On Sunday, November 21, 2010, Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, voted on the question of remaining affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). At the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the assembly had passed a Social Statement on human sexuality and four resolutions on homosexual expression in direct contradiction of scriptural norms. In August 2010, a new denomination was constituted, the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), to provide an avenue of church affiliation that would reflect the beliefs of scripturally grounded Lutherans.
The vote at Resurrection did not receive the necessary 2/3 majority to leave the ELCA. That afternoon, 32 members of Resurrection gathered to discuss the question “What do we do now?” This group and others met the next Sunday, November 28, 2010, at the Joy Theater for a Bible study, fellowship and mutual support. There were also some members from a neighboring Lutheran congregation, St. Matthews, present along with two Lutheran clergy who led an uplifting worship service. During the next week, a more permanent place for worship had become available, and the congregation began to meet at the City of Kings Mountain’s Patrick Senior Center. The second worship service was held December 5, 2010, the First Sunday of Advent. The name Advent seemed most appropriate and was quickly adopted. The congregation applied for affiliation with the North American Lutheran Church as a mission congregation.
A Ministry Steering Team was formed for the purpose of continuing the organizational work that had to be done for Advent’s acceptance into the North American Lutheran Church. The members of this team were Mickey Bell, Dena Blalock, Mike Blalock, Jason Burrows, Milt Colburn, Estelle Grabert, Craig Lewis, Dennis Sessom and Clenon Tackett.
In December, a local NALC pastor, Marty Ramey, began leading worship and entered into a covenant with the congregation as part-time pastor. In the spring of 2011, the congregation engaged the services of Megan Philbeck, a graduate of Gardner-Webb University in sacred music, to provide music for the congregation’s worship.
On April 3, 2011, Advent celebrated its acceptance into the North American Lutheran Church and received 70 adults and 30 children as charter members and five associate charter members. On May 5, 2011, at a called congregational meeting, Advent Lutheran Church (NALC) adopted its first Constitution and By-laws.
The congregation gathered at the lakeside home of Dennis Sessom on August 28, 2011, for the installation of Pastor Marty Ramey as the first called pastor of Advent. During the summer and fall of 2011, another 12 members were added to Advent’s membership roll.
Advent celebrated its one year anniversary as an official congregation at the annual congregational meeting on November 20, 2011. The first Church Council was elected at this meeting. Serving on this first council are: Michael Bell, Mike Blalock, Jason Burrows, John Conner, Randy Frye, Jeff Lineberger, Lisa Medlin, Dennis Sessom, Jerry Stark, Sandra Stirewalt, Clenon Tackett, and Frank Taylor.
January 2013 a Property Committee was established to evaluate long term needs of the congregation. In November 2013 12.94 acres of property was purchased to be the permanent location of our future church building. In October 2014 Pastor Marty Ramey resigned as our full time pastor. That same year the City of Kings Mountain denied us access to the Patrick Senior Center for or worship center. The following month we were offered the Family Life Center at East Gold Street Wesleyan Church for as long as we needed it. By March 2015 the congregation voted to approved the construction of our existing building and facilities and our first worship service was held in on December 13, 2015.
Thanks to Dr. Mary Havens, Director of Lutheran Studies at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Charlotte who lead or worship often and scheduled seminarians to conduct our worship services. One of the seminarian was Joshua Morgan. He was ordained on December 5, 2015 and was installed as Advent’s second pastor on March 6, 2016.
Thanks be to God for what he has shown and done for the congregation of Advent. Advent will continue to be faithful in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in the Kings Mountain community, reaching out to those in need, and gathering together to worship and praise God’s holy name.
Our latest achievement is our Disaster Relief Program lead by Rodney Paulson. This program is a way for the church members to be involved in our community and any other communities that need help after a natural disaster. This team has helped people rebuild homes in many states after tragedy. Recently, our disaster relief team has given large buckets of medical masks and sanitizer to help businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.