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Dear One Harbor Church,


This year we celebrate fifteen years of making much of the gospel together!  They have been full of both the privilege and the pain of church, but the privilege has far outweighed the pain. 


In those fifteen years, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned who our God is, who we are, and a lot about who He’s called us to be as a local church. The people of God in the Old Testament had that same journey. It’s the journey of all of God’s followers. 


Along the way, they were called to remember the past faithfulness of God in order to live differently towards one another and to rightly anticipate what their future could look like if they kept their eyes on Him. 


The only problem was, they didn’t always do this. They forgot their God, they forgot who they were as His people, and they forgot what He had called them to do. This sin led to chaos and destruction at every turn. 


“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” 

Proverbs 29:18 (ESV)


That’s both the challenge and the opportunity in front of us! 


Who Is Our God? 

The God who started everything out of nothing, started our church out of a tiny living room and has added to our number day by day. The God who was faithful through the ages in every moment of history, has been faithful to us at every step. The God who sent His only Son, has caused us to be amazed by the gospel for nearly 800 Sundays, thousands of community group meetings, and in countless conversations. The God who promised to send the Holy Spirit to comfort, lead, and empower us has done exactly that!


Who Are We? 

A community that started with nothing but faith in His ability to change us and change our town. A community that has endured trials, deaths, disasters, and a pandemic. A community that has learned to walk with a limp, not a swagger, but have kept moving forward. A community that worships God by seeking to put Him first, holds fast to the gospel, prioritizes the family of God by being committed to community, and seeks to see the gospel impact every facet of our society by pushing back the darkness. 


What Has He Called Us To?  

We are also a community with a dream. The dream has been to “fill Eastern NC with the gospel” so that all the little towns that hardly anyone in the world knows about would see and experience the gospel like we have. The dream isn’t just for church buildings but for churches- churches that hold onto the gospel alongside each other and hold out the gospel to a dark world. Churches that long to push back the darkness of addiction, human trafficking, abuse, etc. 


Fellow partners, this is just scratching the surface of who our God is, who we are and what He’s called us to, but it’s marvelous and it’s worth laying our lives down for!


What Will It Require Of You and Me?

“The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who are identified as Christians will become disciples of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to bring the life of the Kingdom of Heaven into every corner of human existence.” 

– Dallas Willard


We have so much of God’s faithfulness behind us and so many opportunities before us. Let’s continue to grow as disciples of Jesus and carry the gospel into every corner of Eastern NC. As the preacher in Hebrews says…


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)


What an amazing fifteen years it has been, what hope for the future we have if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and don’t give up! Let’s more than ever seek to remain faithful, humble and hopeful!


For The Sake Of The Gospel,

Donnie Griggs
Lead Pastor
One Harbor Church

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 2023.



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.


It is amazing to have so many people come together each week throughout Eastern North Carolina to declare how good God is and to remember how much we need one another.

All-Sites | 22740%

MHC | 10160%

EAST | 3220%

SBO | 5980%

NWB | 3380%

2023 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 2023.


MHC Baptisms


EAST Baptisms


SBO Baptisms


NWB Baptisms

Streaming and Tech


Technology is merely a tool, but it is one we are especially grateful for year after year. God provided a way for us to upgrade the necessary hardware and software to upload and/or live-stream Sunday morning services at multiple One Harbor Sites, while leveraging the App to communicate hundreds of event details, daily Bible readings and so much more.


App Downloads Through 2023


Sermons Played in 2023


App Interactions in 2023


2023 was another year of God’s faithfulness to our church in Morehead City. We started the year asking the question, “What does it look like to commit ourselves to become more like Jesus?” Our January series focused on the reality that we need to be in the Word in solitude, while caring for one-another in smaller groups, and committing to attending the Sunday gathering as a means of God’s good grace to us. Attendance in Community Groups and Sunday gatherings grew.


We saw a new vitality emerge like never before in our Youth Ministry over 2023. We added youth worship teams for our large group gatherings and increased the number of middle school and high school students in smaller groups. We also sent students to take part in the Advance Movement Youth Conference in Texas. The students who had the privilege of attending came back with fresh excitement to see God do more in them and their peers in the days and years ahead. We are so thankful to God for what he’s doing in our youth. 


Another wonderful sign of God’s goodness to us was the completion of the 17th Street Building Project. The 17th Street Building houses office and meeting space for our staff and leaders, but also includes multi-purpose space that has been used for Sunday overflow seating, weekly youth gatherings, functions for organizations in our city and so much more. The new overflow space has increased our ability to do ministry in big ways, but also created safe spaces for our growing counseling ministry and service to those in need in our area who are seeking assistance for financial needs and addiction recovery. 


2023 was a year of wonderful growth and preparation for our congregation. We pray the Lord would count us faithful with what he’s continued to entrust us with, both in people and resources, so that we can continue to love our community well for the glory of God.


