Spring is a time for new beginnings, and Easter is arguably the most important date on the Christian calendar, so what better day to start a new church?
That seems to be the thinking at Community Church of Mt. Pleasant, a congregation that’s been meeting and planning since January and is now ready to officially launch on April 5, Easter Sunday.
David Snow has been a pastor for 32 years, serving churches in Tennessee and North Carolina. Not too long ago, he and his friend Jim Rice began talking about the possibility of planting a church in Mount Pleasant.
Snow says they first talked about starting a cowboy church, but that seemed exclusive. About 15 to 20 people began meeting to discuss their vision for a new congregation, and it became clear that what they wanted was a community church.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Snow says that as the group began to develop a mission statement, words like community, relational, integrity and family were important. The role of a church, Snow says, is to educate and equip people to serve their community. That means taking care of each other, providing opportunities for fellowship and studying the Bible.
“We’re not just a Sunday morning church,” Snow says. “We’re here for people who need us.”
One of the biggest challenges new churches face is finding a place to meet, but Community Church got to avoid that obstacle entirely, thanks to Rice. A converted horse barn on Rice’s property, Gander Creek Farm, has become the church sanctuary.
A small bunkhouse houses the children’s ministry and nursery facilities. An open barn with a brick oven, built by Rice, provides a place to gather for meals and other occasions. And a bigger barn is available to use for volleyball games, recreational activities and possible church expansion.
But adding members is not the be-all and end-all for Community Church. Of course, they want to grow, but, Snow says, “Our goal is to be a healthy church. If your child is healthy, he will grow, and other things will happen organically.
“If we teach the word and love folks, that’s enough.”
Worshiping in a converted barn in the eastern Cabarrus countryside is quite a change for Snow and his wife, Mary, who once worked at a church of 12,000. But they love driving out to the farm on Sunday mornings and look forward to becoming more involved in the Mount Pleasant community. They know there are lots of churches in the area already but feel there must be people this new congregation can serve.
The Easter celebration launch will provide plenty of opportunity for fellowship. The morning begins with a country breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by activities, including Easter eggs, for the kids and a worship service at 11 a.m.
Snow refuses to call the worship service contemporary or traditional. “I’m not going to put us in a box,” he says. “We’re just going to be whatever God wants us to be.”
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com
Community Church of Mt. Pleasant meets at 11610 Adames Way off Dutch Road, in Mount Pleasant.Visit the Facebook page to learn more, or contact David Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org