Catalina Foothills Church was born many years before its first worship service. The vision was birthed in 1982 in Boca Raton, Florida, when Mark Roessler and Paavo and Marguerite Ensio prayed together and asked God that they would someday be able to do ministry together.
“We got down on our knees on their kitchen floor in Boca one day and just prayed together that, if God ever wanted us to do ministry together, that we’d be open to do it,” Mark Roessler said.
God is faithful and in the spring of 1994 Paavo and Marguerite invited Mark to come and speak to a group of people interested in starting a PCA church in Tucson. Mark and Norma and their two little girls, Neely and Caroline moved to Tucson in August. In September, Catalina Foothills Church held its first official church service in the Little Theater of Catalina Foothills High School with 130 people in attendance. The church grew as members were trained in evangelism and many people came to faith in Christ. In 1995 CFC became a particular church in the PCA. 40% of the founding members joined a church for the first time by profession of faith.
The church grew rapidly, increasing in membership and mission by leaps and bounds. In September of 1999, the church built a $4 million multi-purpose facility with a 650-seat auditorium. In 1998 Cornerstone Christian Academy, a classical Christian school, was founded and two years later we acquired a secondary school and renamed it Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. Currently they have over 600 students on two campuses.
In 2001 CFC launched its first church plant on the east side of Tucson – Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church. 125 members led by Pastor Phil Kruis began services at Magee Middle School and today they have their own building and approximately 300 members. Catalina Foothills Church has been about church planting whether in the United States or around the world. She has participated in church plants in Tucson; Holy Cross (2011), Good News Community (2012), in Arizona; Church of the Resurrection (Flagstaff 2007), Covenant Community (Scottsdale), Grace (Sierra Vista), and in North America, West Seattle, Las Vegas, Spokane, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Internationally, CFC has participated in the planting of churches in Binh Chau, Vietnam; Munich, Germany; Nogales Sonora, Mexico, and on the island of Mindanao, Philippines to name a few. CFC has helped plant about 50 churches around the world and continues to spread the gospel through ongoing support of many of these churches.
Today Catalina Foothills Church is a vibrant church serving the Tucson community with numerous ministries and outreaches. A visit to CFC provides the opportunity to connect and grow with fellow believers as we seek to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission “to make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).