For the last thirty years we’ve had a great name, North Shore Assembly of God. We picked up this name when we moved from Everett to Malden in the mid-80s. It was a big change then, a new bucket, and I’m sure it felt kind of empty to a lot of people at the time: Would it hold what we wanted to fill it with? Would it help us get the job done? Thirty years later that bucket, that name, was full of ministry, people, buildings, mission trips, pastors, prayer and outreach. It was full of memories, laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, healing, birth and death.
Now we have a new bucket, and maybe it feels a little empty. It’s not empty because we’ve dumped out our history or our heritage. We will always have those buckets. We will always have North Shore Assembly of God. Just like we will always have Glad Tidings Tabernacle, and Glad Tidings Mission, the other names we’ve carried since 1927. Each of those names has taken us through a new and exciting time in the work God had for us to do.
Glad Tidings Mission took us from being a small house church to becoming a growing church in Everett. Glad Tidings Tabernacle carried us through the Great Depression, and four more decades after that, as we joined the Assemblies of God, and eventually moved into the Capitol Theater in downtown Everett. North Shore Assembly of God carried us from Everett to Malden, through the construction of our current facilities, and through large changes in our community and our ministries.
Now, having completed our Sanctuary, and having seen our outreach ministries expand and grow, and seeing the future God is laying before us, and having filled our bucket once again, it’s time for a new bucket: Freedom Hill Community Church.
We chose the word “Freedom” because it is central to God’s agenda from the beginning of Scripture to the end: From freeing His people from slavery in Egypt, to setting us free from sin and death on the cross, to the final freedom He holds for us in eternity.
We chose the word “Hill” because we sit on top of a hill overlooking Boston and people regularly refer to us as “the church on the hill,” there are many famous hills around Boston (Bunker Hill, Beacon Hill, Heartbreak Hill…), and because it was on a hill called Golgotha where Christ won our freedom.
We chose the word “Community” because it is vital to who we have become. We are a diverse gathering of people from all over the world unified in Christian community. We are a community of multiple congregations (speaking English, Kiswahili, Amharic, Portuguese) all working together to lead people into the freedom Christ won them.
Finally, we chose the word “Church” because we exist to be God’s “called out ones” shining like stars in a crooked and corrupted world. We are a community with God-given purposes: Worshiping God, growing in Christ together, caring for the hurting, and reaching everyone with the love of God.
Now it’s time to get to work and fill this new bucket. I think we’ve chosen a great name! It speaks the gospel. It tells who we are. And I’m so glad we get to fill it together!