Hello friends and family,
Almost three years ago our family made the first step in our journey towards church planting as we began to pray about what it would mean for us to drastically change all that we knew and were comfortable with in order to answer both the pastoral call I felt on my life and the call to plant a church. Since then we have sold our house, relocated to Kentucky, I attended AND GRADUATED (hahaha) from the Pastors College, had a baby (well, Andrea did the hard part there), relocated back to North Carolina—Charlotte more specifically— participated in a church plant residency, went through the process of ordination with Sovereign Grace Churches, and have most recently relocated to Wilmington to prepare for the launch of Grace City Church. The Lord has been so gracious to us through this whole process. If not for His grace, kindness, love, and provision, we would have given up a long time ago. We are excited and so very grateful to be here.
We are filled with faith and anticipation to join what God is already doing in Wilmington. Our weeks leading up to date have been filled with talking through our mission and vision statement, what our philosophy of ministry will be, how to cultivate a culture of discipleship and evangelism, and what area of Wilmington we are seeking to reach. Ideally we would like to meet on Sunday mornings, but in Gods providence we have had a dear church family offer us their facility on Sunday evenings until we have a place to meet more permanently. As of right now we are seeking God’s wisdom on the matter.
If you are reading this and you are currently supporting us monthly or you have supported us in the past, Andrea I want to take a moment and thank you for your sacrifice and partnership in the gospel. We have entered into the last phase of this process (phase 3), the planting phase. Even as I write this I’m humbled by how God has brought this from a mere conception or an imagination to a reality, it truly is amazing, and we could not have done any of it without you my dear family and friends. Whenever we think of you our hearts are moved by your faith and care for us throughout this process, everything from monthly letters, conversations, meals, gift cards, baby sitting our children for much needed date nights, the list goes on and on. Andrea and I will never be able to express how grateful we are, but we do hope that through the preaching of the gospel God would save those in Wilmington who are far away from Him, and bring them into a healthy Christian community in order that we may present them mature in Christ and you would join in celebrating and rejoicing with us.
At this point we have finally made it to Wilmington, and we love this city already. I have started my job working part time painting and pressure washing while the other part of the week I am meeting people and giving myself in whatever way I can to Grace City Church. It is here that the real boots on the ground will begin with us building relationships with our neighbors, co-workers, city officials, pastors, and anyone else whom the Lord may cause us to cross paths with. It is here in the everyday stuff of life where we expect to see God begin to move in peoples lives in significant ways, as we not only have the chance to proclaim the gospel in words, but also demonstrate the gospel through deeds. Andrea and I have had the privilege of meeting many people so far, some that are followers of Christ and many who are not. Our hearts desire is to spend as much time with our neighbors and those in our spheres of influence as we can, as we have done this our hearts have been burdened to pray fervently because Christ said “the fields are white for harvest”. Andrea has met friends at the park, and I have had the joyful privilege of going fishing and happily catching a couple of tree limbs and grass blades! In other words church planting is a slow process, one of building our launch team around a gospel centered culture and biblical philosophy of ministry and being intentional to reach out on mission as we seek to make much of Jesus in the spaces He’s placed us in Wilmington, needless to say this takes time. And speaking of spaces, God has placed us in a home that will serve in providing that safe space where people can come and open up their lives for the purpose of hearing and seeing the gospel on display through broken vessels like us. In this space we want to help others, as God has helped us, understand the purposes He’s placed us where we are. We believe the scriptures give us the answer to this question; it is in order that they might seek God, and perhaps might reach out and find Him though He is not far from each of us (Acts 17:26-27).
We are also excited to see how God is bringing people to us for this work, we have a couple from Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville serving us during the summer months with our music. Jordan is getting his degree in music and pastoral studies, focused specifically on leading congregational worship. We also are happy to have the Hatchers here with us from the Sovereign Grace Church in Woodstock Georgia, and just as of recently the Lord has brought us a young lady who recently graduated from College and accepted a job here in Wilmington. We are very excited to get to know her. As you can see there are a lot of moving parts that still need to be positioned but we are confident that God will give us the grace to accomplish this.
Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for more updates and ways to join us in planting Grace City Church of Wilmington. Below are some ways you can be praying for us.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Andrea and I have been meeting with people in our neighborhood, and the local park we take our kids to. Ask God for us to love them genuinely (Romans 12:9) and for wisdom and courage as we introduce them to the truths of the gospel.
Joshua and I meet for about 10-12 hours a week to plan the summer meeting times, ask God for us to strive together for the sake of the gospel, not against each other. Lets face it, I’m prideful, but I desire to consider Joshua as better than myself. Ask God for this.
As we work through our mission and vision for Grace City Church ask God for His help to communicate this to the launch team that He has graciously brought to us. Also that God would unite our hearts together in like-mindedness.
Ask God to help Joshua as he plans the preaching schedule for the first 6 months to a year of the church plant.
Ask God to help our wives love and serve well our families. Whether it is homeschool, or charter school, we as families are seeking to raise our children empowered by the gospel. We need His ever-sufficient grace to accomplish this.
Ask God that He would provide the opportunity, resources, strength and grace to use the home he blessed us with to welcome others in…to be an open door to whomever the Lord crosses our paths with!
Ask God to send us a worship pastor, and for Him to add to the laborers to be sent here into the harvest of Wilmington.
Also ask God to supply for our families financial needs for the remainder of this year and into 2019.