University City

Elevation church keeps growing

Elevation, the Charlotte church that was recently recognized as the fourth fastest growing church in America by Outreach Magazine, has announced they will launch two new campuses on Sept. 11.

The addition of these two new campuses will bring the number of Elevation campuses in the Charlotte area to six.

The new campuses will be a University location, operating out of the University City YMCA, located at 8100 Old Mallard Creek Road, and a Rock Hill location, operating out of Northwestern High School, located at 2503 West Main Street. Both locations will have a 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. service on Sundays.

Tonia Bendickson, communications director for Elevation Church, explains that the new campuses came about as a part of the church's acquisition team's continuing search for new opportunities to reach people.

Since opening their Blakeney campus this past November, the location has been at or above capacity for the 11:15 a.m. worship service every week.

Pastor Steven Furtick first felt his life's mission when he was 16. While reading "Fresh Wind Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala, the statement, "I despaired at the thought of my life passing me by without seeing God move greatly on my behalf," became a catalyst for him. Elevation Church began when Furtick and his family, along with seven other families, sold their homes, quit their jobs and moved from Shelby to Charlotte. The first service was held on Feb. 5, 2006 at Providence High School and had 121 people in attendance.

In the last five years, attendance has grown to over 9,000, with 2,158 people being baptized during the last message series.

Frank Bealer, new Rock Hill campus pastor, says he is thankful to be a part of the life change taking place at Elevation.

"I can't wait to see marriages healed, addictions broken, and people living life with purpose found only in Jesus," he says.

Larry Brey, pastor at the new University campus echoes Bealer's sentiments.

"We truly believe that our new Elevation University campus will make a significant difference in countless lives and families in that area."

Elevation Church has given more than $3.4 million to local and global outreach partners since 2006.

This spring, a partnership with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was established to give 100,000 hours and $750,000 to serve Charlotte people in "Operation Orange."

Staff members at the Rock Hill location are currently seeking a local outreach partner from York or Lancaster county.