First Troy plants church 3 miles from campus

TROY – Matt Bartig, lead pastor of NorthRoad Community Church, appreciates the sacrifice of First Baptist Church (FBC) Troy to plant NorthRoad. Senior pastor, Richard Rhea, of FBC Troy was more than just supportive of the new church start located about three miles from his church. FBC Troy sent almost 100 people to help NorthRoad.

“Richard is a humble, amazing man,” Bartig said. “He encouraged the cream of the crop to come help us. Leadership of Troy came with us. The teacher of the largest Sunday School class came with us as well as deacons and members of many committees.”

According to Brent Campbell, director of missions for Twin Rivers Association, FBC Troy is a mission-minded church. “Richie Rhea has a heart for church plants,” Campbell said. “Troy has planted churches in Wentzville and Lake St. Louis; church planting is just a part of their DNA.”

NorthRoad Community Church launched in September, and now on a typical Sunday it has 225 in attendance. Fifteen people were baptized this year. The church, located outside Troy in the nearby town of Moscow Mills, meets in a building that once housed a Chrysler dealership.

Bartig said that he also has financial support from several large Southern churches who wanted to take part in the North American Mission Board’s Send St. Louis program. In addition, the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Program provide financial and training support.

“Our church is a perfect example of what Southern Baptists can do,” Bartig said, “when they come together and believe in one vision.”

Rhea sees this church plant as an answer to prayer. “A year ago, I was preaching about reaching our community for Christ,” Rhea said. “I said we could just continue to grow or we could start new church plants and reach even more people.”

“Our theme verse for the year is Acts 5:28,” Rhea continued. “I want our church to be accused of the same thing, ‘that we have filled Jerusalem (our area) with His teaching.’ We want to reach every person in the community with the gospel. We had about 650 attending before this church plant, now with their 250, we are reaching about 850.”

Troy had several leadership vacancies as NorthRoad began. “We had to focus on recruiting and replacing leadership,” Rhea said. “But, that was good for us in terms of equipping the saints.”

NorthRoad is focused on reaching young families. “We want to meet the needs of young families,” Bartig said. “We’ve offered sports ministry and we’ve gotten four or five families from that outreach. We have a lot of children in the area. We have the largest middle school here.”

According to Rhea, the attitude of the new congregation will increase the Lord’s blessings. “The newness is creating an excitement in them,” Rhea said. “They are praying and looking for every opportunity to share the gospel. They are reaching a number of new people because of that passion.”