MASON — A name change marked the 10th anniversary of the former Soul Harvest Church in Mason, which has now been renamed Northbend Church.
In making the announcement to the congregation during the anniversary service, Pastor Jason Simpkins explained the reason for the change is threefold.
First, he said, the new name speaks of the Bend Area.
“We believe the name speaks of the area we are called to reach,” Simpkins said. “It is my heart not to simply be a place, but to reach an area.”
Second, as seasons change, so do people, the pastor noted. With all that has been happening within the church over the past 10 years, Simpkins said it was time the church name catches up, and described the new name as “timeless.”
And last, Simpkins said Northbend Church is about reaching the area for Jesus by whatever means possible. He stated the church has supported church start-ups over the years in other areas, but would like to begin new churches nearby in the future.
“It has been my desire to start and launch new churches,” Simpkins said. “In the future, it is our goal to go into surrounding areas and launch churches — Northbend churches.”
Although the pastor said he has no timeline for the project, he believes the name change will help the church become more approachable in whatever way it wishes to go. Simpkins said the change was not a spur-of-the-moment idea, but one God placed on his heart well over a year ago.
Soul Harvest Church experienced many changes over the last 10 years, Simpkins said, including victories, behind the scenes battles and times of wander. Through it all, he added, the church experienced growth.
“I feel as a church, we have come to a new season,” Simpkins said. “We’ve grown a lot over the last decade and through the process of growth, I think who we are as a church has changed as well.”
As a part of the anniversary celebration, each adult attending both the morning and evening service was given a free shirt bearing the new church name and logo. Children were also given a gift, and donuts, cookies and drinks were served prior to the morning service.
One of the largest attended churches in the tri-county area, Northbend Church has services on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Life Class, which are classes in small group settings, are held on Wednesdays at “The Center,” which is the former Mason Elementary School.
The church remodeled the school, which now includes classrooms, a youth center, 65-seat theater, and large meeting room. Area youth in grades 7-12 meet weekly at The Center, where there are gaming systems, pool, ping pong, board games and other activities. Once a month, a special event is held there, such as the most recent “cupcake wars.”
Northbend also offers kids church, youth on Sunday evenings, and Life Class Kids on Wednesday evenings. Northbend Ladies meet monthly.
The church has a website at www.northbend.church, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To reach the church by phone, call 304-773-5997.