Here is a new Christmas tradition to try.  Sing the Christmas carols and really study what each verse is saying.  Closely, try to see the Gospel story throughout all the hymns, indeed, in almost every line.  Look especially for:

1. God’s love for humanity

2. His holiness offended by our rebellion and how the “curse” of sin was brought upon creation (hint: Joy to the World and the line “far as the curse is found).

3. The decision for God to send his only Son in the world, clothed in human flesh (hint: O Come All Ye Faithful and the line “clothed in flesh the Godhead see”)

4. The joy of salvation, of knowing our sins are forgiven (it’s in most of them!).

5. The Second Coming when the curse will finally and forever be lifted (it’s in more than you would realize!).

6. The forever reign of King Jesus (hint: Hark the Herald Angles Sing and the line “glory to the newborn KING!).

The Gospel is the hope of the world, every day, all year around.  But it’s our special hope, as followers of Jesus, this time of year.  And the Gospel will be proclaimed this year, not only from the pulpits and preachers, but also in the Christmas hymns we sing. 

Therefore, this year, sing them with a special eye toward all the Gospel truths enshrouded in each line.  Point them out with your family as you sing them at home and at church.  

If we really believe what we sing, we’d know that “all is calm, all is bright” in our personal lives and in the world because of the birth of this baby Jesus.


I’m not sure when it happened, but it did happen.  Tolerance became the highest value in our culture.  Its current has swept contemporary thought.  If you are intolerant, you’re considered a pariah.

Yes, tolerance can be used for good, especially when it teaches us to be patient and kind toward our neighbors.  It’s also a worthy weapon to fight extremism of all kinds.

But tolerance can never mean that all perspectives are equal.  That means truth will most certainly be obliterated and evil advance.

Living life means to stand up for convictions.  It means stating the truth as you see it.  It means holding to values you know are healthiest for a society. It means confronting the reality that tolerance is a high virtue for society except for those who believe in absolutes.  Then intolerance abounds!

Stick to your convictions.  Otherwise, we have people with weak backbones!  

Then society has absolutely no hope!


Here’s another way to be completely ineffective in life.  Run from joy.  Reject it.  Shun joy in every way possible!

When you wake up in the morning, don’t look a the beauty of the sun.  Look at all your problems.  Be overcome with despair.

Don’t enjoy your children.  Be busy with other things.  Only be involved with your child when you will discipline him or her.

And don’t smile.  This is an expression of joy!  Squelch any feeling of thanksgiving and praise within you.  That too is an expression of joy.  Then live your day like you are sucking lemon juice.

I promise you, in every possible way, you will be ineffective all day long.  No one will want to be around you.  You’ll be a loser.

The antidote is simple: don’t forget about joy today.  Remember all the blessings you have.  Live in regular thanksgiving.

Joy will soon return!


If you want to be an effective human being you must first learn contentment.  Being content means you have a peace within because of your circumstances.  You are not always looking for more.  You are satisfied with life as it presently exists.

Are you content today?  Are you fine with your appearance?  With the size of your nose?  Your thin lips?  Your teeth?  Your intelligence?  Your physique?  Your material situation in life?

Is there an inner desire for more and more?  Is there the inward angst that if I just had ______________ then I’d be content?  Are you shrouding your discontentment in the lie that you just want to be excellent in everything in life?  You then work longer hours to possess more toys, which never, ever deliver the promise of contentment.

But effective people are satisfied with what they have.  If they get more, fine.  If not, that’s fine.  Their lives are not identified by what they own but who they are.

Is this you?  If not, why not?


Successful people have close relationships.  They are not lukewarm to having others be a part of their lives.

They know the importance of having others with whom they can share their deepest thoughts and longings.  They can easily and willingly open their hearts to someone they can trust.  They have people they know who are always there for them, and they are always there for the other when they should need a friend.

They know too it takes time to have these kinds of friendships.  So they purposefully and intentionally put friends on their calendar.  They spend time together.  They talk.  They share.  They care.

The truth is life can become heartless at times, for all people.  Therefore, we need friends to help us navigate these times.

Every successful person knows this truth.

Do you?


