Sundays at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

A history of Stones 

The very beginning

In the fall of 1996, 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 God’s Word but formed around the small group encounters that had changed their lives. By Christmastime 1996, the decision was made: this little group would become a new church. The first public worship service was held the Sunday before Christmas in 1996 at Jonathan Byrd’s 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 was on small groups.

Continuing to grow

Soon the church grew to 150 members and services began meeting at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Greenwood. 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.

Becoming Stones Crossing Church

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 Stones Crossing Church, a more contemporary name which explained the church’s location while personifying the more relaxed feel the church wanted to convey. The goal of this “attractional” style of ministry was to attract unbelievers to Jesus and the church by using music, drama, and media that were sensitive to contemporary culture while sermons remained uncompromisingly scriptural.

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 a heart for reaching the lost. The charge was repeated consistently: invite your friends, your neighbors, and co-workers. We will meet them where they are and then point them toward Christ. And that is precisely what happened.

A new building

Early in 2002, Stones Crossing leadership unveiled the “Time to Build” campaign to begin raising funds for a new church building. At the time, Sunday services were averaging 260 people, and the leadership met with every small group to cast vision, answer questions, and discuss the plans for the new building. Commitment Sunday was planned for the summer of 2002 and a goal was set to raise $250,000 in two-year commitments to the building campaign. Instead, Stones Crossing families committed more than $425,000 and construction began on the new facility.

The first worship service in the current location was held in July 2003. This move to a permanent location resulted in steady growth for the church. By 2015, Stones was averaging over 1,000 in attendance every weekend. The growth of the church translated into building expansion. Ministry space for middle and high school ministry was added adjacent to the café in 2009 and the auditorium was renovated in 2016. The church’s largest expansion included additional children’s ministry, counseling space, as well as the purchase and renovation of the house directly east of the church completed in 2019.

All the measures of a healthy church were pointing in the right direction for Stones—attendance and giving were strong, church involvement was at an all-time high, the congregation was being mobilized into mission. But there was one problem: Pastor Scott was quickly becoming burned out by the constant demands of ministry as well as pressure to grow the church more and more. This exhaustion drove him back to the only place where one can find renewal and refreshment: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Through a prayerful study of Scripture, Pastor Scott came to see that God loves us not because we are good and righteous but because God alone is good and righteous. He realized what had always been in Scripture: our value as people is not based on what we can accomplish or achieve, but on what Jesus accomplished and achieved for us. Pastor Scott was set free from the weariness of always trying harder and doing more and more to earn God’s love.

Gospel-centered ministry

In 2015, the church transitioned from an “attractional” style of ministry to a gospel-centered ministry that proclaimed every week the greatest news in the history or the world—Jesus loves sinners and died to save them.

Our measure for success as a church was no longer simply attendance and giving numbers, but how many people were growing in their love for God, His Word, and for the community at large. Our breathtaking vision for the future is a church expressing love in authentic community, living under the authority of God’s Word, and pouring ourselves out in gospel-centered mission—all empowered by the grace of God.

Be a part of our story. Join us on Sundays at 9:00 or 10:45 a.m.