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A NOTE FROM DONNIE

 

Dear One Harbor Church,

 

We’ve enjoyed thirteen years of unified partnering together to see Jesus glorified in and through our church. However, never has there been a year where it would have been easier for us to go our separate ways than in 2021. Harsh lines have been drawn in our country that threatened to make the most important thing about each one of us something drastically different than the gospel of Jesus. They threatened to make us hateful or spiteful towards those with whom we live out the “one another’s” of scripture. 

Thankfully, God has kept us unified and moving forward. In this, however, I hope all of us have learned some important things about our partnership. Unity isn’t something that comes naturally; division is. We have to fight for the unity we have or we will lose it. God commands a blessing when we dwell together in unity (Psalm 133), and the devil constantly tries to divide any semblance of Christian unity. With that in mind, I want to charge us out of the last few verses in the book of Jude. 

 

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 17–25 ESV

 

One Harbor Church, Keep Remembering The Road Is Difficult

Jude says, “you must remember…” and I think this is a good word for us. Not because we don’t know things can get difficult, we’ve certainly learned that. However, I think it would be easy for us to assume that on the other side of these last two years it will be smooth sailing. It hopefully will be for a while, but we need to remember that it will eventually get difficult again. Jesus said in John 16:33a, “In this world you will have tribulation…”

 

One Harbor Church, Keep Holding Onto Jesus

Jude says, “building yourselves up…keep yourselves in the love of God.” This is not the season to phone in our relationship with the Lord. We aren’t just called to endure; we are called to keep ourselves in God’s love. In John 15, Jesus said that we can do “nothing” without abiding in Him. All the resources that God has blessed us with aren’t enough to do anything worth doing if we aren’t connected to Him.

 

One Harbor Church, Keep Holding Onto Each Other

Jude says, “yourselves.” The Greek word here means, “y’all.” It’s wrong to read these charges as directed solely to individuals. The writers of the New Testament imagined us contending for the faith together. This has been so tested in the last two years. It’s easier than ever for Sunday gatherings and Community Groups to be viewed as optional extras. We need each other and we are needed.

 

One Harbor Church, Keep Holding Out Jesus To A Hurting World

Jude mentions doubters, those who need mercy and those whose lives are burning down. The last couple of years can make us want to focus on individual survival, but we are surrounded by hurting people who desperately need Jesus. Jude calls us to, “snatch them out of the fire.” That’s a vivid description of the people of God acting like first responders to the sin and sadness around us.

 

One Harbor Church, Keep Remembering It’s Jesus Who Keeps Us

Jude ends with, “To him who is able to keep you.” Friends, it’s not up to us to keep us, it’s up to Jesus. Jesus keeps us. We are to keep remembering the road is difficult, keep holding onto Jesus, keep holding onto each other and to keep holding out Jesus to a hurting world. However, while we keep on…we are being kept. We are kept by the one who said, “I’ve lost none the Father has given me.” (John 18:9). We are being kept by the one who said, “…take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b).

One Harbor, we are living in tough times, but we are in really good hands. May God bless us and keep us, may his face shine upon us in 2022 as we continue to partner together for the gospel.

 

 

For the Elders,

Donnie Griggs

Lead Pastor

Transformed by the Gospel

The gospel is the good news of what Jesus has done. It transforms who we are and it transforms what we do. Below are some ways that we’ve seen the gospel at work in our church in 2021.

2021 Weekly Attendance

 

One Harbor Church | 1382 people0%
MHC | 6840%
BFT | 2220%
SBO | 3340%
HVK | 1420%

Hurricane Recovery

and

Reach Global Crisis Response

 

It’s been over 3 years since Hurricane Florence devastated our beautiful Crystal Coast.

 

Given the length of time since that hurricane, the damage has only become more overwhelming and the problems have now compounded. In partnership with ReachGlobal Crisis Response, we are currently working in a small community Down East. We are fixing some long-term damages, getting to know the people, and most importantly, getting to share how we see God moving.

 

As we continue to spread our work and reach communities that aren’t often reached, we’d love for you to pray for us as we do our best to work as image-bearers of God.

