Pastors Tyler and Crystal Tullos met and fell in love in college, and got married at the very seasoned age of 20 in 2003. After graduating from LSU with business and sociology degrees, they headed to graduate school only before God changed their life plans and called them into full-time ministry. They started serving as volunteers at StoryHeights' sending church, Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, in the kids and sports ministries before joining as full-time staff youth pastors. They served for ten years at Healing Place Church and attribute all of their roots, skill and passion for God and the local church to their amazing pastors and leaders who mentored them and gave them opportunities to grow!
In 2007, after a vacation to Boston, Tyler and Crystal experienced what they call "the bite of the Boston bug," and fell in love with the city and her story. In 2009, God began to awaken their hearts to the call of church planting, and when thinking about where to plant, New England had their attention. After a long, strenuous season of having this call tried and tested, they made the move to Boston with the support of both their senior pastors and the Association of Related Churches. They drove into Boston on March 6, 2011, and began building our beloved church.
They moved here knowing only two people that they met on Twitter through a mutual friend, but StoryHeights began unfolding that summer as four turned into ten and then ten grew to 30 organically. There were six people that began meeting around a park table in Watertown to strategize how to get StoryHeights off the ground.
We officially began holding preview services in September of 2011 with 70 people in attendance, most who were Tyler and Crystal's friends who flew up from Baton Rouge. Then, on January 15th, 2012, we held our first official weekly service at the Chestnut Hill AMC movie theater on the coldest day in Boston on record with only 31 people in attendance. We grew to over a hundred people, even hosting a second weekend experience at the Green T coffee shop in Mission Hill in the evenings for our volunteers to attend.
Then in December 2012, we were informed that we had three weeks to find a new venue because they were closing the AMC theater. After six straight weeks of different venues throughout Newton, unpacking storage and canceling two Sundays due to blizzards, our attendance fell back to 30 people. Finally, though, God brought us the beautiful Pine Manor College, where our Newton community has met for the last four years. We have steadily grown ever since, and moved our night service from Mission Hill to the Back Bay neighborhood as we continued to test the waters of different Boston neighborhoods.
We flourished in the Back Bay community for over two years until we felt we were strong enough to start a second morning experience. We felt there were enough great churches in Back Bay for now, and instead saw a need and felt a pull to South Boston. So on May 15th, 2016, we launched our South Boston community. We installed community pastors with Steve and Ali Engstrand taking the charge at Southie, developed two entirely independent Sunday morning teams, and expanded our reach within one of the most historic and iconic neighborhoods of Boston.
In the summer of 2016, we purchased a building in Norfolk, MA, and built an early education center, StoryHeights Montessori Early Education Center as a feeder corporation to supplement all we want to do for people in our world! Currently, the school is flourishing, and in 2018 we'll begin to give away our profits to the poor, hurting and forgotten!
In September 2017, our Newton community will move into our own building in Newton Upper Falls! We're currently waiting on the build-out of the commercial lease space to be completed. This building will provide us with 5,000 sq. ft. first-class space that will be ours 24/7 365 days a year and will serve as a launching pad for all God wants to do in and through our church!
Our story is still unfolding because we didn't quit when the horizon was bleak. We've learned that failure doesn't end the story with God! Our church's health today is due to the tenacious spirit of the people who make room for all God ever tells us to do, and we live in awe of all He has unlocked for us in this city. We can't wait to see all that God will do, one story at a time.