Buffalo is a little over 6 hours from Cincinnati. However, it’s still within ear-shot of our church network. The closest H2O Church is in Kent (3.5 hours away). We think proximity to the network is valuable in terms of lending counsel and support.
Here are some key reasons planting at UB would make sense:
UB currently has no on-campus church and not much involvement in other campus ministries.
UB has around 30,000 students attending.
Around 25% of these students are international students. Many of whom come from places where the gospel is not readily available. This is a particular passion of many of us interested in planting there.
Although UB is in New York, culturally it 'bridges the gap' between midwestern culture and New England culture.
Strategically, it would make sense for the H2O Network to move in the direction of the Northeastern United States. It is a particularly secular region, and tends to be very international. Planting at UB could be a first step in our network moving that direction.
Living in another city like Cincinnati can provide jobs for non-staff that are involved in the church plant.
The campus is pretty 'insulated' culturally, meaning that a church that meets on campus may be the most effective way to share the gospel with people attending UB.