Our Story

Life is full of moments when we have to let go and trust God. In these moments, days, and years, we will find ourselves on an emotional rollercoaster, but learning to trust Him makes that rollercoaster all the more worthwhile. The story of Awaken Church has been a long time coming with as many ups and downs as one could think, but today Awaken is no longer a young college pastor’s dream. Nor is it the young wife’s late night kitchen talks with her husband. It is a reality and the Zdrojowy family strives to live this reality every day, winning hearts to Christ!

The idea of planting a church was birthed in Brian’s heart in 2003, while he was a college pastor in Cleveland, Tennessee. It was during that time that he felt the Lord stressed to him a particular scripture -- Habakkuk 2:2-3.

And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly that even the runner that passes by may be able to run with it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be late.

He applied this scripture to his college ministry, but the richness of it didn’t reach its full potential. Could God have placed this scripture in his heart for something more? Wedding bells soon followed for Brian, joining hearts and hands to spunky and passionate-about-God Jacqueline. They moved to Tennessee where they ministered at a home for abused, neglected, and at-risk children and teens until 2007. While in Tennessee, the Lord added to the Z family with the birth of their first baby girl. God had different plans of where they would continue to minister; they moved a few short weeks after her birth. They answered God’s call to be associate pastors at Crosswind Church of Westminster, Maryland. The Lord soon multiplied their little family with the birth of a son and a second daughter. It was in Westminster when Brian was sitting on his back porch that the prompting to plant a church was revitalized. The dreaming began the movement to reality!

Brian and Jacqueline began to attend church planting training seminars to get the tools they needed to become good fishers of men. Through great mentorship at Crosswind and counsel from many cheerleaders from ARC and other church planting friends, they knew that they had to take the leap -- but first they had to determine where.

They had known for quite some time that the Lord was leading them to plant a church on the west coast of Florida, but it was not until they drove into the city of North Port for the first time that they realized this was HOME! It became more evident with every meeting and every demographic study that North Port was a place where Awaken Church could truly be relevant.    

It was at a conference when Brian was preparing to give a 3-minute vision casting about Awaken Church that the Lord brought to his remembrance Habakkuk 2:2-3. A phrase was clearly impressed upon his heart!

Awaken Church… It’s all about G.R.A.C.E.

It was plain so that even the runner (or biker as you see many of in the North Port area) who passes by could know what Awaken Church is all about and catch the vision!

Everything kicked into high gear when they returned to Maryland from their visit to Florida. What was once a dream started to take form, and eighteen months passed in the blink of an eye. A wonderful chapter of their lives came to a close as they were sent out of Crosswind by the pastor and leadership with full blessing and support.

In July of 2012, one Pensky moving truck and one minivan with a boat in tow – all packed to capacity -- were headed south down the highway. Brian, Jacqueline, and the three little Zdrojowys had packed up their home and were headed to North Port, Florida, to begin the work of Awaken Church. Their passion? To see people awakened to God’s grace and to experience a life-giving community with anyone who wishes to be a part. Since their relocation, they have been building a launch team to help get Awaken Church off the ground.

Many chapters to this dream of Awaken Church have been written and many more have yet to be. Each added chapter to the story will present new challenges and new joys, but keeping focused on Christ and His grace will show His love to many!