As the South Louisville Campus of Southeast Christian Church is set to launch Sunday, May 9, two numbers prove God is in the details.
The first is 58.
On July 8, 1962, South Louisville Christian Church Pastor Olin Hay asked those committing to plant Southeast Christian Church to stand for prayer. He saw 53 faithful members stand, prayed for them and then went to his office and wept.
Fast forward exactly 58 years to July 8, 2020. Without noticing the significance of that date, Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman met with elders at South Louisville Christian Church to discuss becoming a Southeast campus.
They talked in a sanctuary once packed with 800 members—a church that grew through two World Wars, the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression, the 1937 Flood and more. It’s a congregation that stayed in the community when a lot of other churches left.
South Louisville elders talked about the challenges of ministry in the shadow of Churchill Downs. Before leaving, Idleman said, “We think we could be better together. Pray about it.”
At a second meeting, they ironed out details. They were easy to adopt, perfectly aligned with Southeast’s mission to reach people one at a time with the love of Jesus.
“I see where the DNA of Southeast originated,” Idleman said
Last September, Southeast’s College-Age Pastor Justin Weece became South Louisville’s campus pastor.
Soon the church was full of University of Louisville students who blended well with longtime members of South Louisville.
The formal launch of the South Louisville Campus is May 9, and church members are ready to celebrate what God is already doing. Everyone is invited to the party.
“We are excited to pray and worship together as we rededicate this building to many more years of impacting our surrounding community with the love of Jesus,” Weece said.
On Sunday, April 11, another surprising number surfaced.
South Louisville sent 53 members to start Southeast, and when Weece counted how many came to the first membership meeting of the South Louisville Campus, there were exactly 53 new members.
That is no coincidence. Weece said he will never forget that Sunday.
“Rarely have I felt God’s assurance as I did in that moment,” he said. “Our history at South Louisville is so rich, but I believe the future will be even richer.”
The significance is not lost on people in the congregation.
Longtime Southeast member Marti Swift couldn’t stop crying.
“My entire family history has changed because of faithful people at this church,” she said. “I thank God every time I think of them.”
Lenora Ott, who attended South Louisville for years, said the church has moved from survival to revival.
What’s happening at the South Louisville Campus seems too good to be true to faithful members of the church.
“Our prayers for the last 20 years are answered every Sunday,” said Joe Douthitt, longtime elder at South Louisville. “There’s perfect timing in how it happened down to the dates and numbers.”