Connecting with a new church can also mean connecting at a deeper level with the communities and partners it serves.
At First Free, we love our region's communities. We're committed to sharing God's love with our neighbors both directly and alongside community partners. These outreaches include:
Every December, we host a community-oriented celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas! Christmas Fest includes a live nativity production, delicious treats, Christmas photos, a fun-filled puppet show, games and prizes for children, a petting zoo including a camel, sheep, goats, and more! And it's all free!
Mission to McKeesport, Summer Blast, and Summer Pop
Every summer, our students complete a week-long, service-oriented mission among our friends and neighbors in McKeesport during the day, Mission to McKeesport (M2M). In the evening, they return to the church and lead a high-energy outreach to children called Summer Blast (K-5th Grade). Filled with fun and games, delicious snacks, music and dancing, captivating skits, and surprises, Summer Blast is a highlight of any summer. Summer Pop is a parent-led companion ministry for younger children. For information about M2M, contact Pastor Alex Ielase. For information about Summer Blast or Summer Pop, contact Marie Zajdel.
Operation Christmas Child
Every year, we partner with Samaritan's Purse for Operation Christmas Child. Along with churches and Christians around our country and world, we prepare shoeboxes full of gifts like fun toys, school supplies, and personal care items. Our friends at Samaritan's Purse then deliver them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 209 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories. In 2023, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children. This year, Operation Christmas Child will celebrate its 30th year of ministry!
Penn State Greater Allegheny Student Picnic
We love our neighbors and friends at Penn State Greater Allegheny (PSGA). Every fall, we host a picnic-style event to encourage PSGA administration, faculty, and staff while welcoming students back to campus. This year, we grilled all-you-can-eat burgers and dogs while providing a gourmet ice cream truck. For more information, contact Pastor Alex Ielase.
Pittsburgh Dream Center
Our friends and partners at the Pittsburgh Dream Center reach out to people who feel forgotten and excluded, leading them to transformed, whole, successful, purposeful lives. Their mission is to tangibly aid in meeting basic human needs of local individuals and assist them in discovering and achieving their God given purpose
Pittsburgh Region International Student Ministries reaches out to international students and scholars attending downtown campuses. First Free partners with PRISM through a variety of ministry opportunities in order to reach out in Christian love to those who are very far from home. Forming relationships in a culturally-safe environment opens doors for introducing these students to Christ.
We host Serve Saturdays every spring and fall. Partnering with organizations like Rebuild Together Pittsburgh, we organize a team to complete a healing project in the City of McKeesport. We also send teams into our surrounding communities to complete projects for elderly members and neighbors and others who might benefit from some special assistance. Finally, we schedule a team to serve at our church facility, completing needed projects around our facilities and grounds. For more information, please contact Pastor Kevin Labby.
White Cross is a group of dedicated women who meet on the third Tuesday of each month to support the work of Tandala Hospital in the People’s Republic of Congo, a health facility operated by the Evangelical Free Church in America through its missions arm, Reach Global. The women sew layettes, bandages, boys’ shorts, and girls’ dresses for the needs of the people who come to the hospital.
The vision of First Free's Global Ministry, as an extension of our church’s vision, is to strategically partner with people and agencies committed to go beyond cultural boundaries in order to make and develop healthy disciples of Jesus and to develop and strengthen the church around the world.
We believe that global ministry is an integral part of the life of the local church. Believers should be engaged in prayer, sending, and being sent. Every member of the church has a part to play in the mission of Jesus to the world. For information about our global partners, please reach out directly to Pastor Kirk Albrecht.