I knew when we named the church it was a bit unorthodox and it continues to be a source for questions, so hopefully this explanation will help you understand how we came to name our church "The Church at Carter's Orchard".
When I was growing up I had many heroes, mostly athletes, but my one real hero was my grandfather. His name was William Carter and he was a World War II veteran, carpenter, artistic painter and had devoted his vocational life to being a pastor. He was a good shepherd and pastored churches in smaller communities. He was a humble and compassionate man with a great sense of humor and quick wit who knew the Bible inside and out. He was dedicated to following Jesus Christ and teaching people to do the same.
When Christie and I began to dream about a church in Dover, Ohio we talked about honoring the man who had so much impact on my spiritual journey.
Our purpose as a church family is to make much of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. The local church is the group expression of what we are called to be as individual Christ Followers.
We loved the idea of using the imagery of an orchard in our name to identify our community. An orchard is a group of fruit bearing trees and the Bible instructs christians to bear good fruit (Matt. 7, John 15, Rom. 7, Col. 1) which is a fantastic illustration of what the church should be doing. Jesus also exhorted His disciples to abide in Him as our only root system. (John 15)
The real name of our church is "The Church" which is almost too simple. It's like naming your dog, well, "Dog".
"… at Carter's Orchard" simply designates where it's located. Presently, it's a concept, but one day we hope to have a location near an orchard. We'll name that future orchard after my grandfather and it'll make explaining our name a whole lot easier. For now, it's a concept that takes a little bit of effort to communicate.
Believe me, it would be much simpler to be "Wooster Avenue Community Church" or "The Church Behind the Dollar General", but those names wouldn't carry the significant image our original name has.
Make no mistake, our church is focused on one thing, exalting Jesus Christ.
- Pastor Jason