NEW PALESTINE — It’s been a journey of uncertainty during the past several years for parishioners at Water’s Edge Church. They’ve had three different church leaders, five different places to worship during 12 years and many sleepless nights wondering what’s next.
That question was answered recently, however, when officials from New Palestine Bible Church and Water’s Edge merged their churches.
Water’s Edge is the second congregation to join New Palestine Bible Church in the past three years. New Faith Community Church joined in 2012. With the newer merge, New Palestine Bible Church now has a fold estimated at nearly 265 people.
New Palestine Bible Church Pastor Brett Crump said Water’s Edge pastor Daron Day, who has been with Water’s Edge since 2011, will now become an associate pastor at New Palestine Bible Church.
Crump said it was a logical blending for the two churches.
Water’s Edge had been using a New Palestine Bible Church building at 5954 W. County Road 300S but has officially joined New Palestine Bible Church at 27 W. Main St. for services.
New Palestine Bible Church owns some 20 acres there at 5954 W. County Road 300S, which will be the future site of a new worship center. But for now, the two church leaders say they will meet as one at the Main Street site and are excited to bring their parishioners together.
“The Lord opened and closed several different doors for our search team,” Day said. “I just thought, ‘What about our friends at New Palestine Bible Church?’ And I just had such peace about it.”
Both churches have the same Baptist doctrine and belief base, Day said, making the marriage logical.
“We have major similarities with how we do things,” Day said. “We just realized this was the best thing to do in the long run for the people of Water’s Edge.”
Unknown to Day at the time, Crump was trying to figure out a way to somehow borrow the Water’s Edge music minister. When Day approached Crump with the idea for the churches merge, it seemed like the right thing to do, Crump said.
The pastors had already been meeting every Monday to pray as a group.
“It just resonated with me as well,” Crump said. “I thought, ‘If this is of God, it will happen.’”
The first talks were back in May. The first worship service together came in late August.
Day said it was easy to see all the good things happening at New Palestine Bible Church and that it felt right to join God’s work there.
“There certainly is a sense of comfort and encouragement being a part of a team,” Day said.
Day said it’s interesting how now all three churches have merged together to help and pray for the New Palestine area.
“Pastor Brett (Crump) has been here a long time now, and he is providing good leadership,” Day said. “Now we can see the culmination of everything through the years.”
Crump said the decision to merge with Water’s Edge was a unanimous decision by all the church leaders in both churches, as well as the entire church body.
“We couched it this way — it was our wedding day,” Crump said. “At the end of the first sermon together we exchanged vows.”
Crump said Water’s Edge also owns a piece of land, 15 acres off Gem Road (County Road 500W) and West County Road 200S, that it will sell. It will then pool its resources to build the new New Palestine Bible Church at 5954 W. County Road 300S. Crump said the church hopes to break ground on the new building sometime in 2017.
He said it might then keep the current New Palestine Bible Church building as a youth area or sell it and move everything on the larger spot near the former Water’s Edge building.