by Tim Hester
The journey began when 53 people left the comfort of their church in South Louisville, took a risk, and became part of a church plant. The new church, started in July 1962, would be called Southeast Christian Church. Over Southeast’s 60-year history, there have been many milestones.
God has grown Southeast from a single location in Louisville’s Hikes Point neighborhood to a multi-site church that now has more than 15 locations. One of those is our South Louisville Campus, which is a result of our mother church merging with us. God has also allowed us to share His name beyond Kentucky and Indiana, with SE Online bringing people from across the world together in worship each week.
Who can forget the undying passion of our Elders who desire for Southeast to be the hands and feet of Jesus by committing a portion of our annual budget—currently 23% with a goal of 25% by 2024—to missions efforts in our community, the nation, and the world? God has blessed us by allowing us to participate in more than 100 church plants, in addition to packing millions of meals to go to impoverished areas of the world as well as those devasted by natural disasters. We’ve even turned our parking lots into construction zones to build the walls of homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Our partnerships with Gospel-oriented ministries around the world have allowed us to be a part of baptisms and lives transformed by Jesus in a multitude of countries. We’ve also been able to send members of our church family on short-term mission trips both locally and abroad.
Our Encounter ministry not only is ministering to people who are living in the most difficult of circumstances, from grief to divorce to anxiety and addiction, but that team of staff and volunteers gave us the confidence to partner with an addiction recovery center with locations throughout Kentucky. We’re now hosting worship services on the weekends and helping pastor and grow small group Bible studies throughout the week. Hundreds of baptisms have taken place, as God is changing lives!
I’ve not even touched on our campus ministries where many children, students, young adults, adults, and seniors are being baptized into Jesus and growing in their faith. Every week God allows us to experience genuine worship, hear His Word preached, and see people give their lives to Jesus and follow Him in baptism.
Over the years, many things have changed, including our locations, the people who serve, our leaders, our worship style, our modes of communication, and our methods of ministry. To be sure, as we continue to reach out with the Gospel of Jesus and serve the hurting and needy, we will continue to take risks and change so we can reach more people. But there are certain things that will never change at Southeast, including our passion and love for Jesus Christ, our commitment to preaching God’s Word in fullness and truth, and our love for others.
In Hebrews 13:8, we read: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
When reflecting on everything God has done in us and through us, we have but one response: humble gratitude to God our Father. We have a long-standing tradition at Southeast that when we see great things from God, we often quote part of the hymn, To God Be the Glory:
To God be the glory
Great things he hath done
Senior Executive Pastor
Southeast Christian Church