New ministry hopes to ‘impact’ families and community Impact Church to hold first service on Sunday, Nov. 1

Pastors Alvin and Stephanie Carlisle will hold their initial service with the Impact Church this Sunday, Nov. 1.

New ministry hopes to ‘impact’ families and community Impact Church to hold first service on Sunday, Nov. 1
October 29
10:00 2020

A new church is set to hit the town of Winston-Salem on Nov. 1. Led by Pastors Alvin and Stephanie Carlisle, The Impact Church of Winston-Salem is here to serve the community spiritually and beyond.

Pastor Alvin Carlisle, former president of local NAACP chapter and former senior pastor of Exodus United Baptist Church, says he spent nine years at Exodus and was ready for new beginnings with the Impact Church.

“We are just trying to stay sensitive to the needs of people and really how I felt that God was trying to reach people,” said Carlisle of why he decided to start a new ministry. “We felt an urgency to move in a way that was more consistent with what people needed and the experience they were looking to have God in.

“It wasn’t just church, it wasn’t just the experience of the local assembly, but really wanting to have an opportunity to be empowered that affects their entire family and their entire life.”

Carlisle said he has served a congregation for 22 years, but with the launch of his new ministry, he is excited and anxious to impact people’s lives in a multiple ways.

“We are really looking for people to have a different, healthy experience,” he said.  

Carlisle touched on John 10:10, about how Jesus’ narrative in the text was talking about people’s religious experience. He said he always quotes ‘I came that you might have life, have it more abundantly,’ because Jesus’ mission was to connect us back to the Father.

“It’s not just focused on giving all of our time to the local assembly, but the local assembly being a place of empowerment, a place of learning, a place of growth, so once we leave we can live it up,” he continued.

After nearly 10 years at Exodus, Carlisle says there was some sadness in leaving, but he knows he is still connected with everyone from the church in the spirit of the Lord.

“We are still the body of Christ regardless of where we worship,” he said. “Our commitment was to keep the love connection strong and those who became a part of the fellowship under my leadership were going to stay connected.  

“But then there are some whose spiritual roots are at Exodus and they are going to remain in that space, but our biggest thing was regardless of where you choose to worship, we would always keep our love connection strong.”

For Carlisle there are a few ministries that he would like to implement sooner than later. He said he would like to work with those coming out of prison with reentry job programs, along with men’s and women’s empowerment groups to strengthen the family structure.

The Impact Church will hold their services at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, located at 750 Marguerite Dr. Carlisle said they will remain at this location for four months, with limited seating, and will reevaluate once the pandemic restrictions are loosened.

According to Carlisle, the primary thrust of their ministry is to strengthen the family unit. He says there are many unique and different family dynamics in any given congregation, but their goal is to empower them all.

Carlisle said he has not decided on a specific sermon for his initial service, but knows it will involve empowerment because that will be the focus of the entire church to begin with.

“I am really working hard and looking at a few ideas in the direction we want to go initially, including this Sunday,” he said about his sermon. “Really, just dealing a lot in these initial weeks with self-empowerment and being who it is God called you to be and living that out every day. That will be the general theme.”

During his time as president of the local NAACP chapter and his work with the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, Carlisle focused a lot of his work with social justice issues and voter registration. He says they will continue with those efforts at The Impact Church as well.

“We will have a whole social justice element to the ministry,” he went on to say. “Actually, the reason I backed away from leadership in those organizations was to really focus during this season on building the social justice element in Impact Church.  

“We will definitely have a strong community thrust, a strong social justice thrust, and we will still be on the front end of voter rights and addressing disparities in the criminal justice system. All of those will be a vital part of our ministry.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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