Successful people have a dream.  They refuse stagnant living.

What is a dream?  It’s a God-given, nagging sense that life has purpose.   More important: your life has purpose!  This dream is relentless.  It gnaws at you.  It keeps coming back to you, over and over again.  No matter what, you can’t stop thinking about it.  It haunts you day and night to accomplish it.  You talk about it all the time, to family, friends and neighbors.

If you have such a dream, don’t give up on it.  Keep feeding it.  Stoke its embers until it starts to burn brightly again.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dream.  Don’t allow any nay-sayers to put doubt in your mind.

And go for it.  Work toward it.  Believe one day it will come true!

And it will.

Successful people know this is true.

Do you?


Successful people know the insanity of playing the blame game.  They know how stupid it is, when confronted with a mistake, problem or difficulty, to blame other people.  They absolutely and steadfastly refuse to say, “Well, the dog ate my homework!” 

To the contrary, they accept responsibility.  They own up to what they did wrong.  When necessary, they say, “I’m sorry.  My bad.  It was my problem.  I was wrong.  Please forgive me.”  Then they steadfastly learn from the mistake and move ahead, hoping they never repeat it again.  But also realizing that they may do it again.  And, if so, that’s not the end of the world either!

Blaming others prevents a real growth area in your life from ever occurring. It suggests you don’t ever make a mistake.  That you are perfect!  

Don’t fall prey to it.  It’s deadly.  It hurts you in many ways.

Successful people know this truth.

Do you?


I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what brings success.  Oftentimes, we overlook some key, seemingly less significant details for success to happen.

Here are a few I know I’m foolish to overlook:  

First, today, refuse to compartmentalize your life.  Strive to see the sacred and the secular intertwined.  They are!

Next, refuse to dance the dance of mediocrity.  You are unique in every way.  There really is nothing mediocre about you at all.

Finally, don’t miss caring about smaller things in life.  When you pay attention to all the smaller things in your life, amazingly, the bigger things become more conquerable.  In fact, most successes are built upon the careful oversight of the smaller issues in life.

Remember: your entire life matters.  There really is nothing insignificant for success to occur.


The month of December is a wonderful time of year to look back on the many blessings, hurdles and mountains we have overcome by the grace of Christ.  It is with that reflection, I share some of my thoughts on what makes an individual successful and effective for the Kingdom.

If you want to be a highly ineffective person today take grace for granted.  Be embarrassed by the word.

Don’t think about all the blessings you have.  Don’t sense there is purpose to life.  Be in a continual state of boredom and ennui.

Keep on living life on your own terms, over and over and over again.  Think there are no consequences for your selfishness.  Always condemn others.  Make them the problem.  Fight compassion and empathy.  Don’t ever say, “But there by the grace of God go I.”  Let “I” be the most often spoken word from your mouth.  Always think you are better than others.

Or you can choose to live in grace.  You can decide today to claim all that has come to you by grace: the air you breathe, the food you eat, the friends and family you have, the roof over your head.

Grace encourages the heart like nothing else.  Don’t deny it today!


I appreciate you taking the time throughout the last few weeks to learn more about the life and ministry here at Forest Hill. To bring a close to this conversation, I would love to share our 2014 vision as well as the progress we have made throughout the past year. My hope is that you are encouraged by the provision and guidance of Christ in our midst. 

2014 Vision

1. Begin process of incubating up to two Forest Hill Church extensions.

  • Our Waxhaw extension of Forest Hill is currently meeting at Cuthbertson High School with an average of 300 in attendance each week. 
  • We are in the active process of exploring a campus extension on South Boulevard. 

2. Develop ways to drive Seven Strives into the lives of our ministries and in turn, congregation.

3. Explore the development of Fuente de Vida in the Dominican Republic.

  • We have been pursuing this development and are currently in the process of deciphering next best steps. 

4. Explore developing a South Boulevard presence to support and care for a socio-economically diverse community.

  • We are currently exploring the launch of a South Boulevard campus extension. 

5. Begin process of planting a church in Matthews, NC.

  • Mission Community Church was launched this fall by Ryan Carson in Matthews, NC. 

