Submitted by: Joshua Sholock
Submitted by: Joshua Sherlock
In the midst of a pandemic the pastors for the Dayton Community Chapel (DCC) in Dayton, Tenn., chose to have an in-person evangelistic series because the Word of God asks all to unite in sharing the gospel to those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The pandemic has caused trauma for each and every person, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of the Adventist movement has a remedy for trauma. Joshua Sholock, then Bowman Hills intern pastor, believes stepping out in faith during a time that Satan wanted them to stay away, made the difference. He likes what Light Bearers/Arise has coined, “The year you scared the devil.”
Richie Halversen, pastor for the Bowman Hills Church in Cleveland, Tenn, asked Sholock if he would help undergo re-planting for the nearby DCC. Sholock said, “Yes.”
According to Sholock, 35 people are listed as church members with only two attending occasionally. There are now individuals joining who have their membership elsewhere who want to help regrow the congregation.
A few of the baptismal candidates were once Adventist members, but due to encounters with legalism and perfectionistic teachings, they left the Church. Word has now gone out in Dayton that DCC desires to be Christ centered. It is a come-as-you-are church, not a get-better-then-come church. Sholock wants people to feel that they do not need to wear a “Sabbath, everything’s alright” mask. Everyone is dealing with some level of shame. This needs to be talked about, not pushed aside.
As they strategize with Halversen and meet with the core group to help energize and inspire for more growth projects, ideas they have include outreach events, community block parties, and things that would help grow the church younger. They want to make and keep evangelism as a main pillar of Dayton Commnity Chapel’s DNA.
Sholock is excited about the way God is already working to grow the small congregation. He asks for prayer, both for himself as he starts seminary, and for the continued growth of DCC.
Georgia-Cumberland | February 2021