On the evening of November 17, 1988,
Dan and Margaret Thompson arrived in Titusville to begin the task of planting a new congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.
They knew of four people who might be interested in joining, but had no place to meet, no money for paying rent on a meeting place, and a deadline set by the Presbytery for the end of financial support.
Dan had never done anything like this. Someone who didn't want Dan and Margaret to leave the church Dan was serving in Mississippi said, "Why are you doing this? You're not a church planter!" With those words ringing in his ears, he remembers not feeling all that confident. When Dan was in seminary, he thought the guys who planted churches were just not able to find jobs in real churches. Now he was joining their ranks.
Dan looked it up: the average tenure of a pastor in America is five to seven years. When he moved to Titusville, he thought he would be here for about five years to get the church going, then move on to something else.
More than twenty-five years later, Dan is still with a church family that has weathered all kinds of ups and downs. He has seen God do much more than he ever imagined possible. Our community has had some difficult struggles. New people have moved to town and joined with us for a while only to move on because of job changes. We've lived through major shifts in the town with the close of the Space Shuttle program, the economic slowdown, and the collapse of the housing market.
There has been a lot of change in Titusville and at Christ Community in these twenty-five years! But there have also been things that remained consistent: a group of people who have loved, supported and encouraged each other; gifted musicians who make worship enjoyable week after week; elders and deacons who have helped keep things running; good friendships; and much more.
In 2016, Dan and Margaret were joined by Daniel and Carolyn Levi. Daniel serves as Assistant Pastor at Christ Community Church. He and Carolyn have two boys, Bennett and Owen.
In 2018, Dan made the hard decision to step down as Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in order to allow for new leadership to come in and to evaluate a new calling in ministry after nearly 30 years at Christ Community Church. Several weeks after the announcement, the church held a goodbye gathering to tell stories, laugh, and even cry together about the many shared experiences of friendship, service, and through it all— God’s grace— over the years.
Christ Community Church has formed a pastor search committee and is currently seeking a pastor, while Daniel Levi continues in his role as assistant pastor and contributes regularly to the preaching and pastoral care of the church.