Christian Leadership to Change the World
Making a Connection
CBN.com Real. Relevant. Enjoyable. As the bywords of Pastor David Stine, these aphorisms bear far more significance than a catchy advertising slogan. Stine, the founder and primary church planter of D.C. Metro Church in Alexandria, Va., has been instrumental in shaping this urban church’s form and essence as real, relevant and enjoyable. In 1998, a seed was planted in the minds of Stine and his wife Taryn as they envisioned a “life-giving church” near our nation’s capital — one focused on the needs of the people, not the needs of an institution. In 2007, after nine years of prayer and training, Stine’s dream became a reality: a church located near the notable beltway that wraps itself around Washington, D.C. After celebrating three years of ministry, the staff and congregation are as uniquely multicultural and multinational as Stine imagines heaven will be.
He had planned on a business career after graduating from Louisiana State University. With one year of corporate experience under his belt, his growing connection with his local church stirred an interest in the possibility of full-time ministry. While exploring opportunities, Stine was amazed when he received a phone call inviting him to become a youth pastor in a small Louisiana community. He felt the tug and accepted.
In 2001, Stine attended Preview Weekend at Regent University upon the recommendation of his grandfather. “I met many like-minded people that weekend ... people wanting to do something great for God,” he recalls. With only a youth pastor’s salary in hand, Stine prayed for available resources to make his education possible. At the end of the summer, Regent’s financial aid office notified Stine of a full scholarship — an answer to prayer — and he arrived soon after with great expectations. “It was a special season of time in the history of the world as well as the history of Regent,” Stine says, noting that the September 11, 2001, tragedy occurred soon after the semester began. “I felt such a connection with everyone,” he recalls. “My education was fantastic. I needed it. But the relationships developed there still impact me today.” To illustrate, Stine pointed out that three people on his staff at D.C. Metro Church were fellow classmates at Regent.
Stine graduated with his M.A. in Divinity in 2003 and took a position at Celebration Church of Jacksonville, Fla., where both he and his wife worked for several years. While participating as an associate pastor, college ministry leader, and co-developer of a church-based internship and Bible college, Stine observed a model — a “life-giving church” as he envisioned back at LSU. “We needed to stay at Celebration for a few years to learn,” he says.
While continuing on in Florida, Stine felt he should further his education at Regent. He was able to continue in ministry in Florida while taking all his courses online. In the fall of 2006, the Stines knew it was finally time — time to launch the church for which he’d been trained. Stine, his pregnant wife and their toddler headed north in June of that year, recruiting, raising money and preaching along the way. They arrived at their destination with 17 other willing and adventurous people to found D.C. Metro Church. “The church really started in 2001 when I shared my vision with fellow students at Regent,” Stine muses. He recalls the Latin word seminarium. “It means seed plot — a safe place for a seed to grow. I look at Regent as a seminarium, for me personally and for the vision God gave me for the rest of my life,” Stine says.
Founding members came on board as part of the church’s Launch Team after the vision was shared at various events. Starting out in a rented movie theater, D.C. Metro Church now owns a 20,000 sq. ft. building and celebrated its third anniversary in September 2010, with more than 500 members. Stine envisions the establishment of 20 more video-connected, multisite campus churches around the beltway — all proclaiming a God-first culture for America. Reflecting on the hours he spent alongside his associates in Regent’s prayer chapel, Stine states confidently, “God is still answering those prayers — even yet tomorrow!”
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