Covenant Church of Raleigh has gifted its property to Southbridge Fellowship and joined together with them to impact the Triangle for Jesus Christ. The grand opening of its new campus is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9 with service times at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the newly renovated facility.
“This is something only God can do,” said Lead Pastor Scott Lehr of Southbridge Fellowship. “For the past 11 years, God has been weaving our stories together to make us one church.”
Lehr planted Southbridge in 2007 after completing his Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Feeling drawn to the Triangle due to the influx of people from all walks of life, Scott and his wife Shanna launched Southbridge Fellowship at the Brier Creek movie theater, but eventually outgrew the space when the theater upgraded its facility.
The church then purchased land on Highway 70 but was unable to make progress on a building because of a series of obstacles the church now views as God’s providential, “no.” Then in 2015, the Department of Transportation purchased the land, giving them finances for a future facility, but with no location in mind.
The church moved from the theater in Brier Creek to Pine Hollow Middle School. This is where it has most recently been holding services. All of the changes could lead most people to feel discouraged, yet Lehr remained prayerful and hopeful. Lehr remembers praying, “God, do something so clear we know it’s You.”
After the church made the move to the school, an abundance of new signage in the area caught the eye of another local pastor, Lee Thomas of Covenant Church. Pastor Lee then reached out to Pastor Scott and the two began a friendship. Each shared their challenges and wins with one another. Covenant had an underutilized facility, while Southbridge now had been blessed financially with no permanent place to call home.
The leaders of Southbridge Fellowship decided to approach Covenant Church about purchasing the facility and received yet another “no”. The leaders of Covenant Church weren’t selling their property, but they were inspired by Southbridge’s simple yet clear vision to connect people to Jesus for life change and felt led to join them. Covenant Church responded with an amazing idea: they would give their property to Southbridge Fellowship, if they could join Southbridge. The two churches decided they would be better together.
“Every no by God is a way to get us to His yes,” says Lehr. The two churches joined together as one this summer and began renovations on the property, located at 12621 Strickland Road in Raleigh.
To learn more about Southbridge Fellowship, visit www.sfchurch.com.
Contact: Liza Deckelbaum