May this exciting progress be just the beginning of the great work He has called us to. Thank you for being a part of the work Christ is doing through Forest Hill Church as we work to share Christ with our brothers and sisters both locally and globally. 

To God alone and always belongs all the glory.


I've always thought it ironic that people will celebrate Thanksgiving without an understanding that the very nature of “thanks” demands a direct object.  It demands someone to whom you are giving thanks.  How can someone give thanks to nothing?  Or no one?  To me, it seems implausible, indeed, impossible!

Therefore, in the spirit of the true meaning of Thanksgiving, let me give thanks to the “direct objects” in my life, the people to whom I’m most thankful.

1. To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I have eternal life only because of your grace.  There is nothing meritorious in me to deserve your love, forgiveness and righteousness.  It¹s all a free gift.  Since I can’t earn it, my only response is “Thank you Jesus!”

2. To my wife, Marilynn.  I don¹t deserve your love.  Yet you freely, daily choose to give it to me.  For over 36 years you have always been available to me, encouraging my doubts, calming my anxieties.  I don’t deserve all the unconditional love you have given to me.  That¹s why I must give to you a hearty “thank you!”

3. To my three incredible children: Bethany, David and Michael.  You could have chosen a different path than what Mom and I taught you.  You could have rejected Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  But you did not.  You gave to your Mom and me one of our most precious possessions: a life that didn¹t rebel.  You followed our example and chose our faith to be yours. For that, I speak a grand “thank you” to you.

4. To Ryan and Bethany.  You have now given Marilynn and me three grandchildren!  We never knew love could increase within our hearts for the kids of our kids.  But it has.  Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127).  Grandchildren are a continuation of that gift!  You didn’t have to give them to us.  But you did.  And I say “thank you” for doing so.

5. To the wonderful people at Forest Hill Church who have followed me for over 34 years.  I’m sure sometimes you cocked your head askance with questions like, “What in the world is he doing now?” But you trusted me. You chose to be a vibrant, Biblical, worldwide, Christ-centered witness.  I couldn¹t have done it without you.  Therefore, I must shout aloud, “Thank you!”

The definition of grace is we receive what we don¹t deserve.  I don’t deserve any of the multitude of grace gifts and blessings I¹ve received in life.  Please know that I don’t take them for granted.  That’s why this Thanksgiving I wanted to make sure my thanks had direct objects

Thanks again to you all!

To God alone and always belongs all the glory.  I am nothing.  He is everything.


The financial health of Forest Hill Church is another important aspect of our 2013 highlights. I encourage you to look over these financials and dig deeper into the 2013 financial statements. If you have questions about how Forest Hill Church stewards the money we have had the blessing of managing each year, please do not hesitate to reach out to our financial team. Our purpose at Forest Hill is to glorify God by making disciples who KNOW Christ, GROW in Christ and GO for Christ. To God alone be the glory! 

Financials and governance-Fiscal Year October 2012 to September 2013

Serve/Outreach - $2,434,859 (18.55%)

Missionaries - $686,302 (5.23%)

Worship and Communication - $1,852,584 (14.11%)

Care and Counseling - $850,673 (6.48%)

Hospitality - $347,073 (2.64%)

Kids@FHC - $1,120,795 (8.54%)

ADVANCE - $762,819 (5.81%)

Adults - $839,588 (6.40%)

Expansion - $1,830,000 (13.94%)

Facilities and Technology - $1,480,609 (11.32%)

Finance and Administration - $915,629 (6.98%)

Total $13,126,931 

For more specific financial information, I encourage you to view our 2013 Financial Statement. 


FHC desires to make a lasting impact by sharing the Gospel in different communities through Global Outreach trips. Our vision is to see a worshipping, serving, disciple-making church within reach of every person in the world. 214 people went on mission trips with Forest Hill Church in 2013.

