We believe that the foundation of everything is God’s grace.

We recognize that it’s only by God’s grace that we have been granted a second chance in life, regardless of what that second chance is for. We are ALL created in God’s image and we understand that life’s circumstances are in NO WAY a reflection of His love for us. In fact, it is what allows us to meet people right where they are and walk forward with them. We all may not have been “born into” or “raised by” a loving family, but at Uncommon Grounds Cafe, we CHOOSE to be a loving family! As we are forgiven, we forgive. As we are loved, we love. As we are identified with Christ, we identify our neighbors with Christ. It is only by grace that we are here and it is only by grace that we ‘get to’ love, serve, and receive from our community. 


We believe that all of humanity is worthy of fulfilling lives and healthy relationships.

Jesus’ life demonstrated that community transformation begins individually with intentional relationships, and corporately with collective involvement and action. It looks like walking the streets, speaking to those around you, dining at anyone’s table, opening up your own table, and entering spaces of influence with bold advocacy for the forgotten. Healthy community requires making room for the lives we pass every day to take up more space than a passing glance. It means not abandoning our community when the ‘work is done’ or the ‘need is met.’ We promote long-term relationships with extended community, mentorship, and discipleship through community Bible studies, discipleship-based programs, and various community events. 

We believe in meeting practical, tangible needs.

We practically live out the mission of Church Army USA by creating intentional opportunities for believers and non-believers to gather, experience the love of Christ together, and begin to use those relationships to better our community. As a fully functioning cafe in a location that services a wide range of individuals, we often stand as a community resource center and ‘get to’ help people as they navigate difficult situations in life. These include: addiction, homelessness, job loss, mental illness, and any other issues that are causing them to feel ‘stuck’ in their lives. By seeing and meeting people’s tangible needs through things like meal programs and partnership with addiction recovery organizations, we dignify someone beyond their circumstances and establish trust. By following that with training programs such as Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead, we sustain relationships through support and accountability for lasting change in an individual’s life.

uncommon grounds cafe

Our Story

From the UK to Franklin Ave

Uncommon Grounds Cafe is a Center of Ministry and National Base of Church Army USA. It is our mission to spread the Gospel by following the model of Jesus’ ministry in meeting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs. We believe that underserved, uninspired, and unconnected populations – often identified by social injustice cycles – require more than just financial and medical resources in order to recover and build new lives. We are an intentional community of believers who recognize that God has blessed us with each other and desires for us to work together to reach our goals. We seek to reach our community, teach our community and equip the local church to receive our community.

We are an intentional community of believers who recognize that God has blessed us with each other and desires for us to work together to reach our goals. We seek to reach our community, teach our community and equip the local church to receive our community.

Church Army was founded in England in 1882 by the Rev. Wilson Carlile. Carlile became convinced that the moral and physical conditions of the lowest classes of English people called for new and aggressive action from the Anglican Church. As he studied Scripture and viewed need, he determined that this work was best done by community members of the same class as those in need. Thus, as a curate in the parish of St. Mary Abbott, Kensington, Carlile experimented with nontraditional forms of Christian gatherings and evangelism. He went where coachmen, valets, and others would take their evening stroll and held open air services, persuading onlookers to say the Scripture readings, and training ‘everyday’ people to disciple. Church Army UK continues to do the work that Wilson Carlile started in 1882 – giving God’s love to everyone and hope to millions.

Following its growth in the UK, Church Army USA (CAUSA) was established in the 1900s with the same mission in the American context. CAUSA is a society of trained and commissioned evangelists out of the Anglican Church and across many other denominations. Our aim and purpose is winning people to Christ, providing the Church with trained, discipled, and socially concerned evangelists who equip others to ‘do the work of an evangelist’ and further evangelize by ministering where others cannot. 

In 2001, Church Army officer John Stanley, arranged for the purchase of an old Franklin Avenue storefront in Aliquippa to establish a coffee shop downtown as a Center of Ministry for CAUSA to serve the needs of the local community. Now, a fully functional café and coffee shop stands in what used to be just another run-down building. In the 20+ years since our founding, Uncommon Grounds has become a center of resources, care, and family pillar within Aliquippa’s community. Everyone knows about the little Cafe on the Ave. Whether you’re coming to an event, hosting an event in our space, or just stopping by for a cup of coffee, you will always be greeted with a warm welcome and space to grow from exactly where you are. 

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