King Street Church – Boone, NC

Church Planter Profile

Church Planter: Luke Edwards

Type: Fresh Expression

Church: King Street Church

Location: Boone, NC

Luke Edwards planted King Street Church as a new fresh expression of church out of Boone United Methodist Church in 2013. Boone UMC wanted to reach those on the margins of their community and so they commissioned the birth of King Street Church. “We felt like the church was called to do more than serve,” Luke Edwards, Pastor of King Street Church, said. “We’re called to welcome, include, and worship with everyone. We still excluded the marginalized from the body because we served them, but didn’t welcome them.”1

When examining what model or approach they were going to take for the new church, they chose to follow the Fresh Expressions model. Fresh Expressions focuses on one aspect of the church, such as prayer or worship, and adds additional pieces until the group forms a mature expression of the body of Christ. They’ve found that these new ways of presenting the traditional gospel make it easier for those unfamiliar with church to become a faith community.

In the beginning, Luke approached a few people exploring the Christian faith, but who were not necessarily Christians. This group of five to six spent three months eating together during the course of one summer. Gradually, this group became a community that worshiped together and dialogued about faith and life. King Street Church was born. Now, that group meets weekly in what they call Sundays at the Saloon. On Sunday evenings, Christians and non-Christians alike gather to read a passage of Scripture, apply it to their lives, ingest it, and wash it down with a cold beer. 

Daniel, a former inmate in the Watauga County Jail, is one of many who reconnected with Jesus through this fresh expression of church. Although Daniel grew up in the church, he became disconnected during his incarceration. After his release, he felt intimidated to return because of his past. Yet, God still had a plan for Daniel. About a year and a half ago, Daniel started coming to King Street Church’s service in the Boone Saloon. He quickly became one of the central leaders and is using his experiences to broaden the church’s ministry to include those still incarcerated or recently released.

King Street now offers a variety of gatherings designed with a specific group of people in mind. These include a ministry to inmates in the Watauga County Jail, college students, the homeless and businesspersons, service projects, the Single Mom Squad, and Death Café, which encourages open, honest conversations about death. For more information on Luke and King Street Church, visit http://asburyseminary.edu/voices/luke-edwards