Southeast Christian Church is catching the wind of the Holy Spirit in Bullitt County.
Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman announced during weekend services Jan. 18-19 that Southeast will launch its 10th campus, the Bullitt County Campus, in the spring.
“As a church family we have more than 1,000 people who live in Bullitt County and have been a part of that community for a long time,” Idleman said. “Launching this new campus will give them more opportunities to love, serve and care for their neighbors, co-workers and friends right where they live.”
According to recent survey data, 92% of Bullitt County’s 82,000 residents do not have a church home. Bullitt County is among the fastest growing counties in Kentucky.
The campus will hold Sunday services in a temporary facility until a permanent facility has been secured.
“We’re eager to be an active part of the community by sharing the love of Christ,” said Executive Pastor Tim Hester. “So, while the official campus location has not yet been determined, we didn’t want to wait to become a part of this great community.”
Heath Barth, who has served the people of Bullitt County as a Southeast community engagement pastor for the last four years, will be campus pastor.
“I grew up in Bullitt County, so for me it’s a place that has always been close to my heart,” Barth said. “There’s just a need in that community for more and more of Christ’s people doing God’s work. I’m looking forward to being able to mobilize Southeast and the church to be a part of that.”
Barth lives in Shepherdsville with his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters, Hope and Elsie.
“We want this to be a campus that really views the community as its mission field,” Barth said. “We’re launching in a temporary location, so it won’t look like any other campus we’ve ever had.”
Barth said launching in a temporary location with seating for 400 to 600 people will require a team of volunteers for weekly setup and teardown.
“If we had waited for a building to launch a campus, it would have been at least three years at a minimum,” he said. “So, we’re going to be able to start a campus in a community that has been longing for a campus much faster and much more efficiently. We get to hold services and connect people to Jesus and one another without having to sit back and wait for a building or a piece of property.”
In November, Barth helped organize a party where people gathered at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Mount Washington to watch the livestream of Southeast’s Sunday service. More than 400 people attended the event.
About 150 of those who attended signed up to serve in their community or get connected to a community group, and more than 60 of the people who attended had no prior connection to Southeast.
“We learned that people in Bullitt County were looking for opportunities to connect and to serve in their community,” he said. “We quickly realized there’s a desire from people in this community to be a part this church, or at least something we’re doing in Bullitt County.”
Raquel Hubbard, who lives in northern Bullitt County with her husband, Brian, and their three children, was excited to hear the news about the new campus.
“It’s something that our family has been praying about for years,” said Hubbard, who attends services at Southeast’s Southwest Campus. “It’s important for us to pour into our community.”
The Hubbards host a community group in their home, as well as weekly men’s and women’s Bible studies. Hubbard is looking forward to having the support of a Southeast campus nearby.
“Bullitt County has a lot of hurt, addiction and homelessness,” she said. “My hope is that people find hope and a place to belong at the Bullitt County Campus—that they come and find community, acceptance and faith in Jesus.”
Barth said that the campus plans to partner with local ministries such as A Loving Choice Pregnancy Support Center, White Flag Homeless Shelter and Sunrise Children’s Services.
“We want to mobilize our people to begin to have an impact on the lives of people in that community one at a time,” Barth said.
Barth added that the Bullitt County Campus is not being launched to give Southeast members a more convenient commute to church.
“We love the Southeast members who are in the community, but we’re not coming there for them,” he said. “We are coming there for the people who aren’t in relationship with Jesus and need to be. There are a lot of lost people in this community, and we believe Jesus is doing something here, and we’re excited to come alongside what He’s already doing.”
If you are interested in serving at the Bullitt County Campus, text “BC” to 733-733.