Gather. Grow. Go

This is the motivation for Harvest, a local, mission-driven church in North Carolina. They gather together, grow together, and go out into the community together. Lead Pastor, Tom Chidester says, Gather. Grow. Go. is based on the Great Commission, and they don’t just stay inside the church, but go out into the streets and into the community.

Harvest Church isn’t shying away from change in order to Gather. Grow. Go. They are about to soft launch a newly remodeled church building in a completely new city at the end of October. 

When asked the reason for changing cities, Pastor Tom’s answer was clear: “We felt the need to be among people and in a community, which is why we chose to move.” Tom says the area where we currently are in Charlotte has become a very industrial and transient area with large companies such as Amazon putting in big facilities nearby. His wife, Tracey, agreed saying “The community had changed. There was no community.” 

After being in the same location for 25 years, Harvest Church put their property up for sale right before COVID hit in 2020. The property quickly sold, and they’ve been leasing the building back until they finalized their new church home. Although COVID did not shut down Harvest, it did close a nearby church located in Mt. Holly, NC which is a small suburban city just across the river from Charlotte, and less than eight miles from where Harvest Church currently meets. 

Tracey found this closed down church on Facebook, and even though it had been empty for a while, when they walked in Tracey says she just knew this was the place for them. They’ve been working hard to renovate the church building and make it become the new home for Harvest. Tracey says there have been struggles and loss during this three-year transition period, but that they’ve continued to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit has led the Chidesters into a new community that is full of life and families. Tom says the difference between the culture of Charlotte and Mt. Holly is huge. People in Mt. Holly (Gaston County) have a different mindset, and the city is quite conservative compared to how liberal Charlotte is. “There are many people in Gaston County who won’t cross the river to go into Charlotte for any reason. We would invite people in Gaston County to come to church events, and people wouldn’t come. They avoided Charlotte at any cost. This mindset is ingrained in the community. Now we are bringing the church to them,” says Tom.

In terms of demographics, 60-70% of people currently attending Harvest live in Mt. Holly. Tom and Tracey will wait and see who comes with them to the new Harvest Mt. Holly location. “With moving, of course, certain folks don’t go with you. It’s not because they don’t like you. They just don’t want to travel,” Tom admits.

Harvest averages around 100 people on a typical Sunday, and the new building will hold 130. The Chidesters will be able to gauge if they need to transition to two service times after their soft launch, and eventually their new property has space for them to expand and add on a multipurpose space that holds church service, if needed in the future. 

A noticeable difference between the old and new church locations is the loss of a commercial grade kitchen. To make up for this, Harvest invested in a food truck. Tom says they have plans for the food truck to be out serving food Sunday mornings and out in the community during the week. He even wants to use the food truck to help other churches. “We really want to unify the body of Christ in our community. We want to show up with our food truck and support their events and serve others,” says Tom. 

One other difference is the church location in Charlotte had zero visibility. Now, the Mt. Holly building is on the main drag. It’s grabbing more attention than a traditional church, because they are renovating the church with a modern spin, complete with black windows and a farmhouse look, and it’s very inviting. 

More information about Harvest can be found online at

Harvest Church was originally founded by Tom’s parents in 1978. 

Mt. Holly church building after remodel

Mt. Holly church building before remodel

Harvest food truck

Harvest food truck

Harvest food truck when they first purchased it

Tom and Tracey Chidester, Lead Pastors at Harvest