Jared and Monica Ayers, together with their then-nine-month-old son Brennan and their dog Baxter, pulled a Budget Rental truck crammed with their belongings into Philadelphia in the summer of 2008. They had trekked across the country from Michigan with the hope of starting a church that would be for Philadelphia: that would love Philadelphia, seek to serve its needs, and would be a place in which people unfamiliar with Christianity could explore the reality of Jesus in a way that made sense.
In addition to sensing God’s call to take up this work, Liberti was birthed in partnership with the wider Church community. On one trip to do research on Philadelphia, Jared wound up connecting with leaders from the Liberti Network of churches, who encouraged Jared and Monica to come and partner with them, saying that they’d been praying for a church like this to exist in the heart of the city. Jared and Monica were also commissioned to come to Philadelphia through an effort of the Reformed Church in America to start churches that would serve major cities called the City Classis.
Liberti began worship services in March of 2009, and after several years of growth, began seeing a number of people come to the Center City worship service from the neighborhoods along the Main Line. So, in March of 2012, the church launched a campus on the Main Line suburbs of the city, in an effort to continue to be accessible to friends and neighbors interested in exploring Christian faith, and to continue its commitment to connecting people to each other in neighborhood-based community.
In December 2013, First Baptist’s leadership posed the unfortunate news that they needed to sell the church building to a developer who would transform it into retail space. this scenario would force Liberti to find a new place for worship. But in God’s graciousness, Liberti was able to purchase this beautiful building in September 2014, through the partnership of its congregants. Over the last 2 years, Liberti’s leadership devised a plan for two phases of renovation. With phase 1 completed, this newly renovated space will continue to house two congregations, more support groups than any other facility in Philadelphia, and a number of mercy ministries that include: Emmanuel Ministry to the homeless, For the City Collaborative Ministry Work Space that gives office space to partner ministries, space for 2200 Arch Counseling Services, and several other compassion efforts for our city.
God has been generously gracious to Liberti in these first years of its life, and there’s been much development, growth, and change along the way. But the vision of being a community that loves its people the way God does hasn't changed since Jared and Monica first arrived in a Budget rental truck.