Ethan Magness: Reaching Slippery Rock with the Gospel of Grace
When the Rev. Ethan Magness (MDiv 2006) was finishing his senior year at Trinity, he had never considered church planting as something that might fit his gifts. So when the Rector at his church asked him to pray about a potential church planting ministry in Slippery Rock, PA, Ethan said “no.” Upon further urging, He and his wife, Monique, began to do some prayer walking in this college town to see if God might, in fact, be calling them there.
Eventually they learned that as they were praying, others were praying for them, and about the plant in Slippery Rock, far before they knew anything about it. Because of this, they began gathering these people together to form the nucleus of a new church.
After praying that God would do something so incredible at their first service that they would know that it was him and not just their fumbling efforts, their launch was attended by an energetic crew of 92 people. From this beginning they have continued to grow, not just among college students but among permanent residents of Grove City and Slippery Rock as well.
The vision of the Church is that “the gospel of God’s gratuitous mercy would be exalted in such a way that both Christians who have been wounded by the church would be drawn to Christ in a fresh way, and that people who aren’t familiar with the Church and are outside of it and don’t know God or Christ would be drawn to the same absolving savior.”
Dr. Colin Messer, a member of the vestry, commented “Every week we are being reminded through both word and sacrament of this message of consolation, of mercy, and that’s been profoundly meaningful to our family.” Reflecting on his time at Trinity Ethan said, “It was at Trinity that I learned about the centrality of the Gospel. That was life changing and it informed the conscience of [Grace Church].”
During Ethan’s time at Grace Church, God has raised up numerous individuals into full time ministry, and many of them have come to Trinity for their ministry formation. As these new workers go out into the harvest, God will continue to multiply the Gospel of grace.
This Story Can Be Found In
The Seed and Harvest – Fall 2013 Edition