 

The ways that the volunteers and missionaries of ReachGlobal Crisis Response have been able to serve our community have been nothing short of amazing. Last year, our NC ReachGlobal Crisis Response team and One Harbor’s Tommy Stringer were recognized by the State of North Carolina. They both received the 2021 NC Governor’s Volunteer Service Award! This award is given based upon the efforts, commitment, time dedication, community impact, and enhancement of lives that our ReachGlobal team and Tommy have demonstrated over the past few years. We would like to thank them for serving the Kingdom so well – job well done!

175

ReachGlobal and Local Volunteers

20

Homes Served

2021 Sermons

 

We prioritize the preaching of the Word. At One Harbor, you won’t hear a sermon that’s not about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Below you can see some of the series that we went through as a church in 2021.

23

MHC Baptisms

7

BFT Baptisms

21

SBO Baptisms

11

HVK Baptisms

Streaming and Tech

 

Technology is merely a tool, but it is one we are especially grateful for given the restrictions of last year. God provided a way for us to upgrade the necessary hardware and software so that we were able to upload and/or live-stream Sunday morning services, prayer meetings, and even Bible studies.

1007

App Downloads in 2021

24998

Sermons Played in 2021

36711

App Interactions in 2021

MHC SITE UPDATE

2021 was a strange year as we continued to navigate through the fog of COVID and all of its effects. But there has also been much to celebrate. Baptism numbers have gone up (as you can see above), but in particular, there was a large number of children baptized this last year. Watching our youngest generations declare their love for the Lord is something for which we are profoundly grateful. Additionally, our Youth Ministry began a leadership development program for juniors and seniors and is already beginning to show fruit. We couldn’t be more proud of John Bohnert and his tireless efforts to pastor and disciple students in our church. Lastly, the steady stream of new movers to our area has had a dramatic effect on our congregation. In some ways, it feels like a very different composition of people and families than it was before COVID. And yet God is already using many of our new friends to bless others in our partnership for the Gospel. For all of this, we thank the Lord for his kindness to us.

Nate Swacha:

A Story of Salvation

 

I spent years of my life living in a state of fear, worry and an almost overwhelming sense of anger.  Bitterness regarding failed relationships and other circumstances consumed me. I blamed myself for these failures. My self-worth was in the toilet and I very seldom felt any joy in my life.

 

Several months ago, I again started pursuing my faith, wanting to see myself the same way Jesus sees me – and a single moment changed my life. As an avid hiker, I constantly feel the need to be out in nature. That is where I tend to hear God the most. There are no worldly distractions, only the sounds of the woods. It calms my mind in such a way that I’m better able to listen to God.  I spent a day after Thanksgiving in 2021 walking 10 miles in the woods. I had taken a devotional a friend of mine had given me. I stopped for a moment to read the devotional for that particular day. I read about broken relationships, bitterness and forgiveness. At that moment, God opened my eyes and I finally understood. I had to “let go” of the anger, regardless of how bad I had been hurt. Instantly my anger resolved. God touched my heart in such a way that said “Trust Me”! That day, I began doing just that – trusting Him. He has saved me.

 

My life is not perfect – in this life it never will be. I have learned that harboring anger and bitterness will consume me unless I can let it go. With the help of the Holy Spirit, my ability to do this has improved drastically. I once again have joy and laughter in my life. And One Harbor has also played role in this journey, especially my time spent each week with Barry Hall, one of the pastors. Because of God’s kindness, I can now do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Living a Life of Worship

Worship isn’t just a genre of music. It’s putting God first, enjoying Him, and living sacrificially. Below are some ways that we have worshipped Jesus in 2021.

214

MHC Volunteers

84

BFT Volunteers

148

SBO Volunteers

85

HVK Volunteers

BFT SITE UPDATE

It has been a year of new beginnings! We kicked off the year with a huge leadership transition when we sent Brian and Emily Recker to start the new chapter of life to which God was calling them. We then welcomed Travis and Becky Evans to continue the charge of loving and serving the Beaufort and Down East region. God has been so kind to us in allowing this transition to go smoothly. The Evans’ have fallen in love with the community and have stepped in with joy and passion to see One Harbor Beaufort continue forward. 

 

Although this year has had its challenges with COVID, we’re encouraged to see new people come almost every week, many getting connected and finding their identity deeper in Christ. Beaufort and the Down East areas are small communities but are deep in culture and rich in history. We love that our church represents these areas in their diversity and heritage. Our prayer is to find every way to reach more folks for the sake of the Gospel.

