Thank you for your interest in NRCC. We want to encourage your faith in Christ any way we can. Here are some answers to questions that tell you a little more about NRCC:
What kind of Church is NRCC?
You will find NRCC a warm, friendly family of believers in Jesus Christ. We love coming together to worship God and serve people! Our services are identical in both teaching and music. Whether you are more comfortable singing out or quietly reflecting, know that God hears you! Our Pastor shares the Word of God with compassion, honesty, and vulnerability. There will always be an opportunity for you to respond to the worship and teaching each week. Dress is casual and our style is relaxed and practical.
We are far from perfect people, but we serve a Perfect Savior! We are learning together to follow the teachings of the Scriptures as believers in Jesus. You are so welcome to come on this journey with us!
What We Believe
The Church of God believes in a cluster of biblical teachings which form a vision of the church. Specifically the Church of God is:
- A Gospel Church Romans 1:16, Ephesians 1:13
- A Bible Church II Timothy 3:16
- A Born-Again Church John 3:3, II Corinthians 5:17
- A Holiness Church Hebrews 12:14, I Cor. 6:9-11, Romans 12:1-2
- A Unity Church John 17:20-21, Ephesians 4:1-6
- A Kingdom of God Church Luke 17:20-21, Colossians 1:13-14, Romans 14:17
- A Missionary Church. Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8
“Each one of them is a part of the DNA of the wider Christian tradition. But we may be the only fellowship of Christians in which all seven of these are vigorously and persistently lifted up as requiring sustained emphasis in preaching, teaching, and practice. ...The distinctive character of the church of God is that all seven of these emphases have found a home in one and the same group of Christians.” (p. 31) -Adapted from the book Vision for the Church of God at the Crossroads by Dr. Gil Stafford, Warner Press, 2002
How can I join the Church?
Every person who has accepted Christ as Savior and Lord is a member of God's great eternal church (Acts 2:47). No formal list or letters of membership are kept at NRCC. That list is kept in heaven as the "Lamb’s book of life" (Rev. 21:27). As a born-again member of God's eternal Church, you are automatically a member here!
Choosing to commit to a local Church is a healthy step in your walk with Christ. Below is the Scripture-based “New River Covenant” we ask Church members to sign:
Having received Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, having been baptized since believing, I commit myself to God and to the other members of New River Community Church of God to do the following:
1. I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF GOD'S CHURCH
. . . by acting in love toward other members; Romans 14:19, 1 Peter 1:22
. . . by building others up and refusing to gossip; Ephesians 4:29
. . . by following the leaders as they follow Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1, Hebrews 13:17
2. I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GOD'S CHURCH
. . . by praying for our growth; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 Ephesians 6:18
. . . by inviting the unchurched to attend; Luke 14:23
. . . by warmly welcoming those who visit. Romans 15:7
3. I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF GOD'S CHURCH
. . . by discovering my gifts and talents; 1 Peter 4:10
. . . by being equipped to serve by my pastors; Ephesians 4:11-12
. . . by developing a servant’s heart. Philippians 2:3-4, 7
4. I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF GOD'S CHURCH
. . . by worshiping faithfully with God’s people; Hebrews 10:24-25
. . . by living a godly life; Philippians 1:27, Hebrews 12:14
. . . by giving regularly. 1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Signed ________________________________________________ Date __________________
Being a part of Church body decision-making for NRCC requires a commitment from our members. Below are our Voting Requirements for our Church Business Meetings. Before each meeting, members are asked to “sign-in” verifying you meet these requirements before voting in a Church Business Meeting.
1. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior;
2. I am committed to growing in my relationship with Christ and in obedience to His Word;
3. I have lived in harmony with the accepted standards of the Church and with the General Assembly of the Church of God
4. I am 16 years of age or older; and
5. I have worshiped regularly at NRCC for a period of at least six months preceding any meeting at which I might wish to vote.
(Go to Membership at NRCC page to read and sign the "Yes! Count me in!" New River Covenant and Membership form)
How can I learn more about God and the Bible?
On Wednesdays at 7pm as we have discipleship groups for all ages. I personally invite you to check them out. God has been doing some amazing work in the Men’s Group as we learn to become godly men. The Ladies Group has also been experiencing great growth and fellowship. We also have two Sunday School groups for adults on Sunday mornings. Any of these will be a great encouragement to your faith in Christ. These are the best ways to grow in Christ, and get acquainted with the people and life of NRCC. You’ll love it! You can also check out the resources at RightNow Media (see RightNow Media tab). There are some GREAT video recources there.
What opportunities do you have for elementary age children?
Kids ages 3-5th Grades enjoy the Pioneer Club each Wednesday, 7-8pm including four age groups from age 3 to Grade 5. Kids learn about God, the Bible, themselves, and their world as they explore fun activities and make new friends. They also earn badges for various subjects and projects.
