On August 9th 2015, a group of 25 individuals met for the first time in a home in Queen Creek, Arizona to worship God.
The original intent of this gathering was to provide a group of GCC (Grace Covenant Church) Members who resided in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area a place to meet on Sunday evenings without having to make the 90-minute round-trip to Gilbert to attend the 6pm service at GCC. This would lift the burden for those families with children to still worship, pray and received the means of Grace.
The Elders at GCC began to see the work of God among those attending in San Tan Valley. The Elders prayed about a potential Church plant in this area using these families a core group. After much prayer, in February of 2016 the Elder board voted unanimously to move forward with the work. On March 13th, the Congregation of GCC voted to recognize San Tan Valley as an official Church Plant of GCC and recognized Pastor Frank Urquidez as the GCC Church Planter.
Those families attending the San Tan Valley work were excited to see what God would do. They desired to see God establish a solid Reformed Baptist Church in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area. As a Church Plant, GCC desired to establish a Church that was founded on the same principles of the sending Church, whom God has sustained for over 30 years, a Church that is committed to glorifying God by exalting the Savior, evangelizing the sinner, and edifying the saints.
In April of 2016, Frank Urquidez had the privilege to present the work in San Tan Valley at the ARBCA (Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America) General Assembly. The Church Plant was accepted by those ARBCA Churches in attendance as an official Church Plant and agreed to support the work.
From August of 2015 to July of 2016, the Church plant met in one of the GCC member’s home. In May of 2016, the Church plant submitted an application to Ellsworth Elementary School to rent their facilities. In God’s providence the application did not move forward. At the time of application, there were only six families fully committed to seeing a work in San Tan Valley. The goal was not to move forward with Sunday Morning Services until the work had 10 families dedicated to the work. The desire for ten families is based on the belief that a Church must have a very strong base of believers from its sending Church as well as from the community before commencing any morning services.
The Plant has also been blessed because one of the attendees in San Tan Valley, Rob Holmes, was put before the congregation of GCC for Eldership. Rob committed to assist in the Church Plant work and joined Frank as a fellow laboring in the Gospel.
In July, God was gracious to open another location for the work to begin Sunday Evening Services. On July 17th, God’s people meet for the first time at Francis Brandon-Pickett Elementary School in Queen Creek, Arizona. There were 36 in attendance that evening. The work has now adopted the name San Tan Reformed Baptist Church and has seen God’s continual blessing upon it.
On September 4th 2016, San Tan Reformed Baptist Church held its first morning service with GCC Pastor John Giarrizzo preaching the inaugural message. He preached on “Following the Lord Jesus”. His text was Luke 9:57-62. There were over 70 in souls in attendance. We look with great anticipation to the future knowing out God is able to do exceeding abundantly above that which we can ask or think.
“Praise God from whom all blessing flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
The Church eagerly looks to their Great God for Him to great things in the years to come. The Church labors with confidence, knowing that the gates of hell itself cannot prevail against His Church.