 

In the spirit of reaching more people, we are excited to share that we are moving into a new building! God has used the generosity of the people of One Harbor Beaufort to raise several hundred thousand dollars this past year for this project. We know the mission of God is not about real estate, but we know that God can use the right facility as a powerful tool to expand his kingdom. Sometime in the summer of 2022, we will be moving out of our old buildings into a much larger and renovated venue that we have purchased. This is a huge step for our church and community. We’re excited to have a facility that is equipped and located strategically to reach even deeper into eastern Carteret County.

Swatika Sumanth:

A Gospel Story of Second Chances

 

 

Hi! My name is Swatika but everyone calls me Swat. I am originally from India. I grew up Hindu but have never felt like I belonged in Hinduism. When I was about 10 years old I came to America. In school, I struggled to fit in and didn’t have many friends. I have very strict parents and wasn’t allowed to wear certain things or talk to certain people. Fitting in was hard for me.

 

As I got older I started stealing. At first, it was little things. Little by little those little things turned into bigger things which lead to lots of trouble. I eventually spiraled out of control to the point in which I attempted suicide. Having survived that, I found myself going off to college just wanting to have freedom in all the wrong ways.

 

 After a while, I hated everything about myself and decided to make a change in my life. I joined the United States Marine Corps in hopes that would provide a fix to my problems. This ended up being a very dark season in my life. During my time in the service, I was raped 3 times. This led to several attempts to take my life. Then, on July 20, 2019, I crashed my car into a bridge wanting my car to go over, and when it didn’t, I stepped out of my car and jumped 80 ft off the bridge into shallow water. I wanted to die, and I did for 37 seconds as I was taken to the ER, but they were able to bring me back. I was kept under a medically induced coma for 3 days. 

 

When I woke up, I was a completely different person, but looking back still very far from God. After recovery, I joined a cross-fit gym owned by some people from One Harbor Church. I met so many wonderful people there. I found a community that I never thought I deserved. They welcomed me into their family. 

 

One day, the owners of the gym invited me to church. I laughed… and as I was laughing, my friend named Jesus (That’s really his name) called me. I had an Apple watch on, and it said, “Jesus is calling.” My friend said, “If this isn’t a sign from God then I don’t know what is.” That very Sunday I went to One Harbor Beaufort for the first time, and I have never stopped going. Jesus has shown me his wonder through this family. He knew what I needed in my life, and he placed the right people at the right time. I got baptized on November 14, 2021 and publicly declared my desire to follow Jesus. Truly, that day was one of the best days of my life. 

 

All my life, I’ve tried to walk alone. It took me a while to get to where I am today, but I wouldn’t trade any of it because of where it has brought me. Even though I didn’t always want Him, He wanted me. He has never stopped protecting me and showing me his unconditional love.  Jesus has changed my life and I will continue to serve him.

 

Currently, I am serving in One Harbor Beaufort Kids Ministry, I volunteer as a Youth Leader, I am part of a Community Group and most of all, I am a part of an amazing family called One Harbor Church. Thank you Jesus for all of your goodness and the kindness you have shown me.

24

Youth Leaders Discipling Students

70

Youth Discipled in Small Groups

179

Average Number of Kids Hearing the Gospel in Kids Ministry on Sundays

SBO SITE UPDATE

This year has been a wonderful year of God’s provision for One Harbor Swansboro. The beginning of the year began in sorrow. There was much lament from some of the loss we experienced in 2020, but God in His mercy and kindness has blessed us more than we could imagine. This year we have seen an abundance of new people added to our family. We have seen families reunited, restoration in relationships, and God has opened doors to be a blessing to our schools and community. As God has provided increase He has also provided several new staff members that have been vitally important to help us in our mission to make disciples and push back darkness!

mail
DSC_9019

Paul Johnson:

A Gospel Story of Reunification

 

Growing up in a broken home, Paul Johnson was left to his own devices at an early age. At the age of 17, Paul began a relationship with the manager of an outdoor sports shop where he was employed. Despite their age difference, Paul relished the attention he received from her and the sense of belonging their relationship gave to him. As their relationship grew more intimate, Paul learned that his girlfriend had become pregnant. 

