On October 26, 2010, Hartselle Christian Church lost its building to a fire. Problems with the electrical paneling in the kitchen sparked flames that would continue for 6 hours until 60 fire-fighters from 9 different fire departments finally brought an end to the fire. Unfortunately, the the entire building and all contents within were destroyed.
In the wake of this devastating loss, Michael Sikes, Hartselle Senior Pastor, told reporters, “It’s just a building. We will rebuild. We will gather together to pray, and see where God will lead us.” What no one realized at the time is that God would lead this congregation down a new path that is rarely explored by churches in America.
Meanwhile in a neighboring city, Decatur Christian Church was also in a time of transition as it was searching for a new senior pastor and seeking God’s direction for the church. As Joe Bennett and Billy Bryant, Decatur Christian Elders, reached out to Michael Sikes and the Hartselle congregation, both churches decided to worship together for 6 months, beginning January 2011, while everyone prayerfully considered the future.
During this period of prayer and fasting, discussions between leaders of both congregations opened the door for a potential merger of the two churches, something relatively unheard of in the church world. A transition team was formed, and key members from both congregations worked diligently throughout 2011 to formulate plans for a new, unified congregation to be known as Lifebridge Christian Church.
Fifteen months after the Hartselle fire, and after a full year of worshiping, praying and serving God together, Hartselle Christian Church and Decatur Christian Church voted to merge on Sunday, January 29, 2012. After the positive vote, members of both congregations officially became members of the newly formed Lifebridge Christian Church.
The founding elders of Lifebridge Christian Church were Joe Bennett and Billy Bryant. The originating ministry staff included Michael Sikes, Lead Pastor, and Stephen Davis, Youth Pastor.