Our History

How Ekklesia Christian Community Church (EC3) Got Started

 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14 (NJKV)

Our Founder and Pastor (Carthel James Towns, Sr.) was called by God to pastor a new church at the age of 50 during the Fall of 2016. However, he didn't believe he was hearing God clearly and did not act upon the calling. Months passed and finally in the summer of 2017 he mentioned it to his wife (our First Lady Tanya Denise Towns). Her reply was simply, "I can see that". Months later he met with his brothers and their wives in Pasadena, CA to finally share the calling with others. It was a very spiritual and emotional meeting as all were supportive of the vision. As time passed Pastor was not directly focused on "when" to start the church. He believed that it would start anywhere from 1-3 years (he was in no rush).


However, his brother and Sister-in-Law (Henry & Alicia Pigee) invited him to their 23rd church anniversary and gave him an opportunity to "bring words" on behalf of the family. As he began to wrap of his short 3 mins presentation he all of a sudden mentioned (from the pulpit, in front of the entire congregation) that he was not just called to pastor, but that he was actually STARTING a brand new church and the he would serve as the SENIOR PASTOR. He asked them to keep him and the soon to be new church in their prayers. The crowd, of over 200, cheered and that was the beginning of Pastor Carthel's pastoral ministry as well as the first public declaration of EC3 as a church.

Pastor Carthel was reluctant to heed the pastoral calling on his life for two reasons: [1] For years he was told he was called to “preach” which did not resonate with his spirit, [2] Although he had been in church since the age of 6 (for 44 years) he had yet to “see” an example of a true pastor’s heart. However, once he finally said “yes” to the calling the Lord began to help him understand the mantle placed upon his life.


The Lord revealed the difference between a “preacher” and a “pastor”. That distinction, while it appeared trivial to some, finally helped explain his reluctance to start a church. What the Lord revealed, and scripture supports, was that Pastors are fully dedicated to protecting/shepherding the people of God, while preaching is aligned with proclaiming God’s word. Secondly, while attending Hopes House Christian Ministries (under the leadership of Pastors Charles & Andrea Humphrey) Pastor Carthel had a chance to see a true manifestation of a true “pastor” fully committed to shepherding and protecting their congregation. Once those dynamics were aligned (spiritually) he was fully prepared to start the new church. 

More to come...please check back soon.