By Lance Hickey
North Asheville – Nestled on the border of Weaverville and Asheville, a local church began to invest in its church community to ready itself for the future and the growth of the Weaverville area.
GracePoint Church, located off of Exit 21 on Interstate 26, began to heavily invest in its future nearly two years ago with the belief that the local church is not just the hope to the Weaverville community, but the hope of the world.
For this week’s edition of our Where We Worship series, I had the opportunity to attend GracePoint Church in North Asheville. Located in the facility formerly known as Woodland Hills Church, GracePoint has impacted the Weaverville area in its current church model since January of 2018.
The congregation has undergone renewed, significant transition since the middle of 2017. Summit Church, a former church plant based in Mars Hill, and Woodland Hills Church began talks of a joint venture in early-to-mid 2017.
At the time, Summit Church met in the former Western Sizzlin Steakhouse in Mars Hill. Summit Church and Woodland Hills Church began transition in June of 2017 as Summit Church pastor Adam Ponder undertook a new role transitioning as lead pastor shortly after the combination of the two organizations. Ponder, originally from the Weaverville area, recently relocated back to the area from Fort Myers, Florida to plant Summit Church with his wife, Dana, and their six kids.
Each congregation continued to meet at different service times at both locations until the churches officially combined into one autonomous congregation in January of 2018. At this point, the church officially changed its name to GracePoint Church and began significant renovations to the Woodland Hills campus. Fast-forward to 2019, the renovated facility now serves many churchgoers in the Weaverville area.
I attended service on February 11. A church parking attendant directed traffic as congregants quickly navigated the parking lot. Church greeters welcomed guests and members alike as they entered the facility.
Service began at 11 a.m. as the band erupted in praise. Congregants stood to their feet in anticipation. Some lifted their hands as a sign of praise to God. The auditorium filled to the brim.
As the band finished its first piece of the day, a church leader stepped forward to welcome the congregation and present church announcements before taking the weekly offering.
Time came for the band to lead service once more, as the congregation arose to their feet. Music echoed in the background. I began to eagerly gaze around the room. The renovated facility looked briskly-new, as one seemingly destined to lead GracePoint into the future. Modernized stage lights sharply lit the front of the sanctuary. A projector screen sat in the middle back wall of the stage. The facility appeared large, yet quaint, creating an inviting, contemporary ambiance to the room.
The band played Living Hope by Phil Wickham. Parishioners passionately echoed the words aloud. Youth and young adults on the left side of the sanctuary notably joined in the worship time, many singing and lifting hands as well. As the worship set came to a close, the worship team played Waiting Here For You by Christy Nockels before Ponder stepped forward to present his Sunday morning sermon.
Ponder, dressed in a business casual and a button-down shirt with an orange sweater on top, spoke about the core values of a Christian. In a demonstrative and passionate presentation style, Ponder highlighted the idea that a Christ-follower should live a life of service to others while maintaining honor for everyone. As he finished communication of his sermon, Ponder stated a prayer for the congregation before service was dismissed.
GracePoint Church proved to be a contemporary church dedicated to service to the community. Its service style is modern with a relaxed feel for its guests. The investment into the future the congregation has made was notable. With its drive to reach the coming generation, look for GracePoint Church to create a tangible impact on the community.