Seekers Church is one of the offspring of Church of the Saviour (CofS) an ecumenical Christian church founded in 1947 by Gordon Cosby. Gordon’s roots are in the Baptist Church, but the structure of CofS grew 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 CofS 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 in her book Call to Commitment.
As many churches adopted small groups for Bible study and fellowship during the 1970s, CofS 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 CofS meant joining one of the little churches.
There have been many changes with some churches ending and others born out of a call to new missions. 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. Links to the individual churches can be found at InwardOutward.org
Seekers Church began worshipping as a separate faith community within CofS in 1976. In 1995, Seekers Church became an independent church, separately incorporated in the District of Columbia, as part of the major restructuring of CofS in which each of the original communities became completely independent.