As a pastor, Tim Hale knows when the Lord calls it’s futile to attempt to not answer. After all, he is the Lord and he will get through.
It doesn’t matter if the recipient of his request is reluctant, frightened – often those two are connected – or just claims to be too busy. Tim knows if the Lord wants something done, it gets done.
And he wanted Tim and his wife Cindy to return to Midlothian in 2022 and start a new church. It hadn’t been that long since they left in 2019 for Wilmington, North Carolina, after serving at First Baptist Church Midlothian for almost 14 years.
Tim had served as a worship pastor on a full-time basis for 25 years in North Carolina, Texas, and Florida. In 2019, he got a calling that the Lord had released him to begin a new chapter as an executive pastor.
“It was an incredible challenge, and we deeply love the church we served in Wilmington,” he said.
But he couldn’t shake another calling, so he surrendered, and he and Cindy returned. It led to both a renovation and a peak of their dream. Thus the creation of the church named The Renovation at the Peak, a combination of two churches.
“I had been feeling the call of God to plant a church for several years, even before we left to go to North Carolina, but was too fearful of failure and, honestly, didn’t have the faith to step out and just do it,” Tim said. “After some conversations with other pastors around the country, I realized that I was going to stand before God in obedience or disobedience.
“I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and have spiritual regret, so my wife and I took a big leap of faith and planted Renovation Church.”
However, I don’t think there was a place to meet. Schools weren’t available due to policy changes post-COVID pandemic, and the rent on any commercial space was simply too expensive.
Then, they were given the opportunity to partner with Pastor Jason May and Rock City Fellowship, renting their facility on Saturday evenings at 5.
“We thank the Lord for them,” Tim said.
Then, call it fate, divine intervention, but plans went in a different direction with no advance notice.
“On Sunday, January 1, we were planning on attending Rock City and worship with them because our services didn’t start until Saturday, January 7,” Tim recalled. “But they were going to do a live stream-only service that Sunday morning. We ended up opening Google Maps and found a church that we had never been to, so we thought we’d check it out. That church was The Peak.”
The next day, Tim got a call from Pastor Bennie Leonard inviting him and Cindy to lunch. He proposed a merging of the two churches, though Tim reminded him that officially, on his end, there wasn’t a church to merge yet.
“The Lord had been moving in his heart for some time about the possibility of something like a merge taking place to prolong his ministry and be a blessing to another church,” Tim said.
The merger moved forward, and a new church was created, Renovation Church at the Peak. It is located at 5010 FM 663 in Midlothian, with services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. each Sunday.
Bennie became the care pastor, overseeing the care ministry that includes hospital visits, funerals, counseling, and senior Adults. Tim became the senior pastor.
Whereas Tim and Cindy were previously affiliated with the Baptist ministry, Renovation Church at the Peak is non-denominational.
The first official service as one church was on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. Tim said it has seen astounding growth, with an average of well over 400 in attendance and a total of around 500 members.
They also have Renovation KiDZ Ministry, that usually has between 50 and 70 children each Sunday.
“We have fantastic and committed volunteers who love Jesus and love coming alongside parents to disciple their children,” Tim said.
They also offer EPIC Youth on Wednesday evenings at 6:30, focusing on middle and high school students. The weekly event draws an average of about 30 students focusing on games, Bible teaching and small group discussion.
Tim said Life Groups are the hub of their discipleship process. They offer nine groups that meet in homes throughout the week, leading people into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
“These groups are designed to connect people, and we’ve seen incredible growth in these groups,” he said.
Tim said the experience had been both the most difficult and most exhilarating one of their lives.
“When Cindy and I made the commitment to each other and God to do this, the peace we experienced in both of our hearts truly passed understanding,” he said. “Jesus has walked with us through the entire process, supplied our needs, provided abundantly more than we could have ever asked or thought and we’ve seen over 30 wonderful people baptized in the 10 months of our existence.
“We praise the Lord for that!”