Church merger seen as sign of hope and growth

Friday, November 13, 2009

There is strength and power in numbers.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

After several months of discussion and prayer, the LifeSong Family Church of Lewisburg and the Grace Church in Chapel Hill on Old Highway 99 merged into one family.

Grace Church will now be called Grace Church, a LifeSong Family Church, and will be under the wing of the LifeSong Family Church located in Lewisburg on Ellington Parkway.

"We are more than a church, we are a family," said senior LifeSong pastor Rocky Cunningham, speaking to the congregation at Grace Church.

Cunningham added, "I had a vision that God would give us five churches to plant in Chapel Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, Fayetteville, and Shelbyville."

LifeSong is under the direction of the Church of God in Anderson, Ind.

Cunningham talked about what the merger means, saying, "It means growth, it means God's will. Setting an example where most churches are dividing and are finding reasons to be divided, we have found a reason to come together and merge and be one as God has intended."

LifeSong was already in the midst of planting a church in Chapel Hill, renting the old Church of God building on Depot Street when discussions began in June between Carnes and Cunningham and the leaders of the two churches before finalization took place.

Current Grace Church pastor Douglas Carnes, who will co-pastor the Chapel Hill church along with LifeSong executive pastor Phillip Bennett spoke about the merger of the two churches.

"I think if we just have an open heart to change and be willing to let go of fear, doubt, concern, and anxiety and if we can do that we can accomplish a lot. To me this is just a great, great win for our community. And I truly believe and I hope this isn't the last one. I hope and pray that we will see more bodies unifying under the cause of Jesus Christ. He is the reason for everything."

Bennett, a Caney Spring resident said about the merger, "We are going to tear down walls and denominations and all the things that segregate and separate churches. We are tearing all those walls down and uniting everybody together under one banner and one theme and that is Jesus Christ."

LifeSong owns 30 acres on the North Ellington campus and is readying for the opening of the Lewisburg Christian Academy.

LifeSong is scheduled to begin kindergarten and first grade classes this fall and in three years grow into a full K-12 private non-denominational Christian school.

Cunningham talked about the venture, saying, "We are scheduled to open for kindergarten and first grade this year, move to second grade next year and, if the economy permits us to move forward with our building project, we will have a facility built in the third year which will be K-12. We will be able to move the whole school over to that facility at that time."

Information about the times of services, church ministries, and the Lewisburg Christian Academy can be found at