Over a Century of Being Christ's Hands and Feet

Ginghamsburg Church was founded by a Methodist circuit rider and evangelist, B.W. Day in 1863 in the village of Ginghamsburg, Ohio. As a small church, until the 1920s, we were part of a four-church circuit for a part-time preacher. From the 1920s on, over 50 young pastors were trained up and sent out by the Ginghamsburg congregation. These pastors studied at a Dayton-based seminary and served as part-time pastors for our congregation. Former Senior Pastor Michael Slaughter was appointed to Ginghamsburg in 1979 as our first full-time pastor. At the time, our church averaged approximately 90 people in attendance. Since 1979, our focus has been to Bring seeking people into a life-celebration with Jesus, Grow as disciples in life group community and Serve out our call and giftedness. Today, approximately 5,000 people are on Ginghamsburg’s campuses each week. Pastor Chris Heckaman assumed the senior pastor leadership mantle in June 2017 and is continuing to grow our missional legacy.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ginghamsburg gained national recognition as an innovator in small group ministry and has since continued to be well known for our life group ministry. Today we offer more than 100 life group opportunities, providing meaningful ways to live out our faith.

We were an early frontrunner of cyberministry (ministry via the Internet) and currently have one of the largest church internet ministries in the world. The church's website and online ministry have received national attention from media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and The Dallas Morning News.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ginghamsburg became known as a leader of the church “media reformation,” which was a movement to incorporate video, onscreen graphics, creative lighting, and other audio-visual elements into worship services to create a multisensory worship experience. The church's worship design has received attention in The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today and Fox News.

Since 2005, Ginghamsburg Church has invested over $7 million into sustainable relief projects in Darfur, Sudan through an initiative called The Sudan Project. The church first developed the initiative after Pastor Slaughter read about the war in Darfur in 2004. With the situation in Darfur being named by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world from the impacts of genocide, extreme poverty for millions and a refugee crisis, Slaughter urged the congregation to get involved. Ginghamsburg has a strategic partner in Darfur, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which has helped the church use the funds to implement sustainable agriculture, safe water, sanitation, child development and child protection projects in Darfur. The projects are now serving more than 250,000 people in Darfur. Every year the church holds a "Christmas is Not Your Birthday" miracle offering during the Christmas season to raise funds for the project. As a result of the annual miracle offering Pastor Slaughter authored a book, Christmas is Not Your Birthday, calling on Christians to reject self-centered, consumerist approaches to the holiday season and remember the true meaning of Christmas. In April 2010, the church's work in Darfur was featured on PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. The church's work in Darfur has also been chronicled by The New York Times, Huffington Post, Beliefnet, Christianity Today and The Christian Century.

The church was also nationally-recognized for its relief efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, garnering a front page cover story in The Times-Picayune and articles in the Houston Chronicle and Washington Post. As of August 2012, the church has sent 70 teams to the city to assist in rebuilding efforts.

In 2010, Ginghamsburg inspired the first annual Change the World Weekend, a worldwide United Methodist event sponsored by United Methodist Communications in which church members commit to a weekend of community service. On May 19, 2012 at Ginghamsburg’s Tipp City Campus, 350 church family members paid for, packed and shipped more than 100,000 meals to famine-stricken sisters and brothers in Africa. The first event corresponded with the release of Pastor Mike Slaughter's book Change the World: Recovering the Mission and Message of Jesus.

The church's Tipp City Campus sits on one hundred twenty-seven acres of land just outside of Tipp City and houses the Worship Center, Preschool and Childcare Center (ACSI accredited), classrooms, playgrounds, the church's administrative offices and the Common Grounds Cafe & Bookstore. The church's student center, The Avenue, is also located at the main Tipp City Campus and includes a stage area for concerts, classrooms, basketball courts, batting cage and fitness center. Hundreds of teens from the Dayton area visit The Avenue monthly for spiritual classes as well as teen outreach events. The church's newly-created community-supported agriculture project, which provides church ministries with fresh produce, is located on the main Tipp City Campus as well.

The South Campus houses the ARK, which is a practicum center for training events and is also the original Ginghamsburg Church building. The Discipleship Center, also located on the South Campus, served as the primary church building after the congregation had outgrown The Ark in the mid-1980s until the move to the main campus in 1994. It is now the headquarters for Ginghamsburg’s New Path Outreach (see below), a 501c3 non-profit that operates a food pantry as well as car, furniture, clothing, medical equipment, coupon and pet care ministries to those in need in surrounding communities.  The Discipleship Center also houses the New Creation Counseling Center. The New Path car and furniture ministry barn, which houses the cars and furniture that the ministry distributes, is also located at the South Campus.

The Fort McKinley Campus became part of Ginghamsburg Church in July 2008. Prior to July 2008, Fort McKinley was a separate United Methodist congregation, located in an economically challenged urban Dayton neighborhood. The church had dwindled to approximately 40 people in attendance weekly before voting to merge with Ginghamsburg. The church now averages over 400 in weekly attendance and has an active community revitalization project known as Good Neighbors. It has also become the largest African-American United Methodist Church in the state of Ohio, with roughly half of the congregation being African-American.

In April 2012 Ginghamsburg started another urban campus, The Point, located in Trotwood, Ohio. The Point hosts two worship celebrations on Sunday morning - 10 and 11:30am. In addition, The Point partners with the YMCA on various community initiatives and with the Trotwood Department of Parks and Recreation to support its various programs.

501c3 Non-Profits

Ginghamsburg Church partners with three 501c3 non-profit organizations founded by Ginghamsburg members.

New Path Outreach operates seventeen separate community service ministries within the Dayton area, including two food pantries and car, furniture, clothing, medical equipment, pet care, rent/utility assistance and other ministries. New Path currently serves over 40,000 people in the Dayton area. New Path also operates three stores in the Dayton area. The first store, Anna's Closet, located in nearby Troy, sells gently-used clothes and home furnishings. The second store, The Gleaning Place, which is located in neighboring West Milton, sells home furnishings. The third is GIVE, which loans durable medical equipment and provides disposable medical supplies at no cost to those with physical disabilities, enhancing independence and well-being and is located in Covington.  All three stores are run entirely by unpaid servants and supported solely by donations with all revenue going to support ongoing New Path ministries.

New Creation Counseling Center provides counseling to community members, regardless of ability to pay.

The Clubhouse (Dreambuilders) After-School Ministry has seven Dayton-area locations where more than 400 trained teenagers each year tutor, mentor, and play with at-risk children, providing safe and educational alternatives to children being home alone after school or during summer break. The Clubhouse program was awarded a Point of Light award from President George H. W. Bush and the Presidential Voluntary Action Award from President Bill Clinton, among dozens of other national awards.