204 Salvations since 2018 at Hilltop Church
West Des Moines, Iowa
“We felt empowered going into this new church planting journey! The AGTrust Matching Funds helped supply all we needed to get ready to launch, and The Church Multiplication Network provided coaching, support, and education. We truly feel like we are part of one big team! THANK YOU.”
For several years Brandon and Katie, while serving on staff at churches in Illinois and Iowa, felt called to plant a Spirit-filled church in Central Iowa. They had even written the vision and mission for the church on sticky notes and placed them on the walls of their apartment.
Hilltop Church meets in The Palms Theater and IMAX in Waukee, Iowa, one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States. Hilltop is one of 661 AGTrust Matching Funds church plants across America.
In 2018 they began the church planting process and launched Hilltop Church at a theater in West Des Moines, Iowa, in October of that year.
A total of 220 people came to the launch, and the next Sunday 120 came back. Then numbers began to decline over the next few months.
“Honestly, we didn’t know if Hilltop Church was going to make it,” Pastor Brandon says. “After canceling services in February 2019 due to a snowstorm, Katie and I decided to use Facebook Live for our church. We started with just a laptop on our kitchen table; it was very unimpressive.”
Since Hilltop Church was launched in 2018, 204 people have accepted Christ and 75 have been water baptized.
But the first Sunday service back in the theater, 120 adults showed up, and most said they came as a result of seeing the Beamans and Hilltop Church on Facebook Live.
Then the church saw steady growth until the COVID pandemic hit and forced lockdown. For a few weeks church online went well, but then engagement began to decline to only 25 viewers. When the time came to go back to in-person services, Pastor Brandon learned the theater they were meeting at would not open again until fall 2020.
The church focuses on building community through Hilltop Crews (small groups) that meet during the week.
After a prayer walk around a new theater in Waukee, twice the size of their first location, the Beamans received permission to call it their new church home! Waukee is one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States. In just a few months Hilltop grew quickly and had to offer two Sunday services!
“God has continued to be faithful to help us every step of the way in our planting journey,” Brandon says. “And I couldn’t have done this without the help of my wife, Katie, who oversees our Hilltop Kids ministry and Sisterhood (women’s ministry), and assists with pastoral care, Crews (small groups), and administrative tasks.”
Hilltop Kids ministry is designed to engage every child with the gospel through worship, interactive Bible teaching, and verse memorization. Workers partner with parents to help their kids encounter the love of Jesus.
In spite of the challenges since the 2018 launch, 204 people have accepted Christ and 75 have been water baptized at Hilltop Church.
Reaching out to the community is a priority of Hilltop. Each summer the church helps host Movie in the Park nights for the local park district and provides free popcorn, snacks, and drinks.
The church also hosts a worship night called Worship in the Wild. They rent the entire zoo, invite the community to come and see all of the animals for free, and provide food trucks and giveaways. They close the event with an evening worship service. More than 600 people came to the first year’s event, and more than 2,400 attended the second year.
Youth (Hilltop YTH) ministry, for middle school and high school ages, encourages students to live out their relationship with Jesus and engage with the vision of the church. Monthly fun outreach events provide opportunities for students to invite their friends.
“We hope to locate a permanent building for Hilltop Church within the next year,” Brandon says. “Then we will focus on planting more campuses in Iowa and eventually establishing a Discipleship Training School for young people desiring to pursue full-time ministry.”
Hilltop Church in Waukee, Iowa, is one of 661 churches that have been planted with the help of AGTrust Matching Funds, which help a new church quickly get established and begin winning people to Christ. YOUR GIFT TODAY will help us continue our mission: To establish a healthy church marked by spiritual and numerical growth in every community across America.