For the past 20 years, Matt Bartig has served as a youth pastor at many large and progressive churches in the southern United States, with his last church having over 17,000 in attendance during Sunday services. In these churches Matt felt God taught him how to lead a church in the correct way. He began to sense the calling to lead his own church, so when the North American Mission Board contacted Matt last year and asked him if he would like to establish a church in the St. Louis area he was thrilled. Not only was Matt excited to have the ability to open his own church, but also he was going to be able to start it close to his hometown.
Matt decided to pray about his decision to start a new church, leave his church and move his family. After much praying and many discussions with previous pastors, Matt accepted the offer and raised $230,000 from December 16 through January 3 to form a new church in Moscow Mills.
Now all that was needed was a name for the church, a church staff and a congregation. The name, North Road Community Church, came from the Bible. In the book of Acts there is a story of a man named Philip who was told to stand on a road by God. Phillip was told he would be used for a great purpose if he were to be obedient and listen to God’s calling. In much the same way Matt felt God calling him to start a church, to be obedient and to serve a great purpose on North Hwy. 61.
The church staff came together after a conversation between Matt and Richie Rhea, pastor at Troy First Baptist Church. Matt had called Pastor Rhea to discuss the opening of North Road Community Church. After hearing Matt’s passion and mission for the church Pastor Rhea offered to help Matt by sending members of the Troy First Baptist Church to serve and assist with North Road Community Church. The faculty had come together. Chris Gardner is the Executive Pastor, Daniel Rhea is the Worship Pastor, Elijah Duffey the Youth Pastor, Allie McMullen the Children’s Pastor and Tim Crain is in charge of the church’s Sports Ministry.
The final most important part of any church is the congregation. Since North Road Community Church first opened its doors in February it has been steadily growing as a congregation with strong faith. North Road Community Church is working hard to be actively involved in the community and to serve the needs of the many young families in the area. While their contemporary services on Sunday nights entitled NR Fellowship targets a younger audience, all their services are designed to be relevant for anyone seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. The church wants to be welcoming to all who are interested in being part of a Biblically led, God centered church.
Looking towards the future, North Road Community Church has many fun and exciting events planned. On Friday, June 21 they are having a drive in movie night where they will be showing Here Comes the Boom on a large blow up screen in their parking lot for free. There will also be concessions available for free during the movie and a bounce house for younger children. There will be two previews of their Sunday morning service before they run it full time starting September 8. The preview days are June 23 and August 18. The church is also trying to reach out to young families by offering sports ministries for youth and are working on a soccer league, flag football league and trying to put together a baseball team. Currently there are small groups being held throughout the week that allow members to share in their experiences as well as grow in their faith.