Evangelism-centered Cafe 109 to open in Fullerton
Hoping for the opening in just a few weeks, Scott Moffatt shares his vision for the Cafe 109. | Emily Arnold/THE CHIMES
Scott Moffatt, a history professor, has been facilitating a “God-led project,” as he put it, to promote fellowship among Biolans and the surrounding community. Cafe 109, a new coffee shop opening up in Fullerton just a few miles away from Biola, has a unique Christ-centered mission.
“The vision is to have a college-people run coffee shop,” Moffatt said. “I want it to be a place for future pastors, worship pastors and any and all college students to hang out, do homework and evangelize.”
An alterative to places of spiritual darkness
Instead of opening up a place in Fullerton that would accommodate spiritual darkness, Moffatt said he wanted to open up a place where light can reside. The idea for opening this coffee shop started with Moffatt challenging his Bible study of Biola students with the question of what they could do to boldly impact the kingdom of God. The idea of a coffee shop ministry kept arising, so they surveyed different locations and talked to building owners, and landed on a quaint building in the heart of downtown Fullerton with cooperative owners. Downtown Fullerton has attracted individuals who seek out bars, clubs, and the risque atmosphere of the nightlife.
“They really weren’t happy with what was going on down here,” Moffatt said. The owners welcomed the idea of starting a ministry in the building that was once their father’s jewelry store. Their father built this location in 1940 into a jewelry store, Moffatt said.
After months of preparation, the coffee shop started to come together. Construction took place, and the vision of Cafe 109 grew tangible. Moffatt and his team of workers have been fervently working on the development of Cafe 109 since 2010.
A mission to preach the gospel
“There are so many possibilities for the cafe,” said Sarah Aungst, a sophomore Christian ministries major who will be working at the cafe when it opens. “There is so much potential for people to be interested in it.”
During the time of development, Moffatt noted Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart plans his way, but God directs his steps.”
He said that during this time of planning and construction, he kept returning to this verse, and fervently seeking God’s plan in this project.
The cafe is not just a typical Starbucks imitator, but a coffee shop with an ultimate mission to preach the gospel.
“This is supposed to be a venue to facilitate the gifts that I see in the upcoming generation: a place of ministry, a place of evangelism [and] a place where non-believers can come in and feel comfortable,” Moffatt said.
Promoting community and reaching out
Cafe 109’s mission is to not only to be a light to the younger generation, but hand them the baton, he said. The cafe will be a place where college students will be able to run the shop, hold lectures, worship nights and Bible studies, and many other student-led events. There are also electrical outlets that surround the cafe to promote community by accommodating college students who come to do homework.
Along with serving quality food, promoting community and proclaiming the name of Jesus, Cafe 109 has another critical component to its mission.
“If God blesses us with profit … we want to fund a school in Nepal; it’s called New Leaf Ministries, and they rescue girls that are kidnapped and abused and sex trafficked,” Moffatt said.
Reaching out to both the local and global community is one of the principal goals in the cafe’s vision.
Optimistic start and fervent prayer
“I hope to intentionally intertwine my life and story with the people we come into contact there and show them Jesus in a tangible, real way, through friendship and constancy and genuine care,” said sophomore intercultural studies major Emily Tomek.
The mission of the cafe seems to line up perfectly with the desires of the soon-to-be staff, and gives hope to the start of a successful business.
Although construction of the cafe has been running smoothly, Moffatt stated that prayer is still needed.
“We are praying for miracles … we are praying fervently, there’s a lot of hope out there for us, and possibilities. We are hoping to open within a month,” Moffatt said.