In August 2009, Derek Duncan and his wife Dana along with their two kids, Jonathan and Elizabeth, moved to Lagrange, New York to pursue God’s call of starting a new church in Dutchess County. The decision to move and start a new church was difficult as their family felt established in Memphis, Tennessee. Why would the Duncan family depart from their hometown and leave cherished friendships, a great church and a successful business behind to live in a place where they would have to start over again? The motivation was simple: they wanted to make an eternal difference in people’s lives.
God had been speaking to Derek about loving and serving the people of the northeast; particularly non-churched people who needed to understand the beauty of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Although a bricklayer by trade, Derek wondered if starting a church for unchurched people is what he should do. But after praying with family, friends, and his church, it became very clear this is what God wanted. In obedience to God’s call, Derek and his family moved to the Poughkeepsie area.
The response from this emerging community Bible study was extremely exciting. The possibility of a church being established was now very possible. Yet at the same time, the Duncan’s were undergoing great difficulty. Limited finances, lack of insurance, health problems, military deployment, and dependable housing were a few of the challenges they faced. Notwithstanding the distance from family and friends made it tough to receive the immediate support they needed. Despite the problems, God sustained them and provide for them in the most miraculous ways.
In 2010, the Duncans had their first worship service. It was at that service a family open their hearts to God and put their faith in Jesus Christ. Over time, more and more people gave their lives to Christ. In response to those accepting Jesus, the church celebrated its first baptism service on Easter at New Beginnings Church in Poughkeepsie. Soon the home was too small to hold the people who were attending Living Water Church. After sharing the need with Full Gospel Center Church, they welcomed Living Water Church to use their facilities until they could find space of their own.
Bellevue Baptist Church (Memphis, TN), Colonial Heights Church (Jackson, MS) and several other churches from around the country were instrumental in supporting the new church through mission teams, encouragement, and financial support. In addition, the Hudson Baptist Association and the Baptist Convention of New York also aided us in our progress. Living Water Church is greatly indebted to these wonderful partners.
The church has continued to grow over the last 9 years. Additional worship space and new children’s classes have been added to accommodate the growth. In attempt to spread God’s love globally, the church took its first international mission trip to Uruguay in May 2016 and constructed a building for a church in need. The story of Living Water church is just beginning. The history is being written as the church is pursuing a more intentional vision of growing God’s family here and around the world through local ministry, missions and church planting.