Surf Church Making Waves in Portugal


Matosinhos, Portugal (ANS) – A growing church planting ministry run by Operation Mobilisation is having a significant impact on the surfing community in Northern Portugal.

Surf Church Baptism

Surf Church Porto began in the home of Troy and Michelle Pitney in 2015.

“Six or so of us met in our house in our living room,” explains Troy.

“And we began worshiping the Lord and looking at scripture and starting to function as a church and praying that God might do something with it.  And then little by little things grew.  In January 2017 we finally had to move out of our house. We had at times 60, 70, 80 people packed in our living room. So we found a location right on the beach right in front of the surf. It was really just a dream location to be.”

Michelle Pitney explains how moving to this location also enabled them to grow their children’s ministry:

“Moving into our new church building opened such a huge opportunity for the children’s ministry. I think our church really found a heartbeat for kids and creating a safe place where kids can come from anywhere, any season of life and feel loved and learn about the love of God.

Church member Katherine Grabher says they are also impacting many lives through their dance outreach:

“One of my students brought one of her friends and this friend just loved dance and she came her just for that purpose. She didn’t know this was a church or anything to do with the church and when she found out that was amazed that a church includes dance or surf or other activities.”

Troy Pitney leading worship at Surf Church Viana.

In 2018 Surf Church Porto planted another church in Viana.  Troy Pitney concluded by sharing his vision to see many more new people come and receive hands on training as part of their Church Planters Initiative program, so they can start many more fellowships across the country:

“I would hope that church in Viana becomes a church that plants churches, that creates disciples, that make disciples, that make disciples. Therefore new churches and new opportunities for new church plants would come out of it. Of course I’d love to see the church grow. I’d love to see it reach the city, but I’d love to see that church reproducing into more and more communities of Jesus followers.”

You can watch the full video report produced by our partners at the Global News Alliance here:

Surf Church Making Waves in Portugal


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Peter Wooding
Peter Wooding is Senior Editor at Assist News Service and an award-winning radio, TV, and print journalist. Peter has worked as news editor at UCB Radio in the UK, and has reported from countries around the world including Israel, India, Russia, Serbia, South Sudan, Ukraine and Mozambique. Continuing his father Dan's legacy, Peter now leads the global expansion of ANS. He is also the London Bureau Chief for the Global News Alliance, Media and PR Officer for Leading The Way UK and UK Director for Mercy Projects. Peter lives in North Wales, UK, with his wife, Sharon, and their three daughters, Sarah, Anna and Abigail.