By Portia Williams
The newly-formed Life Point Church Portsmouth is planning to launch big at Portsmouth Cinemas at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Darrell Nickles, pastor of Life Point Church, and his wife Christa said they are anticipating more than 300 people to come out to their church’s very first service, due to extensive publicity throughout the community and social media.
“With our launch service we are expecting to turn people away. The largest theater seats 200, and we have an overflow with a video projection that seats 130, and we are anticipating both of those being full,” Darrell Nickles said.
He said they are extremely excited about the launching of the church.
“This will be our first service, and we are all very excited. I am a native of Portsmouth. I moved to Chicago about 20 years ago, and was on staff at some larger churches. God sent me and my wife back here to plant this new church in Portsmouth,” he said.
Nickles said his mission is to reach those that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Scioto County has 80,000 people, and almost 70,000 of them do not attend church on Sunday mornings, and that’s a problem, and that’s why we’re here. Our mission statement at Life Point Church is this, to reach people that are far from God, and to lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. My wife and I did not move here to gather church people. We are here to reach people that are far from God,” he said.
Nickles said he strategically chose Portsmouth Cinema as the church’s meeting place.
“We want to create an environment where people can connect and reconnect with God, without all of the clutter, without all of the religion. That is why we are meeting in a movie theater. We wanted a place that’s different, the dress is casual. I will be preaching in Jeans, and people can bring their coffee in,” he said.
Nickles said Life Point Church will include a youth ministry that will meet in three separate theaters from the adult service.
“We’ve got some local theater talent that’s going to be running it. The first six weeks is going to be at pirates theme, and it is going to be pretty spectacular,” he said.
Nickles said he sought out help to launch Life Point Church from an organization called ARC.
“We partnered with an organization called ARC, which stands for Association of Related Churches. They partner with people that are launching new churches,” he said.
Nickles said the process with ARC was quite lengthy, yet very effective in helping them to plant their church.
“Church plants in the United States after three years, only 20 percent are still there after three years, so the failure rate is extremely high,” he said.
Nickles said ARC’s model for church planting predicts a success rate of 90 percent after three years. He said the key to success for ARC’s model is having 100 people, and garnering financial support prior to a church launching.
Life Point Church will meet regularly at Portsmouth Cinemas every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. until the church outgrows the facility. For more information about Life Point Church Portsmouth, visit their Life Point Church Portsmouth Facebook page.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.