Our Story

How it all started (You're doing it wrong)...

Traditionally, once a church has established itself and has good support from it's members it will then begin with ministry work. We are anything but traditional. Pastor Ray and Pastor April  started an outreach in August of 2007 called Restore Outreach Ministries with the thought that Jesus left the 99 to go after the one. The ministry focused on Celebrate Recovery and offered a cooking class. It didn't take long before Restore grew to the point that it organically gave birth to a church.

We wanted our church to be different. There's a church on nearly every corner and of every flavor in Evansville. Our goal was to create a home for the beat up, battered, shattered, and broken. A place without judgement where all were welcome, especially those who had been rejected by other churches. 

We held our first service on January 11, 2009 at 2:00 PM in the Youth Center at Gethsemane Church (now Hope City Church). We continued to meet there for the next year, with the exception of meeting at Hardee's for church one Sunday because we couldn't get ahold of anyone at Gethsemane to let us in the building.

Expanding the vision...

In 2010 the opportunity to move downtown and share space with First Christian Church presented itself. This move would allow us to have Restore and The Gathering under one roof. After sharing space with First Christian for about 18 months they moved to a new building on the north side of Evansville and the building was put up for sale. Our church and its ministries are generally poor and poorly funded as the people we serve don't usually have great financial means. We began by bussing in people from homeless shelters, family shelters, recovery houses, and even jail (a model we follow to this day), and most nearly all of what we would bring in as a church went right back out to the immediate needs of those we serve.  

Lacking financial means it seemed that we would need to start looking for a new home. Pastor Ray posted to facebook that we were in search of a new home when God showed up and showed off. An old school friend of Ray's who was not a part of our church sent him a message that said, "I like what you guys are doing and as long as you promise to keep doing it, I will buy that building for you". Thus, we had a home. WON'T HE DO IT!

Where we are headed...

Since 2009 we have continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Our membership has grown significantly and Sunday attendance continues to grow even while other churches have seen a decline. Early in 2022 we began a second Sunday service to accommodate the  overflow of attendees and will soon begin services at a second location. We are now home to a huge breakfast ministry on Sunday morning, a sewing ministry, backpack ministry for the homeless, 2 recovery groups, bible studies, and our DCY (youth ministry) and children's ministries consistently serve hundreds of young people each week. We are also actively involved with Churches Embracing Offenders, The Evansville Prayer Center,  and Disciples of Christ Ministries. Of course Restore is still going strong and has outgrown our downtown location. They have moved to the West Campus where we will soon begin satellite services.

God continues to expand our borders and answer our prayers to give us eyes to see people the way He sees them, ears to hear them the way He hears them, and above all hearts to love them the way He loves them.

Come join us and be the hands and feet of the Body of Christ.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:30 am and 11 am.