Morrie Lawing doesn’t have an official title. Most leaders of churches in the area are pastors, preachers or priests, but when he moved to Lincoln County from the Ballantyne area in August of 2005, his mission was not to establish a title, but to plant a church.
Now, nine years later, Christ Church ARP is breaking ground on a new gathering place that Lawing hopes will serve not only as a place of worship, but as a way to give back to the community.
After celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2004, parent church Coddle Creek Associated Reformed Presbyterian began to raise funds to plant churches. That was where Morrie Lawing came in. Having already helped plant a church in Ballantyne and with his wife and five children, ranging in ages from 3–11, he packed up came to Denver. The vision was to plant a church that cared for people with a commitment to the Bible, fellowship and loving the community.
In October of 2005, Christ Church ARP began meeting at the Denver campus of Lincoln Charter School.
“We were meeting up there in the evenings until May of 2006 and that’s when we went to morning worship,” Lawing said. “Then we continued to have evening prayer time and meals and just hanging out together.”
In the summer of 2007, they moved to a storefront location on Natalie Commons Drive in Denver. For several years, as the congregation built, Christ Church borrowed leaders from several churches in the area but now have their own and the financial leg to stand on to earn them the stamp of approval from their denomination.
“We became an organized church as per our system in February of last year,” Lawing said.
Coming from a background in the Air Force and having received his education in Oklahoma, Texas and Florida, Lawing said that it wasn’t until he made a stop in Greenville, South Carolina that he truly embraced the Lord’s design for his life. He worked for Young Life and eventually went to seminary. Though he is not burdened with a title, the members of the Christ Church congregation never forget that he was sent there to plant the church.
“I’m staying right here,” he said. “Just because I’ve done it before, and certainly there’s an element to that I greatly enjoy, having grown up in the military community where you move a lot as a youngster and getting to know people and having to do so quickly, but I’m very pleased to be here. I love this area. I long to remain here, to see what the Lord would do out there. I have no desire to leave.”
The new location for Christ Church will be located on North Little Egypt Road in Denver. Groundbreaking is to take place on July 20 at 4 p.m.
Complete with a nursery and ample space as a meeting place, Lawing is more than pleased that the church body will have a new building in which they can grow and use as a way to give back.
“To give this building back to the community is my hope and desire,” said Lawing. “It’s a blessing that we have it. My hope, my passion, my desire, is to have a presence. We want to be out there and ready to serve.”