Our church planting story really starts in 2003 with Les’s salvation. After that, the youth pastor at our church started teaching Les (and eventually me) about what it really means to be a Christ-follower and how to do genuine ministry. Darby’s family really took us in and made us part of them and their team. Later, Darby left this church and went to take a position with another church in 2005. We went to visit on a Sunday night and were immediately drawn to this church and their strong emphasis on missions and evangelism.
It wasn’t until the next summer, in 2006, that we were introduced to church planting. Our youth went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a week-long mission trip called Power Plant (which is part of the NAMB family). Our team was appointed to work with a church plant in McKees Rocks, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Les and I had never seen such a real-life, honest ministry. Hogan and his family were working out of their tiny house and community center to reach their neighbors. The neighborhood was beautiful, with pristine lawns and crisp new paint on the outside, but inside the people had nothing. We were struck by the community’s circumstances and the passion Hogan and his family had. This church plant didn’t result from disagreements or splits – it was there because a man had a calling and he had jumped in feet first.
On the fourth night, after not being able to see or speak to each other for more than a few minutes each day, Les and I sat on the steps of the church the Power Plant teams were staying in. We prayed for the lost in the community we were serving and the work going on in each Plant location. After a while, we got quiet. We started to talk about the awesome things we were seeing and doing. I think it hit us both as the same time. We just looked at each other for several long minutes, and finally he said, “Do you feel it?” All I could do was nod and smile. Mutual understanding is wonderful, especially when there is no need to vocalize a world of emotions.
It took off from there. From 2006 to date, we’ve been involved with three church plants. We basically went from not knowing what planting churches meant to being an integral part of several! Each plant has had a special lesson for us to learn, another piece to add to our ever-growing puzzle of God’s plan in our lives.
We came to Southeastern Seminary knowing it was just another puzzle piece we needed. God clearly showed us that this was the place for us to be, and you can read about that part of the adventure here. It was definitely an interesting and amazing journey from Kentucky to North Carolina!
We seriously cannot stress enough how God is the Ultimate Provider in any circumstance. Throughout our first year of marriage, God boldly gave us what we needed before we even knew we needed it. We just keep getting surprised by His work! Now that we’ve really stepped out on a limb in His Name, we are seeing His hand daily. This walk with Christ… it’s the greatest adventure we’ve ever been on and we have absolutely no intention of ever getting off the ride!