Local Church in Mountain Green officially organizesFeb 08, 2023 03:10PM ● By Rachel Cordeiro
Morgan Valley Church Logo
The congregants of Morgan Valley Church in Mountain Green gathered on Sunday, Jan. 29, for the organizational service of their church.
In 2016, Triumph Baptist Church near Warrenton, Virginia, was led by the Holy Spirit to support evangelical Christians in Morgan County who were meeting together as a local assembly. They sent Brent Harm to help lead this effort, and Morgan Valley Church began meeting in June 2016 under his leadership as pastor.
Located in a part of the county where there is limited available space to meet together as a group, the church initially met in conference rooms at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green for their weekly Sunday gatherings, which was the perfect fit for their needs at that time. Currently, they meet at Mountain Green Middle School, where they have gathered on Sunday mornings since 2020.
The leadership of the church has stated that the recent organizational service won’t change how Morgan Valley Church operates, nor what they consider their mission and responsibility as a church; rather, it is a formal declaration of individuals who have publicly committed to being joined together as members, choosing to meet in a local assembly under the leadership of Christ and in the care and oversight of pastor-elders.
Traditionally, these types of ceremonies can vary even within a particular denomination, but typically the day is set aside as an opportunity for members to sign an official charter, documenting their membership. The procedure also includes a review of the church’s readiness to operate independently while outlining its governance structure within that specific congregation.
When questioned for comment, Pastor Brent Harm mentioned that many ask some common questions on the matter of church policy regarding how authority works within this structure and how it might differ from the magisterial or more centralized organizational constructs of other religions. Others might be curious how it prevents any individual dissenter from starting their own sect or doctrine or from devolving into a raw democracy in which decisions are made on the basis of emotion or desire or populism instead of biblical principle and objectivity.
“These are good questions,” Harm said, stating in his answer that “an organizational service is really about the transition of authority. While the Morgan Valley Church was a church plant, our doctrine and practice were subject to the oversight of our sending church, Triumph Baptist Church. The charter service we recently celebrated was a formal transfer of authority to the local body of Christians, endorsed by our sending church. Now, in submission to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the leaders of the Morgan Valley Church oversee the flock and are, in turn, held accountable to and through the congregation for their faithfulness to this task.”
Harm shared further that the details are available on the church’s website in its Constitution and Bylaws, which can be found at www.morganvalleychurch.org in the “About Us” section. “We invite anyone interested to explore these documents, and we are available to discuss this, or any other matters, through the contact us section posted on the website,” said Harm.
As the people of Morgan Valley Church gathered this past Sunday to affirm their commitment as members, it was a significant occasion in the church’s history and a milestone to be celebrated.