Earl is the pastor of 360church, a new congregation in Berkeley, California. 360church is about creative people exploring the potential of connecting with their Creator through faith in Jesus Christ.
Here’s part of their story:
In 2007, Earl and Janet Creps were minding their own business in Springfield, Missouri where Earl was teaching at the graduate school and Jan was completing here doctorate.
The Creps’ visited Berkeley at the request of a friend and were immediately captivated by the city. Berkeley, they concluded, is the most creative city in the world. From this premise, they began to ask a question: what would happen if the people who create the future did so out of a relationship with their Creator?
Earl and Janet felt God leading them to start a new church for creatives in Berkeley. So they quit their careers, sold their dream house, and moved into a basement from which they traveled to raise the funds needed to live here.
Arriving alone in December 2008, they moved into an abandoned, foreclosed pink stucco house in the South Berkeley neighborhood.
Immediately they started working on cleaning up the appearance of their 90-year old home, with the help of several teams who visited from other churches.
Before the church even had a name, the first prayer meeting was held in the Creps’ living room in January 2009 with two friends visiting from Arizona. Easter of 2009 was celebrated in an outdoor service on the Cal campus with an attendance of 3: Earl, Janet and one visitor: a finch.
Dinner meetings began at the Creps’ later that year, first on Friday then on Thursday nights. These events featured a huge comfort food meal (e.g., chicken and dumplings), followed by singing, Bible teaching, prayer, and dessert.
We are asked often about the name of the church. Friends visiting from Ireland suggested “360church.” We had no idea what it meant, but we liked the name and it stuck. Being a Church in a house for a while afforded a chance to evaluate whether a new congregation would actually function in Berkeley. When it did, the Creps were ready for the next step.
On Easter 2010 360church started Sunday morning services at Berkeley’s Hotel Durant and has been a worshiping community ever since.
Today, the church meets at the East Bay Media Center in the downtown Art’s District and live stream’s every Sunday talk on the 360 Facebook page.