  • Burundi- The first stage of the Chadwick Center for Reconciliation was completed in 2013. Forest Hill Church works with African Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries to teach leaders bring lasting transformation to their communities and support teachers and students at the Discovery School.
  • Dominican Republic- Forest Hill Church has been sending teams to the DR for 23 years for community outreach projects, children’s ministry and medical missions. Forest Hill Church sent 36 people in 2013.
  • Haiti- Forest Hill partners with Mission of Hope Haiti and is involved in home improvements, children’s ministry, and medical missions to this earthquake ravaged island. Forest Hill Church sent 100 people to Haiti in 2013.
  • Colombia- Forest Hill Church has partnered with South America Mission based out of Fort Mill, SC. FHC teams are involved in Service opportunities that include the distribution of meals, medical outreach and a university outreach ministry.  FHC sent 26 people to Colombia in 2013.


John Bernard, Charlotte - Executive Leadership

Chris Furr, France - Church Planting

Gabe Smith, Cape Town, SA - Pastoral Training

Matt Toombs, Senegal - Community Development

Drews, England - Evangelism

Brandts, Ethiopia - Evangelism

Stephens, Eastern Europe - JV Executive Leadership

Nykamp, Ethiopia - Evangelism

Chris McBride, Middle East - Evangelism

Lance Lawrence, Middle East - Evangelism

Michael Blogett, Golf Outreach - Evangelism

Leo Wurschmidt, Senegal - Church Development

Hollis Johnson, Charlotte - Trafficking

Clayton King, Evangelist - Evangelism

Peter McKenzie, Japan - Evangelism

Polly Paulson, Cuba - Evangelism

Tim Ely, Germany - Church Development


Financial Support in 2013 

  •  Mission India-Through two Christmas Eve services, the FHC congregation gave more than $750,000 to Mission India’s church planting program, which planted 300 churches.
  • Syria- FHC gave $25,000 for relief to Syrian refugees in persecution and suffering.
  • Philippines- FHC gave $15,000 for relief following the hurricane.


Today, we wanted to give you the opportunity to learn about part of our ministry on the South Blvd corridor. I hope you are encouraged by the work of Christ in the lives of our local neighbors. 

In April 2013, a fire broke out at Sun Valley Estates off of East Arrowwood Road that destroyed a complex and displaced 16 families. Forest Hill soon learned that the Sun Valley Apartments contained nearly 350 houses, each housing 3 to 4 people on average. It also became known that eighty-five percent of the residents are Spanish speaking and nearly all of them living under the poverty line. FHC launched a Chaplaincy program in hopes of building a bridge between our church and residents of this dynamic community only 5 miles away from our South Park campus.

Oscar Olivares, a member of Forest Hill Church and a long time missionary, accepted the position as Chaplain. Oscar, his wife and daughter moved into the Sun Valley Estates in November 2013 to live in the community he is now caring for.

“I used to live in the South Park area but worked near South Boulevard so I know about it. It is a different world there.”

Oscar’s primary responsibility as a chaplain is to serve the residents in this neighborhood. He says he is focusing on gaining the residents’ trust. For now, he wants them to know that there is someone nearby who is willing to help. So far Oscar has been helping the residents by interpreting and assisting them in filling out job applications.

“Right now the residents of Sun Valley Estates are not concerned with angels, religious laws or the end of the world. Their biggest concern is the end of the month and how they will make it until then.”

“My intention is to provide them with tools so they become people who can support themselves. These people know their priorities-they just need some support and encouragement. This is community development,” Oscar continues.

In addition, Sun Valley Estates has opened their clubhouse to volunteers tutoring their students and helping with homework.

“Who knows? Maybe soon the parents will say ‘yes’ when I ask them to join me in Bible studies.”

Since Oscar has been serving as a chaplain, they have demolished damaged buildings and police have begun to closely guard the neighborhood. Though there are minor changes in the appearance of the apartments, the biggest difference Oscar has seen is on the residents’ faces. “People are smiling more and they have begun to look at me with more trust. The other day one of our children yelled out ‘Hi Mr.Oscar!’ from his window. They know something is different and that they are not alone.”


I hope you enjoyed the last few blogs highlighting just a couple of the ways that Forest Hill is striving to GROW in Christ. If you would like to learn more about the ministry and life here at Forest Hill, click HERE. Our next mission is to GO for Christ. I encourage you to read this description of our efforts from John Parker, our Director Of Outreach. 

