Marty & Sandy Boller – Jesus’ Ministry in Cedar Rapids.
Celebrating 30 Years & What’s Next?
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Sandy & I celebrated our 30th year in Cedar Rapids.
It was on June 23, 1990 that God moved the Bollers from Iowa City to the City of Five Seasons. Though we didn’t know it at the time, this move was the culmination of a 15-year-long trek in our journey with Jesus: a journey that began the day we were first joined together (July 12, 1975) in holy matrimony.
So, in the summer of 2020, Sandy & I celebrated two anniversaries:
30 years in Cedar Rapids.
45 years of marriage.
During that time, all of our precious children have gone from being kids going to school to becoming grown-ups, with most of them with kids of their own going (and graduating!) from school. It’s been an amazing journey indeed.
One of the primary reasons we came to Cedar Rapids back in the day was to invest in all Jesus was doing in this community. On June 23, 1990 our family of six moved into our humble abode at 800 14th Street SE, believing that God had opened the door to this move, and today, we still believe that to be true.
During that time we’ve served the Lord faithfully by involving ourselves in ministry, first at River of Life under the leadership of Pastor Francis Frangipane, working as an associate pastor. That work quickly evolved into a season of full-time ministry with Promise Keepers, working alongside men across the state of Iowa as Jesus was stirring us to more and more Christ-likeness. Then, by the summer and fall of 1997, Sandy & I began praying diligently about starting yet another Vineyard Church, this time in our new hometown of Cedar Rapids.
At that point in time, we had already been involved with two church plants. The first (in 1976) eventually became the very successful Vineyard Church in Evanston, IL. Then, in 1987, we moved to Iowa City, my hometown, and planted our very own Vineyard Church (1987-1990).
As many of you know, Father’s House Vineyard Christian Fellowship has taken on many formats since the first gatherings in our home in January 1998. From six couples to over 350 worshippers, from a church in a home to a church in several different buildings, and now, back again meeting in homes, the journey has had its share of amazing joys with a few tears sprinkled in along the way.
There are a handful of folks who have journeyed with us most of these last 30 years in Cedar Rapids, and literally thousands of others who have been with us for various parts of that adventure.
So now, in the summer of 2020, we’re sensing that it’s time for us to close this chapter of our lives. 30 years of pastoral ministry in one city is certainly enough to call it day, don’t you think?
Thus, effective September 1, 2020, we have stepped aside as active pastors of the Vineyard Church here in Cedar Rapids. It’s our hope that by doing this, it may encourage others to step up, step in and continue the work of Christ as lived out through the expression of a Vineyard community of faith here in the City of Five Seasons. If and when that happens, Sandy & I will be readily available to encourage those new leaders in any way we can.
In the meantime, we encourage you to keep praying, keep believing, and keep your eyes on Jesus. In this season of COVID 19, it’s probably not wise to gather together for a ‘goodbye-and-good-luck’ party, but maybe once this all lifts, we can gather as friends to celebrate all Jesus has done over the last 30 years, eat a piece of cake, drink a glass of wine, and tell some neat Holy Spirit stories.
We certainly hope our friendships and conversations with you will continue via on-line communications, and small one-on-one meetings as well. Our heart is to never stop loving you as we all continue our journey with Jesus.
Thank you for allowing Sandy & me to be a part of your life in Christ. We consider it an honor. We invite you to stay in touch with us via our ministry website: The Contemplative Activist.
In closing, allow me to share this. When asked how to define success in ministry, Mother Theresa said wisely,
I was never called to be successful;
I was called to be faithful,
And in my striving to be faithful,
My life will be fruitful,
And because it is fruitful,
You could say I am successful.
Keep going, my friends. Here’s to the advancement of God’s Kingdom and Jesus’ ministry of faith, hope, and love…for the greater glory of God,
May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You…
Marty & Sandy Boller