On Monday, July 22, 2019, a member of Catalyst Church boarded a plane headed to Southeast Asia, where he would spend a year reaching college students with the Gospel. Having just defended his thesis, this young man was taking a year between studies to invest in fulfilling the Great Commission. This is the heartbeat of Catalyst Church.
In August of 2012, Catalyst Church launched with a desire to reach those on and around the campus of Christopher Newport University. From the beginning, Catalyst had missions in her DNA. Catalyst’s mother church, Bethel Baptist in Yorktown, Virginia, valued mission trips and had established partnerships around the world. Jeff Mingee, the lead pastor of Catalyst Church, had participated in numerous mission trips. Launch team members at Catalyst included former IMB missionaries and others, who had a heart for missions. Just weeks after the first service, Catalyst announced its first mission trip to Southeast Asia.
Since launching in 2012, Catalyst has sent seven full-time missionaries to serve in various places around the world. Sarah served alongside the IMB reaching refugees in Germany. Katy and Taylor Terrill are currently working with Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. J* is currently teaching English to unreached peoples in East Asia. K*, C* and A* are currently reaching college students in a major city in Southeast Asia.
Pastor Jeff Mingee wrote in an email to the church, “There is so much more work to be done. Seven out of 10 people in Virginia don’t have a relationship with Christ. There are still more than 7,000 unreached people groups (with no access to the Gospel) around the world. This year we are praying for and expecting God to save more people and send more people through the ministry of Catalyst Church. So, let’s begin praying now for missionary number eight. Perhaps, it’s you that God is calling.”
Catalyst Church is a testimony to what God can do with a willing group of people. They’re quick to point out that they’re not a perfect church and that they certainly don’t have a magic formula for sending missionaries. They’re ordinary believers with an extraordinary God who is making His name known among the nations.