“Forest Hill has embraced local and global outreach as an integral part of our ministry over many decades.  As a local church, we take seriously the Biblical call for our congregation to Go into the world and share the love of Christ.  Our view of outreach includes emphasis on reaching people for Christ, discipling our congregants in cross-cultural contexts and carrying out acts of compassion and justice for the impoverished, oppressed and marginalized.  

Forest Hill's outreach model primarily involves training and equipping LifeGroups to serve in the communities surrounding our campuses.  Going into our local communities as ambassadors of Christ is a key element of our "head, heart and hands" discipleship process.  Additionally, we send over 25 teams a year on short-term missions trips to about eight countries globally.  We also support over 20 long-term missionaries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.  

In recent years, we have emphasized Micah 6:8 "Seeking mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly with our God".  Forest Hill supports several Justice initiatives including Orphans, Trafficking, Persecution, Clean water, Homelessness, and Genocide.”

-John Parker, Director of Outreach 

GO Local

We believe local churches are God’s way of communicating His love and grace to our community. To show His love, we are currently engaging in school partnerships at Quail Hollow Middle School, Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School and Riverview Elementary school. Below are a few of the event and ministry highlights from the 2013 calendar year!

Quail Hollow Middle School

  • Falcon Fun Night- Falcon Fun Night was an inclusive community event hosted by Forest Hill Church. Volunteers served meals, led clubs, taught parent classes, greeted, took care of children in childcare, and manned check-in stations. In 2013, 102 volunteers served about 530 meals to 148 club attendees.
  • First Fruits- The First Fruits Community Store addresses the problem of hungry students at Quail Hollow Middle School. FHC collects money from those who attend the Ballantyne Campus on the first Sunday of each month to buy food, which is then stocked at the store. Needy families participate and shop at the  store and in return the parents commit to keeping contact information current, meeting with their child’s teachers quarterly, signing and returning all report cards and progress reports and having one other meaningful contact with the school each month. FHC serves about a dozen families at any point in time and have served a total of more than 100 families in the year and half since the store began operation.
  • Mentoring- Mentors are matched with an at-risk student who needs help becoming successful in school and life. Mentors meet weekly with their student, helping them with assignments, holding them accountable for their work and behavior and building a trusting relationship both on campus and off. 
  • School Supplies Drive- School supplies were collected to stock the Quail Hollow school store, where all students could shop for supplies at a deeply discounted price. The school has used funds earned to give back to the community and to buy technology for use in the classrooms. Donated cash-$955 Store Proceeds from 2013 -$2654 

Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School 

  • Community Garden- Volunteers help/teach students to maintain their classroom garden.
  • Christmas Village Toy Store- The PTA partnered with Forest Hill Church for toys and volunteers. Some of the funds raised were given to the school to support different student programs and will help fund their Summer Camp.
  • Bridges for Success- FHC served breakfast for ESL parents.
  • Staff support- Forest Hill Church hosts staff appreciation week, holidays meals, monthly breakfast and recognitions. In 2013, FHC hosted the staff at the South Park campus twice for planning.
  • After-school Programs- Urban Promise and LHCC now provide after school enrichment for almost 80 children weekly.
  • Used book Sale- FHC South Park children’s ministry collected over 600 books for students.

Riverview Elementary

  • Veteran’s day Support- 25 students from Advanced at Forest Hill Church spent 3 hours planting a garden for the school. Adults from LifeGroups spent 125 hours of serving, including painting, planting, and preparing breakfast on Veteran’s day.
  • School Supplies Drive- FHC collected and donated 99 packed bags filled with school supplies in 2013. Anything from binders, calculators and crayons were donated for kindergarten to 5th grade students.

Thank you for being a part of what Forest Hill is doing to show the grace of Christ in our local community! 


Another ministry here at Forest Hill is our Kids@FHC area. Kids@FHC is for children, birth through Fifth grade. Through engaging, creative and interactive environments we aim to: Equip and empower parents to be the spiritual leaders of their home, incite wonder for the Gospel in kids and families, involve families in the work God is doing in their own communities and around the world.

