A Heart for Endicott

Written by Bethany Jarmul

John Snider is preparing to launch CityReach Church Endicott in Endicott, New York on September 18th, 2016. John’s church is one of 28 churches that CITYREACH NETWORK plans to launch in September of 2016. Just as each city and church is unique, each church planter’s story is as unique as the community he or she is called to reach.

MEET JOHN

John grew up in New York with a family that attended church now-and-again. “I was exposed to Jesus, but I never accepted him,” John says. As a young adult, John served in the air force as a fireman. Then, he got into the trucking industry as an over-the-road truck driver. In 2004, John began dating Candice, and the couple tied the knot in 2012.

THE CHANGE

The couple moved to Binghamton, NY in 2012 where John accepted a position as the director of a truck driving school. After trying several churches, in 2013, the couple landed at Two Rivers Assembly under Pastor Will Hampton, part of the Reach Northeast Network.

“There were points in my life where I was trying to get close to Christ. I was the guy who raised his hand for salvation every week, but nothing was happening. There were no fruits of it.”

– John

However, that changed one day at Two Rivers Assembly. “God worked in my heart. Candice and I both accepted Christ, and we’ve seen major transformation in our lives,” he says.

John started going to the prayer before church starts. He heard Pastor Will and others speaking in tongues. “Oh no! This is one of those places,” he thought. But, he saw how genuine everyone was and John started to ask questions. Will led John through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “A few days later I spoke in tongues for the first time. I was, all of a sudden, on fire. I needed to serve God. But, I didn’t know what that looked like, yet.”

INCREDIBLE HEALING

Meanwhile, Candice got really sick, struggling with severe fibromyalgia. For a year and a half, John had to help Candice get out of bed. She took high doses of medication and was still in so much pain. “I became distraught and depressed,” Candice says, “I had given up asking the Lord for healing.”

In February of 2014, at the end of a period of 21 days of fasting and prayer, Candice and John were attending a church service. Candice felt that she was supposed to receive prayer for healing. “I heard the Lord say, “GET UP!” she says. “I was healed that day.”

With nothing holding them back, the couple continued serving in their church and growing in their personal ministry.

THE CALL

From the moment he experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, John felt called into the ministry. In 2014, John attended DSOM (District Schools of Ministry) in New York. In May of 2014, he attended the IGNITE Leadership Conference, an event hosted by Reach Northeast and CityReach Network. There, he met Pastor Brian Bolt, president of CityReach Network and heard his story.

“I never do this, but that weekend I walked up to Brian and said, ‘I think we are going to do great things together at one point.’”

Then in 2015, following another season of prayer and fasting, John was driving through Endicott, New York, watching a homeless man cross the street.

As he was praying about it, John felt called to plant with CityReach Network, and he began the church planting process in October of 2015.

“Suddenly it hit me—a burden for Endicott and to see the people there reached for Jesus.”

John

“I kept questioning it. I don’t know if I fit the bill of a CityReach planter, but God kept calling me back to CityReach.”

John

THE LOCATION

The town of Endicott is named after Henry B. Endicott, a founding member of the Endicott Johnson Corporation shoe manufacturing company, who founded the community. But, Endicott is best known as the birthplace of IBM, as the company was founded there (under a previous name) in 1911.

The town was once a booming industrial area with many jobs. However, most of those businesses have since left the area. “It used to be a bedroom community for IBM, now there’s a lot of homes that are low-income housing. It’s a down and out-of-sorts place now,” John says.

“We want to radically impact this community that needs love and hope. But, we want to do it in a real way. We’re called to do tangible things like feed the entire community, and provide boots and hats.”

John

According to John’s research in Endicott there are 10,000 people who are unchurched. “I’m believing God that we are going to reach all of those people,” he says. “We’re believing God for people to come to Christ—that we will watch people fulfill their calling, plant churches, and reach the lost for Jesus Christ—people that came out of Endicott.”

John is in the process of raising funds and finding a meeting location for his new church. He also plans on starting men’s and women’s Hope Homes within the first year after his church launch.

Click Here to Learn More about CityReach Church Endicott
2018-01-17T00:21:59+00:00 April 21st, 2016|Church Planting, Stories|