David Cook

A Story of Salvation


For a long time, I chose not to believe in a higher power. I was satisfied and in some ways in denial that more was out there that I couldn’t understand. I thought I was enough and could solve all of my own problems.


Once I had children, though, and saw how my love for them really couldn’t be explained—and the miracle that creating a child is—my world began to open up. I started to feel things and see things I couldn’t explain away with reason.


Between this and seeing the example of a few members of One Harbor and other Christians, I started to research and read books like The Case for Christ. I started to believe.


In February of 2023, I was baptized at One Harbor. Since that day, I have begun to see my life and experiences differently. I feel a longer horizon for my life, and I don’t get affected by obstacles in nearly the way I used to because I feel that they are there for a greater purpose. I am more intentional about loving those around me. I am slower to judge and faster to lend a helping hand. Walking with Jesus has made me into a closer version of the person I knew I wanted to become—I just needed His help doing it.

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 with the sacrifice of our lives in 2023.


MHC Volunteers


EAST Volunteers


SBO Volunteers


NWB Volunteers


This year was a year of transition, celebration, and new beginnings.


2023 for the East site was a year of growth and settling into our new building. In October we marked one year of being at our new site. It has been such a blessing to have the space necessary for hosting folks on a Sunday. Our space has been slowly filling up and is being used for a lot of awesome new things. We have a men’s and ladies Bible study that meet regularly throughout the week in our lobby. Our kids ministry now has the space to expand and split the kids into age appropriate groups to further advance the missions of showing kids how awesome Jesus is! The music and media team has been slowly growing and has enabled us to have a full band most Sundays. In addition to this, we saw 16 people baptized! It is amazing to see the Lord using One Harbor East!


In the last year we saw a few additions to the staff and eldership team. Joey McClure joined the team as a marketplace elder and Toni Phillips joined the staff team as Hospitality director. We are so thankful for the Lord’s provision in these areas.


This year has definitely been one of settling and growth and we look forward to 2024 as the Lord continues to use us to push back darkness and make disciples in Beaufort and Down East.

Parker Marriner

Parker Marriner

A Story of God’s Faithfulness


My name is Parker Marriner, and I’m a junior at East Carteret. Last year, God picked me up and completely changed my life. Before this I wasn’t on the best path, I grew up in a Christian household but rarely went to church. I was in a very dark place, not knowing what to do or where to go next, but then I found One Harbor, a place that made me want to go to church and didn’t make it seem like a chore. I was accepted there, and I wasn’t judged. After going for a few weeks, I got invested in the youth program, which showed me there were people I could relate to and genuinely become friends with. Later, in February of 2023, I was baptized, which, at that point and still to this day, I feel was the best decision I ever made. A little while after this, I learned about summer camp and was a little cautious at first, but then realized I would be going with the same people I saw every Sunday and who had become family to me. Now, looking back, I’m so glad I went to camp. It was truly a life-altering experience getting to worship and praise God with people I knew and also some new people I met. After camp, I came back more on fire for Christ than I had ever been. I loved One Harbor; they had become like family to me. Later in the year, about mid-fall, I was asked to be a student leader, which was an honor and an answered prayer, allowing me to help set the culture I loved and was proud to be a part of. Now a year later, I’m still loving the church, and the youth program every Sunday brings something new and exciting, whether it be a new face or a new lesson.


Youth Leaders Discipling Students


Youth Discipled in Small Groups


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


This year has been a year of God’s continued faithfulness. We have seen evidences of God’s grace at work in the lives of His people in Swansboro. Our building project, “The Base” as we call it, is nearing completion as a result of His provision.  We are so thankful for the generosity of those who have agreed to support the building financially through our giving campaign, and have been amazed how God has provided finances from  outside the church through local businesses and citizens.


We are experiencing record attendance each Sunday; our gathering and overflow spaces are filled to capacity. Our kids ministry is bursting at the seams as we eagerly await our transition into The Base.


God has been kind to us this year, as we have witnessed salvations, baptisms, and multiple relationships restored. In October during our beach baptism Sunday, we were able to baptize a couple visiting the area from West Virginia. They heard our service from their condo balcony, felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and rushed to the water to be baptized.


Our staff has grown to better serve the church and we are thankful for the team dynamic we experience every week. Our eldership team has been diligent to work our prayer muscle as we prepare for the new season ahead.  Already, we have seen God start to move on our behalf and we know He will do even greater things.


Although we have had moments of difficulty, we have been reminded of the faithfulness, love, and peace, of God. We stand firm knowing that He loves us, and we are joyful to serve the King!


Lastly, all who serve at OH SBO, from Partners to staff & those in the process of becoming Partners have put the humility of Christ on display!  What a privilege for all of us at OH SBO to be part of what He is doing.

