All God’s Grace: How the Lord is Growing Ridgewood Church

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Ridgewood Church began in a home, not in a building.

In 2012, a small group from Christ Fellowship of Cherrydale regularly met together in a living room for Bible study and fellowship. Two years later, through prayer and godly counsel, the group covenanted together to plant a church in Greer, S.C.

They called themselves the Church at Greer Station and gathered to hear God’s Word preached, worship Jesus, and take communion. Their first gathering was held at Greer Community Ministries. But for six years they met all around the city, in dance halls, elementary schools, and borrowed church facilities.

“But in spite of all that moving around, the Lord still worked. We baptized many, added to our number, sent leaders out, and saw Jesus at work in our body,” said Trevor Hoffman, one of five elders at Ridgewood.

Bridget Ferrell, a deacon at Ridgewood, said, “When our church didn’t have a building, hospitality both brought and held us together. The moving from place to place as a church instilled a continual gratefulness for the hospitality of community members and an emphasis on opening our homes to one another throughout the week.”

In 2020, a defunct church gifted Ridgewood a building needing much repair. Both the inside and the outside of the building resembled brokenness. Together the members took the old, dead structure, and turned it into a sanctuary of joyful worship. They moved in within two years and changed their name to Ridgewood Church.

Since moving in, the leaders at Ridgewood have had to manage the tension of being in a building that provides new opportunities, while also staying true to their values, explained Hoffman. One of their values is that they are simple, not flashy.

Hoffman said, “We just want to have a kind of bread and butter approach to ministry.”

On a Sunday morning, the music from the band is turned down low so that voices of joyful believers ring loud.

“It’s really powerful to hear so many different people from different walks of life coming together to worship Christ and celebrate Him as the reason for our joy and unity,” said Amy Surrett, a member of Ridgewood.

The spiritual growth of current members is also encouraged.

Shana Pierce, a member at Ridgewood, said, “People are serious about growing in their faith. It is a joy to see an abundance of young men actively serving in the ministries of the church and to have so many healthy families.”

But how do they grow? Ridgewood believes that God uses the ordinary means of grace to grow His body: God’s Word, prayer, fellowship, the Lord’s supper, and baptism.

“We just need to be together, hear from God’s Word, sing together, pray together, take the Supper. That’s what God uses to grow us,” said Hoffman.

And the gospel is the foundation behind every means of grace.

The gospel is the lifeblood of who we are, said Hoffman. The apostle Paul often began his letters first acknowledging who the believers were in Christ before addressing their sin or what to do, explained Hoffman.

Therefore, each week the congregation rehearses the gospel in the form of confession and assurance. The congregation corporately acknowledges their sins before God and individually confesses their sins to God. A Scripture is then read regarding the assurance of Christ’s forgiveness to all those who trust in Him.

“We want to have a reminder every week that we’ve been saved by the grace of Jesus,” said Hoffman.

What began in a living room with 12-15 Ridgewood Church worshipping together.believers has grown to become a body of over 200 members and roughly 300 attendees. By God’s grace, they baptized 14 believers last year.

Ridgewood Church’s building is located at 407 Ridgewood Drive. But the body of Christ is not limited or sustained by a four-wall structure of wood. Ridgewood extends far beyond their building, reaching to the north, south, west, and east parts of Greer. During the week, members meet in each other’s homes throughout Greer for fellowship and biblical discussion.

But the gospel can’t stop there. Ridgewood exists to make Jesus known from Greer to the ends of the earth. Members are encouraged to be on mission right where God has placed them. Occasionally, Ridgewood will hold coordinated opportunities to reach their community, but much of the Great Commission is fulfilled as believers go to their homes, workplaces, and gyms. The gospel is rehearsed on Sunday, but goes with them on Monday.

“They [Ridgewood] practice fulfilling the Great Commission by encouraging members to share their faith starting with your home (children, spouse, family members), then the community of Greer and also around the world,” said Mara Harbin, a member of Ridgewood.

Harbin is a hairstylist. She said that many types of people sit in her chair. Harbin prays for those on her schedule while she is driving to work and asks God to give her opportunities to share the gospel or encourage fellow believers.

“It can be difficult not to cross any ‘lines’ since they are also clients and I don’t want to ‘force’ my faith on them, but how can you hold back from sharing the message of the gospel!” said Harbin.

Another member of Ridgewood, Joshua Pegram, uses exercise as a way to look for opportunities.

“Personally, I try to build relationships for the sake of sharing the gospel when I go to the gym, and the Lord has given some good opportunities there,” said Pegram.

Pegram said that Ridgewood fulfills the Great Commission through mission-oriented prayers on Sunday, sending out church planters and future pastors, giving to local, national, and international missions, and by seeking to spread the gospel faithfully here in their community.

Ultimately, all of Ridgewood’s growth, efforts, and success are fueled by and for the glory of one person — Jesus Christ, the head of the church and the chief cornerstone (Col. 1:18, Acts 4:11).

Their website states, “We’re simply about Jesus. We believe that everything was created by him and for him, and that the Bible and all of history is about him.”

 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).