Firestorm Toledo Church Planting Center Brief History

In 2011 when Pastor Dan Stevenson realized that God had bigger plans than a successful local church plant in inner city of Toledo he began to seek a better understanding of what God might have in store. Through prayer and circumstance it became clear that God was already raising up young men who could preach and teach the gospel in a simple language with a plain call for decision. Additionally, partners began to appear who would provide meeting locations. Demographics became available that suggested that the inner city possibilities for church planting were favorable.

It became clear that inner-city church planting in Toledo was an activity of God that was already underway and the only thing left to do was to decide to join Him in it. God began to place a burning desire in the hearts of Pastor Dan and Sheryl as well as a number of young men who were getting saved to prepare for the great thing that God had already begun to do.

New Heights Fellowship agreed to be the Lead church plant in a grassroots church planting center that would harvest, equip, unleash, and help to seed church planters into neighborhoods throughout the city. The mission minded DNA of New Heights made a great fit. Local partners such as the Life Station became available starting 2012. New Heights had been a supporting member of NWOBA since its inception. Salvations and Baptism were a relatively common experience which provided a logical pool of candidates. The scene was set.

The name Fire Storm comes from a type of fire that burns hot and in such a way that it provides its own wind (oxygen source.) The end effect of this sort of fire is that it burns very hot and touches every last thing inside its boundaries. The concept matches the God-given vision for the church planting center because it is God’s intention that everyone in Toledo hear and have an opportunity to decide for themselves whether they will follow Christ or not. The network partners will help to push each other forward toward the culmination of this great task as successes mount up and the stories are told.

In 2014 a plan developed to us the master prospect list which is to be contributed to by any church plants as a source for possible enlistment to the church plants. The church planters can introduce or withdraw prospects who have expressed an interest from the list and the list is constantly being repopulated by far reaching events of New Heights and referrals from the Life Station.

As of September 2015, the FST Network has two churches planters on the field. Rick Morris is planting Hope of Glory. R.J. Shope is in training and assisting in directing the Center. The Network is working in cooperation with the NAMB Church planter Catalyst for Northwest Ohio in starting church plants. 

As of January 2017 The Firestorm Church planting Network is officially a ministry of NOrthwest Ohio Baptist Association. 
As of May of 2017 the Firestorm Church planting Network has officially adopted the two-fold goal of everyone in Toledo age 13 or older being able to answer yes to having heard a simple gospel message and sufficient churches in Toledo to be home churches to all Christians. A plan to survey citizens to determine the success of these efforts has been put in place. Survey one will be conducted during the summer of 2018.

Fire Storm Toledo Church Plants

Hope of Glory- Rick Morris
New Heights South End- Pending
The Movement- Rodney Jones
Evangelical Church of God/ Birmingham- Ken Rupert
Redemption Baptist Church- Jerome Bush
Glass City Church- Jeff Lavalette
H20- Matt Olszewski/ Matt Pardi
Harmony Baptist – Pending- building is not yet usable

The Firestorm Toledo Church Planting Center
Strategy outline

The Firestorm Toledo Church planting center will work to transform the city of Toledo by planting active Bodies of Christ through the inner city. We will identify planters, locations, and Network partners. We will enlist network partners; spread the good news of Jesus Christ, train planters to carry out their duties, train church members and community members on the value of planting churches and cooperation in the network, and schedule church planters for assessment.

Act 1:8

You will receive Power…

The Ask:

Please help us.

The Firestorm Toledo Church planting network is an urban church planting network and is resource poor. We desire to overcome evil in the urban center of Toledo. We must do warfare with poverty, addiction, low education levels, broken homes, failed relationships, worldly standards of living, gang warfare, and prostitution. To continue the fight we must have prayer, volunteers, and donations of all kinds.

Help the Network
We are asking churches to consider bringing a mission team to serve on the field, to promote or allow the promotion of the network’s financial needs within their congregation encouraging individuals to give, and to consider supporting the efforts in Toledo with a monthly gift.

The developing Toledo ministry needs a full time Pastor and Director. The funds are not currently available to pay Pastor Dan a salary. Please consider becoming a regular financial contributor to help support a network of ministries that are vital to reaching Toledo for Christ.

Firestorm Network lead Partner
The network needs an overall partner that will agree to support the network financially, with manpower, and with help in enlisting partners of all kinds. The network is a partnership that stands a chance under God’s provision of not only transforming Toledo but also the surrounding Midwest due to the crossroads effect.