MATCH­ING YOUR LIFE

Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian Church’s min­istries in­te­grate into parish­ioners’ daily lives

The Covington News - - RELIGION - SAMANTHA REAR­DON news@cov­news.com

A growth spurt is in ef­fect in East New­ton County. A round­about is go­ing to be con­structed at the in­ter­sec­tion of 142 and 278. Bax­ter is un­der con­struc­tion.

The con­struc­tion of more homes, neigh­bor­hoods and businesses is a real pos­si­bil­ity. And Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian Church could not be more op­ti­mistic.

“We rec­og­nize a lot of our neigh­bors aren’t too happy about that,” said Pas­tor Tim Bolen of the changes in­dus­try will bring to the church’s neigh­bor­hood. “But we’re try­ing to em­brace the good that’s go­ing to come from it be­cause we know that it’s in­evitable that they’re go­ing to do this.”

He de­scribed Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian as a “young fam­ily church.” Parish­ioners’ ages range from one to 96, and there are al­ways a lot of kids.

“Since we at­tract young fam­i­lies with chil­dren, people new to the com­mu­nity don’t know who they can trust their kids to play with, and church is a great way to make those kinds of con­nec­tions,” Bolen said.

Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian be­gan op­er­at­ing out of a trailer 46 years ago. The church’s con­gre­ga­tion is now about 150 people, and the church build­ings grew to fit.

The non-de­nom­i­na­tional con­tem­po­rary church holds Sun­day ser­vice at 11 a.m. each Sun­day, where Bolen said ca­sual at­tire is ap­pro­pri­ate and ap­pear­ance is not a pri­or­ity.

“We kind of do life to­gether in mul­ti­ple ways here,” Bolen said.

One way the par­ish con­nects is through its twice-monthly fam­ily gath­er­ings. Bolen de­scribed them as the “garage door of the church.”

We’re gen­er­ous to people in our church who have fell on hard times. We try to do our best to take care of people in our own com­mu­nity. —Tim Bolen Pas­tor of Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian Church

Church mem­bers meet at a fam­ily’s home and share a meal, pray and get to know each other.

“It’s hard to get to know some­one on a Sun­day morn­ing be­tween songs or be­fore the ser­vice starts,” Bolen said. “So it’s a way of re­ally deep­en­ing the con­nec­tions in the church.”

The church’s youth soft­ball league is one of the Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian’s flag­ship min­istries. In its 22nd year, the New­ton Chris­tian Youth Soft­ball League ( NCYSL) pro­vides a league for about 200-250 chil­dren be­tween the ages of 4 and 16.

The church also has men’s soft­ball and bas­ket­ball teams and a coed soft­ball league. Bolen said the church tries to meet its con­gre­ga­tion’s needs by pro­vid­ing them with min­istries they can in­te­grate into their lives.

“We try to pro­vide things that are rel­e­vant to the fam­ily, but at the same time are prac­ti­cal,” Bolen said.

“We’re try­ing to raise our kids, start fam­i­lies and have healthy mar­riages,” he con­tin­ued.

Bolen started at Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian six years ago. He pre­vi­ously preached at his for­mer church in Columbus for nine years. He is also a li­censed coun­selor who pro­vides ser­vices to church mem­bers.

“We’re gen­er­ous to people in our church who have fell on hard times. We try to do our best to take care of people in our own com­mu­nity,” Bolen said.

Samantha Rear­don/The Cov­ing­ton News

Lo­cated off US High­way 146, Cov­ing­ton Chris­tian Church has been serv­ing East New­ton County for 46 years.

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