How it all started...

Freshwater JC began as a bible study in the home of Dr. Rick and Sandee Hedger, on September 5, 2012 with six people in attendance. Within a couple of months, there were 27 people attending this Wednesday night bible study. The group eventually grew out of the home and into Calvary Lutheran High School and Freshwater JC began meeting a hallway there on Wednesday January 9th, 2013.

Joshua Hartley was hired as the first pastor of Freshwater Church in May 2013. A few months later, Freshwater began to expand its life groups (small groups) from one to four. By July 2013, Freshwater was ready to move from Wednesdays to Sundays. Sunday, September 8th, 2013 marked the official start of Freshwater Church JC. Freshwater Church was founded with a primary focus on missions. In 2014, Freshwater continued to fulfill this mission by going to Council Bluffs, Iowa and Tepeaca, Mexico; as well as serving the local Jefferson City community with Messy Church, Kidsfest, and Labor for Your Neighbor. Freshwater met during this entire season at Calvary Lutheran High School.

On September 14, 2014, the church held a vision casting service in a warehouse at 323 Veterans Lane; which, after some renovations would become the new home for Freshwater JC on February 1, 2015. Freshwater continued to serve the community and grow.

In November 2016 at the annual family meeting, it was decided to proceed with the purchase of property at 2500 Tanner Bridge Place. The Lord provided Freshwater with the financing to purchase the property on December 20, 2016 and remain debt free.  

From 2016-2018, Freshwater was busy designing its new building, hiring more staff, staff resigning, installing deacons, celebrating 5 years as a church, and continuing its local and international missions work. There were multiple international mission trips to London, England and Guatemala. Freshwater was becoming a thriving church in the Jefferson City area. Freshwater was still meeting at the warehouse during this time.

On May 22, 2019 an EF-3 tornado ripped through Jefferson City, destroying houses and businesses within a block of the warehouse. The warehouse was not damaged but a timeline was given to Freshwater to move out due to the warehouse being sold and the new owners needing to utilize the property quickly because of tornado damage to the property they were currently in . By August 2019, FreshwaterJC placed all of its belongings in storage and moved into Southridge Baptist Church. Southridge would allow Freshwater to use their church to have services at night, while they had service during the morning. This was the last temporary home for Freshwater.

In November 2019, concrete was poured in preparation for the new building at 2500 Tanner Bridge Place. In 2019, Freshwater sent out Daniel and Angela Coronado and their three kids to be IMB missionaries to Bogota, Colombia.

We all know that 2020 was a strange year with COVID and the mandatory shut down. However, Freshwater seemed to thrive during this time by offering support and continued partnership with the local community. On October 18, 2020, Freshwater opened up their doors to their new building. Freshwater JC finally had a permanent home.

Through a series of resignations, in June 2021, Freshwater had no full-time ministry staff. During this season, Freshwater saw their Elders step up to answer the call to lead the church until a new lead pastor was found. On June 5, 2022 Freshwater partners voted unanimously to call Robert Strong as Lead Pastor.

On January 15, 2023 Freshwater added an associate pastor, Zach Klundt. In the year 2023, Freshwater saw the Lord continue to move greatly. We saw more and more people come into a saving relationship with Jesus, be baptized, and begin to be discipled. Freshwater has had more staff hires and an increase in our deacons. Not only is Freshwater stayed involved in the community, but we have started a new movement called Love|JC.

Love|JC is a movement to impact all of the Jefferson City area by loving and support our community. For us it is about going into the community and telling them we are here for you. We want to be part of our community and we want to be able to make a kingdom impact. Through our Love|JC movement we have been able to connect with 7 local schools. Love|JC also had its first community outreach event when we celebrated Freshwater's Ten Year Anniversary.  The event included a worship service, pork nachos, a rock wall, and an inflatable village of games for kids.

In 2024, we have seen two new full-time positions filled with Zach Thomas as our Pastoral Resident and Ethan Anderson as our NextGen Director. The Lord continues to grow Freshwater and its staff. 2024 looks to bring even more opportunities to advance the Gospel and impact the Jefferson City area. We are beyond grateful and thankful for all that the Lord has done and will continue to do.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 9:00 am and 10:30 am.