Anchor Friends & Family,
About 8 years ago Angela and I moved from Nashville, TN to a suburb of Seattle, WA. I had just been hired as the Creative Arts Pastor at a church called Common Ground. Within a month or two of moving there we met a young couple named Joseph and Stephanie Huson. Little did we know at the time that God was going to use our friendship to do more than any of us could have ever dreamed!
What started out as a casual friendship (hanging out watching Ghost Hunters on Wednesday evenings or going out to dinner and and a movie) turned into an incredible partnership in ministry together. In 2010, God called Angela and I to move to the Chicago region to start a new church. Starting a church is no easy task in and of itself; but moving across the country - to a place where we knew no one - to start a church was a really exciting and really scary all wrapped up together! We knew we didn’t want to do this alone, but who would be willing to risk everything with us to do this?
By now you can see where I am going with this story. Joseph and Stephanie, with no promise other than an adventure, said yes to God and moved with us to Bensenville, IL to start The Anchor. They have been an invaluable part of our team and our lives; and we are forever grateful to them for saying yes to God’s call on their lives to come be a part of the initial years of The Anchor.
But a new season has come for Joseph and Stephanie. Once again God is calling them to a new place! As sad as we are to see them go, we are even more excited for them as they begin their new journey! My grandpa Cupp shared something with me when I was younger that has always stuck with me. He taught me that as Christians, we don’t ever have to say goodbye…we just say, “see ya later!"
Joseph and Stephanie, we love you and we thank you for your faithfulness in trusting God and His call on your lives! Thank you for all that you are to me and my family and to all of us in the Anchor’s family. We are sad that we won’t see you quite as much, but excited for your new adventure!
Joseph and Stephanie…we’ll see you later!
-Sam Barnhart, Pastor
A Letter From The Husons
We all have a story. This is a glimpse of ours. We hope that it encourages you to do what God has called you to do… to go where God has called you to go. It’s not always easy, but easy isn’t always right. We also hope that it inspires you to not only follow God, but to follow your passions, follow your heart & let your dreams become a reality.
In December 2010 we moved from Maple Valley, WA (near Seattle) to Bensenville, IL to start what is now The Anchor Christian Church. We didn’t know what the journey would hold. All Sam Barnhart promised was an adventure… and that’s exactly what we got! We said yes to Jesus with high hopes and strong hearts. We have been blown away by what God has done through The Anchor over the past 4 years… community, grace, laughter, forgiveness, strength, hope. It has been a crazy ride and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Each year we ask God “Is this where you want us?” (which is how we arrived in Bensenville to start with!) While here, we have continued praying this prayer and each year He has answered “Yes”. However, this last year His answer was “Your time at The Anchor will be coming to a close.” At the time we didn’t know exactly what that meant, what that would look like or what the timing was. It was gentle and it was quiet, but it was clear. As time progressed, His calling grew louder, stronger and much more clear! We continued praying, both individually and together, met regularly and prayed with Sam and simply listened to God for His timing. We feel His timing has arrived and that we are to take the next step in our ministry journey. With that being said, we are officially announcing that our last day on staff at The Anchor will be Sunday, January 25, 2015. On one hand this gives us heavy hearts as we step down from our staff roles, but on the other hand, we rejoice at the path God has ahead of us!
As many of you know, music is something we both have always been passionate about, whatever it looks like. Whether we’re going out playing shows, writing new songs, leading worship or singing in the living room. Music has always been something that drives us. In fact, music was one of the things that brought us together waaaaay back in the 11th grade! We’ve always felt that no matter where we go, or what we do, music will always be a part of it. That is why we are super excited to share that in February 2015 we will be moving to Nashville, TN...music city! This will be a dream come true! We are thrilled for the opportunity to able explore more of our musical creativity and hone in our craft while living in an area that encourages our passions! Once again, we don’t know what this part of our journey will hold, but we know it will be great. We will grow and learn, fall and get back up, laugh and experience joy!
To say we are thankful for our time in Bensenville is an understatement. Before moving to Illinois, Stephanie had only traveled through O’hare and Joseph hadn’t even stepped foot in the state! We only knew one person in the area: Lance Hurley from Ignite Church Planting (and his wife, Darla. So technically two people!). From the beginning we were loved and embraced as family, which is so comforting when going into the unknown. As The Anchor started that love and family quickly grew. The Anchor community is truly something special. When we say we “love our Anchor family” we genuinely mean it because you have been, and are, our Chicago family! As hard as it was leaving our family in Washington, we knew it was the right thing to do. We now face a similar calling and also feel the tension of having to leave family once again, but we know it’s the right step with where God wants us.
The love and encouragement we’ve already received through this process is a testament to what God is doing through the church He is building here in Bensenville. We feel blessed and honored to have been a part of the ground work in The Anchor’s amazing story. We know God has such awesome plans ahead for The Anchor, and for Bensenville, and we can’t wait to watch that story unfold! We are truly thankful for all of the blessings that God has poured on us during our time here and for the people He has allowed us to invest in and share this part of our journey with.
Thank you Sam Barnhart for being our brother and our leader. You are full of grace and make us laugh! Thank you Angela Barnhart for being our sister and our shelter. You are full kindness and encourage our dreams! Thank you Steve Barnhart for being our pops. You are full of wisdom and always support us! Thank you Journey, Honor and Rocky for being awesome! You guys are smart, genuine, loving and talented. Thank you to our church family, our small group, our brothers and sisters, our friends, our family… The Anchor! You are all real, amazing, forgiving, loving and fun! Oh, and you all are great cooks too! :)
Thank you, Lord, for this amazing part of our journey and for your love for us! The laughter, the sweat, the tears, the hearts changed and the family made. We are thankful for it all. Amen.
Joseph, Stephanie and Delanie