Why We Closed Transcend Church

Closed The Church

First Reformed Baptist Church shut down Transcend Church, a 10 year old Church Plant.

The doors closed on Transcend Church 9/12/2021. The closure was announced on all of the Church’s social media accounts when each “went black,” and the Church website was gone from the internet. Followed by this message on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:

Posted to Facebook on 9/12/2021 - Transcend Church is closed

Just like that, it was gone.

Transcend Church Harrisburg Pennsylvania was no more.

Who Was Transcend Church

Transcend Church is a church plant that grew out of an in-home Bible study in 2011 (more on our history here). The name of the church was never front of mind. Rather the church aimed to get to work building a like-minded Christian community and studying the Word of God together.

What Happened

As time went on, the world changed incredibly. The culture moved from being described as postmodern to being described as what we call post-church. Churches around us devolved into what we have come to phrase Church Based Organizations (CBOs). The CBO exists as a Church in name only. Its primary focus is keeping people happily entertained so that leadership can be paid without having to hold a “secular job.” Much of this human glorifying man-centric approach to Western Christian life is an offshoot of the Church growth movement of the 1990s (read Dr. Larry Snyder’s book on that here).

The name, Transcend Church was a confusing factor for members and visitors alike. Was it

  • transcendental meditation,
  • maybe a spiritual guru,
  • perhaps transgenderism?


The name was not representative of the church. The name didn’t help would-be visitors know what they should expect and it didn’t help people know what beliefs the Church may hold to. Increasingly as the post-church world tightened its grip on the minds of its subjects it became apparent that greater clarity and precisions were important.

Meanwhile, spiritually emaciated Christians were coming to Transcend for sustenance as their Churches had become CBO. Christians were disenfranchised and without a home.

What Did We Do

We explored a name that would clarify what we believe to a world that didn’t know, and in a post-church culture drifting (or perhaps sprinting) further and further from the truth. The Churches Statement of Faith and adherence of its preaching pastors are reformed. We wanted to clarify the beliefs of the Church in a name.

Additionally, as we looked around Harrisburg, we realized no other reformed Baptist Church in our area. As such, through prayer, we selected the name First Reformed Baptist Church of Harrisburg.

In doing so, we closed Transcend Church.

First Reformed Baptist Church meets on Sundays at 9:30 am for adult Sunday school and 10:45 am for corporate worship. We support 3 missionaries, give to the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program through the Baptist Resource Network, and desire to Glorify God while teaching The Bible; one Book, one chapter, and one verse at a time.

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