primary spiritual leaders of children are their parents.  The church’s goal is to equip and empower families to grow in grace and cultivate a healthy understanding of how the people of God worship in private devotions, family worship, and corporate gatherings.

5. Kingdom Priority – Jesus was clear about the importance of His kingdom and its importance in our lives.  His rightful place as Lord and King of all means the Christian life is reoriented with new priorities so that we live as those who have a Father in heaven who protects and provides for our every need.

6. Authentic Community – When sinners are united to Christ by faith, they become united to the body of Christ–the Christian community.  In a world that is fragmented, broken, and left to isolation and individualism, the church covenants together as a counter-cultural community of togetherness united in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

7. Cultural Engagement – While as a church we exist as a counter-cultural community, we also seek to influence and impact the world in which we live.  We do not intend to hide or escape from the world; rather, we desire to engage it with the love of Christ and truth of His gospel.

If you wish to partner with us, and we pray many will, please send me a confirmation at

Please help us bring these following requests to the Father:
That our family will remain devoted to Christ at all times.
2.That the Spirit of God would reign in all that we do as a new church, revealing Himself to those in our community who will become part of this new church. We want to be a church that reaches the unchurched!
3. That God would raise up financial partners who wish to join us in underwriting portions of this new work.
4. That God would help those who have already committed to serve in this new work remain bold in and sustained by the Gospel.

Thank you for your many prayers for our family. We have praised God many times for your example and encouragement.

In Christ,
Shawn and Mary


7 thoughts on “It’s Official!

  1. this is lesli! i am so excited for you guys! it will be wonderful to see how the Lord continues to use you guys for His glory!

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