 

As he came to grips with the reality of fatherhood, Paul’s relationship quickly turned cold. In order to protect Paul from having to step into the role of the father at such a young age, he was informed that infidelity had occurred and the child was in fact, not his.  Paul was crushed by the news, but skeptical about it. Without proper guidance, Paul turned to friends, alcohol, drugs, anything that would help him cope with his loss.

 

As a young man, troubled by life and without direction, Paul joined the United States Marine Corps. The Marines gave Paul direction and purpose and ultimately created an opportunity for him to meet Trish, who became his wife, and to come to know Jesus as his Savior. After finding out that the child from his previous relationship was in fact his own, he decided to locate the son from his youth. Paul and Trish spent countless hours piecing together the puzzle of the lost son and trying to locate any information on his whereabouts, but it was to no avail.  

 

22 years after the fact, Paul was now a Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps, stationed at Camp Lejeune returning from his seventh deployment. During his post-deployment leave, Paul received an email from a Corporal stationed in Okinawa. The email listed the details surrounding the pregnancy and birth of the child Paul so longed to find. The child’s mother had initially shielded Paul from any information surrounding her son but had decided to let the child know that Paul was indeed his biological father. The Corporal writing the email was the child Paul had been searching for all these years. At last, Paul had found his son! Paul would learn that his son, although stationed in Okinawa, would be stationed in Camp Lejeune soon and was eager to meet his father.  

 

It’s been almost two years since Paul was first introduced to his son, Riley. Paul and Trish have been able to show Riley the love of God and point Riley and his wife towards Jesus. Recently, Paul and Trish were able to celebrate with all of their One Harbor family when both Riley and his wife were baptized. Although Paul has faced a myriad of emotions through this process, he has seen God’s faithfulness. Paul has experienced a new richness for the love of God for him as he has welcomed Riley into his family. He has seen God’s providence in this reunification story and is looking forward to the future as this story unfolds.

Committed to Community

As a church, we are called to love one another, grow together, and serve in community. There has never been a harder year to do life together, and yet by God’s grace, many of us remained connected to one another. Below are some of the ways we’ve joined together over the last year. 

916

People in Community Groups

75

Community Groups

HVK SITE UPDATE

2021 is in the books, and I want to say to One Harbor Havelock, “Well done for a year of faithfulness.” You’ve been faithful in the main things. You’ve held fast to the Gospel. You never let go of Jesus as better. You kept showing up to community. You lived out lives of service and surrender to the King. It hasn’t been an easy year, but you’ve persevered.

 

Even for this – all glory goes to God who is faithful. Your faithfulness has been a response to His. Some of the ways we’ve experienced His faithfulness in 2021 were more baptisms and baby celebrations, marriages strengthened, new people added to the church, and sending off Marines and Sailors to new ministry contexts where they are already making an impact.

 

In the middle of this God was getting us ready for the next season of our site. We’ve been in Havelock now for an amazing four years, during which we’ve searched unsuccessfully for our own spot. As 2021 progressed it became clear that our one-year lease agreement with Cherry Point Baptist – that we stretched to four – was coming to an end. Slowly God changed our hearts to open our search beyond Havelock into James City and New Bern. Immediately we found a building in New Bern that checked all the boxes. It is almost turn-key, there is room to quadruple in growth, plenty of parking, kid space, youth space, and office space. Not only is it spacious and beautiful, but the rent is significantly cheaper than everything else we looked at. Our first Sunday in this new building will be April 3, 2022!

 

As we say goodbye to being One Harbor Havelock, let’s look back with gratitude because of what God did. But let’s look forward with faith to what God is going to do through One Harbor New Bern.

Partnering on Mission

Mission is for everyone. Mission is everywhere. Most importantly, mission is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Below are some of the ways we’ve partnered together for the sake of the mission in 2020.

Partnership

 

One Harbor’s Partners are co-laborers in the advance of the gospel in ENC. It’s our version of Membership, but we call it Partnership because it reflects the fact that we are shouldering a load together. Nothing that God calls us to could we do alone.

