New Horizon is 'new church for a new generation'

August 15, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

The New Horizon Church is very new.

The first service at the church was March 16. And it calls itself, "A new kind of church for a new generation."

Harry Rose and his wife, Sheila began the church after they moved here in January 2002. Rose was the associate pastor at Hope Community Church in Lawrenceburg, which is the parent church of New Horizon. Services are held at the West T. Hill Community Theatre.

While neither church's name indicates it, both are of the Southern Baptist denomination.

"We're not trying to be deceitful," Rose said Sunday. "But people attend services and stay that would not have had known we were a Baptist church. When they find out, they don't seem to care."


He said the church's advertisements identify it as a Baptist church and when new people attend for the first time, they are told New Horizon is a Southern Baptist Church.

"We haven't had anyone leave because we were Southern Baptists. We have a new member class to teach what we believe as our doctrine and theology as a Southern Baptist Church," he said.

There have been two such classes and Rose expects another will be held toward the end of this month or the first part of September.

The church has 23 members, but many more than that were at the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday. Rose estimated there were about 60 adults in attendance and 15 children, who were looked after by Sheila Rose in the hall of the theater.

He calls them "the unchurched"

The membership, as well as those attending services who are not members, are there, in part, because they are looking for a new church in which they feel comfortable. Harry Rose calls them "the unchurched."

He's not sure unchurched is a word, but he uses it anyway. "Some have been looking for a church for as long as two years," he said.

What makes them stay?

"The first thing is the worship - it's just spirit filled," he said. "People are free to stand up, clap, cheer, raise their hands and shout. There is a freedom here that a lot of people are attracted to."

He sited the informality of dress and the way people relate to each other.

Sunday's service began with an upbeat - some might say loud - song played, sung and led by a band on the theater's stage and with words projected on the wall.

Rose also points to the way the church conducts its business. There are no committees or business meetings.

"We make decisions where we think God is leading the church. That helps us to get a lot accomplished with less bureaucracy and more ministry."

Rose gave an example: "We had a young single mother who was having car trouble. She couldn't get to work or take her children to day care," Rose explained. "So after talking to my wife and the church overseer, we decided that we were going to fix her car.

The overseer is a leader in the church and Rose points to the New Testament, Acts chapter six, that leads the church to believe that the deacon body doesn't direct the church, but rather serves the church.

"We got it worked on and it cost about $400. We didn't have to go through two or three different committees. With a phone call and a prayer, we just went ahead and did it."

"That is what we teach. Christianity is more than going to church and filling a seat," Rose said. "We teach our members that the majority of the ministry should be done by the members. Every member should be involved."

"Beyond that, the reason we're here is Jesus said love God and love your neighbor and that's what we try to do."

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