Bryanna O'Briant

Bryanna O’Briant

A Story of God’s Faithfulness


When it comes to finding faith in Jesus, every story is different.  For Bryanna O’Briant her journey has blossomed into a beautiful story full of evidence of God’s grace. 


Bryanna rarely went to church as a kid.  Her family didn’t attend church, it was only when her grandmother took her for holidays that she made an appearance.  In her elementary years, she did visit with a friend, but the ride on the church bus and the long days made it a less than pleasant experience.  It wasn’t until later in her adulthood that she would begin to attend church. 


Being from the area, Bryanna was familiar with One Harbor and many of the friends in her mother group attended as well. She noticed the warm relationship many of the ladies had, their ability to be honest, the love, and the peace they shared. In addition, both of Bryanna’s children attended a local Christian school and many times would come home and share what they had learned from the day. Bryanna realized she needed a little more context for the stories they shared, so she decided to attend church so that she could become familiar with the stories, and hopefully let her children experience the relationships she had with the other ladies from One Harbor. Bryanna hoped that by going to church, she could gain the knowledge needed to help her children, but didn’t want to become a Christian. 


Attending One Harbor, Bryanna fell in love with the worship.  She wanted to sing the songs as loud as possible and lift her hands. Despite her best efforts, she began seeing God in everything.  Reading the book Gentle and Lowly  she began to learn of a God who was a loving father who would never fail her or her kids. Bryanna began reading her bible daily and her family joined a community group. At their community group, they began to experience a welcoming kind of love that allowed them to be part of a community although she wasn’t a Christian.  As the weeks went by, Bryanna and her husband began to discuss more and more the weekly sermons, their community group topics, and Bryanna realized there was something lacking. Bryanna realized she had tried to justify her own salvation, she came to see that she had stepped out of her own way and let God do the work He was prompting in her heart.  With that, she said and believed the sinner’s prayer accepting Jesus as her savior. 


Bryanna has seen how God changes everything. She has begun to see that God has orchestrated her life. There are little moments where she tries to keep hold of her past, and God has been right there to help her let go. She experiences God’s love and forgiveness daily, one of those moments happened after her baptism. 

During college, Bryanna had a moment where she abandoned her roommate in a time of need. She carried the nauseating shame of what she had done for years.  Unfortunately, her roommate had moved to California and they did not keep in touch. Bryanna had wanted to write to her and tell her how sorry she was, but never had the courage. The one regret she couldn’t seem to overcome was being able to ask forgiveness. 


After being baptized, Bryanna and her community group went out for brunch at a local restaurant.  As they were being seated, Bryanna looks up and sees her college roommate waiting on a table next to them. Bryanna calls her by name, they see each other and embrace. Bryanna asks her for forgiveness, they exchange numbers, and Bryanna tells her of her baptism and all that God is doing in her life.  Her roommate is astounded to hear that Bryanna has come to faith. At home, Bryanna finally gets the courage to sit down and write to her roommate the letter she had hoped to all those years prior and text it to her. 


With new life comes new excitement.  For Bryanna, she hopes to find a way to reach the lost who think they are excluded from God’s grace, the same way she thought she once was.  Her desire is to live a life that glorifies God and to share His word with everyone!

Committed to Community

As a church, we are called to love one another, grow together, and serve in community.

The last few years have proven how vital being together is for each of us.

Below are some of the ways we committed to community in 2023. 


People in Community Groups


Community Groups


2023 was a year of healthy measured growth in attendance and finances. Those aren’t the ultimate measure of health and life in the church, but they are encouraging. Along with numeric growth we continue to see God’s grace at work in our hearts. We continue to grow in integrity before God, others and ourselves. It is an honor to be a part of what God is doing here in New Bern, especially with the next generation. 


Looking around the Sunday gatherings at the beginning of 2023, there weren’t many twenty-somethings. God burdened the leadership over this deficit, and so we prayed. Thankfully, God answered that prayer over the course of the year. We now have a burgeoning cohort of young adults who love Jesus! Additionally, our middle schoolers and high schoolers also experienced something of a spiritual renewal last year for which we are so thankful.


We are so blessed to see the next generation counting for the King! However, we are just as excited for the “vintage” folks too! Our site has been blessed with many spiritual fathers and mothers who are leading the way in exemplifying faithfulness. They are some of our best servers, prayers, and encouragers. Thank you for showing us that passion for Jesus doesn’t fade with age.


All this growth is wonderful, but it also comes with its challenges. We are capped in our kid’s ministry for lack of volunteers. The demand to be in a community group far exceeds the supply. We’ve made due by stretching the per group numbers, which is an unsustainable compromise with negative long-term implications. There is a need for more healthy, called and qualified leaders. Please join us in praying for that as we stand on the threshold of traversing the 400 size barrier.


