Almost six years ago, thirty individuals moved their lives to Greensboro to plant Mercy Hill Church. A handful of them were recent college graduates. They could have taken jobs all around the country, but they all decided to take the first two years of their lives and leverage them to help plant a church. The generosity of these launch team members has echoed across these last six years in a myriad of ways, but one specific being the birth of the collegiate ministry of Mercy Hill, MH College. It was from this small group of recent college graduates that the very first college group began, and thus, MH College was born.
God Showed His Heart for the College Generation
Mercy Hill (MH) did not start out trying to target college students. In fact, church leadership picked an initial location at least thirty to forty minutes from any college campus, Bur-Mil Park. Yet, our God had other things in mind. Despite the less than ideal location, MH soon had a small contingency of about twenty to thirty college students coming from UNC at Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro College, and even High Point University (HPU), which was a solid forty to fifty minutes away. This group came because of word of mouth—from the evangelistic impulses of the launch team and the then eighty to one hundred people committed to MH.
After a semester of students showing up, church leadership decided to try and launch a first-ever, all guys, college Community Group at UNCG in the spring of 2013 led by Landon Jordan. At one point, this group had five non-college leaders and two students—things were not always fast-growing. However, everything was about to change. Due to the moderate success of the college men’s group, a UNCG all-women’s group along with a co-ed group in High Point were planted. By the end of the year, there were five college-specific groups.
In the Fall of 2013, over one hundred college students attended the first-ever College Connect at Bur-Mil—things had escalated considerably. With the sudden influx of college students, new groups were soon to be planted along with the launching of our first summer project, City Project. By the end of Fall 2014, MH College sat at over nine groups and launched what is now known as the SENT Initiative, adding two more summer projects: Second City and City Life.
That spring, MH College started the College Residency which expanded the college team to seven members and multiplied our reach across five campuses.
Up to this point (2018), the flywheel has started spinning faster as we have seen God do some amazing things. MH College has seen over 300 college-age individuals get baptized! We have planted over thirty groups. Over one hundred students have participated in the SENT Initiative. We are on our fourth class of college residents. We have sent out over ten students to plant churches in the United States and two international missionaries.
The Story Is Not Over
In fact, the story has just begun. A new chapter in the MH College story begins Fall 2018 as we start the first-ever college service at the Clifton Rd Campus. Yet still, the college service is just the tip of the iceberg. There is still much to come as we trust and beg God to do immeasurably more than we could ever hope or imagine. The movement has started, but it’s not too late for you to join. Come see the gospel save, grow, gather, and send from the campus to the world!
-Jon Sheets (College Ministry Director)