NRCC offers Sunday School classes at 9:45am for all ages. All these are designed to help you grow closer to God and stronger as a person. We’d love to have you come to any and all of this.
Do you provide Children’s Church and Nursery during Worship Services?
Knowing your children are cared for by nurturing, safe adults allows you to participate in worship in a more relaxed way. Our childcare staff are all background checked and love children with God’s kind of love. Nursery care is provided during each Worship Service. Children's Church (Lifesavers Club) provides age-appropriate lessons and worship time for children ages three through third grade during the sermon. Children begin the service in the sanctuary and are released to your care after corporate worship.
If necessary, there is also a Conference Room off the Church foyer where you can watch and hear the Worship Service via television with your child.
Noah’s Ark Christian Preschool, Daycare, Before and After School Care
Noah's Ark Christian Preschool, Daycare, Before and After School Care is an affordable, non-profit ministry that provides children opportunities to learn God’s Word, help children develop a good self-image and to foster a sincere consideration for others in a warm, loving, friendly, Christian environment. We pledge to work together for the spiritual growth and educational development for you and your child. We want your child to be nurtured and cared for in a Christian environment. Since 1993, Noah's Ark has operated and maintained a program of learning for the children, while building working relationships with the families. Noah's Ark is open from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday. We accept children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years of age. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910 327-NOAH (6624).
Tell me about the Youth Group.
We’re SO glad you asked! We are blessed with an active, Bible-focused, loving youth ministry led by Angie Kornacki and her awesome volunteer staff. Named “The Neighborhood” (based on John 1:14), both Middle and High schoolers meet Wednesdays at 6:30pm for large group games, worship and announcements. Then they break off into Middle and High school groups for Bible Study and discussion.
On Sundays our youth are doing Bible Study book by book at 9:45am.
On the calendar every year are Youth Camps, Youth Conventions, outings, Beach Retreat, etc. There’s always something good going on with “The Neighborhood!”
How often do you celebrate Communion?
The first Sunday of each month we have our "1st Sunday" when we serve Communion in both services as well as a free breakfast fellowship at 9:45. We practice Open Communion to all who are believers in Jesus Christ. I hope you'll plan to make plans to participate in this meaningful Christian ordinance.
What about Baptism?
Based on the Scriptures NRCC practices “believers’ baptism.” In the New Testament, people of all ages are encouraged to put their faith in Jesus and obey Him in baptism. Check out Acts 2 and note the order of events—they accepted the message (believing the gospel of Christ), and then they were baptized. Only those who believed were baptized.
How can I learn more about NRCC?
I encourage you to check out New River Community Church of God (NRCC) at our website at www.nrccog.org and the Church calendar on the News & Calendar page.
What is RightNow Media?
NRCC also offers a free subscription to RightNow Media that is the “NetFlix” of Christian Bible Study for all ages. Just click on https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Account/Invite/NRCCOG. NRCC pays for this discipling resource and offers it totally free to you and yours. Enjoy!
What about the Older Folks?
Our Prime Timers group offers fellowship for older adults to gather in a Christian atmosphere, eat, pray and support one another. This group meets at Madison’s Buffet on the first Monday of each month at 11:15am.
Are there any Prayer ministries?
We have a weekly prayer time at the Churcdh, Wednesdays 2pm; everyone is welcome.
What outreach ministries does NRCC support?
Each month NRCC generously tithes General Fund income to Carolina Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Guatemala Mission Projects and Feeding Program, H2O Rehab Ministry, Uganda Living Link Missionary, The Master’s Touch, World Service and Willing Hearts (caring for needs within NRCC).
As God blesses with overflow funds, each quarter we choose to bless the following ministries:
Onslow Pregnancy Care Center offers pregnancy testing and information on pregnancy options at no cost to you. Our Clinic is not an abortion provider and does not provide referrals to abortion clinics. All services are confidential and at no cost to you. They have had an ultrasound machine since March of 2018, and it has increased live births 200%!
Folkstone Food Bank provides food twice weekly for the people of southern Onslow County.
Samaritan’s Purse helps people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Give & Teach Guatemala mission compound development Their mission is to "Rescue Children through Education and the Gospel." Currently they are developing land for the long-term future of the mission.
Uganda Mission - Tim & Colleen Stevenson work to develop projects and communities primarily in Uganda, but also in Rwanda, Congo (DR), and South Sudan. They continue to facilitate the ministry of TAPP (Tumaini AIDS Prevention Program). And they manage church and school building programs and sponsorship programs, often in partnership with Kinderhilfswerk and Children of Promise.
