GwdToday.com is a fairly new website that has some info on what is happenning in the growing metropolis of Greenwood, SC. They had a great article on North Side that someone pointed me too. I have the article below or you can check it out here.

North Side

Northside Baptist Church is growing by leaps and bounds….and numbers are not important to this congregation! Although number-wise, the church is one of the largest in the Greenwood County, (1,497 members), this fact is not as important as the message that is being shared. You see, according to Community Pastor of Northside, Jamie Parler, “a church is not a building…it is the people, whether there are 17 or 7,000 doesn’t matter to us…what matters is the message that we want each and everyone to learn and share with others: the message of Jesus Christ.”

Northside is very much involved in several community outreach programs. One such program is called: Project Love. Project Love is a project in which the church reaches out to ‘at risk’ children. “Each Saturday, we (the church) go to pick up these young people and invest in their lives. We let them know that we care and that everyone is important and loved” shared Pastor Parler.

Northside also has a very active witnessing program established with Lander University.

They are also very involved in Project Noah, which is a ministry that is helping rebuild New Orleans.

Pastor Parlor also shared with GwdToday.com that when the ground breaking ceremony was held for this construction/addition in June of 2005, “We all held hands….but not in a circle. You see, our mission is to face the community and the world, for that is who we want to reach. So, we all held hands and faced outward….toward the world, (when we prayed at the ground-breaking). This was very significant to us.”

“This new addition has been years in the making” added Administrative Pastor Ken Petrus, “some of our members have waited many years for this to happen”.

Several years back (14-15 years ago) Northside was planning to build a new sanctuary and instead, met the needs, at that time, with a Family Life Center. “This has been a long time coming. The planning stage began in 2003. Now, a significant portion of the project has been funded. We have and will continue to have what we call the Continuous Capital Stewardship” added Pastor Petrus.

“This new addition is simply a tool to help us reach the community for Christ” smiled Parler. The new $7 million dollar addition is going to be a ‘commons area’… ‘A gathering place’, if you will. This tall, windowed, area that seems to reach the sky is designed to reach the world. It will house:

· a coffee shop (The Junction), with a sitting area that will be WiFi accessible

· a bookstore (named appropriately and simply: The Bookstore)

· an area designated as the welcome/information desk

· ‘The Link’ (which is where one may choose to serve in different capacities or participate in activities hosted by the church)

· A New Sanctuary: (the large new sanctuary is almost near completion and is scheduled to be finished by mid-September). It is large enough to house a congregation of 1200.

It is, as well, very welcoming and ‘hi-tech’. There is a large balcony and the main floor offers handicap accessibility for those who need assistance . “We want to create a cozy and welcoming environment for people to come in and learn about the word of God” adds Parler. “At this time we have no plans to broadcast (via television). That is just not in the equation. We just want to keep it simple and merely spread the word; to give ourselves for others and share the word of God.”

Each Sunday, there will be 3 morning services:

  • Traditional @ 8:15am
  • Contemporary @ 9:45am and 11:15

Each Sunday Evening, services will begin at 5:30pm and on Wednesdays: 6pm

Northside also offers:

  • A nursery (1 day – 3 years old)
  • Little Church (4-5 years old)
  • Epic (Elementary age -5th grade)
  • Men’s Ministry
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Community Outreach
  • Youth
  • Adult Church
  • Missions

There are 3 main fields that the church deems very important:

    1. Worship
    2. Community
    3. Missions

“We want our members to invest (of themselves) and invite (others). Our prayer is that our members share. That they invite their family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends” concluded Pastor Parler.

Dr. Jeff Lethco, who prefers to be called Jeff, is the Senior Pastor at Northside.

For more information on becoming a part of the Northside family, one may call 864-229-6010.

Triangle Construction (out of Greenville) is building the addition and Neal Prince & Partners are the architects.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.