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South Valley Journal

South Jordan couple aims to bring hope, service with new church

Sep 14, 2020 03:55PM ● By Libby Allnatt

Volunteers who helped at the Sego Church interest party in July are pictured. Hannah and Chris Bechtel are starting a new church in the South Jordan area. (Courtesy of Hannah Bechtel)

Libby Allnatt | [email protected]

A couple from the South Jordan area is starting a new church hoping to build a community, reach youth and spread hope. 

Hannah Bechtel, who is starting Sego Church with her husband, Chris, said they are excited to bring the church to the area. She and Chris knew they wanted to pastor a church even in the early days of their marriage. They were pastors on staff at a church in Minnesota for 15 years. 

“Through that process is when we started thinking that we could lead a church somewhere else not in Minnesota,” she said. 

Hannah lived in Logan, Utah, during her high school years before going to college in Minneapolis. She said she realized how much she loved Utah after being in the state again about seven years ago. 

“When I was flying home, flying over Salt Lake City, I had this feeling I had never experienced before of feeling like I was leaving home,” she said. “I realized how much I love Utah. That was home for me. When I got home, I told my husband, I think Utah is home, where I want to raise our family. I wasn’t sure how that would play out for our future in ministry. For our role as pastors, you don’t just pick your post. It’s about, where is the need?”

Hannah said they looked into the statistics of Utah and learned about the high depression and suicide rates in the state. 

“You could go anywhere and there’s people that need hope and joy,” she said. 

The large population growth in the area also cultivated the desire to bring a new church to residents.

“We felt like the need for a church was more and more evident with the growth, the huge population growth that’s being experienced in our area,” Hannah said. “It made sense for a new church and more pastors. That’s how we ended up back in Utah and loving it.”

She said they especially want to make a difference in the lives of youth, an issue that’s important to them living so close to Herriman High School. Herriman is one of the cities they hope to reach with Sego Church, in addition to South Jordan, Riverton and West Jordan. They hope to eventually multiply and have other churches throughout the area. 

As of August, they were looking into different spaces for the church’s weekly meeting, keeping Sego Church portable rather than owning a particular building. (“The longer you can be portable, that’s more ideal,” Hannah said.) They hope to meet in a theater or school auditorium-type space because of the optimal seating, sound equipment and parking, possibly along Mountain View Corridor. They hope to be all set by October. 

Hannah said she would describe Sego Church as non-denominational or cross-denominational.

There are several networks and organizations that help start-up churches, including the Association of Related Churches (https://www.arcchurches.com/) and the Church Multiplication Network (https://churchmultiplication.net/).

“They take you step-by-step on how to build a team,” Hannah said. 

Organizations such as those also help pay it forward, with fellow churches in the networks putting money toward helping other start-up churches. 

“Ours will do the same thing,” Hannah said. “We’ll get started, and as we get established, we’ll put money back into that pool to help.”

More than 70 people attended an interest party in July at The Azalea event venue in South Jordan, an event for community members to visit and learn more about Sego Church. Another interest party will be held Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. 

“It’s a very no-pressure party,” she said. “Our style of church is not for everyone. We know there’s all types of churches. We’re not trying to be the end-all-be-all.”