What did your life look like 20 years ago? Were you about to get a driver’s license? Still in college? Starting a family? Chances are a lot has changed since then! In that time, I got married, graduated from college, had six children, and moved a number of times. I’ve met new friends, picked up new hobbies and been on epic adventures. While there has been much to celebrate, the last 20 years has also held its share of pain. I’ve had close friends learn they had cancer, seen marriages unravel, and lost loved ones. While my life has experienced countless changes, one thing that has not changed in nearly 20 years are the facilities at the Mount Pleasant Campus of Seacoast Church.
In 1999, our campus was in a similar situation as we are today. Every weekend, thousands of people would show up to experience the power and presence of God. People who were new to town, far from God, had never been in church, or had been out of church for a long time found new life in Christ at Seacoast and invited their friends. After running out of seats and adding new service times it became evident that expansion was the only option. The church prayed, sacrificed and gave generously believing that God was going to do immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine.
While all of that was happening here in Mount Pleasant, I was a 19-year-old high school graduate in Columbia. I was pursuing a degree in history at the University of South Carolina convinced that I was going to be a middle school social studies teacher. As I struggled to follow Christ and find community, I found a home at a local church where I started serving. God used that season to cultivate in me a love for the local church and bring about a new vision for my future.
As I think back on the obedience and faith of those who called Seacoast home 20 years ago I’m so incredibly thankful for their willingness to give generously and invest in the next generation. I was a young man, living hours away with no vision of Seacoast in my future. But God. He knew that seven years into marriage and ministry, my wife and I would manage to make a mess of our lives and find ourselves in need of a safe place to find healing and wholeness. Having given ourselves to serving in the church we needed a community that could be the church for us.
Why am I excited about Imagine? Why is this expansion such a big deal? My story and our history as a church reminds me to wonder: What if the future leaders of our church aren’t even believers yet? What if a couple whose marriage is restored at Seacoast hasn’t even met yet? Our expansion is preparing a future home for young men and women who may be hours away with no thought of Seacoast to experience the power and presence of God in what may be their greatest time of need.
As you prayerfully consider how God may be calling you to give to Imagine as part of our Legacy offering on May 5/6, you can be certain that 20 years from now families just like mine and yours will look back and praise God for our faithfulness and generosity in giving! People Katie and I had never met, at a church we’d never been, prepared a place for us and it changed our lives. Now, I am grateful for the chance to be a part of preparing a place for the next generation. To all of you who have joined us for Imagine: Thank you!
Pastor Josh Surratt gives an inside look of the new Worship Center.