A Brief History of Journey Church
journeychurch was born in October 2010, when a pastor and his wife took a leap of faith to follow God’s leading, even though doing so took them out of the security of a traditional denomination. On a Wednesday afternoon, Pastors Tom and Terrie Wallace had several hours to move their belongings from a church building and say a hurried, word-of-mouth farewell to their beloved congregation, not knowing what would happen next. Later that night, their entire staff showed up at the front door of their home, determined to follow them in ministry. That Sunday, at a public park in Myrtle Beach, over 300 people showed up to worship together as a newly formed body that would soon be dubbed journeychurch.
Within a week, the church staff had secured a small office space out of which to work and began renting Seaside Elementary, a public school, for their Sunday services. Though not everyone who came to the park remained with the congregation, the church flourished. With approximately 200 regular members, journeychurch continued on for a year and half in that school, supporting its members, having services for youth and children, and also holding Bible studies in homes and restaurants in order to stay connected.
In the spring of 2012, a new opportunity for growth arose. Pastors Tom and Terrie led their congregation to a vacant theater, the former Legends in Concert building in the heart of Surfside Beach. For the remainder of the year, through the work of volunteers, the church operated a theater with four house shows and nearly a dozen special event concerts. And every Sunday, the church continued to take center stage. Through the combined efforts and dedication of both entities, the church nearly doubled in size. At that point, a decision was made to allow the theater business to fade so that the work of the church could remain front and center.
In 2013, the vision of journeychurch was refined, as it became a magnet for people with no family in the area looking for a home to connect with others, people with real life problems searching for a safe place to work out their relationship with God and others. By growing with its congregation, journeychurch expanded its focus on needs within the Surfside Beach community, uniting churches and pastors together, providing a meeting place for the town, working alongside existing organizations that help the homeless, unemployed, and displaced, and giving people a true sanctuary in which they can learn, grow, and serve others.
In 2014, the church moved to a new facility in the heart of the Burgess community, where it solidified its vision and place as a beacon of the love of Christ. Journey joined forces with the St. James schools, Burgess Community Center, and other churches in the area to serve the community, through efforts such as Backpack Buddies, school supply drives, distribution of hundreds of quilts, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas giving, Winshape Camp scholarships, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and fundraising for various charitable efforts.
The church made their home at the Compass Center for nearly three years, but it was the dream of its leaders to solidify its roots in the community and build a permanent structure to house its congregation, offices, and projects. This effort is culminating now, as the church has purchased land on the burgeoning and beautiful McDowell Shortcut. After meeting for services for several years at St. James High School, the congregation has made a temporary but cozy home at Inlet Square Mall.
Meanwhile, Journeychurch continues to be a friend to the community and a safe place for those seeking the grace and love of Jesus Christ in an ever-changing world.