Twenty-nine years ago, God brought Tammy and I to Bethlehem Church with a vision to change the spiritual landscape of Gastonia. During this time, we have seen unchurched families come to know Jesus and people blessed throughout Gaston County.

With our 2020 Vision, we dared to believe God could do unfathomable things. In the last four years, we have seen astonishing progress in every area of our vision:

  • 888 people gave their lives to Jesus
  • 74,000 lives were touched one-on-one in our community
  • 430,000 hours were spent serving our community
  • The world impacted through our partnership with Convoy of Hope and Operation Christmas Child

As we fulfill our 2020 Vision, we are setting our sights to go all in to accomplish even more. While we have made much progress, we have much to do. Now we are in need of space and resources to make room for more students.

We had a very special announcement this weekend at all of our services about what God is doing in our Church for 2020 and beyond.

We are coming together to provide a new facility soon for our Students and also announced a name change for 2020 and beyond.  We will be known beginning in January as “City Church.”

Let me share with you our “Frequently Asked Question” sheet that we handed out at all of our Services:

What does our New Name; “City Church” mean?

Our new name was chosen with great intentionality.  We wanted our new name to clarify both our mission and our message.  Our Church has been very intentional for years about serving and blessing our City.  This name change will reflect that.

We are a Church.

Matthew 16:8  Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The original Greek word for “Church” means “to call out of”.  We are “called out” by God to do something!  It implies movement!  Our church is more than a building and more than a gathering – Our Church is a Movement of God to Change our City!

We are a City.

We are a City within a City.

Matthew 5:14“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

We realize our Mid-Size North Carolina Town/County doesn’t remind most people of a Big City.  “City” doesn’t refer to where we live.  It refers to HOW we live.  Jesus has called our Church to be a place of hope and healing in our Community.

We are a City sent to a City.

Jeremiah 29:7  “And work for the peace and prosperity of the City where I sent you in exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”We will seek to be a blessing to our City where God has placed us.  We will always Pray for our City, seek to Serve our City, and to always LOVE our City in the hope of seeing people come to Christ.

We are a City longing for a Better City.

We are a City longing for a Better City.

Hebrews 11:10  “[Abraham] was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”

Hebrews 11:16  “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

Hebrews 13:14 “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”

No matter how much we love our City, this City is not our Home!  What keeps us going in the midst of brokenness, pain, and disappointment is our confident expectation of a CITY that God has prepared for all those who know Him!  We want to help Everyone get prepared for Eternity!

What was the process for deciding on a new name?  This was a directional decision by Pastor Dickie and our Elders/Staff.  We have been prayerfully discussing this for over a year.

What if I don’t like the new name?  The Good News is none of us attend this church because of the name!  We love what this church has meant for our Family.  For our Marriage.  For our Kids. For our Community.  And most importantly, for our Relationship with Jesus.  That’s why we love this Church!

We could call it anything we want and that would not change!

A name is important, but it is not why we attend our Church.  Remember, Jesus is the name above every name!!

How will changing the name help our Church fulfill the Great Commission?  Our Church was originally named “Bethlehem” because it was located on the street next to CarMax in Gastonia named “Bethlehem Avenue”.  We want a name that reflects our Mission!!  We want our Community to know we are working for the prosperity of our City!

We also felt that a New Name, as we enter a New Decade, would better help us reflect the Mission and the Message that God has given us to share with the World.

What will our Campuses be named?
Our “South” Campus will be renamed:   City Church: New Hope Campus
Our “West” Campus will be renamed: City Church: Fairview Campus
Our “North” Campus will be renamed:   City Church: Separk Campus

What will happen to the North Campus?  The North Campus is presently for sale.  The attendees at the North Campus presently have a service on Sunday at 8:30AM.  Once the North Campus sells, we will continue an 8:30AM Sunday service at one of our Campuses.

Tammy and I appreciate YOU! Email us with any prayer requests you have.

We Love You!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

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