Friendship Community Church in Ahwatukee isn’t even 25 years old, but its pastor and congregation felt it was time for a new name.
And at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, Rev. David Deputy and the congregation of Pima Canyon Church want the public to join them in celebrating the new name and its plan to become a bigger presence in the community.
The free celebration, titled “Reboot,” will include music and games on the church campus, 9807 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee, and a concert at 5 p.m. by Christian singer Dan Ortley of Denver, a longtime friend of Deputy.
Deputy, only its second senior pastor since the church was founded in Ahwatukee in 1995, arrived in Ahwatukee nearly a year ago from Baker City, Oregon, where he had been pastor since 2009. He replaced retiring senior pastor and founder Randy Cook.
In his resume to the congregation, he said his philosophy is “to produce and unleash Christians whose lifestyles express Christ to their communities and beyond” and a goal “to develop Christians to be biblically based, family centered, socially responsible people of integrity who are evangelistically courageous.”
“This is achieved through expository preaching. Small-group ministry, community outreach and events, leadership development and discipleship,” he told the congregation in his resume.
“We love it here,” Deputy told AFN last week, saying he likes small congregations like Pima Canyon because “you lose track of people” in massive ones.
He said the name change reflects the philosophy he carried with him from Oregon, and that the congregation has been involved in the renaming and rebranding of its mission every step of the way.
“We don’t have much of a footprint in the community and we want to change that,” he said.
Among the first steps toward enlarged footprint was coming up with a name that the community might instantly recognize.
“I was looking at our name and logo and thinking it was kind of out of date,” he said. “We’re only a few miles from the Pima Canyon Trailhead at South Mountain, and we decided that was a name people would immediately recognize.”
The church is associated with the Conservative Baptist Church of America.
Another step toward increasing its footprint in Ahwatukee is making its buildings available for public use by Scouting troops and other groups for a nominal fee.
“When they built this building, they were very smart in how they went about it,” Deputy said, adding the buildings’ exterior needed a little sprucing up and that “we’re able to offer it for public use at a very low price, just to cover costs.”
“We want this to be a place people feel comfortable coming to,” he said. “We want to serve the community and be a resource for the community.”
Being a resource in some ways would help when the church itself can’t directly.
“We’re limited in what we can do because we’re not a big church,” he said. “If we don’t have the resources, we can send people in the direction to someone who does.”
For example, if someone may be seeking an AA chapter, Deputy said he wants the church to be able to provide that person with information on where to find the nearest one.
But it’s not a case where the church has nothing beyond its regular 10 a.m. Sunday service, either.
It sponsors a number of regular activities, including Awana, men’s and women’s ministries and other groups, and supports seven missionaries, an evangelism project in Jamaica and an annual service project in Nogales, Mexico.
But Deputy said he and the congregation hope to be even more visible in the community so that Ahwatukee knows it has a friend in Pima Canyon Church.
Information: 480-598-9985 or pimacanyonchurch.org