“Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every nation.”
The Gospel seems to have spread all around the globe, yet there are still major US cities in desperate need of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Seattle, Washington, seemingly overwhelmed with secularism, is one of those cities.
Now a new church plant in the heart of Seattle is shining the Gospel’s light to those suffering in darkness.
Seattle, in many ways, is a city in crisis.
While behemoth corporations like Amazon and Microsoft have brought incredible wealth to the city and surrounding areas, many Seattleites still live in poverty.
While successful people in the tech industry flourish in multimillion-dollar homes, some twelve thousand in the Seattle area are homeless. The city struggles to provide relief for the growing homeless population, many of whom are adolescents.
Even greater than the dire physical need in Seattle is the spiritual need.
Seattle is one of the most secular and progressive cities in the United States, and proud of it.
Whether rich or poor, Seattleites have turned to worldly wisdom for the answers to life’s problems, and the answers they find just aren’t working.
That’s why Pastor AJ Lutrick has moved to West Seattle to plant Emerald City Baptist Church.
The neighborhood of West Seattle displays the juxtaposition of rich and poor. Dilapidated homes built decades ago sit next to luxurious apartment buildings of modern design.
Both lack the true fulfillment that only the Lord can provide.
Pastor Lutrick describes it as “a town within a city”. The natural boundaries of the Puget Sound on three sides give West Seattle a feeling of seclusion. Everyone has a purpose for going to West Seattle. Those that aren’t part of the community usually come to enjoy the local beach.
Many residents live, shop, work, and go to school all within West Seattle and leave only when they have to. Anything local is praised, such as coffee shops, cafes, art stores, and parks. These residents are proud Seattleites, but they’re also proud West Seattleites.
And for both rich and poor, there is almost no Gospel witness in West Seattle.
Pastor Lutrick has had a heart for inner-city church planting for many years and caught a burden for the people of West Seattle. A native Texan, Pastor Lutrick spent several years interning at Foundation Baptist Church in Sammamish, WA, another church plant in the greater Seattle area.
When Pastor Lutrick saw the need of West Seattle, he felt called to bring the Gospel to this community. He explains the struggles West Seattle is facing:
“They feel the threat of losing their identity. It’s a unique neighborhood of an ever-growing city and they’re growing as well. Houses are being replaced by apartments or duplexes and the long-term residents who’ve been there for their whole lives feel the change of ‘neighborhood’ to ‘city’ constantly. That growth is ultimately good for the community, but causes strain on residents.”
While the work is exciting, Pastor Lutrick understands that being an outsider to West Seattle has both benefits and drawbacks.
He explains, “West Seattleites are already warm to me since I’ve moved to the community and face the same challenges they face, but I’ll forever be a transplant that came in. So in a way, I can be perceived as part of the problem: another car to find parking for and adding to the traffic. I can be seen as someone taking another living unit, which decreases the ever-sought-after supply.”
Pastor Lutrick officially opened the doors to Emerald City Baptist Church on May 19, 2019, but the church has already seen residents come and hear the truth of the Gospel.
Pastor Lutrick is excited about those he has already been able to personally engage with the truth of God’s love and is confident that God is doing a great work in West Seattle.
God has already provided for Emerald City Baptist Church in amazing ways, including providing a meeting location at a community center in the heart of West Seattle, an area notoriously difficult to find space in.
The support of other churches in the area has also been invaluable in establishing the new church.
You can also be a part of helping Emerald City Baptist Church spread the Gospel in West Seattle.
Please pray for God to continue doing a great work in the community, and that many would come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
If you live in, or are visiting, the West Seattle area, Pastor Lutrick would love for you to come to visit and see the need of the people in West Seattle.
If you would like more information, you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/emeraldcitybaptist/