(From the Elevation: Toronto FB page!!)
Just over six years ago I started attending Elevation Church in May/June 2006. God completely orchestrated the events that led to me finding Elevation and all that followed in the few months after I came back down South – a mailer my aunt kept for me to see when I moved back down here, finding out I was living in the same development as where the church offices were, serving with and getting into an eGroup with some amazing ladies I’d end up teaching with…
After my first Sunday at the Levine Senior Center I got two phone calls. One was from Larry Brey, a man who can encourage you and help you dream and believe anything is possible. That same week a couple of days later I remember driving back from the mountains and getting a call from Heather Bishop. I’d put my name down for some info about serving in the eKidz ministry. At the time Heather was the children’s pastor. My second Sunday at Elevation she had me back in the toddler room with a few girls I would eventually end up enjoying as a part of my eGroup (and for the most part, we’re still together!) and also teaching alongside. I eventually ended up finding my niche in serving with Quest alongside the amazing Erin Hummel and Brandi Rabon.
A couple of weeks later was sign-ups for community groups (which later became known as eGroups) and I believe John Bishop shared some of the heart behind the community groups that night. That was about the time that I started my first year teaching and I remember going by the church offices after a day of teaching to help out in whatever way I could. I remember stuffing envelopes with Larry Brey, helping Heather with eKidz stuff in the little office at the front of the Lake Park building. I remember Heather holding volunteer and vision meetings in the room in the back of the Lake Park office (before the other Lake Park addition was added for more office space).
What John and Heather and the other core families invested at the beginning of Elevation Church in Charlotte is full of obedience, faith, expectation and vision. If it weren’t for Heather or John specifically I wouldn’t still be serving in eKidz, might not be in an eGroup, might not have found being back down in the South as amazing as it has been and that is tremendous. In the time they’ve been here it’s been an honor to serve under them, see them lead, watch God move in their lives as a family, seeing John as the campus pastor at Matthews – a campus where our knees fell on concrete claiming it for Christ in what we thought might be an impossible situation… Wow. While it’s a bit sad to see them leave as they head to Toronto, the excitement and expectation of what God is going to do through their faith and obedience is much higher.
Yep, they’re packing it all up and moving to lead the Elevation: Toronto campus. They packed it up and moved to Charlotte 7 years ago and are willing to do it again all for the sake of God’s calling on their life and to see people far from God raised to life in Christ. THAT is what it looks like to BE the church. It’s not about preference but something higher – a greater vision for their life and the lives of those who need Christ in TORONTO.
John, Heather and family (yes, Jeremiah, Micah, Erika and Josh included!), your obedience and willingness to serve the vision of this church and God’s calling is a great example of faith. Thank you for the sacrifice you are making – you will all be greatly blessed and encouraged because of it. My life has been impacted, blessed and encouraged through what you did 7 years ago. I can’t imagine what God is going to do through you next! Toronto doesn’t know WHAT is about to hit. We’re praying for you. We’re ready for the flood of life change to start in that city and in and through each of you and the team at Elevation GTA. They’re getting THE BEST up there-full of vision, heart and soul.
Time to start planning a roadtrip sometime in the future to Toronto…