Summit Stories

Featured Stories

Through Unlikely Circumstances, Summit Couple Sent as Missionaries

Ben and Rachel Ober always thought they would go to the nations as missionaries some day. They heard this calling separately, before they met one another, and now they are being obedient to where God is leading them overseas. When Ben was in college, he started underlining his Bible everywhere he could find missions mentioned. This radically transformed his perspective. “I was accustomed to thinking of the Great Commission as a verse at the end of Mark, or the end of Matthew, not really God’s heart running from Genesis to Revelation.” After that, Ben was committed to going overseas as a missionary, and...

Read More

Amid the Pandemic, the Care of Community Prevails

Kelly and Aaron Griffin know the importance of a small group community—they’ve seen it firsthand in their three years as members of The Summit Church. But they’ve never been more grateful for it than after having a child during the COVID-19 pandemic. When they began attending the Summit in 2017, Kelly was seven months pregnant with their first son, Brayden. Right away, Kelly expressed interest in serving in Summit Kids and was connected to Julie, a staff member who invested in her and trained her to be a leader when she was able to start serving after maternity leave. But...

Read More

Summit Members See God Working Through Home Gatherings

The following stories are from the Summit’s Alamance County campus’ home gatherings. To find a home gathering nearest you, visit Jeff and Laura Jeff and Laura host a home gathering in Gibsonville. They started by sending an invitation to their entire neighborhood, where they had already begun to develop friendships, to gather with them on Sunday mornings. Recognizing the beauty and value of hospitality, Jeff and Laura extended the invitation to include a meal after the service. For their first weekend, two couples from their neighborhood joined to worship alongside several Alamance County friends, and one of the couples stayed afterward...

Read More

Disciple-making Disciples: Jonathan’s Stewardship Story

When Jonathan Marrero and his wife, Marilyn, attended Financial Peace University years ago, God began calling him to trust and surrender his personal finances—and teaching him to use what he was learning to serve others.Now he and Marilyn both serve with the stewardship ministry at the Summit, coaching others on personal financial principles that honor God. As Jonathan counseled people at the church, he also felt he could offer something to his coworkers, who often talked about their financial struggles.“I would hear people talking about their lights getting cut off or worrying about a paycheck being late,” he said. “And...

Read More

We Send Every Member | The Ashby’s Story

Emily and Reid never thought a global pandemic would be their ticket to serving with a church plant overseas. But when the world turned upside down this spring, and Emily began working remotely, God was bringing something beautiful out of something tragic. In March, Emily, an accountant in Research Triangle Park, was allowed to work remotely as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that didn’t seem possible before social distancing procedures became necessary. A few months later, Emily and Reid started praying about a risky possibility. Rather than working remotely from their home in the Triangle, they wanted...

Read More


Despite Fears and Struggles, Raleigh Couple Says 'Yes' to Orlando Church Plant

Duke and Stephanie Potter had a lot of reasons not to go with a Summit church plant to Orlando. Neither of them had lived outside of Raleigh before, and their family and support system were all within a 30-minute drive. They had only been married a year and hadn’t been able to save a lot of money. Their family had concerns about their living situation and jobs—understandably, since until about a week before they moved, neither one had a job, and they didn’t have a place to live. And, they always wanted to live in the mountains. So when the upcoming church plants...

Read More


International Church Planting: Celebrating What God Did in 2016

The Summit is continually training and sending out our best to serve in places of great need around the world and in partnership with our long-term workers and church planters on the field. In 2016, we saw God do an amazing work and wanted to share with you just how many people we sent last year. Long-term (serving for two years or more overseas): 42 individuals sent overseas 32 new church plants overseas 7,080 gospel presentations by Summit members overseas 653 people came to Christ overseas through the ministry of Summit members. 356 people were baptized overseas through the ministry of Summit members. 193 international church plants as...

Read More


Sending: the Summit’s Heartbeat

I first came to The Summit Church in February 2002, during my second year at UNC-Chapel Hill. There were about five college students at the church then, including my roommate, my girlfriend, and me. Even during those very first days, as Homestead Heights Baptist Church had just become The Summit Church, I remember thinking that this group of people genuinely seemed glad for us to be there. When we came back for a second week (this time with several carloads full of students), Pastor J.D. announced an official “college lunch” that I’m pretty sure was on the fly. He extended...

Read More


Sent: Will and Ashley

Around the time City Awakening Church launched in Orlando in the fall of 2016, Pastor Louis Tamburro shared story after story of trials and spiritual warfare his launch members had been going through over the previous few months. But greater than the trials they faced, the members of this Summit church plant found God’s faithfulness to pull them through. None of them gave in to the struggles and circumstances they were facing. Watch the story of one of these families, newlyweds Will and Ashley, who left good jobs and a comfortable life only to be met in Orlando with a hit-and-run...

Read More


2017 North American Church Plants

We are coming to God again, putting everything on the table to see what he will do through us. Our God multiplies everything we give back to him. The local church is God’s “plan A” for bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth. With a goal to plant 1,000 churches in our generation, this year we are helping plant or revitalize eight North American churches this year. Of those eight, three planters will be sent out from the Summit with many of you this spring: Mike and Ashley McKee | Atlanta, GA Mike has served on staff at the Summit since...

Read More


More Than 1,000 Reached Through Recent Summit Church Plants

As Toni’s boyfriend tossed her things onto the front porch, she felt deep disappointment and embarrassment—she was 32 years old with two children, six months pregnant, and homeless. She called her friend Nick, who helped her pack her car and found her a place to sleep for the night. The next morning, she met Nick’s friend Valerie, who asked if she could pray for Toni and offered to walk her through the prayer of salvation. “That prayer changed my life,” Toni shared. “I fought her, and I fought Nick. I fought myself for that matter. But on that day, I couldn’t fight...

Read More


Multiply: Andrew Hopper

Andrew Hopper is the lead pastor for Mercy Hill Church, a Summit Church plant based in Greensboro, NC. After launching a little over 3 years ago, Mercy Hill has grown from 30 to more than 1300 on the weekends, reaching the city of Greensboro and beyond.

Read More


From Durham Natives To Asheville Missionaries

Back in March Nathaniel, Tori and Zach Hartwell moved to Asheville, NC to help plant Emmaus Asheville. Below you’ll find a snapshot of how God called them to Asheville. We were Durham natives… We’re Zach and Tori Hartwell. We’re from Durham, NC and have been members of The Summit Church from the time it was originally called Homestead Heights Baptist Church. We’ve witnessed a number of church plants be commissioned and always imagined how amazing it would be. I (Zach) went to Western Carolina University and have family in Western NC. A few years ago Tori and I visited Asheville and fell in love with...

Read More


How God Called Us to Charlotte

About a month ago Jen & Evan Hopkins along with their children Christian & Katelyn relocated to Charlotte, NC to join the Mercy Church launch team.  We asked the Hopkins to share some of their journey with us.   We loved Raleigh… But we never felt led to stay here long term. Charlotte had been on the forefront of our minds for years but we weren’t in a huge rush to make the move. We heard about Mercy Church last year, but hesitated to jump in because we didn’t think we were spiritually ready to be launch team members. God qualifies the called. Early in 2015,...

Read More


Just a Couple of Normal People...

God is calling dozens of “normal” people like Tim and Amber Banta to help plant the gospel in strategic cities across North America. Check out The Summit Network for more information about how to you can go! The Bantas had a lot going for them. Tim had been with his engineering firm for fifteen years while Amber was about to finish nursing school. They had begun hosting a small group in their North Raleigh home and had no idea that God would call them to help plant the gospel in Wilmington, NC. But over several months they got to know church...

Read More