Advance Church is a nondenominational multi-ethnic fellowship of believers of Christ Jesus who aim to know God through his word and to use that knowledge to strengthen families and impact the world for good.
In March of 2004, then Elder Bruce Clark received the formal blessing of his church leaders to heed God’s call to plant and pastor a new ministry. Advance Church was officially launched in July of 2004 , born out of God’s instruction to build a ministry charged with developing Godly leaders dedicated to knowing,serving, and spreading the words and ways of God within their families, the marketplace and the community at large.
In the early days a small group of ten met from house-to-house, sharing and receiving the vision of God for Advance Church. These were great times of spiritual growth and excitement but they were not without challenge. Within the first few months two members and the mother of another had heart attacks. Some were without jobs, and others experienced challenges of faith. However through fervent prayer, fasting, open dialogue, faith, and unity of purpose the members of the Advance family prevailed and flourished. People were healed, jobs were received, and the disheartened were strengthened through the word of God. These early days helped to establish a culture of care, love and support within our church community
After two months of meeting from house-to-house, the small group agreed that God was saying it is time to "go public". In May of 2004, Advance Church began meeting at the American Film Institute (AFI) Theatre in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. This was nothing short of a miracle. How can a startup church with ten members and not a lot of resources secure a lease with one of the more state-of-the-art theatres in the country? The favor of God was being manifested in our lives.
We started conducting "preview services" to invite close associates to experience what God was doing at Advance Church . During these times we focused on building infrastructure, while perfecting certain areas of the ministry. Then on July 11, 2004 we held our "Launch Celebration" with many friends, family, associates and guests in attendance. It was an awesome time in the presence of God.
Since the launch God has blessed Advance Church with a dedicated core of caring disciples who have impacted the lives of many. The following list highlights some of the areas in which we have been making a difference:
- Serving the homeless
- Youth leadership and spiritual development
- How Would Jesus Vote (seminars on Jesus and Politics)
- Community-wide projects serving Downtown Silver Spring
- Mentoring local and global politicians
- Church plant in Malawi
- Spearheaded efforts to send over 100 volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Katrina
- Godly Leadership School
- Citywide Prayer Gatherings
As we look forward to the days ahead we are convicted that God will continue increase us in number and power to bring hope and healing to the lives of many, to strengthen families and to advance His Kingdom in the marketplace.