By Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer
There’s a new church that has started in Downtown Boca Raton and Rev. Brooks Pipher is working day and night to spread the word about a new, more welcoming way to worship.
The Associate Reformed Presbyterian church meets Sunday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern in Mizner Park.
“Our mission is making God’s love known in Downtown Boca Raton through worship, teaching discipleship, community, prayer and service,” Pipher said.
Pipher, who studied at Erskine Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2016, was recruited to explore an area between Delray Beach and Pompano that would be ideal for planting a new church.
“The goal was to see where God might want us to start a new church,” Pipher said. “Downtown Boca Raton seemed like a perfect fit. There’s a lot of people who live downtown and it’s a transient area where it can be difficult to make friends. We want to be there for all the good and bad things happening in someone’s life—someone to celebrate with and someone to be there when times are tougher.”
While the eventual goal for the church is to meet for morning and evening worship downtown, the idea of a bricks and mortar church is not part of the plan. Instead, they prefer to meet at RACKS and there are also plans to meet on the beach in the evening.
With roots that date back to Scotland in 1782, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is among one of the oldest denominations in America. “Our core beliefs are that this world needs hope and savior and that Jesus is that savior,” Pipher said. “We have hope now and hope for eternal life and believe in the reconciliation between God and man.”
Pipher, who also resides in Downtown Boca Raton, is thankful to be part of the Boca Raton community. “It’s a great community of churches,” Pipher said. “It’s a community where everybody knows each other.”
The 30-year-old pastor originally from Melbourne, Fla., wanted to start a church where all people would feel welcome. “Right now, the set up of the church has more of a Bible study vibe,” Pipher said. “It’s a very open discussion and all are welcome to join us. A Christian background is not necessary. We always have great food and discuss a Bible passage.”
Each week, Pipher creates a study guide with opportunities for personal reflection and group discussion.
The Downtown Church also participates in community activities such as beach clean ups and group bicycle rides.
“Check our website Downtownchurchboca.org, Facebook @downtownchurchboca or Instagram @downtownchurchboca to confirm the meeting time and place for that week,” Pipher said.