Founding of North Ridge Alliance Church
In the late 1960's, the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church of Raleigh (now First Alliance Church) prayerfully considered several growth options, and the congregation was eventually led to plant a new church in the North Raleigh area. Raleigh was growing northward, and at the time there were few churches around the many new and developing neighborhoods.
In answer to God's call, and through their faith-filled and sacrificial giving, a 6.5 acre property was purchased on Falls of Neuse Rd on October 22, 1969. The location was far out into the country, and it included a small frame house, pond, and chicken coop. After much prayer, local visitation, and adding a small mobile unit, the first service of North Ridge Alliance Church was on Sunday morning, June 28, 1970 with seventeen people in attendance.
Rev. Ed Smillie, pastor of First Alliance Church, lead both congregations in the initial year, and in 1971 Richard Hughes was called to be the pastor. That year the new church raised enough funds to build their first permanent facility, and shortly thereafter bought an adjoining parcel for a total of a 10 acre property. On our 2nd anniversary in 1972, the first building was dedicated to the Lord for reaching our neighborhood and the nations for Jesus Christ. That building is now the C.E. Long Missions Center.
Charles & E.G. Long
"Charlie" and E.G. Long had been serving as Alliance missionaries to the Vietnamese and tribal peoples of Vietnam from 1958-1974. Along with a courageous Alliance missionary team and very few believers- all facing incredible dangers- the Bible was translated, the Gospel was spread, and churches were planted. Today there are over a million Christ-followers in that land. Their remarkable story is told in Charlie's book, To Vietnam With Love.
After returning to the U.S., Rev. Long was called to pastor North Ridge Alliance in November 1977, where he and E.G. served for 26 years, retiring in 2004. As the church grew, people throughout our community were reached with the love of Jesus. A sanctuary, education building, and family life center were eventually built, and are constantly in use today for all kinds of ministries. But unquestionably, the lasting legacy of the Long's influence at North Ridge is a passion for global missions permanently woven into the fabric of our church culture, through decades of prayer, dozens of missionaries sent around the world, and sacrificial missions giving in the millions. Pastor Charlie was welcomed into the presence of the Lord on Mary 28th, 2011.
From Transition to Renewed Mission
In the summer of 2005, Rev. Sam McGarvey was called as the next and current pastor of North Ridge Church, with many years of valuable and needed pastoral experience in the C&MA. Prior to Pastor Sam & Deborah's arrival, North Ridge was already in a season of significant transition. Some chapters were closing and new seasons of ministry were ahead. Having been renamed North Ridge Church of the C&MA, we were eager to both continue reaching out to far away nations, and to renew our mission to reach into the neighborhood in which we were planted, North Ridge.
After years of prayer, planning, and God's amazing provision, the North Ridge Basketball Academy was launched in 2009. The NRBA helps students reach their full potential not only as athletes, but as young men and women who are created to know and love Jesus Christ. It has become a premiere basketball training program in the area, providing thousands of hours of high-level instruction to hundreds of students each year through camps, personal lessons, and other programs. NRBA ministry teams have been sent on missions to Kosovo, Thailand, China, & Bhutan. Those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ through the NRBA in Raleigh and overseas number in the hundreds.
In addition to regular participation in the ministry of the C&MA, and special connections to fields in Asia, India, and the UK, North Ridge Church is currently in the midst of a strategic partnership with the Alliance mission in Kosovo. We're also pleased to serve along with Missionary Resources Connection, as the Lord has been directing us to help provide for the care and renewal of missionary families.
The Pastors, Elders, and North Ridge Church family remain dedicated to learn, grow into, and demonstrate what it means to be the Church of Jesus Christ. That drives the strategies of our church ministries, the way we serve our neighbors, our growing faith to minister healing & deliverance, times of worship and prayer, and the call to go and disciple nations. It is the Lord who is writing us into His story.