It’s amazing to think that the original Traders Point Christian Church started in 1834 by a small group of settlers meeting in a log cabin. Fast forward to where we are today: one church making a difference with multiple locations all over Indianapolis, all for the purpose of making God’s glory known.
While our location and methods have changed over the years, these foundational principles haven’t. This month, we’re talking about who we are as a church, what we do, and why we do it. But this isn’t just a series about our church. It’s about God’s heart for you and His call for you to leave a Jesus-centered legacy by investing in your faith and community.
Join us at our weekend gatherings in November for our series We Are Traders Point. Locations and Gathering Times
Traders Point Christian Church, originally Ebenezer Christian Church, was organized in Marion County, Indiana, in the spring of 1834. There were ten charter members, and they took turns hosting church in their homes. Charter member Annie Wilson donated land just south of Fishback Creek on the east side of Dandy Trail for the first church property. Her husband furnished the lumber to help build a log cabin-type church on the triangular plot of ground. It was the third organized Christian Church in Marion County. By 1853, membership had grown to nearly 100.
The Great Depression made it difficult to pay the minister, but thanks to the generosity of two church members, they saw to it that the minister was paid. Drawing strength from God’s blessings during early hardships, the church continued to “march onward” and give thanks for the growth experienced. The coming of the first full-time minister in 1942 marked the beginning of over half a century of exceptional growth, both spiritually and numerically. For many years before this milestone, worship services were only held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (but communion and Bible school classes were available every Sunday).
Traders Point Christian Church continued to grow and expand at the Lafayette Road location, so much so that they were busting at the seams. The children’s ministry rooms were overcrowded on Sunday mornings, and adult small groups were competing for the limited classroom space during the week. For 10 years, the church was prayerful over what to do next as they searched for a new location, but each option was riddled with complications. Then, in 2004, God provided 92 acres of land on Indianapolis Road, the current location of the Northwest campus. It was purchased from Wrecks Inc., a junkyard business down the Road, owned by a Jewish man who was hesitant to sell to us, but God worked on his heart. In 2005, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the 156,000-square-foot facility that would seat 2,600 people.
In April 2007, after three years of construction, the church celebrated the grand opening of the current Northwest campus building with 2,377 people. In June 2007, Howard Brammer retired after 25 years of service.
In search of the next pastor for Traders Point, elders visited churches all around the country to listen to pastors give messages. It was nine months of searching before Aaron Brockett’s name was brought up – then a teaching pastor at a small church in Missouri. One weekend, Aaron was visiting and teaching at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and the elders went to observe. In November 2007, the Traders Point elders hired 31-year-old Aaron Brockett as the next lead pastor.
In 2009, after a congregational vote, Traders Point bought an additional 28 acres on the north side of the Northwest campus building. The church currently leases the land to a farmer with no other plans in the works.
Attendance nearly doubled over the next four years, with more than 3,500 people attending on Sundays, and there was already a felt need to expand. So in 2011, the church organized a generosity campaign called Generous Giants with the hope to raise enough capital to add on to the building.
There were two phases of the Generous Giants campaign. The first phase was focused on expanding the children’s spaces at the Northwest campus. The goal was to double the children’s spaces, which included creating a secure drop-off station and expanding The Park for the children's ministry and community. It also included plans to renovate the Northwest campus auditorium and expand the children’s center of one of our partners in Nairobi, Kenya. This phase was completed in 2012.
Phase two was focused on expanding staff offices, youth spaces, multi-purpose meeting spaces, and the grand entry/gathering space at the Northwest campus building. This phase never began. The entry, main gathering space, offices, and youth space at Northwest still look as they did in 2007.
In early 2020, with attendance of more than 9,100 people each weekend and thousands watching the weekly livestream to hear the message of Jesus, the church knew they needed more TPCC locations around Indianapolis. That’s when Traders Point launched the Midtown campus in January 2020 and the Northeast campus a month later.
Then in March of 2020, the spread of COVID-19 was labeled a global pandemic. Per government recommendations, the church met online for six months and reopened physical campus doors in September. The team got creative with Traders Point Online, a staff-lead campus-style resource for doing church from home. The average weekly views for Traders Point Online was 6,721 people across 80 countries. Then, in September, they relaunched physical gatherings with about 2,500 average weekly attendance.
Looking back on the history of this church since 1834, there have been many hardships that could have shaken or taken it down: Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, recessions, and COVID-19. But God is faithful through it all. This is a church that has always drawn from the source of life to get its strength in tough times.
Today, the focus of Traders Point outreach is in three vision lanes – campuses, leadership development, and vulnerable children. The impact made in these three areas is incredible, due to the generosity of the people who call Traders Point home. The average in-person attendance is 5,997 people, with an additional 1,717 watching online. So far this year, there have been 343 baptisms, 2,501 people serving on teams, and 310 in small groups.
Church-wide giving through 10.30.22:
Your generosity makes it possible for our church to make an impact here in our city and all over the world. The surplus of $ 1,843,214.76 is being used to support new campuses, leadership development and vulnerable children.
Traders Point was founded in 1834 with a desire to gather for worship and then scatter to proclaim the name of Jesus to the community. While our location and methods have changed over the years, these foundational principles haven’t. In the month of November, we’re talking about who we are as a church, what we do, and why we do it. This isn’t just a series about the church. It’s about God’s heart for you and His call to be all in through spiritual growth, life-giving relationships, and kingdom impact.
Learn more about We Are Traders Point
“Do we want to be part of a movement or a museum? Do we want to be part of something dynamic for Jesus that is growing and changing or something that has already died and is just relishing the glories of yesteryear? The minute we start to coast or cling to that which is predictable and safe we atrophy and die; you are either growing or dying. There is no third option. So listen: healthy things live, living things grow, and growing things change. Don’t ever forget that.” – Aaron Brockett, Lead Pastor of Traders Point Christian Church, 2011 Generous Giants Campaign.
“The inevitable changes occurred because of what did not change – the desire of the congregation to do God’s will. The spirit-led people of Traders Point Christian Church continue to pass the torch of a living and vibrant faith which has brought us to 1997 and another major expansion program to provide Christian witness, leadership, and space for a new century.” – Howard R. Brammer, former senior minister of Traders Point Christian Church. Taken from the 1997 Yearbook.
"I’m amazed at what God has been doing in the life of our church. A wise mentor once counseled to me never to speculate how God might work but to anticipate His work. I never want us to lose sight of why we do what we do to engage people with the love of God, to inspire them to follow Jesus and to equip them to serve our world. In addition, I’ve got to be in tune with the challenges and impediments that we face in being able to carry out this mission. [...] I’m not a fan of large, glamorous buildings, but I'm not okay with turning families away because we don’t have the space to minister to their children either. What we do around here matters for individuals and families for eternity.”- Aaron Brockett, Lead Pastor of Traders Point Christian Church, 2011 Generous Giants Campaign.
“Our influence is rapidly growing throughout central Indiana, and we want to steward our influence well. We don’t want to just build bigger buildings, we want to see communities restored and thriving because of the gospel, and we want to be about multiplying disciples all around central Indiana. ... When a family or individual leaves their community to attend a worship service, their involvement in ministry and ability to grow in discipleship-oriented relationships is severely limited. We want everyone who calls Traders Point home to have the opportunity to share the Good News with their friends (scripture) and to use their gifts and abilities to serve the local church. ... It’s time for Traders point to become one church with multiple locations. Many people in our city are facing a Christ-less eternity, and we believe multisite locations give us an opportunity to reach more people who are disconnected from Jesus.”- Aaron Brockett, Lead Pastor of Traders Point Christian Church, 2013 Humble & Hungry Campaign