Our Church practices its faith by supporting each other in 3 key areas:
Growing relationship with God & Community:
We want to pursue a genuine relationship with God and our neighbors. This is the heart of Jesus' command to us. We are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40). We believe that healthy relationships are loving, self-sacrificing, dynamic, and always growing deeper. We express our relationships in creative ways and encourage each other to always go deeper. Our relationship with God and others are not checklists but passionate romances.
Engaged in Community in its smallest and largest expressions:
Throughout the Bible, we are taught the value of being engaged with our family and our community. We are commanded to love our neighbor, but far too often we make this a parable and forget to love our actual neighbor. We get caught up with missions and forget the hungry that live in our own town. We get stuck on our version of church and only love the mega-churches, the home churches, or a specific denomination. This view is too limited view. We are called to live in community with one another (Acts 2:42-47). We are called to love our community at all levels (Home-Family-Church-Neighborhood-Community-City-State-Nation-World-Church). We engage in all of these expressions of community as much as possible. One of Jesus' most passionate prayers was for us to all be one, as He was with the Father (John 17:20-23). We engage in community at all levels in order to embody His prayer in our daily life.
Participating in transformation within and without:
We believe that we are called to take an active role in the transformation of this world into God's Kingdom.
Make this place like His place:
God wants us to take action to make our homes, our workplaces, and our communities more like His Kingdom. The methods of doing this are endless, but this task requires intention (Matthew 5:13-16). We regularly pray for, look for, and attempt new ways to make this place more like His place.
Make that place like His place:
We cannot be selfish with this transformation. We remember and honor the places that do not have the same resources that we do. We actively participate in missions around the globe (Acts 1:8).
Make this heart like His heart:
God wants our hearts. He wants to transform us, to make us new. We make ourselves open to this transformation by asking for the Holy Spirit to guide us (John 16:13) and looking for and accepting discipleship (Luke 6:40).
Make that heart like His heart:
Far too often new Christians are taught the message and left to spiritually grow or die on their own. Believers need to be taught the way to live, and we need to soak that up from each other. We make each other better (Proverbs 27:17), as a result of being in community. We honor what God has given us by discipling others.
Abbot / Spiritual Director Chris Edwards
Chris has been a member with the ACC since 2013. Prior to joining the ACC he was a church planter with the Vineyard and the Christian Missionary Alliance. He has filled various leadership roles in ministry since 2001 when he was first licensed as a minister. When not working in full time ministry his career has been focused on mental health and family services. Chris is a mental health "Qualified Professional" in the state of NC and currently works full time as a social worker in a children's home located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Chris is the founding and current Abbot of the Celtic Christian Community. Chris also serves the as the Spiritual Director. He is focused on equipping the congregation to live their faith in relationship, community, and transformation by facilitating transformation within and without, through discipleship and providing resources. In his spare time Chris enjoys tending the garden with his wife Jill, riding his bike around town, studying, and playing the cello.
Connections Pastor: Ellis Stroud
Ellis comes to the Celtic Community after a long time searching different denominations for a church home. Having been disheartened by “organized religion”, she focused on her relationship with God outside of the church “walls/institution” and considered herself a “spiritual follower of Christ” rather than identifying with a particular denomination. This spiritual journey led her to the healing ministry of the Order of St. Luke. Through her own inner healing, God led her to undergo training to become a healing team member of the Order of St. Luke. God knew what he was doing. Through this involvement in the healing ministry, her relationship with the Holy Spirit continued to grow and this led her to find her home in the Celtic Community. Ellis found a church home that encompasses a positive relationship with Christ; a group of like-minded people who respect their differences, encourage one another, and nurture a deeper spiritual connection that continues to grow daily. Ellis serves as the Connections Pastor, focusing on nurturing deeper relationships among the membership and assisting them with growing closer to God. Ellis revels in traveling and spending time outdoors, be it mountains or seashore. She appreciates dance, music and the arts. Her close knit family keeps her pretty busy but occasionally there is time for wanderings and adventures.
Community Life Minister: Mary Virella-Minton
Mary Virella-Minton has been involved in church planting and ministry for thirteen years, most of that time serving with the founding Abbot of the Celtic Community Church. She was recently married to the love of her life, Jason Minton, who is also an active and supportive member of the church. Mary has built her career around serving children and currently works as a teacher at a local preschool in Black Mountain. As the Community Life Minister she is focused on equipping the congregation to live their faith in relationship, community, and transformation by creating opportunities for the membership to engage in the community. She is invested in the Black Mountain Community and spends most of her free time doing volunteer work for local organizations like Black Mountain Home for Children, giving her the experience and connections required to lead the congregation in this way.