The day was 118 years in the making—one no one but God could predict.
The sanctuary at the South Louisville Campus was packed Sunday, May 9, as South Louisville Christian Church became the 14th campus of Southeast Christian Church.
South Louisville planted Southeast 58 years ago. The churches share a long legacy of faith, and they have supported one another, cheered for one another and now are together again.
“God is writing a beautiful story,” said South Louisville Campus Pastor Justin Weece. “He’s brought these two churches together again. Our prayer is to become a church that is multigenerational, multiethnic and multiplying.”
Gail Fleming greeted people making their way into the sanctuary through rain.
“I watch people pour in from all over,” Fleming said. “I’m excited. This church is bringing new life to this community There are college students, old and new members. I’ve been praying over my neighborhood for years. This is the answer to my prayers.”
There were few empty seats in the sanctuary as a diverse group of people sang, “My God will finish what He started … my God, He’s not finished yet.”
The congregation rededicated the building by reading a commitment updated from the one read by the congregation March 11, 1951.
“We dedicate this house to help the needy; to a multigenerational, multiethnic, and multiplying work, to uphold the unity of all believers; to the extension of the kingdom through the whole wide world.”
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“Not often does anything over 100 years old get a new beginning, but that’s what’s happening at South Louisville,” said Neil Seow, South Louisville administrative assistant. “God has breathed new life here and even with the rich history and legacy we have, it is amazing to know the best is yet to come.”
Southeast member Larry Dabney, who hadn’t been back to South Louisville since he left at 15 with the 53 people who planted Southeast, filled a pew with his adult children and grandchildren.
“Looking back, I’d say it turned out OK. Now my grandchildren are running the same halls I did as a kid,” he said.
Dabney’s son, Tim Dabney, now worships at the church where his grandparents, Butch and Billie Dabney, once worshiped and volunteered.
“It’s exciting,” Tim Dabney said. “So many people from the community are coming here.”
Pat Kincaid Stone is the seventh generation to attend church at South Louisville. Relatives from Colorado came to celebrate the launch.
“I’ve been here since a baby, along with my mother and grandmother,” Stone said. “Today is a celebration, a homecoming, a rebirth. This is God’s plan. It’s easy to see His glory in it.”
Southeast Elder John Schmitt and his wife, Lisa, said it was exciting to worship where 53 people committed to launch Southeast in 1962.
“God’s creativity amazes me,” John Schmitt said. “It’s a joy to see how the Lord has brought the two churches together to be better together. He will do more than we ask or imagine.”
Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman prayed for the new campus.
“In this place, help us model what it looks like to put our hope in You,” Idleman said. “That this community will be a beacon of light to draw people to You, for You and You alone. For those who live in the community that we will love one person at a time.”