For many, the launch of Southeast Christian Church’s River Valley Campus was a “full circle” moment.
River Valley officially opened its doors as Southeast’s seventh campus Sunday, June 2, but the campus in Prospect, Kentucky, has a long history with Southeast.
In his sermon this past weekend, Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman told the story of Southeast’s history through the lens of a man named Clarence Durham.
In 1962, 53 members of South Louisville Christian Church said “yes” to leaving the comfort of familiar pews and follow God’s calling to start a new church in Louisville’s east end—Southeast Christian Church.
Two of those people were Durham and his wife, Frances.
Durham sat in Goldsmith Elementary School, where Southeast met for its first services. He and those 52 others helped launch a church that would grow into a body of more than 25,000 in seven communities in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
But Durham didn’t remain at Southeast forever. Idleman said in his sermon that God called him and others to begin a new church in the Prospect, Kentucky, area.
They named it River Valley Christian Church, which, as of last Sunday, became Southeast’s River Valley Campus.
Durham attended the launch Sunday.
The River Valley Campus is a testament to God’s planning and timing.
Others have seen God at work in Southeast’s newest campus, including Terry and Tracey Roach.
The Roaches were Southeast members for several years in the 90s and early 2000s.
Around 15 years ago, they transferred to River Valley Christian Church for their son, Sam.
“Our son has disabilities and, at the time, was more comfortable with a smaller church family,” Terry Roach said. “We were sad to leave Southeast, but we knew that River Valley was a Bible-believing church right down the road where we could be a light in the community.”
Terry became an elder at River Valley Christian Church, and was one of the elders who reached out to Southeast about becoming a part of the Southeast family.
“Twenty years ago, no one would have guessed that God would bring River Valley Christian Church into the Southeast family,” Tracey Roach said. “It’s amazing that this was part of God’s plan for so long, and He made it happen at just the right time. And to see something like that unfold can only make your faith in Christ more real.”
As launch day approached, River Valley Campus staff and volunteers were buzzing with anticipation. Tents went up around the campus for children’s programming and first-time guests.
When the day arrived, people from all over the community came to services, some for the first time.
Terry Roach, who spent Sunday serving in the Children’s Ministry, joked that his wife had already befriended everyone who attended the campus that day.
“We’ve already seen a lot of new faces, and we’re praying those new faces become familiar faces, friends and members of our church family soon,” Tracey Roach said.
The launch was a day of excitement and new connections. At the beginning and end of the day, River Valley Campus Pastor Mark Berggren gathered his staff and volunteers and prayed that those connections would only continue.
Terry Roach said he is excited to bring the energy of Southeast to the community.
“We’re really excited about the whole staff, and all the people who have been so eager to serve others and help make this campus a place where people can hear about Jesus,” Terry Roach said. “Southeast is a church that continues to go into the community, and meet people right where they are, and I think that’s what I’m most excited for. We’ve been calling ourselves a light on a hill for a long time, and we’re eager to see what God’s going to do with our light, now that we’re part of an even bigger church family.”
The Roaches and so many others are excited to see what God will do in the Prospect and Goshen communities through the River Valley Campus.
“We have been praying for this weekend for a long time,” Berggren said. “We’re so excited to see how God is going to use this campus for His glory.”
The River Valley Campus has services on Sundays at 9 and 10:30 a.m., and noon. Children’s programming is available for birth through fifth grade. To get connected at the River Valley Campus, visit www.southeastchristian.org/rivervalley or call (502) 228-2828.