The Story of Ripple (1st mailer)
We’ve had a long history. The church began as the Westwood-Cheviot Church of Christ in January, 1915 when a group of 23 people met to establish a Bible School to be conducted on Sunday afternoons. By May, 1916, the small group had grown and a congregation was incorporated with 48 charter members. A year later, the first unit of a framed building was erected on the corner of Glenmore and Meadow avenues in Cincinnati. The land was purchased and a building built at a total cost of $5,200. Times have certainly changed!
Continued growth, building expansions, outreach to the community, and meeting the needs of people have been a part of our rich 100 year history. Whitewater Crossing held a Grand Opening of a new building here on RT 128 on the first Sunday of December in 2007. Through multiple capital campaigns and prudent debt, the church purchased land and built a 38,000 SF building for approximately $7 million. A Phase 2 was then built to accommodate the amazing growth (we were doing 4 weekend services) and opened in December of 2016. (The same year that we celebrated being 100 years old!) Since that 2nd Grand Opening, the church has continued to grow in health and numbers averaging around 2000 each Sunday. The Phase 2 building has been the catalyst for thousands to be touched. Whitewater is now a regional church drawing people from the Westside of Cincinnati, Southeastern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky. With her storied past, Whitewater remains historically connected to restoring the Acts 2 church in every way possible. We remain committed to the evangelization of the world. After all these years, our mission remains the same – “to help people find hope in Jesus Christ and a home in His local church.”
The one love-based, scarlet thread that runs throughout the whole history of this church is that of a courageous and visionary people who stepped forward in faith at crucial moments time and time again to be generous. We have been blessed to be a blessing, and our new Ripple initiative will allow us to do just that.
The goal of the Ripple campaign is to transform mortgage payments into ministry dollars that will ripple out locally, regionally, and globally to solve the seven largest problems of our world. (Solve7.org) We believe the best strategy to do this is to totally eliminate our mortgage debt in 3-5 years. The sooner we eliminate the debt, the sooner we can translate debt into difference making.
In conjunction with the Ripple campaign, we are going to give away 10% of these offerings now to causes/ministries that benefit people in need outside of our church. Think of the Dollar Difference on steroids! What an exciting time to be a giver and a member at Whitewater. We believe with all our hearts that waves of life change will ‘ripple’ out into eternity through additional ministries we will generously fund. This can be done if everyone who calls this their church home participates with a ‘not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice’ mentality.
The original Promise campaign verse of Acts 2:39 is still true – ‘This promise (of salvation) is for you, and your children, and for all those who are far off – all whom the Lord our God will call.’ Those far off relationally, physically, geographically, and spiritually.
Some Whitewater members committed for two years, have fulfilled their Promise pledges and can commit for another three years. Some committed for seven years (back in April of 2015) and will fulfill those pledges. Hundreds of new members have not been challenged or had opportunity to participate yet in any type of campaign and will now commit to Ripple.
Although the membership approved an $11 million dollar loan back in 2015, we estimate the total debt of the church to be around $9 million dollars on January 1, 2018. This is due to our Finance Team budgeting and making our projected payments even before a permanent mortgage was due thanks to consistent Promise Campaign giving.
Although $9 million is a significant sum, we trust the Lord to intervene in a supernatural way as we sacrifice that which we cannot keep, for that which we cannot lose. God has proven and provided in the past, and we have no reason to trust Him less now. The Ripple campaign will also teach us to be generous stewards and prosper individually. All of us will be reading a great book (How To Be Rich) this fall. If highly successful, Ripple can additionally provide a kick starter fund to accumulate a savings account for future building projects so minimal borrowing would have to occur.
Our leadership believes that this initiative best reflects our understanding of God’s call for our church right now. Urgency is essential. Faith will be required, but we did not get where we are on RT 128 without sacrifice, faith, and risk. We dare not play it safe. We find that when the church is working right, you risk doing what’s possible, and then watch God do the impossible.
Whitewater Crossing is, and always has been, a church of vision. Over 1,000 people have been baptized in this building since we opened 9 years ago. We invite you to join us on this new and next adventure of faith called Ripple. So if someone from the Ripple Campaign team calls and asks for your help, please say yes! Let’s go make some waves!
– David Vaughan