Eastlan Baptist Church of Greenville to merge with NewSpring

Eastlan Baptist Church in Greenville voted Dec. 24 to merge with NewSpring Church of Greenville.

The combined congregations will be known as NewSpring Eastlan Church.

Eastlan, founded in 1939, has experienced declining membership in recent years, church leaders told The Courier.

NewSpring Greenville has been meeting at the TD Convention Center and is expected to spend significant funds in upgrading the 11-acre Eastlan campus on South Pleasantburg Drive.

Eastlan church leaders said that under the terms of the “adoption-merger” agreement, Eastlan’s current members, the majority of them senior adults, will continue to have a separate “blended-traditional” worship service in the church’s chapel even as NewSpring moves its contemporary worship service and church operations to the Eastlan campus in the coming months.

Eastlan’s last full-time pastor, Benjamin Littlejohn, retired in July 2017. Jim Goodroe, retired director of missions for Spartanburg County Baptist Network, is serving as interim pastor.

Al Phillips, director of missions for Greenville Baptist Association, described Eastlan as a longtime “stalwart partner in ministry.”

“Eastlan will now cease to exist, but her legacy will live on as the gospel is preached from that hill,” Phillips said. “Though [NewSpring Eastlan] is not part of Greenville Baptist Association, we share the same vision of connecting people to Jesus and one another as we create access to the gospel for all, starting here.

“I hope the day will come when we can work together as Southern Baptists toward our common mission. How exciting it would be to see the church living on that campus one day return to its historic partnership with Greenville Baptist Association.”