CHURCH PLANT IN WILMINGTON, NC
REV'D CURT SOLOMON
JANUARY 26TH, 2017
If you’d asked me five years ago what I’d be doing in ten, I’d have said my lifelong career would be in youth ministry. That gray-haired guy launching a potato rocket to earn the ear of high schoolers: me. The one staying up for all-nighters at youth camp squirting shaving cream for the chance to tell middle schoolers about Jesus: sign me up till I’m 85.
After spending 17 years working with middle and high school students, my heart started to break for a new demographic of God’s people: their families and other adults. It became clear, through prayer and study of the Scripture, that God was beginning a new ministry with me. Erin, my wonderful bride and I, had no idea how the Lord would lead us in this new direction and what form it would take. Fast forward three years, His plan for us is to plant an Anglican church in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Unbelievable! That is exactly what we thought. Not a bad gig, right?
January 17 and 18 of last year, Erin and I went to Wilmington and began to really pray about that opportunity. We walked around town and on the beach, of course. We drove all over the city, too. We met with a couple of families who we knew in town that weekend as well. The city seemed strangely comforting to us, and we asked God to make His call and His intentions abundantly clear. Not long after, we counted 18 days in a row that something new or unexpected about Wilmington came to our attention. There were contacts with people who had moved to Wilmington or new folks there, facts about the area, questions about church planting, and even the word “Wilmington” came from random sources. Without striving to seek out God’s approval and allowing this all to be laid before us, He provided. It felt like a whirlwind of excitement and apprehension. Yet, it became and has continued to become more and more clear that God is doing something in Wilmington. He wants us to pack up our family and our Anglican heritage and tradition, and head down east.
Wilmington is a coastal town of about 200,000 people. While it’s the eighth largest city in the state, it still has a small-town feel. There are global businesses and tiny surf shops. People seem to be very intentional about being connected to a community or group of people, but there seems to be awesome opportunity to show folks what christian community looks and feels like.
Almost a year to the day later, we are well on our way. A plant group has formed of about 35 adults and kids and is growing. We have prayed and chosen the name Christ our Hope Anglican. We have begun a fundraising campaign in and around Raleigh, our current home. It has been a blast to meet new folks, some of whom have come to us from other churches in the diocese.
We are diverse in age, in our backgrounds of faith, and in our interests. From new babies to college students to grown adults, we all want one thing: to respond to God’s call for a relationship-centered liturgical Gospel church. It’s a tall order, but we are confident God will lead us. He is the only hope. He is Christ our Hope!
Please pray for His mission in Wilmington. It’s a wonderful city where he is already at work, so we are honored to join other believers in this good work. Please also let us know if you have any special Wilmington info or if there are people we need to meet. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 248-4888.