Jim Lake

A Story of Unexpected Friendship


One of the graces of God on the NWB site is how well we love and care for each other. We are good at weeping with those who weep, and rejoicing with those who rejoice. December 2023 was a time of weeping for all of us as we lost a dear friend and sister to cancer, Nancy Lake. As painful as it was for us it was an especially hard season for Nancy’s husband Jim. Although the grief was heavy it didn’t crush him, in large part due to the way his community group rallied around him. They brought cooked meals to his house, regularly checked-in on him, stepped in to organize the funeral reception, and wrote a beautiful eulogy that honored the woman Nancy was. The day after the funeral Jim said, “I’m so proud of our church in the way they showed God’s love to me and my family.” That is God’s family being family.

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 2023.



One Harbor’s Partners are co-laborers in the advancement 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.


New Partners in 2023


One Harbor Partners


Pushing Back the Darkness of Financial Hardship


We, as a church, are charged to seek the welfare of our city and are focused on loving the people of our communities while glorifying God. We, as God’s people, are called to live, eat, and multiply in the cities where we live – to steward God’s resources well, bear one another’s burdens, and bear the image of Christ to all those we encounter. One way that we live this out as a church, is through our Benevolence Ministry – Pushing Back the Darkness of Financial Hardship.  Each week our volunteers sit down with those who are struggling with their finances, to tell their stories, to offer a listening ear and to pray with them.  We ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom when determining financial assistance for each individual and family – but most importantly, we hope that the people that we get to encounter feel the Love of Christ through our actions and words. 


Dollars Given Away For Local Benevolence Needs


Number of Individuals and Families We Directly Helped


Noah Surfass

A Story of Recovery


A little over a year ago I was a lost and broken man, headed down a path of destruction destined for death. Drowning deep in an addiction to alcohol, trying to escape the pain of a betrayal to my wife, and other behaviors centered around selfishness and a deep depression which led me to a decision where I wanted to end my own life just to escape this world. Something had to change! I ran to my sister who took me to a church service and everything changed! The result of attending one service, I said “Yes!”. I said yes to Jesus, and No to my own ways. Immediately He healed me of my alcoholism! I had no shakes, or sickness or any DTs! Gone was the need to drink! I began pursuing a relationship with my father. Jesus has lead me on the “narrow path” persistently and very patiently, teaching me how to be His disciple. He has shown me healing, forgiveness, peace that surpassing my own understanding, and most importantly an unconditional love that I never realized existed. Upon saying yes to Jesus I have grown accustomed to the challenges of this world. With the Holy Spirit comes a sense of clarity. He shows me truly what it means to understand sin and the repentance that is needed to further grow. I see now with wide open eyes the effects of sin, and why it is important to follow the teachings of Jesus. I have been redeemed by my father. Although I am still dealing with the effects of my poor decisions in my previous life, I know that Jesus is molding me into who I was created to be. Each day is a new opportunity to heal. Jesus has a way of digging deep. To reveal and open up wounds that need to be cleansed in order to properly be healed! He has allowed me to face the past, in order to move forward. Jesus is the way, truth, and light! I fully believe He delivered me from my alcoholism in order to face past traumas with a clear mind and healthy body so I could be molded into what I was always meant to be. Jesus led me to One Harbor. Whom I have partnered with. Becoming a member of One Harbor has allowed Jesus to open many doors. From relationships, outreach, and discipling others, He has shown me how to lead a life according to His glory and be an image bearer to Him. Saying “yes” to Jesus has dramatically changed and transformed this man, and I am now on a mission to share my story to others who were lost like me!


Individuals Helped and Celebrated in Their Journey of Sobriety & Redemption


Dollars Raised Through Calico Creek and East Coffee Sales to Help to Fight Addiction


Dollars Given to the Redemption Fund Toward Pushing Back on the Darkness of Addiction

One Harbor is part of Advance, a movement of churches that exist to plant and strengthen churches.


It continues to be an honor for One Harbor Church to host leaders, support churches and share resources across the world through Advance. We are better for it. 


We remain 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!


The Storehouse Food Pantry
Hope Mission
Young Life
Hope is Alive
Loaves and Fishes
The Bridge
True Justice International
Watershed Ministries
The Gathering Place
Compassion International
Hope Is Alive
Every Nation
Church Planting and Development East
The Village Green


Below are summarized reports of One Harbor’s financials from 2023.


Partners in good standing may review our most recent audited financial statements upon request, and as always, may also request to review the complete chart of accounts.

Total Giving in 2023




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 final number reflects all giving throughout all One Harbor Sites,

including building projects and special offerings.

Final pie



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


Dollars given away


Our Mission


Make Disciples
Push Back Darkness
All for the Sake of the Gospel