Citadel Square FAQs
As our leaders have met with our members individually and in group meetings, many questions have been asked about our potential merger with Citadel Square Baptist Church (CSBC). Our hope is to address many of those below but would love to hear from you if you have a specific question not outlined below.
How did this merger conversation begin? What led CSBC to present us with an invitation to merger?
Citadel Square’s leadership and congregation have been seeking to define and determine their future vision and direction for the past few years. There have been growing concerns and conversations among the leadership and church about their vitality due to the declining number of their active membership.
The leadership council of Citadel Square began to explore several options. One option was to explore a future with Centerpoint. Citadel Square's pastor, David Walker, and their ministry council asked to have informal meetings with Centerpoint leadership. In May, there were four listening sessions that were conducted and over 200 questions asked and answered around the history, ministries, vision, values and leadership of Centerpoint.
An outside ministry consultant was asked to guide Citadel Square’s leadership through the options they were considering. As a result, the leadership and congregation agreed to consider two options and developed two teams to present proposals to the congregation for approval. One option was to revitalize the church on their own and the other was to merge together with Centerpoint.
The merger study team began meeting with Centerpoint leadership in June seeking our input on what a merger could look like. This team drafted a Good Faith Agreement (GFA) to present as a proposal to merge our churches together. On Wednesday, July 19, CSBC voted between the two options and chose to pursue a merger with Centerpoint.
Why were some of the members against the merger? How are we reaching out to those who voted against the merger?
There were a number of factors that kept some of the members from voting in favor of the merger. The common points of disagreement were over the style of worship, governing structure, misconceptions about our theology and fear of loss of the past identity of Citadel Square Baptist Church.
Pastors David Walker and Craig Tuck are reaching out and currently meeting with each dissenting member through home visits to answer questions, speak to concerns, and to encourage openness to allow time for the transition. A Care Team of staff and lay members from both churches is also being formed to connect all the members of Citadel Square into community groups and the life of our church.
What is the Timeline from here?
Our elders believe the Lord is leading us to join with Citadel Square, but remain open to your input and the Spirit’s prompting. If at any point, it becomes clear this is not the Lord’s will, or that we cannot proceed without working through critical issues, the elders will lead us through those steps.
If the decision to join with Citadel Square is affirmed by our elders, Pastor Craig Tuck will communicate to their congregation immediately following our family meeting on Sunday, August 13th. On Sunday, August 27th, we would hold a special combined service for Citadel Square members to officially receive Centerpoint members. At that time the Transition Team will oversee and lead the new combined body of Citadel Square.
From that Sunday and through September, there would be one new service time at 10:30 am, with our current children’s ministry program continuing at the new time. Pastor Steve Heron will preach a vision series that will serve to unite and encourage our church together.
Beginning in October, there would be two service times, as outlined in the GFA. The details and times are still being worked through and will be communicated as soon as they are concrete.
The goal of the Transition Team is to finalize new bylaws and bring them before the congregation as efficiently as possible. Because they would not be substantially changed from Centerpoint’s current structure, and the process to draft them has already begun, we are confident that the process will not be prolonged.
Who will be on the Transition teams?
Our four elders will lead the Transition Team with representatives from Citadel Square appointed by Pastor David Walker. This will allow our leaders to listen to questions or concerns from their congregation. The other teams (finance, facilities, care, etc.) will be appointed by the Transition Team and will have a staff representative responsible to provide leadership. The goal in developing these teams is to see the gifts and talents of our members grow as they use them to serve the needs of the church.
How will our current bylaws be changed during this process?
The new bylaws will be the nearly identical in principle to Centerpoint’s current bylaws. We will be governed by a board of elders and will affirm the same doctrinal statement. The new bylaws will be expanded to outline in more detail important processes for our church. Specifically, the process of choosing and installing elders and deacons will be made more clear. Also, the new bylaws will give more details about the decisions that will require a congregational vote, especially budget and finance issues. This is an important step for our church regardless of the potential future with Citadel Square. As our church has grown, we need these important issues to be outlined more clearly.
If we have two services, one like Centerpoint currently has and one like Citadel Square currently does, how are we becoming one unified body?
Bringing our churches together and building unity under the lordship of Christ is a priority in this process. This will take time, because we are taking two families with established traditions and cultures and making a new one. Our desire is to allow the time needed for that to happen and continue making intentional decisions about how to bring this new family together. Worshipping together on Sunday is one important part of that process. Because the tradition and culture of a church is so deeply rooted in the way it worships, it will be prudent for us to make changes to the worship tradition with sensitivity and care. At the same time, we want to make every effort to unite our church around our mission and vision, most of which happens Monday through Saturday all around our city. We will build unity as we meet during our coffee connect time, as we meet together in groups in homes around the city, and in the ways we serve together in mission. Our staff teams will begin working together and there will be opportunities for us to serve and love the current members of Citadel Square.
Our Sunday worship service is important in the life of our church, but we must seek to build connection, trust, and unity with all the opportunities we have, as we seek God’s wisdom and timing on what it will look like for us to worship as a unified body.
Why would we choose to keep the Citadel Square name and be associated with it’s history, especially the negative parts?
Our desire is to respect the history of this church that has served in Charleston for over 150 years. There is a lot to be celebrated as many have come to know Jesus and be discipled, and leaders and church plants have been multiplied as a result of its ministry. However, as its history predates the Civil War, there are also parts of it that need to be rejected, redeemed or renewed, including a history of slavery and racism. As Charlestonians, this is a history we share; one that is still impacting our culture today. So whether our name is Citadel Square, Centerpoint, or something else, we are all part of this history. It is our hope and intention to be a part of redeeming it and help see a spirit of racial reconciliation overtake our city and our culture. By stepping into the history and legacy of Citadel Square, we have an amazing opportunity not to shrink back from these difficult truths and conversations, but rather engage them with the hope that Jesus gives each of us. We believe that Jesus will be exalted because it is only his mercy that allows us to bring injustice and unrighteousness out into the light and it is His grace that will bring healing, hope and unity in Christ.
More in Stay Connected
August 17, 2017Better Together: Why We Are Joining With Citadel Square
August 17, 2017Preparing For Sunday: August 20, 2017
August 10, 2017Preparing For Sunday: August 13, 2017