Stephen & Karen Blandino • Lead Pastors
Stephen Blandino is the Lead Pastor at 7 City Church. He holds a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Regent University and a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Prior to starting 7 City Church, Stephen served as an executive pastor, associate pastor, and vice-president of a leadership development organization. He has over 20 years of experience in non-profit leadership, coaching, and organizational development. Stephen blogs regularly at www.StephenBlandino.com and is the author of the book GO! Starting a Personal Growth Revolution and Creating Your Church’s Culture. Stephen also serves as an adjunct professor at SAGU.
Karen holds a Master’s in Counseling from TCU and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UTA. Karen has served seven years as a teacher and is currently a Counselor in the Burleson I.S.D.
Stephen was born in Lakenheath, England, lived in Florida and Alaska, and grew up in Texas (His parents were in the Air Force). Karen was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Stephen and Karen have been married since 1991 and have one daughter, Ashley, who is now in college pursuing a degree in church ministries. Stephen & Karen enjoy reading, movies, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Klen Kuruvilla • Associate Pastor
Klen Kuruvilla provides oversight to 7 City’s community groups, weekend experience, marketing and volunteer development. Prior to joining the team he served as a creative director, a young adults pastor, and has travelled extensively across America and the globe speaking, leading worship, and aiding in missions outreaches. Klen was born in Kuwait and at the age of 15 moved to Toronto, Canada. Years later he moved to Atlanta, Georgia in pursuit of being in full-time ministry.
Klen and Audrey were married in 2009. The Kuruvillas began ministering as young adults pastors and they have shared extensive experiences in full-time ministry across the Southeastern states. In 2012, their family of two became a family of three with the exciting addition of their daughter, Aria. Klen and Audrey spend much of their time together as a family enjoying exotic foods and new experiences as well as evenings on the couch with a good movie.
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Michael Laymon • Worship Leader
Michael Laymon provides oversight to 7 City’s band and production teams. In addition to his love for music, Michael owns a small business marketing agency offering extensive consulting in marketing and social media. In 2015, Michael’s love for non-profits and the marketplace will further extend his reach by launching a brand new non-profit called Go Footprint.
VISION & VALUES
Vision: To see cities transformed by inspiring community and influencing culture.
Vision Description: We dream of a church that transforms cities. We envision a church that shapes the future of societies locally and globally and influences the forces that shape culture. We envision a church that inspires community. We dream of a church committed to authentic, biblical, Christ-centered community with Christ-followers who fully embrace Scripture as absolute truth. We envision a church that awakens people to their unique purpose and unleashes them to grow to their full God-given capacity. We see a church that mentors and mobilizes emerging generations to create the future. We envision a church that influences culture. We dream of a church that is outrageously generous and is committed to seeing people redeemed to Christ and societies restored to their God-intended design. We envision a church that changes the future.
1. Scriptural Truth – We value Scripture as the ultimate authoritative, original truth.
2. Bold Prayers – We value dreaming big and praying bigger.
3. Awakening Purpose – We value unleashing people to fulfill their God-given purpose.
4. Biblical Community – We value Christ-centered relational community.
5. Personal Growth – We value personalized and unrelenting lifelong learning.
6. Cultural Transformation – We value the redemption of people & the restoration of societies.
7. Next Generation – We value the mentorship and mobilization of emerging generations.
8. Exponential Leadership – We value the replication of culture-shaping leaders & churches.
9. Integrity and Innovation – We value firm integrity coupled with flexible innovation.
10. Outrageous Generosity – We value unconventional generosity that advances good.
Three years ago Stephen Blandino began asking God a question: “How do you transform a city?” Cities are the cultural hubs in our world that define the societies we live in today. These cities are often shaped by seven cultural channels: business, government, media, arts & entertainment, education, the social sector, and the family. They are the most influential forces in society. While a single church cannot transform a city, together cultural transformation is possible.
