In the fall of 1996, Jeff Leake, the Lead Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, sensed that God was leading Allison Park Church to get involved in church planting. Following God’s leading, Allison Park church set out on a mission to plant five churches in five years, but the vision didn’t end there. Between 1996 and 2010, nine life-giving churches were planted in Pittsburgh.
In 2010, God began to widen Allison Park’s church planting lens from Pittsburgh, as the sole target city, to the entire Northeastern region of the US. According to the Gallup Poll, the Northeastern region is the most unchurched region in the US, having seven of the top ten least religious states in America.
There are twenty-five major cities within the Northeast where sixty-million Americans currently reside; all of them are in desperate need of community-changing churches. Jeff Leake sensed God was calling him towards establishing a vision to see one-hundred churches planted across the Northeastern US in ten years.
From this vision, the Reach Northeast church planting network was formed. In September of 2011, CityLife Church, in South Philadelphia, PA, became the first of the one-hundred Reach Northeast church plants.
Jeff Leake is currently the President of the Reach Northeast Network. Reach Northeast is a relational network of leaders, churches, businesses, and individuals that share the mission to plant one-hundred churches in ten years. Since the first church planted in 2011, thirty-eight new churches have been birthed from Reach Northeast with many more planned for 2015