New Charlotte + Church at Charlotte
God is doing something new...
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for the prayers, support, feedback, and comments you’ve offered while journeying with us over these past several weeks.
We are excited to inform you that with an affirmative vote from Church at Charlotte and our own unanimous vote as the New Charlotte elders, we are officially entering into the blending phase of our merger.
Effective September 1, New Charlotte and Church at Charlotte will be united as one with Chris Payne serving as Senior Pastor. Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will continue to provide you with information as we seek God in this great purpose He has called us to.
Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated as we begin to unite these two vibrant churches into one new body of believers. We eagerly anticipate the Only God moments that will shape us, mold us, and make us one.
- Why blending? What are the benefits?
Three words come to mind: Relationship, Purpose and Prayer
Our desire to blend churches began out of an existing relationship. Chris and Jimmy have known each other for 10+ years, and out of that relationship, a partnership formed between our 2 churches. As individual churches, we share a common purpose and heart for our city and world. CAC has been praying for the last season who would succeed Jimmy and lead their church into the future. NCC has been praying about how to further expand our purpose into the city and world.
We believe this next step is God’s answer to both prayers. We believe as one united Church, we can go further faster in bringing gospel renewal to our city and world.
Our relationship, our purpose and our prayers have united us. In this season of seeking God for His direction, we (the leadership of CAC and NCC) are confident God is at work, weaving our stories together.
- How did this come about?
In December of 2016, Jimmy approached Chris with the idea. The Kallams and the Paynes then began to pray about this possibility. Those conversations and prayers continued through the summer of 2017 and began to include a few key individuals.
In October of 2017 through June of 2018, both boards began individual and collective conversations about the feasibility of bringing both churches together.
In June 2018, both boards voted unanimously to move forward with presenting this opportunity to their congregations.
- Who will be our pastor?
Chris Payne will be the Senior Pastor, beginning September 1st, 2018.
Jimmy Kallam will remain in a leadership role until January of 2019.
For the first time in 42 years, Jimmy and Suzi believe that God has released them from leadership and freed them to pursue what is next for them. We are committed to supporting Jimmy and Suzi as they embark on the next chapter of their lives and ministry, and we’re excited they will remain part of our church family for years to come.
RJ Caswell will serve as the Executive Pastor.
Our three campus pastors will be:
- Brian Johnson at CAC SouthPark
- Ryan Falls at CAC Matthews
- J Nicholson at NCC Matthews
- Will there be a new name?
For the first 6 months of transition, both church names will sit side by side, uniting around our common purpose of bringing gospel renewal to our city and world.
God is a doing a new work in the lives of both churches as we become one. We believe that new work calls for a new name. Our staff leadership has begun a process to research and discover what that name will be. Our hope is to reveal the new name in February of 2019, and the corresponding rebranding.
CAC and NCC will always be a part of our story, and we have already begun thinking creatively about how to honor both names and stories as we move forward in this new chapter.
- NCC 2020
Our elder team sees this merger as part of our original 2020 expansion plan. In fact, our 2020 team discussed the possibility of expansion through partnership/merger in 2015 not knowing about this specific opportunity.
The New Charlotte campus will be used extensively with this merger and will be a major ministry location for years to come.
Your 2020 contributions will continue to be used to spread the Gospel to many in the Greater Charlotte area. In fact, we believe our churches united will give us even more opportunities to reach people in our city.
If you gave to 2020, please be confident that those gifts have been used and will continue to be used for the Gospel both now and in the future. If you still have a pledge to fulfill, we want to encourage you to do so in order to help us take the Gospel further and faster.
- Did we pursue this merger because of a financial need connected to 2020?
No; the 2020 campaign was very successful and the financial health of New Charlotte is strong.
- Ministry Model
The ministry model for the blended church will resemble the current ministry model that New Charlotte operates under. It is a simple church model that emphasizes the ministry environments of Worship, Community, and Service.
Our desire is to create environments where God has been known to work best (Acts 2) and help others to engage them.
- What does this mean for our city and world?
This story of our churches uniting is one our city and world needs more of. People should see the Church working together to complete the work of God, not competing against one another.
Our hope is the combined church allows us to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus to a wider audience. There are close to 1 million people in the greater Charlotte area who do not have a saving relationship with Jesus. We want people to see and hear the gospel multiple times during their time in Charlotte. Beyond our city, we’ll be able to engage each of our current international partnerships and bring even more people and resources to them.
- Staff Question
Our hope is the current church staff at each church will find a place on the new staff. There is no intention to displace current staff members.
- Elder Question
The current elders of NCC and CAC will form a new elder board together. All active elders (as of Sept 1) will comprise the new board. The board will be co-chaired by one elder from NCC and one elder from CAC.
After one year, the new board will select its own board chair. After the first year, the plan is to have a board that consists of 7-9 congregational elders and one staff elder (Senior Pastor).
- What does this mean for Sunday morning at NCC?
Our current service times and programming at New Charlotte will remain the same for the fall of 2018. In January 2019, and beyond, we may adjust times to coordinate with each campus.
Chris Payne will preach both live and via video at the New Charlotte campus. There will be a broader preaching team with the merged churches, and will eventually include Jimmy Kallam as well. Our worship and format will remain the same.
J Nicholson will continue to be Worship Pastor and also serve as the New Charlotte Campus Pastor.
- Will we be in a denomination?
The merged church will be in the Evangelical Free Church of America, the denomination, where CAC is now. The EFCA is an association of autonomous churches united around the same theological convictions. If you would like more information about what this denomination stands for, visit their website here.
- What are the phases/timelines of this process?