Celebrating 5 Years – Blessing Ekanem


I often say that Covenant Life Church is the best gift that Google has ever given me!

Moving to a new city can be an overwhelming experience, and finding a home church was important to me prior to arriving. While still living in Orlando, I Googled “churches in Tampa,” and CLC was one of the first options that popped up. At first, I assumed the church was affiliated with another church with the same name in Gaithersburg, MD. As I continued to dig into the CLC website, I realized there was no connection but became increasingly interested after reviewing the resources page, listening to a few sermons, and so forth.

I was certain this was the church I would attend whenever I moved to Tampa. However, the wise thing to do was actually check out the church first! I prayed for several weeks about attending CLC and drove to Tampa from Orlando to visit the first Sunday in July 2013.

Some churches tend to shy away from teaching from the Old Testament and/or teaching about Satan. I was encouraged when I noticed that CLC had just wrapped up a series on Nehemiah. Also, the first Sunday I attended Covenant Life, Drew taught of the importance of being on guard, since the enemy will definitely seek to destroy your life when you are seeking to serve God. He pleaded with the members to seek at least one person in the church to keep them accountable in every aspect of their lives, especially areas where they struggle.

Even before my first time attending CLC, I felt loved and cared for by the elders. When I had reached out to the elders to confirm the location and time of the gathering, they blew me away by offering any kind of support I might have needed to help me transition to this new city. They even asked if I had any friends in the area. I happened to be fearful about this very thing since I had lived in Orlando for two years before I found any meaningful relationships, but the elders immediately put me into contact with women from the church. As a result, I was able to find and begin to cultivate sweet friendships right away.

Before I had attended and served in churches where I wondered if the pastors knew or cared about my relationship with Jesus. But at CLC, I have been encouraged by my elders and have felt comfortable seeking counsel from them about certain decisions. The rigorous membership process that involved meeting with the elders was daunting, but I realized my elders genuinely cared about my growth. I felt loved. And the shepherding care didn’t stop there! They have followed up with me, continued to check in on me, and led me in my walk with Jesus.

This church has been a huge blessing to me, meeting both my spiritual and physical needs. I have been blessed with friends. For me it typically takes several years to cultivate genuine friendships, but through CLC the Lord has provided opportunities for authentic (and oftentimes unlikely!) relationships. As a person who struggles with isolating myself from others, Covenant Life not only encourages me but pushes me out of my comfort zone.

Through several seemingly unrelated events in my life, God in His kindness ordered my path and led me to this church. I am very excited for what the future holds. There are Sundays that I walk away in tears and convicted by real issues that may seemingly be okay to another. Every time that I leave service or Missional community I feel enriched.

Although connecting with others can still be a real struggle for me, I am grateful for the authentic friendships that God has placed in my life through Covenant Life Church. I can’t say it enough: I love my church!

Blessing Ekanem

Posted on: April 16, 2015 - 8:00AM

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