ELIZABETHTOWN — It has been well said that 11 a.m. on Sunday morning remains the most segregated hour in America. An Illinois native is hoping to make that saying inapplicable in Bladen County.
If all goes as planned, in late May or early June, the Rev. Stephan Anderson will begin holding the first services for Potter’s House of North Carolina. Based on Cypress Street — near the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office in Elizabethtown — the new church will be an attempt to bring diversity to God’s people.
“I think when you live or pastor in small towns or little cities, you tend to have traditional churches … that are segregated,” remarked Anderson. “In this day and age, we may not pay much attention to it, but we know it’s out there — whites go to white churches, blacks go to black churches, and Hispanics go to Hispanic churches. I’m trying to have a church for all people, not just one set of people. That’s my goal.”
Not only is Anderson hoping for diversity, he’s also attempting to reach people who don’t see themselves fitting into a traditional church. In an effort to reach that group, services will be offered at non-conventional times. Sunday’s service will be held at 3:30 p.m., a service Anderson called “Impartation” will be held on Tuesday nights, and the week’s services will be rounded out on Friday evening with “prophetic, deliverance, and anointing — that type of thing.”
“I’m trying to reach masses people who don’t go to church or those who work at night and can’t attend Sunday morning — those are the people I’m trying to reach,” he said.
Potter’s House of North Carolina will be a congregation unaffiliated with any religious organization, but Anderson described it as a Bible-believing church.
“We’ll be having Gateway to Salvation, family-oriented fellowship, love, biblical teaching, youth ministry and outreach, marriage principles, financial wellness, hope and diversity — those are just some of the things we’ll be offering,” he informed.
The new plant will not be Anderson’s first charge, nor is it his initial call into ministry. While in Chicago 25 years ago, he served as a youth leader before accepting a position as assistant pastor at a Windy City assembly. For the last 10 years, he has been the senior pastor at The Rivers Church, a congregation in Chesterfield, S.C. Anderson said he doesn’t intend to leave the South Carolina church, but to serve the dual charge.
While trying to get zoning issues worked out, Anderson is spending the time “hitting the ground running” — utilizing social media and signage to let people know the church is coming soon, and even going door-to-door in April.
“Not many people know me there,” he commented. “I’ll be a fresh face, and maybe a fresh word, and hopefully they’ll check us out.”
Additional information may be gleaned by emailing Anderson at email@example.com or by calling 843-287-0618. Plans are for Potter’s House of North Carolina to be located at 104 South Cypress St. in Elizabethtown.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.