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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26May

Lloyd Mann: Serving the Nations Among Us

En Español Last fall, Summit en Español honored one of its most influential and godly leaders, Lloyd Mann, as he retired from service as an elder. Lloyd and his wife Wilma helped establish the campus after retiring from their role as regional consultants for Missions Mobilization in Central America and the Caribbean. After college, Lloyd was part of the International Mission Board’s inaugural Journeyman program, a two-year, overseas missions experience. He learned Spanish in high school and college and always had a desire to share the gospel in Latin America. As a Journeyman, he served in Costa Rica, where he met Wilma....

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31Mar

One Thing Hasn't Changed

I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have known J.D. Greear for 25 years. I met him while he was spending the summer interning for my church’s youth group in Florida. He was a college student, and we were a small church, just starting out. Instantly our church family—and my own family—loved J.D. The pastors there recognized that there was something very special about him. My mom and dad were new believers, and I watched as every day J.D. faithfully poured into them. They looked to this 20-year-old man as he led them and taught them about Jesus. J.D....

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24Mar

Three Generations. One Church.

The Summit Church has always been a multi-generational church. When Laura and I first came to the church in January 2000—it was Homestead Heights Baptist Church back then— we were immediately welcomed by the families there. I remember being impressed by the grandparents, parents, and grandchildren gathering together in vibrant worship, with a vision to reach the world with the gospel. They took the Great Commission seriously to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world and claimed Durham as their Jerusalem, the Triangle as Judea, and the U.S. as their Samaria. They understood their...

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17Mar

Year of Disciple-Making: An Ongoing Pursuit of Passionate Worship

Whenever we’re looking to the future and dreaming about what is to come, I find it helpful to look back and remember where we’ve come from. It’s good to recall the answers to prayer, even the ones that are still in progress. It’s a privilege to glance backward and see God’s shaping hand. As I look over the past few decades, I have to admit: God has done “more than we could ask or imagine” in making us a people of passionate worship. Thirty years ago, I came to this church hoping God would use me to stir a heart of...

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24Feb

Putting Everything on the Table

In December of 2001, the day after Homestead Heights Baptist Church voted to make Pastor J.D. Greear our senior pastor, I had breakfast with him and André Mann. J.D. and André were both part-time staff members, and they were also students at Southeastern Seminary. This meant they spent a lot of time in the car together driving back and forth between Wake Forest, where the seminary is, and North Durham, where our church was—plenty of time to come up with crazy plans. We sat in a café on Southeastern’s campus, and they laid out for me a plan that was...

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03Feb

Five Defining Moments for The Summit Church

by J.D. Greear This January marks 15 years since we relaunched Homestead Heights Baptist Church as The Summit Church. I’ve been here for all 15 of those wonderful, exciting, and often hair-raising years, and I have never ceased to be amazed at what God has chosen to do here. Reading over the stories in this magazine has reminded me, yet again, how grateful I am to be at a place where the Spirit of God is the primary mover. And when I reflect on the fact that his past graces to us are evidence of his intention to pour out future...

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17Feb

2015: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future

God makes it clear in the Bible that his people are to look back and reflect on all that he has done in their midst. He constantly tells Israel to remember his acts of grace towards them because his grace in the past is a promise of things to come in the future. In looking back at all that God did in 2015, The Summit Church has a lot to celebrate, and thus reason to look forward with excitement. God has been faithful once again to glorify his name and change lives. In 2015, 5,097 people attended The Summit Church for the...

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