The Apex Church in Raleigh, N.C., also known as The Vine, achieved the status of an organized church on March 11, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the church’s history. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its members, who have been working tirelessly for the past few years to establish a church in the Apex region.
The journey to becoming an organized church began in August 2019, when a small group of 20 members from the Raleigh Church started planning a church plant in the Apex area. They met regularly for several months, discussing strategies and setting goals, with a focus on reaching the unchurched population.
The group grew quickly, and by February 2020, even before moving to their desired location, three people had already been baptized as a result of their evangelistic efforts. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they continued to meet online, and created a Sabbath School online class to invite friends and family to join them each Sabbath.
Finally, on September 21, 2020, the group was able to meet in person for the first time. In April 2021, they received company status, a critical milestone that affirmed their work in the community. Since then, the church has continued to grow, with a total of 12 people baptized, numerous Bible studies, family activities, and even participation in a local parade.
The official recognition of the church’s status as an organized church was celebrated on March 11, 2023, with a farewell to Cris Cazarine Dutra, pastor, who had been leading the church since its inception. During the service, Jesse Guerrero, who was featured in one of Carolina’s evangelism videos, was ordained as an elder in the church. Gary Moyer, Carolina Conference vice president for administration, introduced the new pastor, Josue Sanchez, and presented the official plaque to the outgoing and incoming pastors.
Moyer spoke about the significance of becoming a church and the responsibility that comes with it, stating, “To become a church means the Carolina Conference is trusting [them] to take the name of the world Seventh-day Adventist Church and represent it in the Apex community.” It was a reminder to the members that their new status as an organized church was not just a formal recognition of their work, but also a call to be a faithful representation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in their community. The occasion was a celebration of their efforts to reach the unchurched, and the affirmation of their work by the Carolina Conference and the Seventh- day Adventist Church.
The Apex Church’s journey toward becoming a fully organized church has been marked by hard work and perseverance, despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The church’s commitment to reaching the unchurched has resulted in numerous baptisms, Bible studies, family activities, and participation in local events. The status of organized church is a significant milestone that affirms the church’s work in the community, and the Carolina Conference and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have placed their trust in The Vine to represent them in the Apex community. Moving forward, the church members are excited to continue their evangelistic efforts and spread the message of hope and love to all.
Carolina | May 2023