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We are sending out our first newsletter! The content is below.  Please join me in praying that we will raise the funds we need to have us start strong in Frankford!

Hello Friends and Family!

I hope this letter finds you and your family well!  I’m writing to you to let you know about a ministry opportunity that my family and I are a part of in the neighborhood of Frankford in Philadelphia.  As many of you know, our family has been a part of a church in Northeast Philadelphia, called Grace City Church of the Northeast, since 2010.  I have served as one of the pastors/elders of this church for several years, and still serve in that role today.  Our church has a desire to reach the many different neighborhoods in Philadelphia, but we know that it is difficult for people in other neighborhoods to come to a church in Northeast Philadelphia for practical, cultural, and socioeconomic reasons.  As a result, we have a heart to work to see many different gospel-centered churches planted in all the various neighborhoods of our city.  

  A few years ago, our church planted a church in the neighborhood of Wissinoming in the Lower Northeast section of Philadelphia.  That church has grown and is now an independent local church serving that particular neighborhood in a way that our church never could from our location in the Northeast.  Soon after planting that church, the leadership of our church began to pray and plan about how we might be able to plant a church in another neighborhood in Philadelphia.  

                  In the Spring of 2015, we launched a small-group Bible study in the neighborhood of Frankford with an eye towards possibly planting a church in that neighborhood with me as the lead planter/pastor of the church.  My family has lived in Frankford since 2011, so we were excited to lead a group of people into this opportunity in our neighborhood.  Our small-group has grown since 2015 both in maturity in the Faith and in numbers.  We are growing towards God, towards each other, and towards Frankford.  Many of our group already lived in or close by to Frankford, and others have moved into the neighborhood.  All the while, we have been attending Sunday services at Grace City Church of the Northeast.  It has been an exciting few years of laying a foundation of what will become a new church in Frankford!

After much prayer, planning, and some formalized church-planting training for me, Grace City Church of the Northeast and our denomination, Sovereign Grace Ministries, have officially approved our small-group Bible study to launch out as our own church with our own Sunday services in Frankford beginning in April of 2018.  Our church will be called Grace City Church of Frankford.  

In addition to the standard challenges of starting a new church, we have the added challenges (and many great opportunities!!) of being in a low-income, high-crime, urban neighborhood.  This is why I wanted to reach out to you about this church plant.  The people already in our small-group have very limited financial resources and the people that we are praying will join us from the neighborhood through the ministry of our church will also be low-income.  Our sending church, our denomination, and other local churches in our denomination will be supporting us, but due to the nature of our neighborhood, we will also need support from outside these resources as well.  We estimate we will need to raise about $10,000 a year, for at least the first few years, from people like you in order to support the work of a church in this kind of neighborhood.  Our goal is to raise the first $10,000 before the church plant launches in April.  Would you be prayerfully consider making a donation toward this goal?  Directions for ways of giving are below.  In addition to the ongoing support we anticipate needing, we expect to have some one-time, start-up needs and expenses as well.  Right now, we do not know what the arrangements for our meeting location will be, so we do not know what we will be needing yet for start-up expenses.  I plan to send out another letter when we have an idea of what  items we will need to either purchase or ask for donations for.  Thank you so much for your support.  Planting in a low-income neighborhood requires a lot of support from many different people, so thank you for being a part of this!

Most importantly, would you pray for us?  I have included a magnet with this letter as a reminder for you to pray for us when you see it.  Thank you, most of all, for your prayers.  The address of our blog is also on the magnet.  You can sign up to receive periodic email updates by following this blog.  We will let you know how to pray and other opportunities for partnering with us through that blog.


Philippians 1:3-5: I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”


Thank you so much!!

In and for Christ,


Stephen Bowne


Give online at:  – click “Give” at the top, and then select “church planting” in the drop-down menu after you follow the prompts on the “Give” page to set up secure online giving.


Checks can be made out to Grace City Church of the Northeast and write “Frankford” on the memo line.  Checks can be mailed to:

Grace City Church of the Northeast

8950 Ashton Rd.

Philadelphia, PA 19136


Giving online or via check is a tax-deductible donation and 100% of what is given goes towards the plant.