On a Wednesday afternoon, Pastors Tom and Terrie Wallace had several hours to move their belongings from a church building and say a hurried, word-of-mouth farewell to their beloved congregation, not knowing what would happen next. Later that night, their entire staff showed up at the front door of their home, determined to follow them in Christian ministry. That Sunday, at a public park in Myrtle Beach, over 300 people showed up to worship and fellowship together as a newly formed body that would soon be dubbed Journey Church.
Within a week, the church staff had secured a small office space out of which to work and began renting Seaside Elementary, a public school, for their Sunday services. Though not everyone who came to the park remained with the congregation, the church flourished. With approximately 200 regular members, Journey Church continued on for a year and half in that school, supporting its members, having services for youth and children, and also holding Bible studies in homes and restaurants in order to stay connected.
In the spring of 2012, a new opportunity for growth arose. Pastors Tom and Terrie led their congregation to a vacant theater, the former Legends in Concert building in the heart of Surfside Beach. For the remainder of the year, through the work of volunteers, the church operated a theater with four house shows and nearly a dozen special event concerts. And every Sunday, the church continued to take center stage. Through the combined efforts and dedication of both entities, the church nearly doubled in size. At that point, a decision was made to allow the theater business to fade so that the work of the church could remain front & center.
In 2013, the vision of Journey Church was refined, as it became a magnet for people with no family in the area looking for a home to connect with others, people with real life problems searching for a safe place to work out their relationship with God and others. By growing with its congregation, Journey Church expanded its focus on needs within the Surfside Beach community, uniting churches and pastors together, providing a meeting place for the town, working alongside existing organizations that help the homeless, unemployed, and displaced, and giving people a true sanctuary in which they can learn, grow, and serve others.
In 2014, the church moved to a new facility in the heart of the Burgess community, where it solidified its vision and place as a beacon of the love of Christ. Journey joined forces with the St. James schools, Burgess Community Center, and other churches in the area to serve the community, through efforts such as Backpack Buddies, school supply drives, distribution of hundreds of quilts, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas giving, Winshape Camp scholarships, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and fundraising for various charitable efforts.
The church made their home at the Compass Center on 707 for nearly three years, but it was the dream of its leaders to solidify its roots in the community and build a permanent structure to house its congregation, offices, and projects. This effort started by purchasing land on the burgeoning and beautiful McDowell Shortcut.
Meanwhile, after some time meeting at St. James High School, the church made a cozy and lovely home in a dedicated space at Inlet Square Mall (the former Books-A-Million) where we plan to remain through the end of the phased building project.
Journey Church was blessed to acquire more land next to the existing property on McDowell Shortcut. It presented the perfect opportunity to add a Christian School to the building plans. And now Journey Christian Academy awaits a space to start schooling our children based on one nation, UNDER GOD. We are excited about the plans God has for Journey Church.
Journey Church continues to be a friend to the Christian community and a safe place for those seeking the grace and love of Jesus Christ in an ever-changing world.
We continue to serve the areas of Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island and even as far as Georgetown.