From Vintage Member to Veritas Elder: Ben Cuentas’ Story
As we prepare for Church Planting Sunday , we wanted to share some of the beauty that has resulted from church planting being a critical part of our DNA. In this post Ben Cuentas shares his story of finding Vintage Church and how he came to eldership at Veritas Church, a church we helped plant. On Church Planting Sunday you’ll hear about ways you can get involved through prayer and giving. Church Planting Sunday is March 13 at Vintage Church Downtown and Vintage Church Midtown and March 20 at Vintage Church Durham.
While stationed at Fort Bragg in 2008, a friend (who is now my wife) found out about Vintage Church. I had to drive over an hour on Sunday evenings because I worked mornings, but it was worth it. I met a non-typical crowd of believers, skeptics, and doubters, and it was the first church I encountered who invited and expected those types.
People at Vintage had no real pretense, there was no “Sunday best” or “keeping up with the Jones’.” It was real people hearing real preaching, really trying to love Jesus. Sadly, I couldn’t “get” that rawness and realness of worship, interaction and preaching anywhere in Fayetteville. It wasn’t for lack of trying; when off work on Sunday mornings I tried different churches. I even tried to “Stick 6” because I remember Pastor Tyler Jones talking about the necessity and benefit of local church, local community, etc. I couldn’t really find anyone in town that would consistently preach or worship in a manner that I felt was true and authentic.
While there was connection, community, and mission happening in and through Vintage, the hour drive kept me from experiencing real community. I did make friends, even a few connections that have lasted until this day but there was not the kind of day-to-day community that God wants for the benefit of his church. What I wanted in Fayetteville was a group of believers that did everything because of the Gospel and the mission it calls us to. I hoped for a church that would spend time and energy on proclaiming the word of God and making Jesus known week-in and week-out. I believe there were churches doing something like that in Fayetteville…I just hadn’t found it yet. So we prayed for a church like this.
Our prayers went unanswered for five years. My job took my wife and I away from Fayetteville to attend language school, only to bring me right back to Fort Bragg two years later. This was the last place I wanted to go because of the lack of a church home. To our joy we found Vintage was planting John Murphy in Fayetteville to start a like-minded, gospel-centered church! My wife and I knew this was a specific answer to prayer, and we got involved with Veritas Church from it’s first days of existence.
In hindsight, just about every prayer associated with Veritas was so small compared with what Jesus ended up doing. While my wife and I prayed that we could simply help a church get off the ground, Jesus has done so much more. We’ve watched people get saved, marriages get restored, sin get repented of, and the church grow to two services. I even became an elder. How does one feel after something like that? I’ll tell you: small, silly, faithless, dumbfounded, humbled. Despite all of that Jesus continues to unleash his grace in this town through preaching, gathering, and serving of his like-minded people in the gospel.
Join us for Church Planting Sunday: March 13 at Vintage Church Downtown and Vintage Church Midtown, and March 20 at Vintage Church Durham.