  • Average number of Little kids@FHC each weekend in 2013 - SP (226) B (100) FM (129)
  • Number of Big kids@FHC each weekend in 2013 - SP (210) B (137) FM (137)
  • Total average number of kids at all 3 campuses each weekend in 2013 - (939)
  • Camp Rock- 190 total campers and counselors in 2013

We have a number of dedicated staff and volunteers that invest a great deal of time and energy into the Kids@FHC ministry. I hope you will enjoy this brief interview with one of those staff members, Leta Flowers. 

What do you do for FHC?

I am the Director of Kids@FHC at the Fort Mill campus.

How did you first hear about Forest Hill and when did you first join? What made you stay?

We heard about Forest Hill from my mother in law. She knew we were looking for a church and her friend Edith Gardner was David's secretary, so she had heard from Edith how wonderful their new pastor and his wife were! When we visited the first time, I was very pregnant with our son, and our daughter was just 4 years old. We visited other churches, but this was the first time I had ever understood the message of God's grace and unconditional love. So, we ended up at Forest Hill and have been here as members for 29 years, and I have been on staff for 20 years.

What is your favorite part of working for Forest Hill Church? Or your favorite memory of FHC?

I love working with the Kids@FHC staff to create an awesome experience for kids every weekend. We say it this way:  Incite wonder and faith in the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, we work alongside families- equipping them to lead their children spiritually. It is a real blessing to get to be a part of this special ministry that I think is making a real difference. Coming to Fort Mill has been another blessing- I love the people and the excitement we all feel as God works in the hearts of the people there.

A favorite memory for me will always be Camp Rock. I have been at every Camp Rock for the last 20 years. Thousands of kids have attended Camp Rock over the years, and hundreds of students have served as camp counselors. It's an awesome time of being away from everything where kids encounter God in a very real way and the counselors grow as leaders. Many, many happy memories!

Thank you to Leta and all of the other Kids@FHC staff and volunteers who work to share the love of Christ with our children here at Forest Hill! 


I hope you will enjoy the next few days of inspiring information as we explore some of the ways Forest Hill is working to build a community that is working to GROW in Christ.

“At FHC we believe that to Grow in Christ we need to engage a holistic approach to discipleship.  This means that we journey along a path that begins with a step into community at the church, usually through Lifegroups and volunteering, and lasts our whole lives.  The Christian faith is characterized by a continuous progression of understanding who God is, how the Gospel affects our lives, and how to give our lives away in service to others.  At our core, we recognize that being a Christian is not a one-time event that happens to us, but a life of transformation, faith and adventure that we participate in.”

-Jason Smith, FH Ballantyne Campus Pastor


Adult LifeGroups- Here at Forest Hill, we believe that lives are most effectively changed when shared together with people in genuine, real relationships and communities. That’s why we have LifeGroups where we study the Bible, build friendships and serve together.

We launched LifeGroup Connect in 2013. At this event, people interested in LifeGroups meet other people looking to get connected and even form a LifeGroup that night.

  • LG Connection by campus in 2013: SP (556) B (155) FM (228) Total (939)
  • 142 new LifeGroups formed in 2013
  • 51% increase in LifeGroup participation between 2012-2013
  • 84% of all LifeGroup connect participants got connected to a LifeGroup in 2013 (939 out of 1124 total participants)


Every year, Forest Hill Church presents a collection of weekend messages to deliver what is most significant, the Gospel. Because God’s Word is the foundation of this church, our pastors and staff gather to craft our series of messages with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and prayer. Our hope is that every individual who hears each message may learn the truth of Christ and grow deeper in Him.

I hope you enjoy this story of purpose, hope and joy in the midst of struggle.


Laurin’s story- “Why God?”

For Laurin Reule, it was her doctor’s prognosis that felt like what Habakkuk experienced. “You’ll no longer be able to drive,” He said. What she thought was a yearly eye exam had turned into an exhausting appointment at a retina specialist’s office. In disbelief she responded,

“But I have to drive. I just got accepted into a nursing program and it takes me 45 minutes to get there!”

Laurin was thrilled about nursing school. She felt like her hard work and persistence had finally paid off. But Stargardts disease had become her new reality.

