It has been a privilege to interview several dozen pastors from my county this past year to write a series of stories for the Bluffton News-Banner newspaper about their churches. This is one story that is unusual– the pastor preaches in 2 churches in different places each Sunday a.m.! His wife is an evangelist also. Please leave a comment if you have been ministered to by this church and I’ll be sure to let the pastor know. Please consider signing up to receive these blogs by including your email address on my home page. God bless.
Beginning in January 2013, the congregation of Abundant Life Christian Center in Bluffton added a sister congregation in Fort Wayne. Scott Ochsner who has ministered at the Bluffton congregation since 2004 is the pastor at both churches.
“The previous pastor at the Fort Wayne church died in 2012,” said Ochsner. “Our congregation wanted a branch in Fort Wayne so it was a good fit.” Ochsner preaches in Bluffton at the 9:00 a.m. worship service which lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Then he and his wife, Associate Pastor Michelle Ochsner, drive to Fort Wayne where Scott repeats the same sermon at11:30 a.m. at Fort Wayne Christian Center.
The church is located at the corner of Hannah Street and US Highway 27. The Fort Wayne church has approximately 100 members while the Bluffton congregation numbers 120.
Scott Ochsner and his family moved to Indiana from Colorado in 2000. At that time he pastored a church in Decatur. “We found several people were attending who lived in Bluffton,” he said. “So in 2004 after engaging in a corporate fast to seek guidance from the Lord, the congregation founded Abundant Life Christian Center in Bluffton.”
The church is located on the south side of Bluffton beside the Dollar General store.
Ochsner’s wife, Michelle Ochsner, is a nationally known conference speaker (http://www.michelleochsnerministries.com/) who assists her husband with ministry. The Ochsners’ five children participate on the church’s worship team and with the children’s ministry. The church’s youth uses the former Star Video building situated adjacent to the main campus for meetings.
The decision to shepherd a second church was one the Abundant Life Christian Center congregation sought additional counsel for. “We are a non-denomination church but not independent,” said Ochsner who attended Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. “For any big decision we summit to the guidance of our board of trustees.” These include pastors at City on the Hill Church in Boulder, Colorado; New Life Christian Church World Outreach in Warsaw, Indiana; Calvary Christian Center in Sacramento, California. “I call these men any time our church needs to make a major decision or needs counseling and advice,” added Ochsner.
According to Ochsner, the mission of Abundant Life Christian Center is primary. “We want to impact the world for Jesus both at home and away by proclaiming the word of God with boldness in God confirming His word by signs and wonders,” he said.
One way he believes the church is impacting the world is through technology. “Thousands of people have streamed sermon podcasts from our website,” he said. The church also broadcasts sermons via radio station WZBD in Decatur.
“My goal as a pastor is to help people mature in Christ as the Bible commands,” he said. “My greatest joy is when a person gives his or her life to Jesus Christ. That compels me to do what I do.”
1409 S Main Street
Facebook: Abundant Life Christian Center