Happy Double Anniversary!

Posted by Marjorie Chang, Copy Editor, on Sep 23, 2020

Happy Double Anniversary!

This season, Chase Oaks is celebrating the anniversary of two unique campuses: En Español Campus, and Richardson Campus. En Español launched its first Spanish-speaking services seven years ago, and Richardson Campus opened its doors two years ago in October. We asked Armando Zuniga, pastor at En Español, and OnDat Truong, interim pastor at Richardson Campus, to share more about the years since the launch of these campuses.

Q: What three words best describe your campus?

Armando: Faithful, hopeful, servant-hearted OnDat: Caring, committed, community-oriented

Q:  What was the original vision for your campus when it launched? What were you hoping to see happen in and through the campus?

Armando: To reach the local community around East Plano. I wanted people to know that being a Christian is not just about traditions and buildings but a way of life that leads to genuine transformation and change for the good of the community. OnDat: To live out our Chase Oaks mission and purpose by being a place where people can come as they are, be transformed, and make a difference to the Richardson community. The hope has been to see Chase Oakers taking greater ownership of our local campus and living into their giftedness and purpose—to care for and reach our community with the transforming love of Jesus.

Q:  Have you seen any big changes since your campus began? What are we celebrating with this anniversary?

Armando: We started seven years ago with 60 faith-filled attendees. Before the pandemic we were reaching an average of over 200 attendees per in-person service. We are now a campus that is followed internationally via our digital platform and through social media. We are celebrating the unity and diversity of our campus. Our worship band is an incredibly diverse and united group of people. And our different ministries work in tandem, serving each other and supporting one another. OnDat: Since our campus launched, we’ve been able to serve Richardson Terrace Elementary by supporting their teachers and students. We’ve participated in city events like the Family 4th Fireworks and Richardson Christmas Parade. We’ve also hosted a Trunk or Treat event for the community, and built partnerships with Network of Community Ministries, Feed My Starving Children, and UTD InterVarsity. At this two-year mark, we will be moving to a new location: the Richardson Family YMCA. This facility has a larger worship space, great rooms for kids, and is more centrally located in the heart of Richardson. The Richardson Y also represents our growing partnership with a like-minded organization; we are teaming up to reach our community. That's a super-exciting vision and a big reason to celebrate!

Q: How has the pandemic impacted your campus, and how have you seen your campus adapt?

Armando: It has definitely affected us. We are a community that seeks and craves communion and fellowship, and it has been hard to not meet. We have, however, found ways to keep that fellowship going through stories and testimonies of the people in our church. The pandemic gave us a chance to do a series called This Is Who We Are in which we talked about different aspects of our culture and our viewpoints. We have been the first campus to “pre-gather” for live services, with strict safety measures, and have been building up from there. OnDat: The pandemic has given us a greater awareness of the need for community. We have put a lot of emphasis on meeting that need, transitioning all our small groups online and having an active Facebook Watch Party for weekend services. We have also maintained connection with our teams, meeting virtually even when Sunday in-person services were put on hold. And as guidelines allow, we have had a few outdoor campus gatherings and events to provide a safe space for people to get together.

Q: Can you share about someone who embodies the culture and spirit of your campus?

Armando: We have formed a very solid team in our children’s ministry, with over 80 dedicated volunteers. We have built a faithful team in our student ministry—over 80% of our students serve in the church. OnDat: Two people come to mind—Jeremy Thomason, and Kelly Harris. Jeremy and his wife Laura grew up in Richardson and have raised their three kids here. He is a leader not only in our church, but in the Richardson community. He serves as our Outreach Director and a small group leader. He embodies the “All-In” Chase Oaker, and his nickname around our campus is "Mr. Richardson". Kelly Harris recently visited Chase Oaks Richardson in February after being invited by a Chase Oaker, and she has been coming ever since (even continuing online in the midst of the pandemic). When the opportunity came up to be baptized at our Outdoor Worship Night on September 20, she stepped forward, ready to take that bold next step in her faith.

Q:  Looking ahead, what do you hope will continue to happen in and through your campus?

Armando: We pass the baton as much as we can and always try to empower others to reach their full potential, in ministry and in life. OnDat: We hope to continue the momentum of building partnerships with our city, our local schools, UTD, as well as forming new partnerships—all with the purpose of reaching our community. And we hope to continue to be invitational, not just with our church, but with our lives, just as Jesus was. Join us in celebrating these two dynamic, faith-filled campuses as they seek to impact different communities with a common vision. If you’d like to visit one of these campuses, check out details at our Countdown to ReGather.  

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