On Sunday, Oct. 4, a gym became a sanctuary for the launch of the Bullitt County Campus, the 12th campus of Southeast Christian Church. 

Volunteers who had been looking forward to this day arrived at Eastside Middle School in Mount Washington before sunrise to get everything set up. In 90 minutes, they put down flooring, set up the platform, readied the Children’s Ministry area and put up signs. No one had any idea how many people they’d welcome to the new campus.

They had a few clues.

More than 400 attended a Livestream Watch Party last November and 500 attended the next gathering at the Bullitt County Fairgrounds.

Volunteers and staff welcomed more than 800 people to the first two official services.

Southeast Executive Pastor Tim Hester watched it unfold.

“After such a long delay, it was exciting to finally get to start our worship services in Bullitt County,” Hester said. “God has already been working within and through our Bullitt County church family, and we are humbled and grateful for their patience as we had to delay opening. The truth is that though our worship services have just begun, our Bullitt County family has been a church for a long time in spite of the delay.”

Bullitt County Campus Pastor Heath Barth said the number of new faces energized his team.

“This was a first connection for a number of new people we have not seen before,” Barth said. “We spent a lot of time during COVID-19 getting to know people. On Sunday, many showed up who know us by name.”

Chad Brooks and his son Max greeted guests before the first service.

“It was exciting,” Chad Brooks said. “By the time the service started, people were standing in the back.”

Each person was ushered to a seat to observe social distancing. Children were also safely distanced in classrooms.

Stephanie Powell loved worship in the school turned sanctuary.

“They transformed it into a great place to worship,” Powell said. “All the people greeting and serving did not let COVID-19 hinder them from coming.”

Jim and Vanessa Parker serve with the launch team, Sunday setup and are decision guides for those who want to accept Christ and be baptized.

“It was exciting,” Jim said. “It seemed like everybody was happy to worship together. We’ve had a baptism in a trough at every gathering and someone came forward to be baptized next week. That’s a great beginning.”