Throughout our church’s history, God has continued to shape us into true disciples of Jesus. In the mid-1980s, Pastor Walt Handford introduced a more grace-based theology and awakened many hearts with the good news of the Gospel. Following in the leadership footsteps of Walt after he retired in 1996, Pastor Charlie Boyd continued this model of teaching, only to further it as our church would go on to grow in the great grace of Jesus (Acts 4:33). As this God-given growth continued for over 25 years, in August of 2021, the Elders brought Jason Malone on staff to multiply our community to other parts of the Upstate in partnership with Summit Church and the Upstate Church Collective.
Over the last two years, the Elders and Pastoral Team have prayerfully considered what a leadership transition will look like for Jason to take on the role of Directional Pastor while Charlie continues to lead the teaching team, teach regularly, and coach other pastors involved in the UCC. On January 7, 2024, we’ll look to affirm this plan with everyone in our congregation with a final approval on January 21. Thankfully, God has brought us all to one mind and heart with this decision, and we’re incredibly grateful.
Charlie: God has been so gracious to our church family, and one of my greatest joys has been seeing this grace-filled community join God in His work throughout the Upstate and beyond! Since stepping into this position over 25 years ago, people typically ask me, “Where do you see FG in five years?” I always answer it the same way—I hope we’re doing more of what we’re doing now with more people and more effectively. Exporting the DNA of our community allows us to reach more people by planting more churches in our area. Jason Malone moving into a Directional Pastor position will enable us to continue multiplying our community in the great grace of Jesus so others can enjoy what we all love about this church.
Now, what’s next for me? Personally, I’ve never thought about retiring. I didn’t feel called into ministry to retire from ministry. There are those who follow that plan, and that’s fine. But I love what I do, and I want to keep serving as long as I’m able. That’s why I plan on continuing to lead the teaching team and teach as often as I currently do while pouring into other pastors we’ve equipped to lead other churches with the Fellowship DNA. By God’s grace, we’ve finally turned the corner from what could be to what will be, and that’s exciting to me, Jason, and the Elders.
Jason: The picture of “church growth” in Acts chapters 2-4 is that God expanded the church, as those who had been called into a relationship with God through Jesus, lived their transforming lives with gospel intentionality in their spheres of influence. Growth was never the goal but the by-product of a church committed to Gospel-preaching, prayer, fellowship, unity, generosity, and caring for people both inside and outside the community of faith. When a church gives itself to these things, God grows the church as He sees fit. All numerical growth is God’s doing and is the evidence that His “great grace” is at work in and through His people.
God intended every church to have the seed of multiplication in it. The nature of the Church is one of reproduction. It is not here for itself, and the purpose of the church is caught up in the promise of God—I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. Seeing the church grow, expand, and multiply through Christ-followers sharing and showing how Jesus and the gospel changes all of life has been my heartbeat and passion through the years. As Fellowship Greenville enters its next phase of ministry multiplication, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve this community with the purpose of expanding God’s great grace to our surrounding communities.