- Baptist Beacon
A replant in Lenawee county
by Nathan Sharpe
ADRIAN, MI – The call on my life has always been to teach God’s Holy Word. For many of those years it had been in a Christian school environment. Around 2018, I started to feel a strong Spirit-led desire to move into the pastorate. God provided a small church for me to step into. Over the years, the church had dwindled down to about 18 people.
I felt called to the church, but I did not feel that God was calling me to this church to close the doors. There was a future and a mission for this small congregation. I told the leadership team I would do it, but they had to be willing to make changes and step towards replanting the church. They expressed their desire to do so and they also believed that God was not saying it was time to close the church.
Shortly after my installment, COVID hit and sidelined our plans. Like most churches we went virtual for a while, but the school where we were meeting showed no signs of letting us back in the building. We started to look for other options. Finally a realtor we knew told us about a small church that was not officially on the market yet and we went to see it. This was definitely a move of God.
When we stepped into the building, I recognized the pastor and his wife. I attended high school with their daughter. We caught up a bit and viewed the church. It was perfect! It was a little big for a group of 18, but it would allow us to grow.
It was also right in the middle of a needy neighborhood. There would be plenty of opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We prayed and felt like God had led us there for a reason. We bought the building and the congregation was so excited. But God wasn’t finished yet.
About 3 weeks after buying the building we got a call from the pastor who had previously owned the building. He asked to meet with us. I was a little concerned that something might be wrong with the closing so we set something up for that day. Little did we know the blessing that God would give us. The pastor explained that because they were closing the church that they could not keep the money that the church had in its coffers. He said they had prayed about how to disperse the money, and handed us an envelope with a check for half of what we paid for the building. We were flabbergasted! Tears started to flow over this amazing gift that God in his sovereignty had shown.
Over the course over the next few months God continued to show his blessing and communicate that the church, now known as Catalyst Church, has a future, and is part of his plan to reach Lenawee County and beyond.
He has shown his blessing and support through Josh Tovey and Matt Thompson of Redemption Church in Grandville, MI as they became our sending church. He has shown blessings through the support of NAMB and the SEND Network. Over and over we have seen the Lord say, “You are not done yet. I have a mission for you!”
The church is growing both in number and in love for God and others. We know that God will continue to provide as we step towards his mission for us to show the change Jesus brings to our neighborhood and Lenawee County. May His name be praised!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Sharpe is a church planter and Lead Pastor for Catalyst Church in Adrian, Michigan. He is a school teacher and coach at Lenawee Christian school.