Elevation Church in Billings, MT just celebrated a huge mile marker. On March 31, 2014 they officially celebrated their first year as a church plant.
In June of 2012 lead planter Dave Carroll, his wife Amy, and their 4 sons Aiden (11), Drew (9), Dax (4), and Briggs (2) moved from Port Saint Lucie, Florida to Billings. After nearly two years of prayer, they felt called to move here to fulfill the vision to plant a new church in the Billings Heights.
During their first two months in Montana they focused on acclimating their family to their new mission field. They began living in the Mission Dorm at the MTSBC State Office building, but soon they were able to find a home in the Billings Heights and began to immerse themselves into the community. Their children attend public school in Billings Heights and are involved in youth sports leagues.
Easter Service 2014
New location, July 2014
Baptism at Castle Rock Park
After getting settled into life in Montana and their new community, they started meeting with three other families to pray for the start of the new church plant. In September of 2012 they started hosting interest meetings and October 31, they hosted their first community outreach event. Candy Jam was a huge success and they were able to reach out to their community and to start developing relationships and connect people to the church.
From November of 2012 through March of 2013 Elevation began a 3-pronged approach to prepare for their launch. This consisted of weekly leadership team meetings, monthly preview services, and monthly outreach events. Then on March 31st of 2013 they officially launched.
They started off meeting at Sandstone Elementary in Billings Heights. However, after only 5 or 6 weeks meeting there they found themselves in need of a new place to meet and moved to a warehouse on Main Street in Billings Heights where they were able to stay for 4 months. They then moved to their current location of Skyview High School where they have been meeting since September of 2013.
They are very excited to report that God has been opening doors and they are planning to move to a new and more permanent location in the very near future. They are planning to lease, with the possibility to eventually buy, a 24,000 square foot building across from the Metra. This building is located at the intersection of Main, 4th Avenue and 6thAvenue, which is one of the busiest intersections in Billings, and possibly the state, according to Pastor Dave Carroll. This new location will give them a more permanent presence in their target community and allow room for growth and ministry opportunities.
During their first year they have seen God do some amazing things. At the one-year mark they had 198 people in worship. On Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 they had a record attendance of 256 in worship. They have celebrated 54 baptisms and have witnessed over 80 salvations. Additionally, they have been able to give nearly $25,000 to missions. $15,000 of that was given to SBC related missions and the other $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity as a sponsor for a new home in Billings.
Their community outreach events have touched nearly 6,000 people. They have upwards of 75 adults currently serving in various aspects of ministry. Pastor Dave Carroll states that in their first year they have had over 115 adults attend at least one small group semester.
When asked what advice he would give to new and upcoming church planters and what has been key to their growth, Pastor Dave Carroll stated,
“A few things we did was to cast a wide net to connect with people and develop new relationships with everyone we’d meet.. In a few months we realized that God was bringing together a great group of people to start a new church. We also worked hard to develop strong partnerships with other SBC churches like Emmanuel Baptist in Billings, who recognized and responded to the need for a new church plant in their target community Billings Heights. I communicate with our partner churches almost weekly. We also are committed to doing a high quality children’s ministry from our very first Sunday, including security check in.”
Church Starting Team Leader, William Johnson, stated that, “Elevation Church is a strong example of a successful AA church plant in one of our major cities.”