When the church they attended closed, Brian and Betsy Turnbull longed to see a thriving ministry in their neighborhood instead of an abandoned building. Now, instead of being abandoned, it is the new home of the Emmaus Road Christian Reformed Church in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle, Wash.
Erik Likkel, pastor of Emmaus Road, said, “Over the years, Emmaus Road developed into the same kind of network that many churches become: a close knit, regularly worshiping crowd, who share in ministry to the city . . . but live geographically apart. . . . In this new worship location of Maple Leaf, a local presence is more feasible because of the Turnbulls’ deep presence here.”
The Turnbulls lead a Christian Reformed discipleship and mission outreach called “The House” in the same neighborhood. “Emmaus Road will focus on the gathered expression of church while The House will focus on the scattered expression,” said Betsy Turnbull. “The House will continue its mission into the Maple Leaf community/neighborhood, but now we have people to share in the work . . . a church home, and space in our community for ministry.”
Many individuals in the Maple Leaf neighborhood have no religious affiliation or are suspicious of doctrine and faith institutions. “It takes a long time to earn the right to be heard in regard to all things religious and spiritual,” said Turnbull.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church is generously renting the building to the Emmaus Road church with hopes these two ministries can continue the work in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.
Both Brian and Betsy Turnbull and Erik Likkel, along with his wife, Alicia, envision this new location to provide space for worship, hospitality, and fellowship as well as a place to store donated goods for local ministries.
“We also enjoy the opportunity to live by faith, to see God work in the cracks and crevices of our neighborhood, and to be innovative with ministry,” said Betsy Turnbull.