A new church is taking root in downtown Evansville, after a leadership shake-up at a popular Newburgh church caused some people to leave.
It is said: out of the ashes, we rise.
“There’s something here. We need to plant a church, we need to do something that is all about evangelism, something that’s all about reaching out to the community,” said The Hills Church pastor Rick Kyle. “And we had 503.”
503 people filled the pews, giving life to The Hills Church in Evansville. The church, founded out of separation, came together in a new place to bridge the divide.
“We absolutely love the staff at Crossroads, we absolutely love the people at Crossroads,” said Kyle.
After elders at Crossroads ousted lead pastor Patrick Garcia and teaching pastor Rick Kyle in August, many found themselves looking for a new spiritual home, and The Hills Church was born.
“It’s challenging right now, just because of things that have happened. But I look forward to the day when we look back and say remember when,” said The Hills Executive Pastor of Operations Dave Bowersox. He resigned his position as pastor alongside Darryl Marin at Crossroads after Garcia and Kyle were fired. Marin is also involved in the new church.
The Hills Church came from one foundation and now worships in another.
“It’s kind of a symbiotic relationship you know, Crossroads launched us out, so to speak, and then The Gathering I just got a Facebook message from Pastor Ray.”
“We just naturally reached out to Rick and basically said, ‘these are some things we’ve kind of done before,” said The Gathering Church pastor Ray Brown. “Honestly, when you’ve been kind of broken, you know, you can’t help but reach out to other people who have been broken.”
Where there’s a story of restoration, there is often a twist. Decades ago, the building that holds the two churches each weekend housed a church that sent a group towards Newburgh to found an east side location. That church eventually became Crossroads.
Brown says taking in The Hills Church is a show of community solidarity.
“When we begin to start isolating churches, like ‘that’s that church and that church’, rather than just seeing the church of Evansville as a whole, all those barriers begin to come down.”
The Hills Church will hold services Saturday at 6:30 PM, and Sunday at 4:30 PM at The Gathering Church.
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(This story was originally published September 13, 2018)