The history of Colonial Baptist Church is a testimony of the “great and awesome wonders” of God as He has knit individuals together to form a church body for His glory. Each person He has brought to Colonial has a unique role to serve and a story to share of God’s grace. As we look back at all that God has done, we should be challenged to continue to trust Him as He holds our future.
Colonial’s story begins more than twenty years ago. Newly graduated with a Masters of Sacred Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, Stephen Davey arrived in the Triangle area to plant a church. Stephen and his wife, Marsha, trusted God as they took this step of faith and moved across country with their twin infant sons. God took care of the details – from guiding Stephen to the location, to providing money for the rent. An advertisement in The Cary News announced the new church, and Colonial Baptist Church began with Sunday services on September 10, 1986. Twenty-eight people were in attendance for the morning service in the band room at East Cary Middle School.
From the beginning, Stephen preached in an expository style, and as word spread of the church’s solid scriptural foundation, the new fellowship began to grow. “God has given us a ministry that isn’t built around one man or one program,” Pastor Davey says.
"Sola Scriptura, the Scriptures alone, remains the primary compass for everything we are doing, planning, teaching and pursuing.”
It was on that solid foundation that Colonial chartered its first members in 1987. The 45 members-to-be participated in the prototype Greenhouse class – a Saturday morning session in a church family’s basement. Also in 1987, Colonial began supporting its first missionary. By 2006, more than $5 million had been given to global missions.
In 1989 plans for a church building began to intensify, and groundbreaking on a new building at 6750 Tryon Road occurred in 1991. By that time there were more than 450 regular attenders, and a second service was added at East Cary Middle School. Services were first held in Colonial’s new home in 1992, but within months, the congregation voted unanimously to relocate as the building was quickly outgrown. Land for the current church campus was purchased in 1995, and the first service at 6051 Tryon Road was held on Easter, 2001.
“Church growth was never our intention, and it still isn’t!” Pastor Davey says. “We’ve simply responded to what God is doing.”
While God has provided richly for the needs of the church, the history of Colonial is so much more than numbers and buildings. It’s a story about individuals serving, growing and learning together as part of a living body. As the church grew, new ministries developed to equip the body and reach out to the community. Ten key ministry departments and Shepherds Theological Seminary provide opportunities for growth and service to the 4,000 people who attend Colonial and to the community beyond. More than 110 different ministry programs are operating and are staffed by over 2,000 volunteers. Those are numbers to celebrate!
“To this day, I am more excited about tomorrow than yesterday,” says Pastor Davey. “I am convinced that our greatest step of faith is the next one.”
The tomorrow that Stephen is excited about is a church that invests in other churches and multiplies believers – a mentoring church on a regional and national level. For Stephen, this isn’t just a vision for Colonial. As in Colonial’s early days, it’s just a matter of “responding to the work that God ignites, establishes and advances.”