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

Jun 16, 2017

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 were announced at the Summit, Duke and Stephanie looked at each other and said, “Not Orlando.” But God took all their reasons not to go and replaced them with a heart for the people of Orlando and a renewed desire to be part of a church plant. By the time they got to their car after the service, they had decided to find out more.

After arriving in Orlando months later, the stress of Duke not having a job at first, sickness, and health issues with their dog caused tension in their marriage. The stress of the move in general put stress on their relationship, and they have had to rely on their new church family to see them through relational, spiritual, and physical needs. They have received food and medicine when they needed it and groceries when they didn’t have money for them. Through their struggles, they continually witness God’s family coming together to model faithful community.

“Stephanie and I have had to rely on God more in this time than we ever had before,” Duke shared. “We have been taken out of our comfort zone in every way possible. Yet both of us would agree that moving to Orlando, while difficult, was the right decision.”

Their decision is continually affirmed as God provides opportunities for them to support and share the gospel with their co-workers. Duke is learning humility as he asks his church family for help and sees God provide not only for their needs but also their requests to see lives changed through their new church.

“Despite all the struggles,” Duke said, “despite all the setbacks and obstacles, there is no greater joy than seeing people coming back to the church and even better, giving their life to Christ.”

To find out where the Summit is planting churches this year and meet our new church planters, go to