The Southeast Christian Church family is growing again.
In the next few weeks, Southeast will launch two community campuses.
While Southeast’s 10 regional campuses reach specific areas such as Crestwood, Southern Indiana or Elizabethtown, community campuses are designed for groups that cannot attend a regional campus due to barriers such as geography or culture.
“These new campuses ‘catch the wind’ where God is leading us,” said Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman. “They will work alongside Missions Ministry with a heavy emphasis on community transformation. They help us fulfill the Great Commission in our own backyard. I can’t wait to see how God will use them.”
On Aug. 16, the African church that has been meeting at the Blankenbaker Campus since 2018 will become the SE Multination Community Campus. Charles Mwungura will be the campus pastor.
On Sept. 13, the SE Beechmont Community Campus will launch at Hope Place in South Louisville, and Matt Robison will be the campus pastor.
Multination Community Campus
The SE Multination Community Campus began in 2015 as a prayer meeting with three people in Victor Mikebanyi’s home. The Southeast Missions Ministry staff member from the Democratic Republic of the Congo believed God wanted him to reach refugees and immigrants with the Gospel. Three years later, the group had outgrown Mikebanyi’s home and began meeting in the chapel at the Blankenbaker Campus.
Now 200 people from six nations meet for worship in English and Swahili.
Each member has a story.
Some were refugees who survived in camps. Others saw family members killed or thrown in prison for no reason except their ethnicity. And still others have fled from countries where owning a Bible could mean a death sentence.
Freedom to worship is a dream come true for many in this church.
Mikebanyi worked with Charles Mwungura in Kenya. In September 2017, he prayed Mwungura would come to Louisville to help reach more people with the Gospel. He knew from the beginning that Mwungura would be perfect to lead the Multination Campus.
“I am so happy,” Mikebanyi said. “There are no words. I’ve been praying to see this happen. We are not second-class members but true adopted members of Southeast. We long for other members of Southeast to join us in worship.”
Services last about two hours, and members gather once a month to pray throughout the night.
Mwungura is overwhelmed by the warm welcome at Southeast and hopes his wife and four sons will be able to come to Louisville soon.
He was born in Congo, where his father was a pastor. His family moved to Rwanda after genocide affected most everyone. As a young pastor, he began working with Mikebanyi in Nairobi to reach a large group of Somali refugees with the Gospel. Together they planted nine churches.
“I was so passionate to reach refugees in Kenya that it was hard to leave ministry there,” Mwungura said. “But our mission is the same here as there—to disciple members of our church to reach out to the thousands of immigrants who are not connected to Jesus or one another.”
Beechmont Community Campus
Matt Robison discovered the Beechmont neighborhood on his way to interview for a community pastor job at Southeast. After planting a church in Atlanta, Robison believed God was leading to a new adventure.
Matt and his wife, Kristy, have four children, including a daughter adopted from Ethiopia. That led to new concern and commitment to help refugees, victims of human trafficking, at-risk teens and immigrants.
Matt later became a connections pastor at the Blankenbaker Campus while Kristy became the director of Hope Place, meeting needs in the Beechmont community. They live in the community where neighbors within a three-block radius speak 100 languages.
Men and women come to Hope Place for English classes, citizenship classes, to work out at the all-female gym, tutoring, mentoring, job training and more. Soon they will be able to attend a worship service.
The Beechmont Community Campus will include people from many nations.
“To me church planting is about removing obstacles from people meeting Jesus,” Robison said. “We go where they are and do not expect them to come to us. That’s what it’s been like since the Lord led us here. It’s been crazy to see how much He was working long before we landed. What I’ve been telling people is that heaven is going to be every tongue, tribe and nation. How cool is it that we get to start a church that can look like that!”