The Psalms tell us to remember the deeds of the Lord and the wonders he has done. Remembering is part of the Christian posture — it gives us reasons to express our gratitude for the mighty ways God has provided for his church.
Gratitude is important because it guards our hearts. Many of us have an “ideal” in our head: we imagine what this world should ideally look like, which includes our lives, our jobs, and even our church. And yet, no matter how much we grow, reality never reaches the ideal. That is simply a part of life. But if we’re not careful, we can obsess over the “gap” that always remains between our present condition and where we think we should be, while overlooking the growth and victory that has already been accomplished.
It is for that reason we are giving you this Annual Report. Our church has many areas in which we need to grow and mature. But it is important to acknowledge the growth that has happened and the victory that God has given us. As John Newton famously said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”
Everything that follows is evidence of God’s grace among us. We hope that this report will encourage your gratitude, build your faith, and help you rejoice in the fact that, though we are not who we want to be, by God’s grace we are not what we used to be. Jesus is changing us, and helping us to change the world — all for the sake of the gospel.
Proud to be partnering with you,
The Elders of One Harbor Church
We want to make disciples who are on mission in their communities. Rather than meeting in one centralized place, we gather in multiple locations, called sites.
“A few months ago I started coming to One Harbor. At that time, I was not content with my life or connected to a church. And yet the first time I came I felt at home; I felt like I was where I was suppose to be. From the passionate worship to the powerful preaching of the Word — everything seemed to work together for my good! My desire for a deeper relationship with the Father was reignited. Though I had a rich appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit, I discovered a fresh passion for reading scripture daily. I am content because my life belongs to Him, and He cares for me! Through One Harbor, I am connected to the church, and thus I am also connected to the Father and the Son.”
– Jimmy Bigelow
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 2017.
App Downloads in 2017
Sermons Played in 2017
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 restricted funds, such as the Building Fund.)
One Harbor Swansboro had a good year in 2017. We have seen continued growth in all aspects of the life of the church. Youth, Kid’s Ministry, Hospitality Teams, Community Groups, new Partners and finances have all experienced growth in numbers. Mike and AnnMarie Crose were added to the Eldership Team, Keela Walters became the Hospitality Captain, and we have continued to enjoy a very good working relationship with the Town of Swansboro. We’ve been able to help with various town events by serving where needed. We hosted an Art Exhibition during Swansboro by Candlelight, which has been a huge success. We began to help with a Christian organization called True Justice that rescues boys and girls who have been sex trafficked in the North Carolina region, and in particular around military bases. People from One Harbor gave generously in finances, a vehicle, and work hours to see True Justice move forward. It has been a great privilege to have some of the children who’ve been effected by human trafficking that are now being served by True Justice join us for services at One Harbor. Generosity has been a hallmark of One Harbor SBO from the beginning. In addition to partnering locally, we were able to send funds as far as Nepal to invest in church planting and provide transportation for a local Nepalese Pastor. Also, we have seen many lives changed and changing because of the Gospel including a number of people professing Christ as their savior for the first time! Lastly, as we have continued to grow numerically, the Town of Swansboro approached us and asked if we would consider renovating the current Town Hall to be able to use it on Sundays for our adult congregations. After various negotiations, we will begin renovations in February 2018 and move into the new building in March. We will use both the current venue and the new venue to for our gatherings, giving us more space for adults and kids. Exciting Times!
People in Community Groups
Community Bible Reading Journals Purchased
“Community Bible Reading has delivered my daily devotional time from a mundane chore to my most favorite hours of the day. It’s allowed me to truly know God on a much deeper level. Exploring the Bible in this way has shown me the kind of love that has changed my soul for the better. It’s revealed to me the all encompassing love I’ve been searching for my whole life. By having a better understanding of just how amazing Jesus is, it’s made me a better Christian. It’s changed the way I share the Gospel with others, and has given me a new found confidence in how I go about my day. Knowing Jesus is in my heart helps me to be more patient, and show others the love they deserve to be shown.”
– Tiffany Musser
Leaders Discipling Students
Students Being Discipled in Small Groups
Average Number of Kids Hearing the Gospel in Kids Ministry on Sundays
As a church, we have seen multiple families become licensed foster parents. One specific area we saw God show up was at One Harbor Beaufort, where Alex and Anna Johnson officially adopted two teenage brothers out of foster care who had been placed by DSS into Brian and Emily Recker’s home back in 2015. The Johnson’s started attending One Harbor Beaufort in December of 2015, and joined the Recker’s Community Group in 2016. The Johnson’s began growing in their faith, and were baptized later that year. Through Community Group each week, they got to know the boys, developed a relationship with them, and eventually felt God telling them to open up their home as a permanent place for the boys.
In 2017, the adoption was finalized and the boys now share Alex and Anna’s last name!
We have seen over the last year that making disciples and pushing back darkness continues to be an oscillation between victory and challenge, between joy and heartache. In 2017, we built a playground for children in our community, we hosted our first Vacation Bible School, and we continued to see people grow closer to Jesus through Community Bible Reading. The percentage of our people attending Community Groups is higher than ever. We partnered together with several local non-profits in new ways. And yet, we were confronted with addiction related problems in an unprecedented degree. We hosted too many funerals for people too young to die. The cause of the poor and the powerless seems to outpace our limited resources more each year. But, our God is not outpaced or outsized by any need. So we enter 2018 both encouraged and sobered — with faces set like flint, we are as committed as ever to give all that we have for the sake of the gospel.
New Partners in 2017
One Harbor Partners
As a 14 year old with a chronic illness, being in excruciating pain for several years is not something we would imagine as being part of God’s plan. I have been in so much pain that, at times, I didn’t want to live anymore. And yet, God showed me that even in pain, I can rely on Him through it. My pain brought me closer to God. I know now that God has a plan for me, and that I am on this earth for a reason. My hope is to show that even during times of suffering, God is with you and He can help you find joy through suffering.
– Dakota Carpenter
Families Served through Benevolence Ministry
Angels Adopted through Project Christmas Cheer
Calico Creek Coffee Bar is located inside our MHCSite. The goal of the coffee bar is to make incredible coffee with purpose. All profits from the Calico Creek Coffee Bar go toward local non-profits and global missions.
Dollars Raised for Local and Global Mission Through Coffee Sales
Drinks Made for Calico Creek Guests in 2017