Fuel Church Hope truck
Fuel Church Hope truck

Passionate Pastors Celebrate Nine Years at Fuel Church

With locations in Kokomo and Westfield, the mission of Fuel Church is to fill people up with the grace and hope found in Jesus Christ. Known for its core principle of diversity and walking with people from all backgrounds wherever they are on their spiritual journey, the church recently celebrated its nine-year anniversary. It is led by co-pastors Jacob and Tara Burgei, who returned home to Indiana in 2015.

“Tara and I were serving as student pastors in New Jersey when we strongly heard the call to establish a church called Fuel,” Jacob Burgei says. “I was raised in Kokomo and she is from South Bend. The concept is a different model than most. We feel church should look like heaven; every race, tribe and tongue are welcome. The goal is to reach the unchurched, the de-churched and those hurt by church. There is a strong ministry to addicts.”

Although Burgei was raised in church for his entire life and comes from a pastor’s home, there was a time in his life when he rejected Christian teachings. During his high school years and beyond, he used and sold a variety of drugs. He has firsthand knowledge of falling away from church, and then realizing the need for it.

“Everyone has a void in their life,” he says. “They might run from God and try to fill the void with other things, but the only one that can fill it is God. The only thing that lasts is eternal things. Our mission is to deal hope to people; we have the answer and it is Jesus.”

“We aren’t called to fix people,” he adds. “That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. We are just here to love people, show them grace. Love always wins. The Holy Spirit will do the job of freeing the addiction, the bad attitude and the anger. I believe we all need grace for our yesterday, and hope for tomorrow.”

Fuel Church co-pastor Jacob Burgei

Fuel Church is deeply committed to the next generation of young people. A variety of different ministries and activities are put in place, all of which instill a feeling of belonging. Small groups for young people are held every week, meeting throughout the community in places such as coffeehouses and homes. Student Night is held the second Thursday of every month at the Kokomo location. Middle school and high school students play games, hang out and hear an encouraging message while creating connections.

“Tara and I have a love for young people,” Burgei says. “They are not the church of tomorrow but the church of today. There is a small window between the ages of 13 to 18 when a young person is most likely to commit to Jesus. That’s why we invest in them.”

“Our Summer Camp 24 for grades six to 12 will be held July 19, 20 and 21 at Spring Hill Camp in Seymour, Indiana,” he adds. “I still am a part of student camp, 25 years and counting, and always love to speak the first night. There will be games, kayaking, swimming, a zip line, s’mores, nightly campfires and times of worship. The cost is $200 but there are generous people within the church, and full or partial scholarships are available. However, kids are encouraged to have skin in the game and raise money in various ways to attend. Throughout the year they can participate in monthly fundraisers such as bake sales and car washes.”

Fuel Church partners with several recovery ministries. One of their strategic partners is Convoy of Hope. It recently donated six pallets of dry food such as cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars and drinks.

On August 20, 21 and 22, the church will host Revival Nights. The event on August 21 will be held at the Westfield campus to celebrate its five-year anniversary. Each night starts with a time of worship, and then there will be a speaker. The rest of the evening will be devoted to personal prayer.

“When people walk through the door, they feel they are with family,” Burgei says. “We have all made mistakes. People are hurting in spirit, soul and body. They are having both mental and physical issues. Everyone has a next spiritual step. If we can help them take one step, then they can follow Jesus and join in the journey. Our goal was never to build a big church, but to build big people. Our mission is to reach God’s children and we are big on reaching the lost. In nine years we have 13,878 documented salvations – people

who came to Christ. Together we are making heaven a bigger place.”

Fuel Church is located at 2021 East Markland Avenue in Kokomo, and 18686 Eagletown Road in Westfield. For more info, call 765-456-3926, email hello@thefuelchurch.com, or visit thefuelchurch.com.

Comments 1

  1. Tina Hopkins says:

    Thank you, Jesus.
    I am blessed to be a part of what God is doing here at Fuel Church. I thank God for Pastor’s Jacob and Tara, and the vision that God has given them. Fuel Church is my home, and it’s where God has called me, to serve and be a help. Love my fuel family.
    Thank you, Jesus.

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