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 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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In the Midst of Suffering, Family Heeds God’s Call to Become Missionaries

James and Stacey* have always had a heart for international students and people. Going overseas as missionaries had been on their minds, but over the last year and a half, God has made it incredibly clear when and where he wants them to go. It started when Stacey was volunteering at the First Time Guest tent at the Alamance County campus. She saw an international student walking into the service late and introduced herself to him. He was participating in a program that allows families to host international students over the weekend, so he was attending the Summit with his host family....

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UNC Junior Sees God’s Faithfulness through Leadership on Campus

Last spring, we heard how God radically changed Asuka’s life through others’ faithfulness to share the gospel with her. Now, Asuka is back at UNC and is continuing to see God change her own life through ministry at home and on campus.When Asuka Nakamura came to faith in the spring of her junior year at UNC Chapel Hill, she knew she wanted to learn more about Jesus and take time to intentionally grow in discipleship. She decided to pursue God in these ways by applying to City Project, the Summit’s eight-week summer discipleship program for college students.Asuka believes that “when...

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Generosity...One Step at a Time

The journey to generosity is paved with one faithful step at a time. Andrew and Ruth, Summit members who recently answered God’s call and were sent with the church plant to Charlottesville, Va., had always given the “baseline” tithe. Andrew, a Summit member for eight years, was part of the North Raleigh campus. He served as a small group leader and with the production team. His path of generosity and giving began with the Gospel. “Hearing about giving in response to God’s grace to us, that started challenging us,” Andrew said. “We weren’t giving with a grudge, and we were trusting God. But...

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Disciple-making in the Margin: How One Summit Couple’s Intentionality Led to Baptism

“Relationships happen in the margins.” Or at least that’s what the book Next Door as It Is in Heaven says. Living in suburbia can make margins skewed. It can make white space almost obsolete. There’s school and soccer practice and problems at work. Sometimes the garage door begins to close before the gear goes into park. We’re all desperate for a little quiet. We’re out of energy, out of time, and out of relationships. Brandon and Adrienne were both there. They were both busy with work and raising their daughter Vivienne. Good jobs. Amazing family. Brandon had grown up in the church....

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Short-term Team Sees Fruit By Sharing Boldly, Door-to-door in NYC

After a long train ride up the East Coast and a day of fellowship with Crossroads Church in Brooklyn, a Summit church plant, our team of five started our week of ministry with several hours of evangelism training. The teaching was tailored to the multi-ethnic and religious communities of the New York City borough of Queens, where we’d be working each day. One of our teachers exhorted us to be bold and unashamed when explaining our purpose for being there, which completely countered my American instinct to mute my claim to Christianity for the sake of being “nice,” in order...

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Texas Couple Moves to the Summit to Help ‘Shoulder the Vision’ of Reaching the Triangle

My wife Lindsey and I were leading a new college group at our church in Texas when I discovered the Summit podcast. I had recently learned about Pastor J.D. and the Summit, and we immediately fell in love with the teaching and all of the pastoral staff who spoke during the Year of the Bible series. During this time, Lindsey and I had to face the reality of financial struggles. I have worked with my parents’ small business in Texas since 2003, and we had seen phenomenal provision by the Lord’s hand in starting and maintaining the business, but for the...

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Summit Family’s Prayer for Funds Answered Through Small Group

The student missions trip to NYC was announced with no real meaning for Trisha. She didn’t think her middle son, Dylan, would be interested in going. (He’s not big on flying or talking to strangers.) But a few days later she was shocked when Dylan expressed interest in going, so they signed him up. They started praying for the funds to come in, for courage for Dylan, and for lives to be changed. Support letters were soon sent out, and the money began trickling in. But the due date for payment arrived—too soon. And they were too short on money. Pastor...

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North Raleigh Elder’s Baptism Testifies: God ‘Is Faithful in All Things’

When I was 9 years old, I understood that I was a sinner and Jesus Christ was the answer based on his finished work on the cross. I walked the aisle in my church, prayed with the pastor, and was baptized soon after. But as I’ve prayed and considered what my life looked like after that experience, I see more and more that while I had a strong, spiritual church image, much of the rest of my life did not demonstrate the testimony of one who was following after Christ. In fact, when I went to college, I walked away from...

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Disillusioned Central Asians Ask Persistently and Find Answers in the Gospel

Amir and Musa are two of only a handful of believers in their city in Central Asia. They and two other local believers sat down to dinner with our team from the Summit, and as we started eating, I was overcome with the realization that this was a unique and precious opportunity. Craig, the Summit-sent missionary and team leader there, gave us permission to ask whatever we wanted. I immediately jumped in. “What’s your story? How did you come to know Jesus?” Amir is pretty shy and quiet, but he began to tell us his story in the local language....

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The Boiler Room: Come, Ask, and See What God Does

We left our house at 8:15 a.m., and I forgot my coffee. Want to know what it’s like to get five kids out the door on a Sunday morning at 8:15 when it’s 6 degrees outside? And, you’re Southerners? It means you forget your coffee and let me just tell you: It ain’t "Easy Like Sunday Morning," as Lionel Richie might have you believe. We parked, walked our parka-clad children to their classes, waved to the under-appreciated parking attendants in snow masks, and headed toward the Boiler Room. The Boiler Room, you ask? The first time I heard those three words, I imagined two...

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