God is a Champion of bringing people together into a beautiful mosaic that reflects what heaven will look like on earth. Both Redemption City Church and South Hills Baptist Church passionately aspire to live out Jesus’ great commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) And we want to go together! We want to make disciples together in Fort Worth and around the world, for God’s glory. We believe that we’re better together.
Believing that God has placed these churches, in this place, for the sole purpose of reaching our community and the city of Fort Worth for the kingdom; the congregations of SHBC and RCC are uniting under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to carry out the mission of the Gospel; to make disciples who make disciples.
The purpose of this packet is to lay out the needed pieces and information to merge South Hills Baptist Church and Redemption City Church into one church body on mission for Christ.
In 1952, neighbors wanting to worship together were led by Reverend Roy Muncy who opened his home at 4600 McCart for worship and called the newly formed fellowship Bethany Baptist Church. One year later, with the help of Polytechnic Baptist Church, a new church was established at 4800 Merida and was called South Hills Baptist Church. Reverend Muncy resigned and Walter Reid was called as pastor in October 1955.
Over the next 13 years, recognizing the need for additional facilities, a new sanctuary, a children’s building and education building were added. In 1966, two worship services were observed at South Hills each Sunday to care for the continued growth. In January 1974, the existing sanctuary was dedicated to the glory of God. The “On Eagles Wings” campaign was started to construct the “Walter Reid Activities Center” and was completed and dedicated on July 30, 1995. Walter Reid retired as pastor on January 2, 1994, having served as pastor for 39 years. Dr. Robert Nickell was called as pastor in 1994.
In October 2002, a committee was given the responsibility to seek God’s will and purpose for South Hills Baptist Church due to the decline in membership and changes in the community. Their recommendation was to relocate the church and find a congregation to purchase our property at 4800 Merida that could better serve the local community. This course of action would encourage a young and growing congregation and allow South Hills to minister in a new community. In June 2004, El Buen Pastor Baptist Church purchased our property. Our last worship service at 4800 Merida was March 2005.
In February 2004, we began negotiations for 11 acres at 7350 Granbury Road. The “United We Build” campaign began in August 2004 to purchase land and build a new church building. From March 2005 through August 2006, while our new church building was under construction, South Hills Baptist Church leased office space at 5775 Westcreek Drive for the daily activities of the church staff, deacon meetings and various committee meetings while Sunday morning worship and children’s Sunday School were held at the AMC Hulen Theater. Adult and youth classes met in members’ homes and/or the church office. Pastor Nickell was our stable and encouraging leader during this challenging and exciting time in our history.
On August 27, 2006, South Hills Baptist Church experienced our first worship service at 7350 Granbury Road in our new multi-purpose worship center. We were united in humble gratitude at the hands of what God had done. We voted on September 27, 2009, to begin Phase II, adding additional education space. That building was completed in September 2013 and a dedication ceremony was held in October 2013.
In April 2007, Dr. Nickell retired from South Hills Baptist Church. Following his retirement, we were fortunate to have many wonderful guest speakers until hiring as pastor, Gary Godkin, who served from March 2009 through February 2011. Mark Brister served as an intentional interim pastor until we were led to and hired Chris Wright as pastor in January of 2014. Chris has led us to recognize that we gather to be loved and sent, using passion and gifting that God has given us to further His Kingdom, one person at a time.
South Hills Baptist Church has been on mission for Jesus for over 70 years in Fort Worth, Texas.
Our story is about the individuals and families at South Hills who dedicate themselves to fulfilling the Great Commandment to Love God and Love People. It is about the Small Groups who live life together, grow as disciples, multiply, train leaders and equip members for service. And it is about the whole congregation coming together to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples of all people, both across the street or around the world.
We look forward to being a part of what God will do next with and through our church family, so that we may continue to tell of His great faithfulness and unending love.
In May 2020, four families moved to Fort Worth with a calling to see friends, neighbors, and an entire city come to know Jesus. This core group began meeting in Pastor Matt Kendrick’s home to study the Bible and worship together. Through personal invitations and home cooked meals, Redemption City started to make new disciples.
In December of 2020, Redemption City Church started to meet monthly for preview services at South Hills Baptist Church. We continued inviting others to join us as we made new disciples, worshiped Jesus, and prayed together. Redemption City had monthly preview worship services to introduce ourselves to the community and begin to reach new people.
A wonderful partnership with the Benbrook Community YMCA began, and they opened their facility for Redemption City Church to meet weekly. Every Sunday, volunteers helped turn a gym into a worship space. Having a Sunday morning space allowed Redemption City to reach new families,
growing by about 10% in attendance each month. Our ministries began to expand! We had new City Kids leaders, started our Student Ministry, and so much more. God’s blessings were visible.
