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Burning Bush ministry puts focus on simplicity

They say they may be the best-kept secret in Mount Pleasant.

For the past eight years, a little band of Christians has been meeting for worship. They call themselves Burning Bush Ministries and they offer a unique option to folks looking for a church home.

Anne Garrett Diaz is the worship leader at Burning Bush. She has been a part of this ministry since its beginning.

Almost two decades ago, when contemporary music was making its way into Christian churches, Diaz was a member of a band called Straight Up that helped local churches transition to the new music and worship style. They’d get everything running smoothly and leave to help another church, Diaz said.

The last church Straight Up served was Mount Hermon Lutheran in Concord. After a four- or five-year stint there, Diaz said, they felt a calling to step out and start their own church.

So they announced one Sunday morning they were leaving. The next Sunday they began worshiping at the American Legion building on Washington Street in Mount Pleasant, thanks to a connection her father, Dr. Dave Crosland, had to use that space.

That first Sunday, a guest speaker preached to the 55 attendees about the burning bush in Genesis, inspiring the new congregation’s name, Burning Bush Ministries.

For a few years, the ministry moved to West Franklin Street, but last fall returned to the American Legion building on Washington Street for weekly worship at 9:45 a.m. Sundays.

Diaz said they’ve never advertised, put out signs or tried to promote the church. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth to let people know about their congregation. Attendance ranges from 20 to 50 people, she says, which is the way they like it.

“This is fantastic, and as long as it lasts, it’s good for us,” she said.

Crosland said the church is like family. There is no permanent pastor at Burning Bush, no church leadership or bureaucracy. Instead, it relies on a rotation of lay and guest speakers for Sunday morning services.

Worshipers call themselves truly interdenominational, as they blend elements from a variety of traditions for their worship. The music is contemporary mixed with old gospel and bluegrass.

The simplicity of the service appeals to Greg Faggart, who is a lay speaker as well as the church’s communications director and technology guru. People are here just to worship, he said.

Like family, the worshipers at Burning Bush take good care of each other. Faggart heads the UPS (Urgent Prayer Support) network, and the church supports such local ministries as the After School Kids program and the Mount Pleasant Food Ministry.

In many ways, Diaz said, Burning Bush Ministries is like the earliest Christian churches. They meet to worship and to support each other, and their fellowship has been blessed abundantly.

Learn more about Burning Bush by visiting on a Sunday morning. You’ll definitely be treated like family.

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