Hebron Colonies and Grace Homes whose mission is to reclaim lives ruined by alcohol and drug abuse through the preaching, teaching and studying of God’s redemptive wok through Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the Bible.
Christian radio (Life 90.5 -Wilmington local)
The Master’s Touch is a cooperative ministry of the churches of Sneads Ferry established for the purpose of demonstrating the love of Jesus by providing emergency assistance, Christian guidance, and other forms of assistance to the people of our community. Financial assistance is provided in areas of need such as utilities, transportation, rent, or medical costs. The thrift store helps fund the other branches of the Master’s Touch and provides essentials free of charge in cases of domestic abuse or fire.
H2O is a local, Christ- based, not for profit, drug and alcohol recovery ministry. We believe in the healing power of the Master Physician, Jesus Christ "The Son of God." We know of the Power of Christ to heal and deliver a person from the grips of addiction. We share the Hope of Jesus and Help those wanting to leave that life of addiction by directing them to Ministries such as Hebron Colony and Grace Home. H2O aids in the successful return to society every man and woman as a productive and integral part of their community. We tutor all men and all women of all faiths and all races. We welcome everyone with open and loving arms.
Wycliff Bible Translators For more than 70 years, Wycliffe has helped people around the world translate the Bible into their own languages. At least 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their language — that’s more people than the entire continent of Africa! More than 2,500 languages across 170 countries have active translation and linguistic development work happening right now. Approximately 2,000 languages* still need a Bible translation project to begin.
The Annual Youth Beach Retreat making disciples and building Christian friendships for the middle and high school students of our area.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:24-25
A Brief History of New River Community
Church of God
In the early 1900s, the “flying messengers” of the Church of God came to Jacksonville. That’s when James Luther Taylor and his wife Josephine and their children started visiting Sneads Ferry to preach. He held tent meetings during the 1920s and once held a 7-10 day revival in the home of Ethel Millis. He was pastoring in Jacksonville at the time and would come preach on the first Sunday of each month in Sneads Ferry. The “Community Church of God” officially started in 1949 after approximately 20 years of groundwork.
Bro. Taylor personally bought the land on the corner of Fulcher’s Landing Road and John Everett Drive in 1945 for $35. He also bought three military barracks from Ft. Fischer in Wilmington (they had been used at Camp Davis in Holly Ridge earlier but were actually moved from Wilmington to Sneads Ferry). Two were used for Church and Sunday School with the oher serving as a parsonage. They used gas lanterns to start with and added electricity in 1946. All pews were hand-made board benches and the lectern was also hand-made. The Taylors later gave the land and the barracks to the Church.
Church was very different back then. We always had a Sunday School for the children and adults as well as Sunday night and Wednesday night preaching services. Usually there were only 15-20 people at Church during this time, mostly from the Millis family. Sometimes only two people would show up for church, but they did not give up. There was always a dream to relocate and build another facility in the future with a sanctuary and classroom. Pastor Taylor served faithfully here until 1970 when his health failed and he entered a nursing home.
Because of the church’s small size, most of the pastors were retired and didn’t require much salary. Some were ordained ministers and some were the people from within the church. Often we had no pastor and simply had to get by the best we could.
The congregation faithfully shared their dream of relocating and building a new facility. Many individuals sacrificed, sold things, worked hard, scrimped and saved to purchase the present property. We changed our name to First Church of God when we borrowed money from the Board of Church Extension in Anderson. In the fall of 1983 their dream was realized when Pastor Leslie (and Mae) Wright preached the first sermon in the new brick building. That building presently serves as the church office and foyer today.
The State organization of the Church of God took us on as a church plant for two years and enabled us to pay for our first full-time pastor when Pastor Paul Phelps came in November of 1984. Under his leadership, we raised money, plans were drawn, and work camps conducted. Bro. Phelps contacted friends in Ohio (Oct. of 85 and Oct. of 86) and North Carolina (Oct. of 86) to come and help build the sanctuary. In October of 1986, we opened the doors to the present sanctuary. The new sanctuary was a dream come true since we had never had a nice sanctuary.
When we moved to the new location, a new day dawned for us. We began to overcome the stigmas of the past. After decades of isolation from the broader Church of God movement, we began participating in state camp meetings in North Carolina and Tennessee. This exposure opened up the church leadership to see new and better ways of doing “church”. Visiting other churches of God helped bring enlightenment and hope to the church. Training events in Anderson, IN and Wichita, KS introduced the church to more literature on church growth, missionaries, Sunday School, etc. These and involvement in the state work helped broaden our vision and understanding, highlighting why ongoing training is so necessary.
