Church Planting America (CPA) was birthed in the heart and mind of Dr. Charles Shoemaker in 1983 while serving as a Senior Pastor in Minnesota. Through his experiences associated with planting three independent Baptist churches, Dr. Shoemaker saw the need to assist young men as they followed God’s leading to plant a New Testament, Baptist church.
Early in 1991, Dr. Shoemaker resigned from the pastorate in order to serve full- time as a church planting missionary. For nearly five years, he traveled speaking in Bible colleges and conferences, counseling church planters, and developing and making available resources for young preachers and churches.
In an unusual way, God redirected Dr. Shoemaker’s steps in the summer of 1995. It was at this time that God led him to accept an invitation to serve as the CEO/Executive Vice President—and later President—of Trinity Baptist College located in Jacksonville, Florida. Through his leadership, influence, and teaching, many young men surrendered to plant churches during those years.
As an organization, CPA was somewhat “on hold” until 2010. After 15 years serving at Trinity, God once again led Dr. Shoemaker to re-enter full-time missionary service as a church planting consultant and counselor. He spends his time helping and encouraging young church planters with various needs and questions. He also travels widely, preaching Missions Conferences, thus exposing this great need and ministry to pastors
and congregations. He continues to write articles and develop ministry resources which are used by pastors and churches everywhere. Church Planting America is a nonprofit Florida corporation, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. In practical terms, CPA functions as a church planting missions agency, assisting and encouraging local churches as they seek to birth new congregations.
Currently the Board of Directors includes local church pastors, an attorney, a licensed General Contractor, and a church finance specialist. In the near future, the Board will expand to include additional pastors and successful church planters, and a real estate consultant. Such a diverse Board of Directors will not only bring spiritual passion and pastoral experience to the table, but will also include knowledgeable and skillful men of finance, law, construction, and real estate. Such guidance will prove invaluable to church planters as they complete the enormous and challenging task of planting and establishing a new church.
The hope of America does not rest with religious broadcasting, Fox News, or the Emergent Church Movement. To address the myriad of woes gripping the hearts and minds of Americans, vibrant, Bible-preaching, soul winning churches are needed.
During the past decade (2000-2010), on average, 3700 churches closed their doors each year. We must respond to this crisis by birthing new churches—churches which will stand firm on God’s Word and be a beacon of hope in a dark world. Our goal is to “Impact America...one church at a time.” That means at Church Planting America we are committed to helping men launch new Baptist churches in needy communities throughout the United States. Currently we are working with church planters in some 12 states and we look forward to helping scores of other churches in the future! As we work together God will use us to see CPA gain needed exposure so our ministry will grow and expand, impacting America one church at a time!