The Journey at Lake Wylie began with one step of faith on Sept. 4, 2011, at Crowders Creek Elementary School. On that Labor Day weekend, 234 well-wishers gathered in the gym to celebrate the inaugural launch. The decision to take that step had been bathed in prayer for over a year as we sought direction from the Lord. The school had become available for our use only weeks before the opening. We shared some glorious times there until March 2013 when, due to renovations by the school district, we were required to re-route.
At the same time we needed a new home, Pastor Matt McGarity and his Relevant Church vacated Oakridge Middle School, opening the door for a new home for The Journey.
We moved there on March 10, 2013. Principal Will Largen and all the OMS staff have been so accommodating and gracious to us. It has been a blessing to worship in such a fine environment that also teaches our children who attend school there great values and character. Nevertheless, the Lord had yet another turn of the road in store for us.
Recently we were informed of a new policy by the school board that allows organizations only two six-month terms of occupancy. Therefore, we had about one year to find another destination for The Journey.
Since that time, there has been a growing relationship between The Journey and Pine Grove Baptist Church. I have known Pastor Jerrod Mordecai for several years. When we shared Journeys situation, he and the Pine Grove Baptist congregation graciously offered to lease to us the use of their facilities for worship and educational groups. We are in the process of making plans to help with additions to the life center so we can use it as a worship center for The Journey on Sundays.
The plan is to have all the additions complete and ready for Journey to make the move to the Pine Grove campus on Feb. 2. This move is not a merger of our two congregations. It is merely a leasing of facilities. Each congregation will remain independent and autonomous. However, we have every intention of doing ministry in our community together. We both believe that as followers of Christ, we have the same Father, the same Lord and the same commission from Him. That commission is to share our talents, gifts and resources to help everyone in our community come to know and trust Jesus Christ. We have made a commitment to work together with every church in our community to help them fulfill the unique vision God has given to them. Its time churches started working together to help Him build His kingdom in our little corner of the world.
On Sunday, Nov. 17, The Journey will come together with Pine Grove Baptist for a joint service from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All of Journeys programs, including adult Sunday school and childrens programs, will meet at PGBC. Adult Sunday school will meet at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary. Our music teams will combine for the service, and both I and Pastor Jerrod will share a brief message. Following the worship service, we will come together in the life center for a Thanksgiving fellowship meal. Please bring a covered dish to pass.
It is a new leg of The Journey that is beyond our wildest dreams. God will attend to the details.
Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey.