By Lance Hickey
North Asheville – As we continue to uncover churches across the area in our Where We Worship article series, we focus our attention on a recent church phenomenon sweeping across our nation. The multi-site church campus model began to help churches expand their reach while allowing various communities to host another campus and be better connected.
We have covered several multi-site church campuses in the two years since the Tribune began penning this series.
In the Spring of 2018, Brookstone Church officially merged with Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church, opening its second campus, known as Brookstone Church-Merrimon. The Merrimon campus, which serves as the place of worship we covered for this week’s edition, has since completed extensive renovations of its Merrimon Avenue campus, which sits moments from downtown Asheville. Brookstone Church changed its name from what was formerly known as North Asheville Baptist Church.
Caleb Burchfield serves as the campus pastor of the Merrimon campus. He is in his third week as campus pastor, transitioning from working at the Weaverville campus. Burchfield is married to his wife, Emily. The Burchfield’s have five young children.
Brookstone Church was founded in 1910 and expanded tremendously under pastor Jim Dykes’ leadership. Dykes, the lead pastor of Brookstone Church, has served in his current capacity as the church’s senior pastor since 1989.
I covered service on January 26. Service began at 11 a.m. as congregants started to fill the auditorium.
As service began, the ambiance of the room shifted and the lighting in the auditorium dimmed. People rose to their feet in anticipation of a time of worship and singing. A Brookstone Church leader welcomed the congregation, presenting the weekend announcements before the band took center stage.
They played the first song of the day as parishioners echoed each word of the melody. Stage lighting shifted as the band flowed by playing “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend.
As the band finished leading the congregation in a time of music and worship, they played “Great Are You Lord,” a popularized contemporary Christian song by All Sons and Daughters.
As the time designated for music and worship came to a close, Burchfield stepped forward stage right to greet the congregation before a video testimony of a church parishioner played through a large screen on the right side of the stage.
The time came for Brookstone Church’s Sunday morning message. A hefty movie-like screen inched down center stage. Brookstone Church senior pastor Jim Dykes appeared on the screen from the church’s Weaverville campus. Similar to Biltmore Church, Brookstone’s messages are conveyed via simulcast at the Merrimon Avenue campus. The screen and presentation seemed lifelike as Dykes spoke from the book of Genesis. Dykes was on week three of a six-week series called “Origins.” Passionate in the presentation of his message, Dykes was enthusiastic and informative as the audience took in his Sunday morning message.
As Dykes concluded his sermon, Burchfield stepped forward to pray for his Merrimon Avenue congregation. The band played another song before the service was dismissed.
Service at Brookstone Church – Merrimon Avenue proved to be contemporary in its presentation, with a tremendous focus on technology. The congregation was welcoming and inviting to guests. As Brookstone Church continues towards its goal for impact on the community, look for Brookstone to continue expanding its reach through strategic