Kingdom: A Community Church began with a simple request from the General Superintendent of Kingdom’s denomination, the Evangelical Methodist Church. While on a chartered bus trip to Indianapolis, Indiana to attend a Promise Keepers event, Dr. Ed Williamson approached Pastor Kevin (Who at the time was a full-time hydraulic parts salesman) to plant a local church in Westover. Kevin had been feeling the call to the pastorate for some time, so when the call went out Kevin immediately answered. This was the summer of 1998. There were many plans and particulars that had to be put in place before the first service could begin. Initially, a location had to be found for worship, and that did not take long. The Powerhouse of Deliverance church opened their doors to Kingdom. The African American congregation welcomed Pastor Kevin to hold services in the morning prior to their services. Soon an integrated partnership of ministry began that, in many respects, still remains today.
Also, a name for the Westover church had to be decided upon. After many suggestions, one morning after walking his dog, Pastor Kevin entered his home and his wife, Lesley said, “The name of the church is Kingdom.” God had given the name to Lesley, and immediately in Pastor Kevin’s spirit the name Kingdom was confirmed. Kingdom means rule and reign of God, and Pastor Kevin and every member of Kingdom: A Community Church has, is, and always will live so that God is the only One ruling and reigning.
In the Beginning
So Kingdom held its first service in a rented Apostolic church building with 72 people in December of 1998. The next week there were 81 people. Yet, within two weeks the well-wishers headed back to their own church homes, and as a result Kingdom's family numbered a modest 20 people. In the shadow of a coal pile along the Monongahela River and without even a sign on the building, Kingdom's vision was to define the future of individuals through changed lives. Kingdom's heart was to be a place that welcomed every nation, tribe, and tongue; a place designed to embrace young and old, black and white, rich and poor, male and female from every denominational background, no denominational background, and no Christian religious experience at all. Kingdom's desire was, and remains to be, a place where people can come and encounter a man we believe to be the Messiah and the fullness of His message.
Over the next three years, Kingdom steadily grew. First there were 20, them 25, then 30, then back to 25, then up to 35, 45, and 55. By the Spring of 2001 everyone at Kingdom knew God was desiring new ground. So, Kingdom began to pray, and God opened a door to 540 Fairmont Road in Westover, a 13-acre tract of land owned by the Wheeling Charleston Diocese of the Catholic Church. After a minor mountain-moving miracle, a one month negotiation occurred; and, without a capital campaign, Kingdom more than tripled her financial assets and acquired the former Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton 13-acre property and the facility in the heart of Westover. The last Sunday of December, 2001, Kingdom held its final service at the original site. There were 65 in attendance. The first Sunday of January, 2002, Kingdom held its first service at the 540 Fairmont Road location. There were 157 people in attendance. This time the people stayed.
Expanding the Vision
Kingdom began to flourish. In a short time, Kingdom's Sunday attendance topped 200, and as a result a second Sunday service was added. With vibrant preaching, a melding of contemporary and traditional music, and a dedication to children, Kingdom was steadily growing. Yet, major growth was experienced as a result of two very unexpected means. God called Kingdom's pastorate and leadership to head Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at Morgantown High School, and along with FCA, Kingdom was called to begin ministering to people when their hearts were the most vulnerable, through funeral ministry. Countless teenagers and families began attending Kingdom as a result of an investment in young student-athletes. Countless mourning families began attending Kingdom as a result of the compassionate care offered during funerals. Soon, even with two services, Kingdom was busting at the seams.
In the Spring of 2009, Kingdom's Board of Stewards voted to expand Kingdom's facilities. A 500-seat sanctuary would be built adjacent to the educational wing. Construction soon began, and in the Spring of 2010 Kingdom held her first service in the new facility. Two services were retained, and just like before, Kingdom's family continued to grow from 300 to more than 700. New ministries developed and new staff were added. In 2011, daily morning organized prayer services began, and every single morning since, Kingdom has come together as a congregation to pray in organized prayer. Kingdom's youth ministry, EDGE, has deeply affected hundreds of teenagers' lives; and, with Kingdom's ministry to local athletes, now called Athletes' EDGE, literally more than 1000 high school student-athletes have been and continue to be blessed. Kidz Kingdom blesses more than 100 kids weekly, and Kingdom's annual Vacation Bible School sees hundreds of children and adults coming together each July. Domestic missions are also alive and well at Kingdom; the SOURCE has provided over 600,000 meals to the children of Skyview Elementary, and its reach in the community continues to grow. Each Christmas, nearly 20,000 North Central West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania residents have made Kingdom's Live Nativity a family tradition. God has continually blessed Kingdom.
Looking ahead: the steeple
In generations past, the steeple used to be the highest point of the community, so that people knew where they could go to find the community of comfort of God’s love. Kingdom: A Community Church, through a commitment to being multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and with an equal commitment to equity across gender and socio-economic lines is calling everyone to see the hope of God in Kingdom's ministerial steeple. Everyone is welcome to come and be a part of the holy and loving God’s family. If your world needs changing, or if you have a desire to change the world, then Kingdom: A Community Church is the people for you.