- Contact Us
Soma Church of Denver...A New Church Plant
The Soma Church team planned for over two years before actually moving to Denver. In total, they anticipate a team of 27 people who have either moved to Denver already or plan to move here over the next few months. This team is coming from Raleigh, NC where they were trained and coached by Summit Church.
Bryan Barley and Andy Metzger are leading this new church plant in the Five Points/ East Side neighborhoods of Denver. Barley is the lead pastor and Metzger is serving as the associate pastor. Being sponsored by Ken Caryl Church in Littleton, the Soma team has had the help of Colorado Baptists in Denver as they prayerfully considered where to plant their lives. They have worked hard over the past two years, training for this planting journey. This included building strategic relationships with local and domestic churches, as well as developing a resource base and prayer network.
Barley explains that each member of the Soma team signed on as a missionary. They are moving to Denver, gaining employment of some sort, and becoming rooted in their newfound community. Those who have arrived or plan to move here over the next few months include medical professionals, business entrepreneurs, IT specialists, and social workers. They each bring marketable skills that will contribute towards a better Denver.
Drew Witt is one example. “Drew has an M.Div from Southeastern Seminary,” Barley shared, “but came to Denver to start a painting business that he could leverage as a ministry to the city and the people he employs. Yesterday Drew received his first contract work from a property that will allow him to start building a revenue stream, and this property has serious potential to both require and enable him to hire some additional workers in the coming months!” It is inspiring to see how God is directing each team member on a journey of faith
Barley and Metzger felt God’s call to Denver and embarked on an important and thoughtful journey as they prepared for the day of arrival in Denver. Their team, while still living in Raleigh, N.C. and knowing they would eventually live in urban Denver, looked for ways to prepare and train in urban areas of Raleigh. Yet, they knew coming to Denver would require plenty of learning, research, and missionary thinking once they hit the ground in Colorado.
Barley, who moved with his wife Megan at the beginning of January, has already built significant relationships with those around his home, which is seated on California Street. The Five Points and East Side neighborhoods represent a collision of social trends facing many areas of Denver. As such neighborhoods have been redeveloped over the past decade, affluence has brought a new dynamic to streets that were once too dangerous to walk during daylight. Today, the streets are filled with people who represent the many economic and ethnic groups of Denver. One house might be a modern, newly developed townhome; while next door, the dwelling might be a low-rent building that is aged and run down.
The biggest challenges facing the Soma Church team include interpreting their neighborhood with a sense of everyone who lives there. Strategically, church planters often come to areas, seeking to reach certain people-groups. The Five Points and East Side neighborhoods require something different. These neighborhoods desperately need churches that care about everyone and the pressing issues of a community in transition.
Metzger, who is a bi-vocational church planter, explains, “I am incredibly excited about living in Denver and working as hard as possible for the sake of the Gospel. As I get to know my neighbors, local business owners, and coworkers at Apple, my love for these people and city of Denver continues to grow. I know, however, that lives will not be transformed without the power of the Holy Spirit, so we desperately pray for his movement among a city that needs Him.”
The Soma team is planting in a neighborhood that has seen it share of change. Many good churches exist in the neighborhoods of north Denver County. Yet, it is apparent how many people are unreached with the message of the Gospel. On one block in particular, the reality of Denver’s situation is clear. Two large, beautiful stone church buildings, now turned into condos, sit on the two corners of the block.
Denver County has a population of 550,000. This number is sure to increase with the 2010 census data. The need for the Gospel in Denver is drastic. Churches are the outposts that provide spiritual epicenters for Gospel movements! The Soma team desires to be such an outpost as they love the people of Denver and reach out to their neighbors.
To learn more about Soma Church and the ways you can be involved, visit www.somadenver.org