2 Pillars Church and The 815

Todd Bumgarner is the lead pastor and planter of Two Pillars church in Lincoln, NE. Two Pillars is also a part of the Acts 29 network. Adam is one of Todd’s leaders at Two Pillars, he is also one of my roomates when I head to Seattle for ReTrain. Great things are happening at Two Pillars. Bob Thune, pastor at Coram Deo Church in Omaha, NE, has some great things to say about Two Pillars:

A year ago, I walked into the dingy vacant shell of an old bar in the Haymarket district of Lincoln. The walls were still painted Husker red and the smell of spilled beer seemed to linger in the wooden floorboards. The sheer aesthetic tastelessness of the place was hard to miss. But the century-old brick walls and the exposed ceiling trusses hinted at some hidden potential.

I’m back in that same space today. But it’s not the same. Local art hangs with purposeful randomness from the repainted walls. Drums, guitars, microphones, and effects pedals sit idly on the handmade stage as if beckoning me to wait around for a jam session. Neat rows of chairs fill the room from front to back – someone clearly expects quite a few people to show up. And a close look at the ceiling trusses suggests hours of thoughtful ingenuity: new electrical conduit, fresh lighting, carefully designed speaker supports, subtle LCD-projector mounts. Someone has made this space their own.

That someone is Two Pillars Church. A year ago Two Pillars consisted of Acts 29 church planter Todd Bumgarner and his wife and kids. Today it boasts almost 50 committed core members and a weekly attendance that’s pushing 100. The first floor of this historic Haymarket building has become “The 815” – the Sunday morning home of Two Pillars and a sometime art-gallery-and-music-venue that has become a contributor to the local culture of downtown Lincoln.

I love church planting because I love Jesus. But I also love church planting because of what it does for cities, communities – and spaces. Eight-fifteen O Street has become a hub of life, activity, cultural contribution. People care about this space. People have owned this space. And they’ve begun to steward it for the good of the city. It has a vibe of life and joy and creativity. When you walk in the door, you think: I want to be here when the band is playing and the candles are lit and people are milling about. There’s a compelling attractiveness to this place.

The 815 is living proof that the gospel renews not just people, but places. Locations. Addresses. When the gospel is at work, people begin to view their life – and their real estate – as a part of something much bigger than themselves. The Christian hope in their souls begins to flow out in their tangible assets. They take care of stuff. They make things better. They use what they have to bless others. And brick by brick, the city becomes a more beautiful place.




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