In January 1992, Pastor Gary & Julie Garmon and family came to serve the congregation. Although his pay package was equivalent to the entire income of the Church of only 40 people, we stepped out on faith and God blessed. The church sensed that God was ready to bless and work here in ways like never before. The Church voted in June of that year to change the name to New River Community Church of God. Pastor Gary introduced Super Sundays for outreach during this time. After much planning and prayer, volunteers from the church completed the Activity Center. We opened Noah’s Ark Christian Preschool and Daycare in September of 1993. Soon after, John Nance responded to our call to serve as full-time Associate Pastor (Music & Youth) from 1994-1998. Many were saved under Pastor Gary’s full-time leadership the congregation grew quickly, averaging over 200 for a while. Both the church and the community loved the Garmons. This was an exciting time in the life of the church. Pastor Gary left in 1996. Pastor of Youth and Music, John Nance, filled the pulpit shortly after Pastor Gary left. We joyfully celebrated the church’s 50th anniversary in October of 1996.
Pastor Mike & Jan Schwartz came in June of 1997 and were here until March of 2000. Pastor Mike worked at getting the large congregation organized and accountable. Pastor Phelps, now legally blind, served as Visitation Pastor during this time and again as Interim 2000 - 2001.
Rich & Caryol Meyer pastored from March 2001 to June of 2003 and introduced the very successful Pioneer Club children’s program to NRCC.
Pastors Steve & Jane Allen and their family came January 1st of 2004 and continue to serve as pastors today.
God continues to bless and lead His people. As Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV). We know that:
A great commitment
to the Great Commandment
and the Great Commission
will grow a great church
that will make a great difference
Thanks to God’s faithfulness and the faithfulness of His people,
the future is bright and hopeful for NRCC!
A Brief Intro. to the Church of God (Anderson, IN)
The Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) is a global movement of people seeking to fulfill God’s mission in the world. We’re committed to studying the Word of God and faithfully living it out. We’re committed to the mission that Jesus Christ gave every believer: to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18–20).
The Church of God movement appeared in the 1880s in the midst of the broader American Holiness Revival. The pioneers of the Church of God hoped to restore a more biblical understanding and practice of what it means to be the church. One of our early church songs says: “The Bible is our rule of faith and Christ alone is Lord.” This lyric still summarizes the core belief of Church of God people.
You can learn much more about the Church of God at https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/.
The Church of God, with U.S. offices in Anderson, Indiana, began in 1881 as a movement emphasizing the unity of God’s people and holy living. Daniel S. Warner and several associates sought to forsake denominational hierarchies and formal creeds, trusting solely in the Holy Spirit as their overseer and the Bible as their statement of belief. These individuals saw themselves at the forefront of a movement to restore unity and holiness to the church. Their aim was not to establish another denomination but to promote primary allegiance to Jesus Christ so as to transcend denominational loyalties.
This movement is not historically related to the several Church of God bodies rooted in the holiness revival of Tennessee and the Carolinas in the late nineteenth century. Although it shares their holiness commitment, it does not emphasize the charismatic gift of speaking in tongues generally associated with Pentecostal churches.
Deeply influenced by Wesleyan theology and Pietism, the church’s generally accepted teachings include the divine inspiration of Scripture; forgiveness of sin through the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of the believer; the experience of holiness; the personal return of Christ, unconnected with any millennial reign; the kingdom of God as established here and now; the resurrection of the dead; a final judgment in which there will be reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked.
Within the church, baptism by immersion is viewed as a witness to the new believer’s regeneration in Christ and inclusion in the family of God. The Lord’s Supper reminds participants of the grace experienced in the life of the believer. Foot washing is practiced in acknowledgement and acceptance of the servant ministry of all Christians to each other and to the world. These symbolic acts are understood to be affirmative reminders of what God has done in Christ. None of these practices, termed ordinances, are considered mandatory conditions of Christian experience or fellowship.
There is no formal membership. Individuals are assumed to be members on the basis of personal conversion and conduct that supports that conversion experience. This is consistent with the church’s understanding of how Christian unity is to be achieved—a unity based on spiritual experience rather than creedal agreement.
The Church of God is congregational in its government. Each local congregation is autonomous. Ministers meet in voluntary state, regional and national assemblies, and other associations. In North America, the General Assembly, composed primarily of ministers but also including lay congregational delegates, meets in connection with the movement’s annual North American Convention held in Anderson, Indiana.
The Church of God movement holds the firm conviction that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. In this context we accept all that is central and enduring in the faith of historic, orthodox Christianity as these essentials often have been stated in widely accepted faith affirmations (such as the Nicene Creed). In declaring our present understandings of Christian faith, experience, discipline, and fellowship, we gratefully acknowledge our particular indebtedness at many points to the Protestant Reformation, to the Anabaptist free-church tradition, to the Puritan-Pietist movements, to Armenian-Wesleyan evangelicalism, and to the Holiness movement in the United States.