1238 East Tenth Street was the site for Positive Directions for Youth, an inner city youth outreach center. It was at that location in September 1994 that Pastor Michael and Sharon Stevens established Full Gospel Fellowship Church. The first worship service was held beginning with only two members and four guests.
God’s favor continued to rest upon this growing ministry. By September of 1995 we opened Full Gospel Child Development Center and a year later moved our worship services to First Ward Elementary School. In August of 1997 we began The Learning Center at 3641 Central Avenue. This center housed the new Child Development Center, Christian Academy, and After-school Enrichment Program.
On June 12, 1999, Full Gospel Fellowship Church broke ground for a new location at 7829 Old Concord Road. Thenew building was dedicated in March 2000 and Full Gospel Fellowship Church officially changed its name to University City Church. On November 24, 2002, ground was broken for the University City Community Life Center. The much anticipated dedication of the Community Life Center took place September of 2003. Located just behind the main building and Sanctuary at that campus, this facility contained an official size gymnasium, community resource lab, offices, and multi-purpose activity rooms.
In 2006, Pastor Stevens sensed the move of God and knew that we needed to be proactive in planning for the anticipated growth of the ministry. Between Feb 2007 and September 2008, the UCC Board of Directors, along with the UCC Advisory Board, met with three Capital Campaign Consulting firms. Generis Partners, LLC, a stewardship and fundraising firm based out of Atlanta, GA, was eventually chosen, and the initial kick-off meeting was held in December 2008. The church board members, staff, and leaders had already begun due diligence on a prime I-85 real estate property owned by the Oasis Shriners. It was a 55,000 SF facility on 13 acres, located in the “heart” of the University Area. Although acquiring this Shriners Headquarters was still in negotiations, church members and ministry partners were called to a special time of consecration, prayer, and fasting. On May 9, 2009, after a three-hour deliberation, we received word that the Shriners had voted and approved for University City Church to temporarily lease and later purchase the property at the negotiated price. Based upon the timing, this had to be the hand of God!
The “Imagine 2009 Lifestyle Stewardship Capital Campaign,” culminated on Sunday, May 17, 2009, with a special evening celebration service at the Oasis Temple, which is now our current worship location. It was during this time that members collectively made their three-year financial commitments to the Capital Campaign, and sowed their First Fruits toward that endeavor. It was a celebration to be remembered! Thank God for our awesome visionaries, Pastor and Lady Stevens, who dared to believe God that a Capital Campaign would be successful during a recession, which helped place us in the right position, and at the right time, to acquire the facility below market value.
Today, the University City Church has surpassed 1,500 members and offers a plethora of diverse and cutting-edge ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas. While Sunday morning and Thursday evening services are held at our campus at 604 Doug Mayes Place (next to Sam’s Club in the Shoppes at University City Place Shopping Center ), our Administrative Offices; 5th Sunday Baptismal services; Saturday morning Intercessory Prayer; shut-ins; and various other meetings and special events throughout the week, continue to utilize our 7829 Old Concord Road campus.
University City Church holds fast to its vision. We seek to grow by loving God, loving one another, and serving the world. The future of University City Church is just as bright as its beginning. After a three year in depth study of small group dynamics, the University City Church has implemented both a discipleship-based and interest-based small groups ministry. This ensures that souls are saved throughout every day of the week, and that meaningful and valuable relationships are cultivated throughout the greater Charlotte region. This effective small groups ministry continues to multiply the resources, talents and treasures needed to fulfill the Kingdom mandate of preaching the gospel to all mankind.
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