Our History

In 1966, a group of families in South Bend was asked by leaders of the United Methodist Church to start a new church on the north side of town to reach more people with the love of Jesus Christ. With space to meet provided by Notre Dame, Clay Church began. As we continue to share Christ’s love today, we celebrate the faith and courage of our founders and their legacy.


  • ​Our church has witnessed 926 baptisms.

  • ​More than 2,700 people have professed Jesus Christ as their Savior through our worship and ministries.

  • An average of 3,500 people connect through our ministry and community events every week.​​

  • ​Thousands of youth have been mentored and introduced to the Biblical witness through FaithWorks! Children's Ministry, Firehouse Youth Ministry, summer camps, Early Childhood Program (ECP), and our school partnerships.

  • Tens of thousands of people have been fed through the Clay Church Food Pantry.

  • Thousands of people have access to clean water in remote villages of Burkina-Faso.

  • Youth are graduating with opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have had in Tapachula, Mexico.

  • Homeless people are no longer dying in South Bend because of Project Warm.​

​We celebrate God's Spirit at work as we now look to where God is leading us into the NEXT 50 years!

Our Beliefs

​We believe God is alive, His son Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world who transforms us from our old ways into a new life, and the Holy Spirit is active today, filling us and revealing to us His love and grace.

We believe the Bible was inspired by God and guides us in knowing who God is and how we can live in a relationship with Jesus.

We believe the Church is a group of people, not bricks, called to be the light and love of Jesus in their community.

Clay Church is part of the United Methodist denomination, the second largest Protestant denomination in America, and we uphold our heritage by pursuing ministry in keeping with this tradition. We seek to be orthodox in faith, generous in spirit, broadminded, passionately devoted to Jesus Christ, and wholly surrendered to God. We strive for personal holiness by inviting people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.  We also pursue social holiness in the public sphere by addressing key issues of our time so that our world will look more like the Kingdom of God.

We believe the goal of the Christian life is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  We value passionate worship, relevant preaching, study of the Word, small groups to hold Christians accountable to one another, and serving those who are in need.

We believe God is at work in everyone, and we do not have to be perfect to have a relationship with Christ – we just have to be open to who God is.

Our Mission

Our mission is simple:


To walk with more people toward a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”    -John 10:10, The Message

God has given us an incredible mission of “walking with more people toward a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.” It all starts with this amazing truth, “God loves you!” At Clay, we celebrate that God’s incredible grace finds us, accepts us, and embraces us where we are and takes us on a journey to where God invites us to go. The profound understanding that we are loved without condition motivates us to accept this grace, discover why we are here, embrace our own place of ministry, and then walk with someone else on that path, helping others know they are loved.

We live out this mission by sharing LIFE together - Living In Faith Everyday!
Nothing is so powerful as a daily witness of God’s love in action in our own lives.  Our goal is for every Christ-follower to walk everyday with others while sharing the love of Jesus.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19

“Cleopas and the other disciple asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while Jesus talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" -Luke 24:32


"So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God's glory." - Romans 15:7

Along the road to Emmaus, Jesus is revealed to Cleopas and another disciple as they embrace him. We desire to be a church who embraces everyone - sick, hurting, lost, broken, not sure what you believe, or sure of what you believe. No matter who you are or where you've been, our hope is that you will come to know the embrace of Christ's love.


"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands..." - 2 Timothy 1:6

Our desire is to be a people 'with hearts burning' to share the love we've come to know in Jesus, a love that transforms lives. Everyone has gifts and talents and experiences to share. Through worship, the Word, prayer, and serving, we look to God to ignite our passions to use our lives to change our families, our neighborhoods, and our world into more loving, Christ-like communities.


"A new command I give to you, that you love one another: As I have loved you, you are also to love one another." - 2 Timothy 1:6

We are a group committed to see Christ's love expanding through our lives and our ministries. We deeply desire a world with more love and peace and comfort and hope, and we believe that effort begins with us. Through feeding the hungry and caring for the orphan, meeting basic needs and mentoring our youth, we are committed to expanding Christ's love in all that we do.


Our Vision

Clay Church Firehouse Campus
17646 Cleveland Road
South Bend, IN 46635
Clay Church North Campus
52866 Ironwood Road
South Bend, IN 46635
(574) 272-8068