“It is a form of juvenile macular degeneration. It is rare, and only 1 out of 10,000 are diagnosed. There is a possibility my vision could get to 20/200 and stabilize there. I just don’t know how much worse it will get and when it may happen,” she said.

At the young age of 25 and newly married, it felt unfair to have to worry about losing her eyesight. She couldn’t help but to ask, “Why, God?”

“The hardest part is not knowing. I don’t know if in a couple years I’ll be able to get my license renewed, if I’ll be able to go to the grocery store by myself or if I will ever be able to take my kids to school.” It was during her most difficult days when God spoke to her through May’s sermon series, “Why God?” When she heard Habakkuk questioning God amidst incomprehensible circumstances, it was as if he were speaking Laurin’s own words.

Through this series, God’s words and His presence slowly calmed Laurin’s heart. Her days are now spent in hope of what God has in store for her, rather than fearing the unknown. Laurin now asks, “What’s next?” instead of “Why, God?”

Despite her doctor’s words, Laurin celebrated her one year anniversary as a nurse last October.

When God tells Habakkuk, “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by faith.” Habakkuk obeys by choosing to live by faith with the things he does not understand.

Laurin continues, “My doctor told me I could not be a nurse and that I’d have to change my career path, but He is not God. I may not be a nurse for too long and that is not the plan I had in mind, but I feel confident believing that God has a plan for me. ” 

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my Salvation.

God, the Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the deers,

He makes me tread on my high places.”

Habakkuk 3:18-19


Many of you may know our purpose here at Forest Hill is to glorify God by making disciples who KNOW Christ, GROW in Christ and GO for Christ. The first step is to KNOW Christ. I hope you enjoy this brief description of what KNOW means to us, from the perspective of our Fort Mill Campus Pastor, Andy Guthe.

“Knowing something is different than having knowledge of something. When we talk of 'knowing' Christ, our desire is that people know who He is. More than that, we desire people to know Him as we would know our families, friends, or coworkers.

There are many religious organizations in the world but FHC does not want to be just another one of these that focuses on self-help. We have found that the only lasting, meaningful change we can offer to people is in introducing people to Jesus. To that end we are committed in everything we do. It is an enterprise not pushed forward by our staff and pastors. It is advanced by the members of our church; people who know and are being known by Christ.”

-Andy Guthe, Fort Mill Campus Pastor


2013 Fun Facts:

  • Average attendance increased 14.3% from 2012 to 2013 (3964 to 4532)
  • Total number of people who came through the newcomer’s tent at SP campus 2,137 (Average Newcomer Attendance per month-178)
  • Around 27,000 viewers tuned in for online services at in 2013


Are you new to Forest Hill or curious how Forest Hill has come to be a multi-campus church? Take a walk through our timeline and history here at Forest Hill:

  • 1980 Forest Hill Presbyterian Church welcomes David Chadwick as senior pastor.
  • 1984 Second Sunday morning church service is added to accommodate the 520 worshippers and 400 in Sunday school.
  • 1986 Congregation approves the relocation from Woodlawn Road to the current 26-acre campus on Park Road. Facilities are purchased.
  • 1987 Forest Hill Presbyterian Church moves to the Park Road location.
  • 1990 1,300 member congregation votes to join Evangelical Presbyterian Church, therefore becoming Forest Hill Church.
  • 1991 Third service is added on Sunday mornings.
  • 1996 Saturday evening services are added.
  • 1997 Forest Hill Church members vote to approve a new master plan to expand and enhance facilities at the South Park Campus.
  • 1998 Groundbreaking dedication ceremony is held.
  • 1999 Opening ceremony for new sanctuary and church offices is held.
  • 2005 Rock Hill campus launches at the Manchester Theatre.
  • 2006 Ballantyne campus launches at Ballantyne Village Cinemas.
  • 2011 Opening ceremony is held for Ballantyne campus at Morrison YMCA.
  • 2012 Rock Hill campus relocates to permanent facility in Fort Mill with close to 1000 in attendance opening weekend.
  • 2014 Waxhaw campus launches at Cuthbertson High School.