In September of 2011, after years of prayer and reflection, Stephen had a series of conversations that became the birthing point for a new church. And in January of 2012, Stephen and Karen made a decision to start a church in the downtown/West 7th area of Fort Worth, Texas. This cultural arts district is humming with activity as Fort Worth’s revitalization efforts have impacted the heart of the city.
After serving on staff for many years with Pastor Darius Johnston from Christ Church in Fort Worth, Stephen shared his vision with Darius for the heart of the city. Christ Church agreed to plant this new church and committed the resources, people, and prayer for a strong launch.
In the months that followed, a building was secured at 2900 W. Lancaster (just three blocks from the heart of the action in West 7th). A small congregation who had been meeting at this location joined with 7 City Church. Throughout the summer, the exterior and interior of the building was remodeled to match the community and to serve as home for 7 City Church.
After months of prayer, preparation, team building, and remodeling, 7 City Church will launch on Sunday, September 16th, 2012. Our vision is to see cities transformed by inspiring community and influencing culture. As one man said, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals.” That truth is at the heart of 7 City Church’s vision, and we’d like to invite you to join us.
God is the Creator of all that exists, both seen and unseen. God is eternal and completely good, knowing all things and having all power. God exists as the Trinity, in three persons, yet one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God passionately desires relationship with us and invites us into a personal relationship with Him. (Genesis 1:1; John 14:6-9, 15-17 and John 16:7-15; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 4:9-10)
God expressed himself in human form through His son Jesus Christ. He was born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-23), lived a sinless life (Hebrew 7:26 & I Peter 2:22 & I John 3:4,5), was crucified for the sins of all (II Corinthians 5:21 & I Peter 2:24 & I Corinthians 15:4), was buried, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9,11 & Philippians 2:9-11). Forgiveness of our sins and right relationship with God, are found through Him alone (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 4:12).
About The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit, convicts the world of sin and draws us to the Father (John 16:8); He baptizes us into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13); He leads us to truth (John 16:13); He counsels us (John 14:16); He teaches us (John 14:26); He empowers us (Acts 1:8); He continually fills us (Acts 4:31, Gal. 5:16-25, Eph. 5:18); He distributes gifts to every follower of Christ (1 Cor. 12:4-11). The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity.
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs about living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without error. (II Timothy 3:15-17, I Thessalonians 2:13 & Peter 1:21).
About Human Beings
People are created in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. (Genesis 2:26). Although every person has the potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. By a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). That first sin had several repercussions. Adam and Eve were excommunicated from the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14-19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17), and man died spiritually (Romans 5:12-19). Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left man in a fallen or sinful condition (Romans 3:23), thus separating man from God.
Salvation is God’s free gift available to anyone willing to accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty (Acts 4:12 & John 14:6). Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (I Peter 2:24). He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26) and wants us to become children of God (John 1:12). When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19). Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). We become citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20-21). We are given eternal life (John 3:16). We are adopted and become children of God (Galatians 4:4-7). Our sins are forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12). We are credited with the righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:4-5). We are born-again (John 3:3). God takes ownership of us (I Corinthians 6:20). We receive an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14 & I Peter 1:3-5). We become a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17).
About the Church
The Church is the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-27) committed to worship God (I Cor. 12:13), share the redeeming hope of Christ with the world (Acts 1:8 & Mark 16:15-16), and to equip the community of faith to serve others and bring about transformation in society (Ephesians 4:11-16 & I Cor. 12:28, 14:12).
About Water Baptism
The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. It is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is a declaration to all that we have died to sin and have been raised to walk in new life in Christ (Romans 6:4).
Communion consists of two elements: the bread and the cup. Those elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and a celebration of our salvation.
About End Times
The blessed hope (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) or the rapture of the church, and the millennial reign of Christ (Matthew 24:27,30, Revelation 19:11-14, 20:1-6), are literal events that will take place to begin the restoration of all things. There will be a final judgment in which the dead will be resurrected and judged according to their works (Matthew 25:31-46 & Romans 2:1-9). Everyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life, along with the devil and his angels, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
7 City Church
2900 W. Lancaster
Fort Worth, TX 76107