Our Story

 

Sometimes big things start out very small! In the fall of 1996, a group of five couples began meeting together for a small group Bible study. There they found spiritual growth, community, and accountability that they had never experienced before. . . and they loved it.

 

Word spread, others joined, and the group soon grew to more than 40 people, all meeting weekly at the St. Andrews apartment complex. It wasn't long before God laid a vision on their hearts – a new kind of church grounded in Godʼs word but formed around the small group encounters that had changed their lives. By Christmas time 1996, the decision was made: This little group would become a new church. The first public worship service was held the Sunday before Christmas 1996 at Jonathan Byrdʼs Cafeteria.

 

In January 1997, the church was formally organized under the name Grace Fellowship. The new church had no long-term pastor, because Sunday services were taught by Pastor Woody Church who was then in the process of opening Rod and Staff Biblical Counseling Center. A search committee began looking for a full-time pastor and on June 1, 1997, Pastor Scott Luck officially preached his first sermon as pastor of Grace Fellowship. Services at this time were very traditional in nature, but the heavy emphasis on small group study and discussion never changed.

 

Soon the church grew to 150 members and services began meeting at Pleasant Grove Elementary School. By 1998, the church had again outgrown its location and moved to the Center Grove High School auditorium. Around that same time, the church purchased 35 acres of land at State Road 37 and Stones Crossing Road, a purchase that was paid in full in just over one year.

 

Though the church was growing consistently, most of its early members were transfers from other local churches. But in 1999 Pastor Scott began to have a vision for a church that would reach out to the unchurched, those who had given up on church, and those far from God. He took the unconventional step of knocking on doors in the community, asking residents why they believed so many people avoided church. Their answers revealed several common themes: The sermons were boring and not relevant to their lives. The church was a place of cliques, where they would be treated like outsiders. They were wanted and valued only for their potential financial contribution. And they didn't feel comfortable leaving their children in the care of the volunteers.

 

Based on this, an intentional decision was made to begin to transform Grace Fellowship into a church that would build up the existing body of believers while at the same time extending its reach to those who might otherwise never find hope in Christ. The name was changed to The Church at Stones Crossing, a more contemporary name which explained our location while personifying the more relaxed feel the church wanted to convey. Sermons were prepared to be biblical but not boring. Music, drama, and media were programmed to be sensitive to contemporary culture, while still uncompromisingly scriptural. The leadership of the church began to examine every message the church was sending – spoken and unspoken – right down to Pastor Scottʼs suit and tie (which were promptly abandoned, much to his delight, in favor of more casual wardrobe choices that told guests he was a regular guy, just like them.)

 

Change is always hard, and there was a whole lot of it going on at Stones Crossing. Not everyone welcomed the new format, but the church leadership prayerfully discerned that it was the direction the Lord was leading the church. And because the vision of the leadership was clear, the church soon caught their heart for reaching the lost. The charge was repeated consistently: invite your friends and your neighbors and your co-workers and we will meet them where they are, and then point them toward Christ. And that is precisely what happened.