Church planting in Utah continues


Nelsons planting a new congregation in Utah County

Mission USA news story

 “What God is doing in Utah is amazing,” says Don Morris, Mission USA director.

Mission USA is partnering with South Mountain Community Church (SMCC), Draper, Utah, and the Pacific District Conference (PDC) to plant a new SMCC campus in Lehi, Utah, bringing the number of USMB churches in the state to seven.

Eric and Carrisa Nelson have been selected as the church planting couple for this new congregation. They moved from the Pacific Northwest to join the SMCC team in May 2015.

Paul Robie, pastor of SMCC, notes that church planting is particularly difficult in Utah County, the least “churched” county in the United States. Fewer than 1 percent of the county’s 560,974 people are evangelical in affiliation.

"As with all of our church plants, this new plant in Lehi is an exciting thing to be a part of,” says Morris. “This church plant is the result of 20 years of our involvement in Utah as SMCC continues to reach people and expand its influence for Christ in this largely unreached region.”

Nelson is thankful for the support of SMCC as well as the PDC and Mission USA. “To have had such a high level of support heading into our launch date of October 25 was phenomenal,” he says.

SMCC is providing the main funding and a lot of structure and staff support for the Lehi campus while the PDC and Mission USA are helping with additional funding and other support.

The Draper congregation is also supporting the new congregation with a launch team that includes families and couples.

“We’ll have many people who live in Utah County and have been traveling several miles up to Draper in order to attend SMCC who will now have an SMCC church in their own community,” says Nelson. “Many will now choose to attend the Lehi campus. That gives us a lot of stability.”

Mission USA had a major role in establishing SMCC’s main campus in 1996, as well as their campuses in South Jordan and St. George, Utah. Mission USA assisted with Shadow Mountain Church, a daughter church of SMCC, and New Hope Church, now defunct. Mission USA is also a major partner in planting The Greenhouse, Saratoga Springs, Utah, with planters Jason and Nicole Quiring who are planting with an organic model and are not under the SMCC umbrella.

 “It’s a good thing to partner once again with Paul (Robie), SMCC and the PDC for even more kingdom growth in Utah,” says Morris.  

Recently SMCC leased a local 8,500-square-foot warehouse for the Lehi campus and has retrofitted the space for worship and ministry. Construction was completed in mid-October. The building seats about 230 people. When this space is maxed out, the plan is to hold two Sunday worship services.

Gary Wall, PDC minister, is pleased that his district is supporting a new SMCC satellite campus.

“We continue to appreciate and value what the Lord is accomplishing through the ministry of South Mountain Community Church,” Wall says. “Their strategic commitment of investing in satellite campuses to reach more people is worthy of our strong support. It is a joyful privilege for the PDC to be a partner in this new initiative in Utah County,” he says.

Photo courtesy of SMCC Lehi: The Oct. 25 launch service at SMCC Lehi Campus was "a fantastic morning," according to church planter Eric Nelson. Some 269 people attended, and children's ministry spaces were overflowing.


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