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...

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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...

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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 summitchurch.com/gather. 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...

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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...

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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...

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03Jul

Church Doesn’t Look Just Like Me Anymore

I have been around the Summit longer than most people. But then again, I’ve been around places longer than most people. You could say that I’m chronologically mature. So not only do I remember what it was like when the Summit was “Homestead Heights”; I also remember what Homestead Heights was before Pastor J.D. showed up. Some people may find this surprising, but I think Homestead Heights was destined to become a church that valued diversity. Sam James, our church’s founding pastor, was a leader in trying to bridge the white-black divide in Durham churches, way back in the 1960s. I’ve...

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25Aug

A Walk in My Shoes: Derrick’s Story

Derrick DeLain is the campus pastor at the Blue Ridge campus. He laughs easily and makes everyone around him feel at ease, and he has a passion for drawing people to Christ. Derrick is also black, which was often a challenging experience growing up in a small North Carolina town. His private Christian school lacked diversity and tolerance, and Derrick was constantly picked on. He often got into fights trying to defend himself. Tragically, Derrick grew up thinking that white Christians didn’t love or even care about him. But there was a white coach at his school who was different. He invested...

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