courtesy North American Division news

When Elgin, Illinois, church pastor Gabriel Bardan joined a clergy meeting and introduced himself as the pastor of the Elgin Seventh-day Adventist Church, the chairman, a mainline Protestant pastor looked at him and asked, "Where have you been so far?"

Bardan acknowledges, "Indeed, we had been disconnected from the community for a long time. Now, our goal is to become a community hub!"

This renewed push for a higher profile in the community came after a brutally honest assessment in a summer 2017 church business meeting. Members of the Elgin church, located 40 miles northwest of Chicago, concluded that a radical change was needed. Something beyond revival or a new direction, this time a rebirth of Elgin was required. They call it “re-planting,” a process so unusual it happens just a few dozen times each year across the North American Division. According to North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI) church plant expert, Anthony WagenerSmith, re-planting happens when, "you put everything on the table, revisit the vision and discover a whole new paradigm."

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