Andy & Christy Cass | Echo Church
The vision was etched in her mind. Christy Cass saw her husband, Andy, standing on a stage with words behind him that read, “Echo Church.” It was Easter Sunday in 2013, and she was worshiping and praying during the morning service at Rochester AG, where she and Andy served on staff. She mentioned it to Andy after service, but it made little sense at the time and he quickly forgot about it.
Three years later, Andy was studying John 10:10 one morning and noticed that “may have” in the Greek looks and sounds much like the word “echo.” He told Christy that day that he had a great name for a church, and she expressively reminded him of the vision she had years before.
It would be another three years before that vision became a reality as Andy and Christy launched Echo Church in Rochester, MN, two weeks ago on September 15th, 2019. Andy reflects on Christy’s vision from 2013 and his own scriptural revelation in 2016 saying, “There’s something special about God’s timing and purpose for our lives colliding.”
Home to over 110,000 people, Rochester is the third largest city in Minnesota and is growing at a faster pace than both Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is in large part due to it being a Destination Medical Center (DMC). People pursuing careers in the medical field are flocking to Rochester for education and job opportunities.
Andy and Christy have embraced the DMC and made it a priority to engage with young professionals, many who are new to the area and longing for community. The church understands the demands of their schedules and offers connection points and serving opportunities outside of Sunday mornings.
A nurse who recently moved to Rochester discovered Echo Church on Instagram. After connecting with the Casses, she joined the launch team and commented how much she felt valued and now has the confidence to invite someone to church.
Her experience exemplifies the church’s vision which states, “Your place. Your people. Your purpose.” That sentiment of togetherness is how Andy and Christy co-lead Echo Church. They are united in purpose and describe it by saying, “We strive to be authentic, and we strive to do it together.”
“I want to be a church that goes to people and [does] not expect people to come to us.” -Andy Cass
Andy makes it clear, “I want to be a church that goes to people and [does] not expect people to come to us.” That missional mentality was the driving force behind a whirlwind of activity leading up to the launch. They hosted pre-launch parties, organized small group “Table Communities,” and got out into the community doing things like handing out free popcorn and sno-cones at the city’s July 4th fireworks display and sprucing up the outside of the middle school where they meet.
With support and guidance from Substance Church and Canvas Church, launch Sunday was a tremendous success. Just over 1,000 people attended the two services. Of those attending, 229 were kids and 150 served on the launch team. They gave away 500 t-shirts and 300 cups of French press coffee. And most importantly, ten people committed their lives to Christ for the very first time.
That same day Christy saw Andy standing on stage with the words, “Echo Church” behind him. If God gives you a vision, in Andy and Christy’s words, “Be patient and be faithful where you are at.” And when the time comes to step out in faith, “Be brave.”