76

New Partners in 2021

763

One Harbor Partners

36

Individuals receiving financial assistance directly through our redemption fund

15231.70

Dollars Raised through Calico Creek Coffee Bar to help fight addiction

52197.37

Dollars Given to the redemption fund toward recovery efforts

A Story of Recovery:

A Mother’s Heart

 

 

Kelsey’s Mom – “I am so thankful that Kelsey is in Hope Is Alive. (HIA is an addiction recovery program.) She has changed so much for the better and talks about God and how good He has been to her; my prayers are finally answered.  I have prayed for her to get clean and sober for a very long time – God is so good I thank Him all the time, without Him Kelsey wouldn’t be where she is today.  My heart is so happy and I don’t have to worry as I did about her.  She is amazing, I love her so much and am thankful she has changed her life with God in her heart. I pray she continues to do well.  I’m one blessed mama, and I thank Hope Is Alive and One Harbor for all you have done for Kelsey. It is so good to have my daughter back and it will be even better when she gets her daughter back.”

 

Alexis’ Mom – “I have definitely had some highs and lows since my daughter, Alexis, finally decided she was worthy of a better life. When your child has an addiction it takes your life, too. You worry if you’ll get a phone call that they have been arrested, knowing this has a lifetime effect on them in so many ways, or that they have overdosed, which is the worst possible outcome. My whole family has prayed continuously for so many years for my daughter’s recovery. Finally, the Lord heard our cries in September 2021. Since Alexis’ commitment to change her life and finally be free from the chains of addiction I have seen God work miracles with my daughter. I can finally see a light in her eye that has been missing for over 7 years. She loves to spend time with her little brother, she and her sister have a relationship again, and she and I have become closer than ever!  I’ve missed our crazy, fun conversations for so many years. She has enrolled in college and loves it. I have so many praises I could go on for days!  I still have my days where I worry, like when she doesn’t answer a text or phone call right away I’m afraid she may have given in to her addiction, but she’s quick to reassure me that everything is fine and she loves her life too much to go back to that lifestyle. I think that worry will last for some time. I have to say, I do sleep a lot better than I used to before her recovery. I am so very thankful for the help that One Harbor has offered. Although my child did not complete the rehab program I know that we would still be fighting her addiction if it wasn’t for certain individuals giving her the opportunity to change her life forever! I think about them often and pray they continue to reach other people’s lives like they have my daughters and mine! I love you guys and thank God for you!”

 

One Harbor is part of Advance, a movement of churches that exist to plant and strengthen churches. We were proud to host a gathering of Advance churches from Canada to Homestead, FL in October last year. Additionally, we were able to help contribute to the needs of Advance churches scattered across Nepal and India. We also helped fund a new church plant in the Fayetteville area, Frontline Church, led by John and Kristin Murphy. Finally, Advance underwent some leadership changes in 2021 that have led the Global Leadership Team, of which Donnie is a part, to consider how we can better foster emotional health amongst the churches that are part of Advance. We are grateful for the mutual strengthening of our partner churches and are proud to call them friends.

Our Allies

 

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with some terrific organizations both locally and globally. A few of these organizations wanted to pass along their thanks for the ways that we have served them over the last year. Check it out!

Financials

Below are summarized reports of One Harbor’s financials from 2021. In addition to what you see here, One Harbor contracted with an independent CPA firm to conduct an audit of our books – a rhythm we maintain every three years. We are pleased to announce that our auditors have issued the coveted “unmodified, clean opinion.” This means that One Harbor’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021 were deemed to be presented fairly in all material respects. An unmodified, clean opinion is the best result an auditee can receive. Furthermore, the auditors did not identify any control findings or deficiencies during their audit process. Partners in good standing may review the audit report upon request, and as always, they may also request to review the complete chart of accounts.

Total Giving in 2021

 

$3,896,477

 

The Bible says that God gave His only Son, Jesus, so that we would be saved. But not only did God save us, He lavishes on us uncountable blessings and an eternal inheritance we can’t comprehend. God’s generosity towards us compels us to be generous in return. Therefore, our giving is first and foremost an act of worship. (This figure represents tithes and offerings and contributions to designated funds, such as the COVID-19 Benevolence Fund.)

2021-Pie-Chart-Final

SOWING INTO THE KINGDOM

 

We take seriously our responsibility to help others. The figure reported here includes those dollars given away through our benevolence and addiction ministries, what was given to local ministries, what was used to plant and strengthen churches, and more. 

417455

Dollars given away

 

Our Mission

 

Make Disciples

Push Back Darkness

All for the Sake of the Gospel