We’re Praying for Epiphany Fellowship

Mark Driscoll » Mission Church Prayer Church Planting Acts 29

One of the things we like to do at Resurgence is equip, encourage, and pray for pastors and leaders in various churches around the world. This week we are glad to introduce you to Pastor Eric Mason and Epiphany Fellowship.

Grace and I love Eric and Yvette Mason. They have been friends of ours for many years since they first started planning their church plant.

Over the years, I have enjoyed seeing them grow in every way. Through physical suffering and surgeries, the love and light of Jesus has shown through Yvette. And Dr. Mason combines a brilliant mind with a tender heart and godly toughness that allows him to continue to pastor the church he planted in a poor area of urban Philadelphia, where hardly any child has a father at home. He has become a great father to his sons and a spiritual father to many sons in the faith.

Dr. Mason combines a brilliant mind with a tender heart and godly toughness.

Dr. Mason also serves on the board of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and recently published a book called Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole. He embodies a rare combination of passionate missionary and sound theologian. His work as a husband, father, and pastor is exemplary, and I appreciate his friendship very much. Today it is a great joy to introduce you to our friends and ask that you pray for their family and ministry.

Jesus is at work in Philadelphia

Epiphany Fellowship is located in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a multi-ethnic, inner-city church founded by Dr. Eric Mason.

Planting a new church is never easy, let alone starting a new church in the inner city. Dr. Mason explains,

The reality of planting in a poverty-stricken context with chronic and toxic issues on every level that are glazed over, 90% absence of fathers, Orthodox Sunni Islam as the most-respected religion, and gospel under-engagement, is overwhelming.

Regardless of the circumstances plaguing inner-city Philadelphia and other cities like it, Jesus is still building his church and calling people to participate in his work and mission. “The question is not whether there is potential for healthy churches to be planted in these contexts,” remarks Dr. Mason. “The question is, will those of us standing on the sidelines fearful for our ‘livelihood’ use some lame excuse to continue to walk by sight instead of walking by faith?”

Regardless of the circumstances plaguing inner-city Philadelphia and other cities like it, Jesus is still building his church.

Through the preaching of repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ, God has been faithful in growing the gospel seeds planted in the hearts of men and women in the area by convicting them of their sin and giving them new life in Christ (1 Cor. 3:5–9; cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). Commenting upon God’s work in the area, Dr. Mason says,

A family that lives behind our building have been people of peace to us, and their family one by one has been meeting Jesus. The dad got to baptize his son [recently] after he (an adult) trusted Jesus at our church just a few weeks ago. Now his oldest daughter will be getting baptized in a few weeks.

God has also been at work in changing the way people treat the church. Dr. Mason explains, “People tend to treat inner-city churches as a museum. So they don’t join, they just treat it like a sexy temporary mission field, but the Lord has been gracious and caused about 100 people in the last three weeks to commit to membership.”

Jesus is alive and building his church (Matt. 16:18), because he keeps his promises. Regardless of the supposed roadblocks to planting a church in the inner city, Jesus is far greater than any obstacle that sin, Satan, or the world can place in his way. Dr. Mason and countless others at Epiphany Fellowship are a testament to God’s faithfulness.

Join us in prayer

Epiphany Fellowship is a church “dedicated to seeing Jesus Christ’s gospel hit up every area of” life (Col. 1:15–16). Let’s follow the words of the Apostle Paul, who told the church in Corinth, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” (2 Cor. 1:11). Please join us in prayer for Epiphany Fellowship in the following ways:

  1. Pray for their new economic development initiative, which they are beginning to add as another aspect of discipleship.
  2. Pray for the successful renovation of their first floor. They are running out of space in their current facility, and they need to expand seating capacity and create more day-to-day ministry space to engage their city.
  3. Pray for the three churches they are working to plant right now and a fourth one coming in the near future.
  4. Pray for them to be good stewards of the nearly 100 people in their new membership class as well as their nearly 200 converts over the last year.
  5. Pray for their ministry in Malawi, Africa, as they help start a church planting movement and training center over the next 18 months.


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