Amplify Church’s ‘vision’ includes establishing three new campuses across Pa. |

Amplify Church’s ‘vision’ includes establishing three new campuses across Pa.

Patrick Varine

January 27 was “Vision Sunday” at Amplify Church campuses in Plum and Pittsburgh’s Strip District, and that vision seeks to grow the church by leaps and bounds.

Church officials announced plans to more than double Amplify’s footprint in Pennsylvania, working toward the establishment of campuses in the North Hills, South Hills and Philadelphia areas.

“The timeline has yet to be determined, but we’re very hopeful that the two local campuses, in the north and south, will happen within a year,” said Jason Howard, who will soon become senior pastor at Amplify. “We already have launch teams meeting for both of those campuses, and that’s been happening for a while.”

In 2003, church founder Lee Kricher returned to what was then called Pittsburgh East Community Church, and found a congregation that numbered only about 200 parishioners.

In 2018, average attendance is more than 2,000, and four services are held every Sunday at the Pittsburgh campus.

“We’ve got a lot of young people who really didn’t have much church background at all,” Howard said. “And I think they’ve experienced God in a very real and powerful way by coming to Amplify. We don’t do massive advertising campaigns, but people have this experience, they tell their friends about it, and I think that’s what’s caused our church to grow: the passion of our people.”

In establishing new campuses, Howard said the key is a leadership team “with people who really believe in the vision that establishing a worship experience in these neighborhoods will help connect with more people.”

Part of the reason that Amplify officials are looking for new venues is that their Pittsburgh campus “has been maxed out,” Howard said. “And that congregation includes people who come from the North and South Hills.”

In addition to the new campuses, a new Pittsburgh campus is under way in the city’s Uptown neighborhood,

“We’ll be moving into that building, hopefully, by the end of summer,” Howard said.

In the meantime, church officials are scouting potential locations for the new campuses and raising money to fund the expansion.

Nicolas DeSarno of Murrysville, who works as a content creator and provides technical support at Amplify, said it’s been quite an experience watching the church grow from one attended by primarily seniors to one that, in his and Kircher’s words, “has reconnected with the community we are in.”

“In 2018, every age group is well-represented within Amplify Church,” DeSarno said. “No matter what your age, there is a community here for you.”

Howard said that philosophy of reaching out to all groups in the community has been a big part of Amplify’s success.

“People find a place where they belong, they find their passion for God and they find His passion for them,” he said.

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Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Above, Amplify Church in Plum. Church leaders have set a goal of creating new campuses in the North Hills, South Hills and Philadelphia areas.
Submitted photo
From the left, AJ Howard and Amplify Church Senior Associate Pastor Jason Howard.