Redemption City Church began to meet in the Benbrook YMCA, celebrating our “Grand Opening” in August of 2021. Sustained and continued growth led to growing into two worship services in January 2023. In the past two years, the people of Redemption City Church have:
On Sunday, September 17, 2023 both Chris Wright (Lead Pastor of South Hills Baptist Church) and Dr. Matt Kendrick (Lead Pastor of Redemption City Church) announced to their respective congregations the desire to merge these two churches into one.
On Sunday, October 1, 2023 the first meeting of the Better Together Task Force occurred. This task force has met several times throughout the month of October and, after having worked through the necessary points of agreement, legal, and financial details is presenting this merger packet to both South Hills Baptist Church and Redemption City Church for a vote.
Redemption City Church
7350 Granbury Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76123
Tarrant Baptist Association
Southern Baptists of Texas
Baptist General Convention of Texas
Southern Baptist Convention
Matt has served in pastoral ministry for over 20 years and loves the people of Redemption City. He completed his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University, and he completed his M.Div and D.Min at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary right here in Fort Worth. He is married to Courtney, and his children are Taylor, Cole, and Judah.
Chris has been with South Hills since 2014. Originally from Arkansas, Chris graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and Truett Seminary. Chris is currently a doctoral student at Southwestern Seminary. He is married to Erin, and has three sons, Cade, Connor and Eliot. Chris enjoys coaching, playing, and watching sports, making memories with his family, and traveling.
Geoffrey grew up in and around music his whole life. His entire family are worship leaders at different churches across the country. He has been in full time ministry for over 14 years and still loves showing and telling who Jesus is through music and the arts. He completed his BA in Kinesiology and MA in Worship Studies at California Baptist University. Geoffrey is married to Leasha, and they have five children: Londyn, Brody, Cole, Hattie, and Parker.
Courtney has served in kids & student ministry for 10 years. She loves the mission of Redemption City and is eager to see how the Lord uses our church to reach the lost and hurting. She has a deep love for discipleship and helping people to feel confident to open their bibles and to study it themselves. She is currently pursuing an M Div at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Álvaro was born in Valle de la Pascua, Venezuela. He has served within the body of Christ since the age of 15 as a children’s teacher, guitar player, worship director, small group coordinator, and assistant pastor in his home country. He is married to Cecilia, and their two sons are Samuel and Elias..
Caleb was born in Orange County, California and has served in worship ministries across the globe for the past 8 years. He has a passion for connecting the Bible to musical excellence in worship and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Worship Leadership at Southwestern Seminary. He began leading worship at a small international church in Frankfurt, Germany and has also worked as a worship intern at his home church in Irvine, California. Outside of ministry, Caleb loves spending time with his fiancée Hannah and teaching music lessons.
Chazeray “Chaz” Jackson grew up in North Carolina. He played college football at Western Carolina University, where he met his wife, Amy. Chaz and Amy have three beautiful children: Zuri, Mila, and Niko. The Jacksons moved to Fort Worth 3 years ago. Chaz has served in youth ministry for 5 years. He believes in the mission of Redemption City Church and creating a church made up of a multiethnic body of believers who reach the nations for God!
Leslie has been with South Hills since November 2021. Leslie graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 2001. She is married to Brian and they have three children, Levi, Daniel, and Abigail.
Jeff Nash (Term ends December 2027)
Geoffrey Noblitt (Term ends December 2026)
Edward Upton (Term ends December 2025)
For the purpose this merger, the 3 Lead Team members who are not the Lead Pastor or Senior Associate Pastor will be staggered for re-election as indicated above.
Daniel Buck (Term ends December 2025)
Paul Cavitt (Term ends December 2025)
Simba Nyoni (Term ends December 2024)
Gary Palmer (Term ends December 2024)
Dakota Sorrells (Term ends December 2025)
Kaitlyn Sorrells (Term ends December 2025)
Long Range Planning Team
Jaden Barfield (Term ends December 2026)
Wes Brazell (Chair) (Term ends December 2025)
Maria Herrera (Term ends December 2025)
Chaz Jackson (Term ends December 2024)
Sandy Patterson (Term ends December 2024)
Todd Riley (Vice Chair) (Term ends December 2026)
Stephen Douglas (Chair) (Term ends December 2025)
Chip Gardiner (Vice Chair) (Term ends December 2025)
Jennifer Kornegay (Term ends December 2024)
Jeanne Massey (Term ends December 2026)
Landon Womack (Term ends December 2026)
City Groups/Small Groups
Both City Groups and Small Groups will continue in their current forms.