Home Christian News Megachurch Leads the Way in Ethnically Diverse Merger

Megachurch Leads the Way in Ethnically Diverse Merger

“When I was introduced to them,” he said, “there was approximately 40 people in attendance. And I would say all of those, except for one family — and husband and a wife and two little preschool daughters — were either on fixed income or empty nesters. There was not preschool children or youth ministries, and the church was over $1 million in the hole. And that simply is not sustainable.”

Velasquez and Tanner formed a friendship before the merger, Tanner said, describing Velasquez as “abundantly gracious.”

“What we’re hoping, with Pastor Nathan being the new senior pastor, he will be able to invest time that is needed to continue to strive to reach into the community,” Tanner said. “We had a fall festival last weekend (Oct. 30). That’s the first true ministry that’s been held at that church in a number of years.”

“So we’re prayerfully hoping that the Lord would take our efforts, bless them and began to use them to reach the community.”

New Vision will work to revitalize other churches in need, Freeman said, seeing the revitalization as healthy for New Vision as well as the churches it helps.

“For those 40 people sent – men women and children,” Freeman said of the team sent to First LaVergne, “this can be a milestone spiritual marker in their lives.

“The thought of inviting people to participate in something like this, and then helping them as they do, has an appeal for us,” Freeman said. “It’s not dissimilar from sending someone on a mission trip. Some of the people who went have stepped into real leadership positions over there.”

After the revitalization team left New Vision, slots opened at New Vision for other members to fill.

“It gave us a chance to say to our congregation, hey, we’re sending out these people which gives us slots here,” Freeman said. “So now is your opportunity to step in. And you’re serving the kingdom by serving us as we serve LaVergne.

“It really excites our church family.”

This article originally appeared at Baptist Press.