As the holiday season draws ever closer, some may wonder about finding a church that can offer spiritual guidance, community outreach and extracurricular services that can help an entire family. After all, this is the time of year when giving – whether it be to family, friends, loved ones or perfect strangers – is at an all-time high. According to Christianity Today magazine, a recent research poll of 1,000 Americans found that six out of 10 attend church during the Christmas season. What’s more, those who said that they don’t attend services would go if someone invited them. The latter aspect is of interest to Rick VanWagner, who had made it his goal to give back to the community and offer beneficial services such as a church that goes far and above the call of duty. It would take the founding of Family Christian Center (FCC) for him to truly realize how good it felt to become a cornerstone of the community, but there’s been no slowing down since that day decades ago.
The path to serving the Clermont, Florida community where FCC is located stretches all the way back to 1993 when Rick VanWagner started the ministry as a bible study group based out of his parents’ home. In attendance were a handful of family and friends, he remembers, but all great things have humble beginnings. FCC would be incorporated as a church that same year, but the turn of the century would bring even greater accomplishments. That’s because Rick VanWagner would in 1999 purchase 34 acres of land that would eventually house FCC and in 2002, he would host the first service there with more than 150 people in attendance. It’s at this point that his giving back to the local Florida community truly took off and has proved to be a rewarding experience ever since. Over the next decade and then some, FCC would grow to include faith-based preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school classes; the Sky Zone trampoline park and the Family Christian Center Food Pantry.
It’s for these reasons and many more that Rick VanWagner is a recognizable and respected member of his community. In fact, the local police chief honored him during FCC’s recent 24th anniversary. That type of recognition offers an important distinction during this holiday season. When many people seek a faith-based service that puts them in touch with neighbors and helps to establish life-long ties, they need to know that there’s a local outlet offering such perks. In return, you’ll grow with God and meet those who hold the same system of beliefs.