Paradise Coast Church Story
In the middle of winter in 2017, as Jim was wrapping up a position at Hope Community Church, a church plant on the West Side of Cleveland, he began to think about where his next position might be. He told God he wanted to go to an established church in Phoenix, Az. He also told Gail, his wife, that’s what he was thinking. He began to work to get into the interview process of that church in Phoenix.
Gail asked if they could visit her brother in Naples. Jim agreed if the tickets were cheap. Gail found $19 tickets and booked the flight. While they were visiting her brother, he told them they should move to Naples and start a church, shared some demographic information, and a possible location. Jim thanked him for his interest and said, “We’re going to Phoenix.”
God, however, had other ideas. A couple of weeks after they got back to Cleveland, God called Jim to Naples to plant a church. (For the full story, ask Jim) At the same time that was going on, God asked Gail where she wanted to live. After determining it wasn’t a trick question, Gail said, “That’s easy, I want to live in Naples.” When they compared notes, they agreed God was working to get them to plant a church in Naples.
In January of 2018, after 6 wonderful months of serving as Trinity Covenant’s (Manchester, CT) Interim Pastor, Jim and Gail moved to Naples. Upon arriving in Naples, Jim and Gail began meeting people. It seemed like everyone they met for 6 months said, “It’s paradise here.” Hence, the name of the church.
2018 was a year of getting to know Naples and meeting people in Naples. After a couple of months of driving all over Naples, visiting neighborhoods and shopping areas, and talking with people, Jim felt like God was leading him to the area around the Collier Blvd and Immokalee Rd intersection. The North Naples Middle School was the facility nearest that intersection that had the space to host Paradise Coast Church’s beginning days. In June 2019, Paradise Coast Church relocated to the Paragon Theaters with reclining seats, surround sound, and free popcorn. God is good all the time!
Jim and Gail have been praying hard that God would lead them to people who want to partner with them in planting Paradise Coast Church. Through God’s networking journey from this person to that person and from one group to the next, Jim was connected with the people and groups who are partnering with them. The groups helping to start Paradise Coast Church are New Canaan Society, GAP, Man in the Mirror, and many of the wonderful people who make up these groups.
The Grand Opening was April 21, 2019, and we are eagerly looking forward to what God is going to do and adding more chapters to the Paradise Coast Church Story.