In April of 1998, a group of 42 Lake Norman-ers felt a need.
They gathered in the back room of a bowling alley in Huntersville to dream and pray. They wanted to worship and continuously grow to follow Jesus more closely, and they wanted to do so in a radically open and inclusive way. They wanted a great environment to meet with friends to explore questions about God without having to pretend they had it all together or wading through a bunch of religious lingo. They wanted to offer their friends an alternative that wouldn’t make assumptions about what they believed about God or knew about the Bible. And they knew that the best way to grow in our love for God is to go on a mission to love others in God’s name.
A place for people who’ve given up on church, but not on God.
On October 18, 1998, – with the help (read: love, support and money) of Forest Hill Church in South Charlotte – Lake Forest Church “went public” in a now-defunct Skating Rink in Huntersville (now the Toyota dealership). Founding Pastor Mike Moses preached under a disco ball.
A church of about 150 grew that year around the stated goal to create together ‘a real place for real people and a real God.’ Two years later, seeking better space, Lake Forest moved to the Lake Norman YMCA where they grew in service to the world and the community, becoming a church of around 500.
Following a successful vision and stewardship campaign called “Dare You to Move,” the church opened doors at its first permanent location (8519 Gilead Road, Huntersville) for Easter services on April 16, 2006.
Since then, God has allowed Lake Forest to grow tremendously. However, the goal was never size; the goal always was, and continues to be, based upon the ideas of authentic community, learning the Scriptures, honest conversation and exploring the question: Where is God taking us next?
LFC’s next vision campaign, Love10 (love to the tenth power), in the fall of 2010 solidified the church’s vision around God’s commandment in Acts 1:8 and saw the body move as one towards the common goals of One More Person, One More Church, One More Neighborhood and One More Leader.
In 2011, Lake Forest made space for 250 more guests by adding seats to the balcony and also built a multi-purpose building, “The Box,” for children, youth and special events.
Lake Forest then gave birth to its first baby church.
On August 21, 2011, Lake Forest Church-Davidson held its first worship service at Davidson Elementary School and LFC began a new chapter as one church in two locations. Soon, there was a calling to reach people of the west side of Lake Norman. On February 2, 2014, LFC-WestLake launched at Lincoln Charter Elementary School in Denver, NC.
Today, Lake Forest is a church of 2,000+ souls. Their short history has shown that this journey is one of trusting God to do something truly unique and meaningful in and through a bunch of imperfect people.
They are praying and listening to what God has in store next….