CCU Alum’s BOLD New Venture in the Heart of Las Vegas

Ordinary People Bold Lives

Volume 6 | Issue 2 | Summer 2010

CCU Alum’s BOLD New Venture in the Heart of Las Vegas

A couple of years ago, God began to stir Vince Antonucci’s (MA ’95) soul. Vince sensed God leading him to leave the church which he had planted in Virginia Beach, VA, Forefront Church, uproot his young family, and head west to the desert. God was not leading Vince just to plant a church in Las Vegas, but specifically to plant a church for “The Strip,” a 3.8-mile swath of land in the heart of Las Vegas accommodating over 50 million tourists each year.

In an effort to understand the culture, Vince and his team sought jobs and enrolled their children in schools and sports. Vince took a stand-up comedy class and started doing open mic nights at local clubs. It allowed him to connect with people and personally feel what it’s like to work on The Strip. Following “becoming all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22), Vince and his team wanted to plant a church true to God’s Word in a place hostile to God.

The first year of learning and fundraising was especially challenging, working in a city built for indulgence, evidenced by depression, teen pregnancy, and divorce. But the city is also ripe for forgiveness and the healing message of Jesus Christ.

The vision of this new church called Verve (having to do with life and vitality) was becoming clear — who it might reach, where it might be located, and what strategies they would use to see the Great Commission accomplished. Bart Rendel (BA ’91), the Lead in Strategic Planning for Church Solutions Group, began coaching this project. Vince and his team needed to be ready to try some new things, take risks, and not fear failure. With all this in mind, the team boldly chose a dedicated location built to look like a night club, which would be the best choice for a 24/7 ministry space for Verve. It would be a great home as well as a place for strategic experimentation – a local band venue and art gallery, which are in the works.

By the loving grace of God, Verve opened its doors just off the Las Vegas Strip on March 14, 2010. On the opening weekend 277 attended, which included a Monday evening service for those working on The Strip on Sunday. After just 14 weeks, over Memorial Day weekend, Verve had 16 baptisms, and the average attendance is now 300. Please pray for this exciting work. God is up to something BOLD in the heart of Las Vegas, and Verve is a welcoming and relevant place to hear the greatest message on earth.

by Wally Rendel
Director of Church Relations