What I've Learned About CTK Church Planting: The Local and Larger Picture

My name is Keri, and my husband Patrick and I have been attending CTK JP/Roxbury since it formally began 2 ½ years ago. We’re originally from Birmingham, AL and moved up to Boston for my medical residency training a few years ago. As a child, I grew up in the church with very godly parents, but it wasn’t until after high school that my faith truly became my own. I attended Covenant College, the PCA college in Georgia, and it was there that I became theologically grounded.  Patrick and I met in Birmingham at church, and we shared a vision for living in a diverse urban setting. We felt the Lord leading us to move to Boston, and were excited when I matched for residency at Boston Medical Center.

I had attended CTK Cambridge while briefly living in Boston right after college, and assumed that we would return to that congregation when we moved back. However, we knew Logan Keck through mutual friends, and he worked very hard to sell us on moving to Jamaica Plain and becoming part of the new church plant in that neighborhood. We had never been part of a church plant before, but we had always loved the idea of a local neighborhood congregation, especially one that is part of a multi-site congregation filled with experienced leaders and teachers.

Since becoming members, CTK JP/Roxbury has become a large part of our lives, and played a significant role in our decision to stay in Boston after I graduate from residency this year. We are both learning how to live out the gospel in a city that has few Christians, and have felt the challenges are helping us grow in our relationship with the Lord. We also been blessed to form deep relationships with the other families in our church and have really supported each other the last few years. Patrick and I had our son Beck while I’ve been in residency, and the local church made us feel so loved and cared for.

One thing Patrick and I have really enjoyed about being part of CTK is seeing how different each congregation feels, and how they reflect the local neighborhood. Our church meets in an urban youth art studio in the old brewery complex, and I feel it is a perfect fit for our bilingual and activist neighborhood.

As different as each congregation is, it’s also great to know that there is consistency in theology and a support system as part of a larger church network. Patrick recently became an elder, and through his training with CTK, he was able to make connections with church leaders with years of experience. Multi-congregation worship services have been a wonderful way to meet other members, and to remember our common goal of doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God.

Keri Sewell lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband Patrick, their toddler son Beck and cat Eleanor. She is finishing her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center, and loves providing primary care to immigrant and underserved populations in the Boston area.