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Pastors' FACE group promotes unity through prayer

Pastors Mike Barnett, Thomas Yauch, John Guist, Kevin Fox and Mike Armbrust make up Farmington Area Christian Evangelicals.

A group of Farmington pastors wants to help bring the city closer together.

For the past two years pastors from The River Church, Faith United Methodist, Bible Baptist, New Heights Christian Fellowship and Middle Creek Vineyard Church have been gathering under the name Farmington Area Christian Evangelicals. They have made the rounds at Farmington businesses to offer prayers. They have prayed for city leaders and at Farmington schools.

The idea behind the group is to break down walls between local churches, and to bring people together in prayer.

River Church pastor Mike Armbrust formed the group in March of 2009.

"The thought process was, there were a number of evangelical churches in town who were not getting together in prayer," Armbrust said. "I thought it would be really good for those pastors to pray for the community. We've gone out praying for businesses, city leaders and so forth. I really wanted to develop those relationships and see Christ impact Farmington."

The five pastors involved in the group meet weekly for prayer and theological discussions. They have also gone out into the community to offer prayers to others. They gather at coffee shops and other places where they can be a visible presence in the community.

On Jan. 9 the group will increase that visibility even further. They plan to hold a unity event at Boeckman Middle School. On that day the church hopes to use worship to bring people together.

Faith United Methodist pastor Kevin Fox said the group has already done valuable work to create new connections. He said meeting regularly to pray with pastors from other faiths has changed his views of those churches.

"We see each other as extensions of one another," Fox said. "Each church is kind of like, we're small groups, but we're part of a bigger group. Each church has different worship styles, but we're all committed to Christ and we're all committed to Farmington and seeing it become a better place."

The Jan. 9 event will be the first formal effort to bring the five churches together, but Fox said the weekly meetings have already helped him see the other churches not as different faiths but as different approaches to reaching the same goal.

Armbrust said he's happy with the way the group has developed.

"I think we've been very happy," he said. "The reality is that everybody leads very busy lives. It's very neat to see these five pastors have made this a priority in their week."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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