Grace Uprising

Posted: March 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

There’s a lotta love for people oozing from a barely noticed southwest corner of Nashville. It’s called Bellevue. And it’s the area of town where you will find our local church. But before I dive into the who, what and where about our church, I thought I’d share a little insight into the community we’ve been called to serve.

This little southwest corner of Davidson County has an interesting short-lived history.

According to some written reports, as late as just 40 years ago the area called Bellview simply existed to service the needs of nearby farms. Back then, there was an active railroad running along the Harpeth River (a great place for canoeing, by the way), a few scattered buildings and a post office. The post office served Bellview, Tennessee (note that today’s spelling is Bellevue, I have no clue about why the change). But in the ’70’s, the USPS came along and gobbled it up, officially making it another Nashville area post office. Thank you Wikipedia.

Story has it that the Harpeth Valley Elementary School over on Highway 100 was the inspiration for the hit country song “Harper Valley PTA”. Who knew? But would you expect any less from Music City USA?

Fast forward to 2010, our church is one of many in Bellevue, There is literally a church on almost every corner. And we know there are some 400,000 people living within a 20-mile radius of our physical church building located on HWY 70S.

And that is a GREAT thing!

We’ve determined if every one of those 400,000 showed up in church at the same time, there would NOT be enough room in existing churches to house them. So each and every church in the Bellevue area is important, not one above the other.

We are now known as Grace Uprising. We have two lead pastors. That’s right. Two. Two. Two pastors in one (pathetic reference to old doublemint gum commercial). Simply stated, we are two churches that recently blended to one with a rich story full of “God’s mighty hand” on a vision that wouldn’t die.

The “how it all began” is way to lengthy for this post, but rest assured if you read regularly, you’ll get the gist.

Long story short: My husband Joe met Pastor David Crawford at Starbucks. (Those that know us are not surprised at a Starbucks reference.) Their growing personal friendship and similar visions for reaching Bellevue and beyond brought “our church to their church” about a year ago. The journey included lots of prayer, a zillion meetings and late night discussions, staff members who didn’t agree with the merger and left, new people who visited and stayed, plus a whole host of blessings through a core group of people who never doubted and are still serving alongside us today.

We’re excited about what God has been doing since we ‘blended’. We’ve seen great growth in attendance and especially in committed giving. (That’s a huge praise for us as a family as my husband now makes a full-time salary again! PTL!) God has also filled positions that had been empty for months, including children’s and student ministry leadership, as well as operations, facilities and audio/visual. We even have full time cafe/hospitality leaders and just last week we landed a part-time administrative assistant for the office.

It’s been God’s timing not ours.

Now looking back, I clearly understand the learning that needed to take place to get us where we are today. I cannot say enough about how hard my hubby and Pastor D have worked to carry out God’s plan. Their weekly prayer sessions, strong commitment to leadership development in themselves and others, and a love for Jesus that’s been pretty much unmatched in anyone I know.

Note: If you have a conversation with one of our pastors, you WILL talk about Jesus. A lot.

And as I mentioned at the very beginning, we are part of a community literally oozing with love for people through dozens and dozens of churches. I see the love for our community all around us – like down the street at Bellevue Baptist Church where my mom attends, teaches children’s Sunday School and sings in the choir. And the community is all abuzz about the new Crosspoint Bellevue campus that launches soon. We couldn’t be more excited for Pete Wilson and what God will do through that work.

This is what I know. Our church, along with all of them in the southwest corner of the county, are waging war against the enemy. Grace Uprising, along with the many other Jesus loving churches in our neck of the woods, are ready to take on anything that comes our way.

For me, God has brought me into a new place. Yes, I’m a pastor’s wife. And my number one job is to love and support the ministry work of my man. But I feel God’s hand pressing in on me on what I believe to be a natural place of service.

I’m jazzed about finding, leading and training our core volunteers. I’m on fire to help people discover their “sweet spot of service” in the church. Over the next few months, you’ll hear my heart on why I believe that is so important, and why it wasn’t until recently I felt called to help guide the area of ministry. Stay tuned for that, as they say.

Please pray for Grace Uprising. Please pray for our leadership. And above all, please pray that God would equip us to minister to those who come our way.


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