The Summit Church
The Summit Church is a Southern Baptist church that meets at seven locations throughout Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Regular attendance averages 7,000 people weekly with the main campus in Brier Creek hosting morning and evening services. Services are also available through the church website and by podcast.
The Summit Church, which originated as Homestead Heights Baptist Church, began in 1961 when Henry Anderson preached the first service at what was then the Grace Baptist Mission in Durham. Within a year, the mission had grown into the new Homestead Heights Baptist Church. The Church grew to a membership of over 150 by 1965 and as it continued to grow, the congregation constructed a new church building in the 1980s to host close to 600 people. Although it briefly exceeded capacity, the 1990s saw little growth and eventually declined to a stable 400 members.
In 2002, Homestead Heights called its college pastor of a year and a half, J.D. Greear, to be Lead Pastor. Upon accepting the position, Greear called for the renaming and ultimately the re-launching of the church as The Summit Church. In the first three years, a great resurgence of members inevitably led to the sale of its property located on Holt School Road, and in April 2005 the church began holding services at Riverside High School. As the Summit grew, people came from all over the Triangle and the search for land became more focused on areas that would allow the church to continue to reach people from all over the Triangle area. Near the end of 2006, the church purchased 37 acres (150,000 m2) on T.W. Alexander Road, near Brier Creek, one of the fastest growing points in the area (Flo 2007).
Beginning in late September 2007, the Summit initiated a multi-site strategy. Having outgrown Riverside High, the church temporarily met there and at a site on Cole Mill road before moving its main campus from Riverside to a 1200 seat auditorium adjacent to the Brier Creek property. The second location, Cole Mill Campus, seats 225 for worship and is perfectly situated to continue serving north and west Durham and west along I-85. The newest location is the West Club Campus, which is hosted by the Journey Fellowship of Durham. The West Club Campus is a 350-seat venue situated in the heart of downtown Durham.
In May 2010 the Summit Church revealed plans for the creation of another campus in the developing North Raleigh community. The campus opened in Mid-September 2010 and is located on Departure Drive in Raleigh at the former location of the Journey Church.
Plans were announced in November 2010 to move the Cole Mill Campus and relaunch it as the North Durham Campus of the Summit Church.
As of January 2013, Summit Church has 6 campuses. Brier Creek being the main campus, also is home to Summit En Espanol. There is also a campus in North Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, North Durham, and West Club.
The vision of the Summit Church is summarized in Jesus’ Great Commandment to "Love God, Love Each Other, and Love Our World."
- Flo Johnston. "Church sets sites anew as it grows." newsobserver.com. Published 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- Flo Johnston. "Church to sell its site." newsobserver.com Published 2005-03-04. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- Yonat Shimron. "Durham church spreads Gospel with DVDs." newsobserver.com. Published 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- "The Summit Church".