Across the nation, many churches were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a loss of members/attendees and ministry to their respective communities. While most churches have rebounded from the pandemic, some churches were and are fighting for their lives. Nehemiah Baptist Church was one of those churches.
Nehemiah Baptist Church was founded in 2001 and made Cool Ridge, West Virginia its home in 2005. The church experienced tremendous new growth and impacting missions to the community through the late 2000s and early 2010s. By 2015, after experiencing a number of challenging transitions, the church was in need of revitalization. Dr. Brian Harmon, founder of NBC, returned from serving as the Dean of Academics at Northeastern Baptist College to begin revitalization of the church.
In August of 2021, following a year of recovering from the pandemic, Pastor Harmon and the church leaders began praying and asking God for a new vision for the church. When asked why replant and rebrand Nehemiah Baptist Church? Harmon replied, “We knew things couldn’t stay the same, we needed to grow and we wanted a greater influence in our community, so we had to take a huge step of faith by replanting NBC.”
Pastor Harmon was led to name the new replant LifeSpring after studying in the Book of Isaiah chapter 43:18-19. “Verse 19 leaptoff the page at me, ‘Behold I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it.’ For the Israelites this meant God doing something greater than parting the Red Sea, He was going to bring fresh spiritual renewal and transformation to his people as they returned to Jerusalem. For Lifespring, it is a message of God wanting us to forget the past, witness what He is going to do in our lives now, and trusting in His promises for what is next.”
Since January 2022, the core members have been transitioning from their old identity and ministry to their new identity as a missional church. LifeSpring Church moved out of the old Nehemiah Baptist Church building and began worshipping at Marquee Cinemas from April to August while the building was renovated and transitioned to LifeSpring. “We wanted to create an atmosphere that is distinctively LifeSpring and remove all references to NBC.” Harmon said.
“We want our new families to embrace our vision for vibrant worship, biblical preaching, life groups for growing as a community, and meaningful ministry and compassion for our community,” Harmon added. When asked, Why another church? Harmon replied, “First of all we are not trying to be different from other churches in our community. That’s what pastors of new churches and split offs say, 'we are trying to be different from other churches.' Our desire at LifeSpring is to be biblical in our function as a church and missional in our approach to the community.” LifeSpring Church launches August 28, 2022 with coffee and continental breakfast at 9:15-9:45am and worship gathering at 10am. Nursery and children’s church provided.