Elevation Church extension provides new worshipping experience

Organizations

By Katie Harmon

North Carolina is just one part of the Bible Belt. This is where, each Sunday, the faithful of all denominations rise early and don their Sunday best with zeal. Businesses are closed on Sundays and church bells are heard over everything else. With so many churches, a person can have difficulty finding the perfect church.

Recently, however, one church has caused quite a stir among the students of High Point University. Late last year, Evan McGuirt founded the HPU extension site of Elevation Church, a Charlotte-based church led by Pastor Steven Furtick.

“Early my freshman year, God put the desire in my heart to share His word in a relevant and meaningful way,” McGuirt explains. “Not until this year did I understand He wanted me to do that through an extension site.” The church’s mission is to “see people far from God raised to life in Christ.”

Elevation has been acknowledged as one of the fastest growing churches in America by Outreach Magazine. When the first Elevation site opened it doors in 2006 it had only 121 members. Since then, the church has seen over 19,000 professions of faith and over 4, 800 baptisms.

The HPU extension of Elevation has grown into a well-respected and recognized organization.

In order to make Elevation possible on campus, McGuirt had to send in an application to the church administration and go through two interviews in order to gain permission to lead the extension site. She also had to put together a “core team,” which would help her get the site started and lead the worship service every Sunday.

“We started the site in the York common room with 20 students attending on the first Sunday,” McGuirt says, “We quickly realized that we needed a larger space to meet.”

Sunday attendance has grown to an average of 60, with 90 people attending on Family Weekend this past February. The group now meets in the Cinema every Sunday at 11:00 a. m. with a full worship band that plays contemporary Christian music.

There must be something special about Elevation Church that warrants such growth and commitment from students.

According to McGuirt, it is “the friendliness of the people and how relevant and impactful Pastor Furtick’s sermons are.”

The pastor’s sermons are pre-recorded at the Charlotte mother church and projected onto the Cinema movie screen.

“The pastor is very engaging,” says Sara Beth McBride, a HPU junior and regular Elevation attendee. “He is able to relate biblical truths in a practical way. He can be funny. He just communicates at my level.”

The church has also gotten a positive review from campus administration. McGuirt is happy to report that “the administrators who have visited the site have been supportive and thought the student-led worship experience was cool.”

The HPU extension is interested in volunteer work as well. During a week in February, which Elevation refers to as “LOVE week,” the core team, along with many student volunteers, teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and donated 35 hours of service.

“We love the city of High Point,” McGuirt explains, “[We] look forward to donating more hours of service in the future.”

The future looks bright for High Point University’s Elevation site. McGuirt believes that there is only good in store.

McGuirt said, “From humble and sacrificial beginnings, God has placed his hand on Elevation Church, and we truly believe the best is yet to come.”

Campus Chronicle
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