Longview church plant sees 31 come to Christ since January

LONGVIEW?The small church he pastors in Longview has seen 31 professions of faith since January.

“The main thing is being where God has placed you,” said Jace Roberts.

For now God has placed Roberts as pastor of Solid Rock Bible Fellowship in the low-income Greggton area of northwest Longview.

“We are a church born out of hardships and struggles in a community with a lot of hardships and struggles.”

Roberts said he saw people begin to respond to his messages when he spoke openly from the pulpit.
“Some preachers today have an older style of preaching where they are perceived as above everyone else. The Lord has used my openness,” he said. “We preach Christians should live a holy, righteous life but not be above anyone else.”

The church, which began in Roberts’ house three-and-a-half years ago, now has a regular attendance of approximately 90 in Sunday school and 125 in Sunday morning worship.

Roberts said the spark at Solid Rock ignited when four or five family members from two or three families became Christians and began talking about it in the community.

“God burdened my heart and other people’s hearts. We thought we would open our doors to this community,” Roberts said. “We’re reaching out to people in their needs to show them the love of Christ.”

He said they tell them how much the Lord loves them and how he can help them out of hard times.
Solid Rock has outgrown its location twice and now meets in the family life center of the former Central Baptist Church.

Central had shrunk to five members including its pastor and his wife when Solid Rock and Central decided to merge.

Now Solid Rock owns debt-free approximately $750,000 in property that once belonged to Central.
Roberts said that while they are now remodeling the worship center so that Solid Rock can hold services there, they plan to keep the family life center in its present renovated condition so that a Hispanic mission church can meet there.

“We hopefully have found a Hispanic missionary who can pastor that church,” he said.

Solid Rock has a blended style of music in its worship services as well as a blended style of dress.
“Anyone is welcome at our church. I don’t wear a suit every Sunday,” he said. “The people here don’t go to church to see who is dressed well. Some dress up. Some don’t.”

Roberts said the church has a higher-than-average attendance for Wednesday and Sunday night activities.

“We have about 70 percent show up to our studies on Wednesday and Sunday nights. They’re mostly new Christians who say they can’t wait to come back.”

Roberts said around 85 percent of his congregation are new Christians and young adults.
“At one point we had seven ladies expecting babies due within a six-month period. Now, we’ve had one, and six are on the way.”

Roberts said he is amazed at how God has used him and how God has worked out everything.
“I believe we are having a positive impact on Longview. We are a lighthouse in this community,” he said. “We’re not here to win the world, just the ones Christ wants us to win.”

Roberts shared some advice for other pastors and Christians.

“Be willing to do what it takes and to get your hands dirty. Don’t let others discourage you,” Roberts said. “If the Holy Spirit is leading, don’t worry?you’re here to please the Lord.”

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