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Church changes its name, expands vision and work

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Pastor Jerome Wade, left, and Young Families Director Dan Burge stand under the new sign at Catalyst Church, formerly Destiny Center. (Rio Rancho Observer — ARGEN DUNCAN photo)

Pastor Jerome Wade, left, and Young Families Director Dan Burge stand under the new sign at Catalyst Church, formerly Destiny Center. (Rio Rancho Observer — ARGEN DUNCAN photo)

Things are changing at Destiny Center church, but priorities aren’t one of them.

This weekend, the church is in the midst of launching a new chapter of its existence with a new name, Catalyst Church.

“We have the same heart we had in Chapter 1,” said Pastor Jerome Wade, who led the founding of the church 13 years ago.

Catalyst Church is still Christ-centered and about people. However, he said, the church is starting another congregation in Albuquerque, expanding its programs and using “greater words” to articulate how members want to help people “live a greater story.”

Six or eight months ago, Wade said, he and the congregation saw a major shift coming and looked at their next stage as a blank canvass.

“That’s when we started getting more and more inspired by one word, and that word was ‘transformation’ — transforming lives, transforming our community, transforming our world,” he said.

Leaders hadn’t initially expected a rebranding, but they decided “catalyst” described what they wanted to become.

Catalyst Church has new offices at Louisiana and Montgomery boulevards in Albuquerque. Wade said a core team will start meeting in three weeks with the goal of launching a second congregation next February.

Wade said the congregation is offering the same community service and programs for children, students, families and single adults — on a bigger scale.

Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Debbie Moore said the church has always played an important role in the community, including participating in leadership roles at the chamber and helping people in need with money, food or time.

“They’ve really been a catalyst in the community,” Moore said. “I think the name change, it suits them. It fits the dream and who they are.”

Wade said four words describe the philosophy of Catalyst Church:

  • Christ, the one who transforms lives and to whom the church is committed;
  • Compassion: “Live, love, do good,” as Wade puts it;
  • Connection, meaning deep relationships; and
  • Courage, to do the first three.

Catalyst Church Young Families Director Dan Burge said two years ago, he and his wife, Vanessa, had become complacent in their spiritual lives and marriage. Burge was unemployed, and the couple was ready to file for divorce.

They’d noticed the Destiny Center building and wanted to check it out. Burge said he watched three or four months’ worth of sermons online in a single afternoon and felt like God spoke right to him.

His wife liked the sermons, too, and they started attending in person, just as Wade started a series on marriage.

“Once we started implementing what God’s word had for our marriage and God’s plan for our lives, things dramatically changed,” Burge said.

The family learned to trust God and grew closer to each other. Burge said his relationship with his daughters — now 2 and 5 — even changed.

Burge and his wife now lead a group of other young married couples and share their story, so others can see they’re not the only ones who struggle in marriage and transformation is possible.

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