Gabe Lynch awoke from a dream one morning with a message: “dream alive.”
“I kept hearing the (words), ‘dream alive, dream alive,’ and trying to figure it out, praying to God, asking, ‘what is dream alive?’” Lynch said. “When He broke it down, I thought, ‘That sounds like a great book.’”
So last May, he wrote a book titled “Your Dream Alive.”
But he kept hearing the words “dream alive,” and he and his wife, Krystle Lynch, felt God was leading them to start their own church.
The Lynches will hold their first service at the non-denominational Dream Alive Church Saturday, Jan. 25, in Winter Garden. They have served in ministry together for more than 20 years.
Once they made the decision to open Dream Alive Church, they reached out to friends in the pastoral community for support. Dr. Cloretha James, the pastor at The New Chief Cornerstone Ministries in Winter Garden, answered their plea for assistance and offered space at her church.
“I said, ‘We’re looking for a place to meet,’ and she said, ‘Let’s make it happen,’” Gabe Lynch said.
The Lynches live in Apopka with their three sons but said they love Winter Garden and consider the downtown area their “hangout spot.” Krystal Lynch is a graduate of West Orange High School, and Gabe Lynch graduated from Evans High School, so the two already were familiar with Winter Garden and West Orange County.
They held an interest meeting last month, and five families participated. They will be attending the first service, too, and, as of now, make up the Dream Alive congregation.
The Lynches are opening the doors Saturday to anyone in the community who wishes to try out their church. They said they’re expecting about 200 people. The husband-and-wife team typically preach together, alternating each service.
Saturday’s service will include two recording artists, gospel rapper Real Salt and contemporary Christian performer Nate Edmund; the Send Judah First dance group; and live worship by the McCroskey Family. Gabe Lynch will offer the first sermon, and then all are invited to enjoy a reception of milk and cookies.
While they’re getting the church started, they will hold two or three services each month. They will take a one-week break after holding services Feb. 1 and 8.
“Our goal is to go to Sunday mornings, but as a start we want to give people a chance to check us out on Saturdays,” Krystle Lynch said.
Eventually, the Lynches hope to secure enough funds to purchase a church building of their own. Their ultimate goal is to operate a church and event center under one roof and, perhaps, build a gymnasium for youth programs. Other plans include children’s and youth programs, sports events such as basketball and soccer, a women’s empowerment ministry, book-writing classes and an audio academy.
To make all this happen, though, funds are needed, and the church’s website has a “give” button that takes donors to Givelify.
“New churches are the No. 1 reason people who don't know Christ come to God's family,” the Lynches wrote on their website. “Our mission is simple: See how God can dream through you. God has a dream that whosoever believes in His son, Jesus, would have life forever. Dream Alive Church will exist to communicate how God can dream through you.”
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.