WARNER ROBINS -- The move from leased facilities on North Davis Drive to its own building on Elberta Road has meant new growth for Harvest Builders Worship Center.
But Levi Rozier, pastor, said the church’s change in location hasn’t changed its purpose. That, he said, has only grown stronger.
“We want to build people, not our own little kingdom or something with our name on it,” he said. “That doesn’t matter at all. What we want to do is minister God’s love to people, his truth and grace, and see them changed and then be able to minister to others. We want to have that kind of impact on people, families, neighborhoods and our community.”
He said the move is just a means to an end for the six-year-old congregation.
“It’s obviously a great blessing to be in a new place,” Rozier said. “We appreciated where we were on North Davis and what God did there. We became stable there and gained momentum, but it was time to leave. We outgrew it. God opened up this facility to buy and the timing was perfect.”
Rozier said the old place offered 5,000 square feet for all activities. The new place offers almost that in the sanctuary alone and just about doubles the former space overall at 9,000 square feet, including classrooms, a large multipurpose area and special purpose spaces.
Plus there’s open green space on the 2.3-acre lot the church didn’t have before to host its frequent free yard sales and activities for kids.
But location hasn’t been the only recent change. Rozier said since the beginning of the year he’s become full-time pastor at the church rather than splitting his time between it and full-time work in Twiggs County, where he was the public school system’s security and transportation head.
Rozier also gained a master’s degree in theology from Christian Life School of Theology in Columbus.
“I have to say it is great waking up every day knowing I’m focused on my assignment, on exactly what God is wanting me to do without dividing my attention,” he said. “Our church has a new sense of understating of our assignment, too. God is doing a lot of great things in churches all over, but we’re excited about what he’s called us to and about giving ourselves to it wholeheartedly; to loving God, loving people, building them up and being serious about it.”
Since moving near the end of last year, Rozier said the church has grown from about 150 to 325.
“But we didn’t want to lose our small church atmosphere,” he said. “To keep it takes being very intentional about not growing complacent but remembering that every person matters. We don’t want anyone to come in and feel like a number. We want them to be greeted personally, to know they’re welcome and that they matter. It’s an arduous task in a way, but we stress over and over to people at the church that genuine love and friendship matter. Just because we’re getting bigger doesn’t mean Felicia and I can hide away but instead it means we’re still out front greeting people, touching people, learning names, leading the way.”
Rozier and his wife, Felicia, both pastor the church and lead various ministries along with a growing group of co-leaders. Though they’re an independent, non-denominational congregation, Harvest Builders is part of a fellowship of churches and leaders called Evangel Fellowship International of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Rozier said he considers openness and his own accountability and fellowship with others pastors crucial not only to his own well-being and growth but to that of the church.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.