Name changes are biblical. The Bible tells of how Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, and Simon became Peter.
“God does that when there’s growth,” said Jeremy Carr, the pastor of the church that, until Sunday, was called The Well.
This weekend, the congregation took on a new name: Redemption Church.
Sunday’s 10:45 a.m. worship service also marked the congregation’s official launch in a new location. The downtown church has relocated to the “cafetorium” of Warren Road Elementary School off Warren Road in Augusta.
The church will still maintain a downtown presence with a storefront location at 1124 Broad St. The former Wier/Stewart office will be used as an office and meeting space, Carr said. In the future, the church might use it to hold art shows, concerts or First Friday ministries.
“For a long time, we were a downtown church for people who live, work and play downtown,” Carr said. “God has expanded our vision and roll. We’re not throwing away The Well. This is a maturation of it.”
The new name, Redemption Church, was meant to simply convey the church’s identity as “a community of the redeemed sent with good news of the Redeemer,” Carr said. “Redemption Church, we feel, is a better statement of who Christ is, what he’s done for us, who we are as a church, and what we’re supposed to be doing as a church.”
The Well was envisioned by Carr and church elder Reggie Horne as early as 2003. A small group began meeting in the living room of a North Augusta home in 2006.
The church became part of the Acts 29 and Gospel Coalition networks and occupied a storefront in the 700 block of Broad Street before moving to a venue off the 1200 block of Broad.
“A lot of our people come from downtown, but increasingly, they’re from all over,” said Michael Stephens, 25, the leader of a downtown Missional Community group.
Downtown ministry is a topic they’re still passionate about. This weekend, a couple dozen volunteers were building and renovating homes off Broad Street with Turn Back the Block, a local nonprofit that’s revitalizing Harrisburg homes and encouraging home ownership.
“We’ve had a couple move from the Evans area to the middle of Harrisburg,” Stephens said. “There are plans for other couples to do
the same. It’s a pretty underserved and underrepresented area. We’re really focused on living out the Gospel in community with one another.”
As Carr puts it, “It’s part of our vision to bless this city. You can have such a huge influence on the culture and community.”
Ben Riche, the director of ministries, said he’s excited about the move.
“It gives us a lot of opportunities to reach the city in unique both ways,” he said. “We try to reach people in the neighborhoods where they’re at, whether that’s downtown, midtown or suburbs, wherever.”