Our History

In April of 1998, a group of 42 Lake Norman-ers felt a need.

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.

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). 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 we grew in service to the world and our community, becoming a church of around 500. In the four years since moving into our first permanent location, Lake Forest has grown tremendously to over 1,500 people on God’s mission of love together. 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?

First stop in this new journey – Davidson, NC. On August 21, 2011, we opened the doors to a new campus at Davidson Elementary School – Lake Forest Church-Davidson and began a new chapter as ONE CHURCH in two locations. We are now praying about where and when to expand next.

Our short history has shown us that this journey is one of trusting God to do something truly unique and meaningful in and through a bunch of imperfect people. We’ve seen God use our own growing faith and dependence upon him to affect people within our community, our city and, increasingly, our world. We’ve partnered with Forest Hill to plant two more sister churches – Warehouse 242 near Uptown and Threshold Church in South Charlotte. We expect God to continue to lead us through hard decisions that challenge the status quo.

We’ll do these things because we believe that God uses them to bring all of us into a thriving life of freedom. And we’re all about that.