Revolution Church merged with Pantano officially on Jan. 1, 2020. It was our hope (and still is) that we would plant churches and campuses together. Then COVID hit. Empire High School was closed. The timing could not have been worse!

We went fully online for a few months last year, and the roles of the Southeast Campus staff shifted. Jerry Tipton became our permanent Student Pastor. Katie Reich oversees Digital Discipleship. Josh Reich is leading the Teaching Team, creating content for the Next Steps, has led the Engage One strategy for our church, and more. They’re all crushing it. I’m so grateful we were able to keep them as a part of Pantano.

Here we are, 16 months later. Our leadership has talked, prayed, and asked God what is next for Pantano and the Southeast campus, and we have decided not to reopen the Southeast Campus. I know that is not the answer some attendees at our Southeast Campus want to hear right now, but I believe it’s the right one. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  • The Southeast Campus that existed before COVID is no more. The team that was there every week and some of the people who regularly attended wouldn’t be there now. During COVID, some folks found a new church home. We would have to rebuild everything – staff and volunteers, from the ground up. That very process would take six months to a year.
  • Because of COVID, we have to rebuild our entire church right now. Our staff has no margin as we regear to this new normal and what this means. We are in the midst of a lead pastor succession and a major auditorium remodel at the East Campus. So, it’s not the right time to launch a campus now. 
  • We are a kingdom-minded church. We want to see churches that are healthy and thriving all over our city. As we shut down the Southeast campus, another church in the Vail area wants to use Empire High School and could move into that space as we exit it. 

2020 didn’t go the way any of us expected. It’s been exhausting, frustrating, and deflating in various ways to all of us. But God was not surprised. And I see God’s faithfulness in so many ways. 

For those who were a part of Revolution who merged with Pantano and those who moved from Pantano East to the Southeast Campus, I want to encourage you to engage or re-engage here at the East Campus. If, for whatever reason, that’s not a good move for you, please let us help you find a healthy church option where you can be connected and invested. 

Our vision to plant churches and/or campuses has not changed; we just had to adjust our timing and expectations. It is still our commitment, and it is what we are doing to help create healthy, life-giving churches across our community. Please keep praying as we seek God’s leading for what’s next. 

Glen Elliott

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