Stu Boehmig, pastor of Orchard Hill Church, just outside of Pittsburgh, was an ordained Episcopalian priest.After attending Fuller Theological Seminary, he started a new church with his denomination's blessing.
But after a while it became evident to Stu
that it was time for a change."We had people attending from so many different denominations," he
says, "that we felt it was best to declare ourselves what we really were , an interdenominational church."
After visiting Willow Creek
upon the insistence of a friend, Stu
was immensely challenged."I went up to Bill [Hybels] afterward and said, 'I don't know what you're doing here, but I better find out,'" he
recalls.During the next two weeks, Stu
made three more trips back to Willow Creek
and brought along nearly every key person in his
church.Shortly thereafter, he
attended the first-ever Church Leadership Conference (or "Pastors Conference" as it was then called) which he
remembers as 30 or so pastors sitting around a table with Bill and his
walked away with much more than he
had anticipated.A vision was crystallized.A partnership was born.Today, Orchard Hill
is a key church in the Willow Creek Association
, hosting our Regional Workshops as well as our Leadership Summit satellite events.
But the story doesn't end there.A few years ago, Stu
was invited to have lunch with several German pastors.Then he
was asked if he
would consider entering into a partnership with a church in Germany.He
was given a choice between several churches and he
chose one in the East German town of Glauchau.
"We have a real commitment to this country," Stu