Church of the Saviour

Seekers Church is one of the offspring of the Church of the Saviour, an ecumenical Christian church founded in 1947 by Gordon Cosby. Gordon’s roots are in the Baptist Church, but the structure of Church of the Saviour grows out of his experience as an Army chaplain in Europe during World War II. There, he was responsible for the spiritual needs of soldiers who were scattered across France in small units. Gordon realized that he could not be present to minister to this scattered "flock," so he took a page from Paul’s writings, and worked within each small unit to train lay leaders who could provide responsive support and prayer. He traveled from unit to unit, training and encouraging these lay pastors.

Seekers Church is one of the offspring of the Church of the Saviour, an ecumenical Christian church founded in 1947 by Gordon Cosby. Gordon’s roots are in the Baptist Church, but the structure of Church of the Saviour grows out of his experience as an Army chaplain in Europe during World War II. There, he was responsible for the spiritual needs of soldiers who were scattered across France in small units. Gordon realized that he could not be present to minister to this scattered "flock," so he took a page from Paul’s writings, and worked within each small unit to train lay leaders who could provide responsive support and prayer. He traveled from unit to unit, training and encouraging these lay pastors.

After returning to the US, Gordon founded the Church of the Saviour (CoS) in Washington, DC as an independent church with a strong emphasis on commitment to spiritual growth (the inner journey) and mission (the outer journey). Elizabeth O’Connor describes this experience in her book "Call to Commitment."

As many churches adopted small groups for Bible study and fellowship during the 1970s, CoS asked for more commitment and required every member to be in a mission group. Rather than grow larger and more centralized, Gordon’s vision was to stay small and poor, so in 1976, six little churches formed around housing (Jubilee), children (Seekers), hospitality (Potters House), polyculturalism (8th Day), public policy (Dunamis) and retreat (Dayspring). Although Gordon continued to preach at the ecumenical service where many visitors came, membership in CoS meant joining one of the little churches. In the last 20 years, Dunamis ended and 5 more churches were born out of a call to new missions: New Community (renewing the neighborhood at 16th and S), Christ House (healthcare for the homeless), Lazarus House (post-AA recovery), Festival Church (Servant Leadership School) and Church of the Servant Jesus.

Each little church developed a distinctive style of worship, preparation for membership and mission. The level of commitment and emphasis on the inward/outward journey is still a common thread. Seekers, is the "children’s church," with a strong program for youth and a congregation of adults involved in many forms of child advocacy here and abroad. Worship is designed and led by a mission group and preaching is done by different people. Leadership and initiative is based on call and gifts rather than credentials and job descriptions. Although we value seminary education as we value other graduate training among our members, no single person is in charge. Those called to Stewardship make a public commitment every year to care for the spiritual life of the whole body.

Seekers Church began worshipping as a separate faith community within the Church of the Saviour in 1976. In 1995, Seekers Church became an independent church, separately incorporated in the District of Columbia, as part of the major restructuring of the Church of the Saviour in which each of the original sister communities became completely independent.