Through ministry experience in university outreaches and urban church planting, Jesse and Rebekah Lusko have experienced amazing highs and tremendous lows. Fueled with these experiences of watching God work in times of fruitfulness and in times of difficulty, they are now preparing to start a new church in the heart of Portland.
Jesse is a self-described "son of hippies” who each came to Christ in radical ways in the 1970s. As a teen, Jesse had his own life-changing encounter with Jesus that put him on a path of ministry work. This journey took him to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he met Rebekah and served as youth pastor in a local church. Through their ministry together in the arts district and on a university campus, God was developing Rebekah and Jesse’s understanding of and compassion for young skeptics. Those hours spent talking with people who were not yet in relationship with Jesus were preparing them to plant a church in Portland, Oregon.
Portland is a remarkable city of mavericks, misﬁts, pioneers, and trailblazers. It’s a place that the Luskos have grown to love for its people, culture, and creativity. Most of all, Jesse and Rebekah recognize the great opportunity to introduce people to the person and work of Jesus. Many Portlanders have never had any meaningful connection to the Christian church, and Jesse is passionate about communicating in ways that resonate with friends and neighbors who are new to the gospel. The Huffington Post has called Portland “the most irreligious city in America” — the kind of statistic that only emboldens the Luskos' desire to serve the people of their city.
“For many secular people here, walking into church feels like an outsider walking into a Star Trek convention,” Jesse observes. “There is great opportunity for a church to demonstrate Jesus through teaching and action that is understandable to people who have not yet heard a compelling case for Christianity.” Rebekah adds, “We want this church to be a place that anyone can enter — jaded, skeptical, or hurting — and be presented with the Christian story in an engaging way.”
Now, through neighborhood outreaches, family dinners, and one-on-ones with neighbors, Rebekah and Jesse are building toward the public launch of a new church in Fall of 2023!