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Focus Stories

East Coast Believers Church

by Georgia Rivas

Featured Photo from East Coast Believers Church

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about returning to your faith. Maybe you feel a tug deep down to discover what you truly believe in, to discover your purpose. Maybe you’re struggling in different areas of your life and need support. The trouble is, you’re not sure where to start. East Coast Believers Church (ECBC) invites you to start there. 

ECBC, a non-denominational church with locations in Oviedo and Lake Nona, serves to connect you with God and others in your community. No matter your age or stage in life, ECBC welcomes you with open arms and generous hearts, says church leader  Ben Marquis.

“There is such a misconception that you have to be perfect before you come to church,” says Ben. “That is absolutely not true. We’re here to show you the love of God. East Coast Believers Church is a church where people can learn how to have a relationship with their Creator and learn how much He loves them. Where they can learn how to walk in His blessings. Just come as you are. It is never too late, and no one is here to judge you.” 

Members Chad and Stacy, a married couple in their 30s who moved to Central Florida in 2017, couldn’t agree more. Though Chad and Stacy have been part of other churches in the past, ECBC has challenged them for the better in their habits and choices, in their faith, and in their leadership.

“We first attended ECBC for Easter, so there was a lot going on, but we were really impressed,” says Chad. “Everyone was super friendly and welcoming. I’m a professional wrestler, and I’m covered in tattoos, but I’ve never felt judged. Instead, I’ve felt total acceptance.”

Stacy says she knew instantly that ECBC would become their home church and a safe space to bring their young daughter. She has found immense peace and healing from wounds of the past by practicing her faith at ECBC and sharing her testimony with others. 

A few months after joining ECBC, Chad and Stacy participated in GROW, a four-week program designed to help new members get better acquainted with all aspects of the church. Soon after, the couple became part of the ECBC Go Team to serve in a variety of ways. Chad also leads a weekly small group ministry and works with the church’s youth to foster deeper connections outside of the larger church service.

ECBC member Ed, 64, a lifelong believer who has attended church for most of his life, adds that small groups at ECBC have been the source of some of his closest and genuine friendships. 

“I’ve always had a heart for people, but being part of a small group and serving in the church has really given me the opportunities to use my gifts to help others,” says Ed, who became a member of the church with his wife, Lynn, in late 2018.

“The people here are genuine, and when they greet you, they’re not just putting on plastic smiles. My wife and I were searching for a church where God’s promises were taught, where faith was genuine, where the presence of God was tangible. ECBC is the church that I’ve been looking for, for 30 years.”

Twenty-one-year-old Zoe found her home at ECBC while in college and coping with uncertainty about her future and other challenges.

“I want to help others and show them the same love that found me when I was lost, hurting, and directionless,” she says.
For ECBC members like Chad, Stacy, Ed, and Zoe, going to service is not about fulfilling a weekly obligation, it’s an active choice to grow in their relationship with God and be a part of a loving and welcoming community. 

“Give church and God a chance,” says Zoe. “It is definitely what you make it. Join a small group, get involved, spend time daily reading the Bible, in prayer, and in worship. Like Pastor Norm Dubois says, ‘Give God one year of your life, go all-in for God, and you won’t ever regret it.’”

Come check out a service at ECBC this weekend and experience the difference Jesus can make in your life!

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