It was two weeks after we launched New Community Church on September 27 when Regal announced they were closing all of theaters nationwide until 2021. Even so, we were standing on a word God spoke to our team back in July that this is where we were supposed to be. We knew back then these closings were a potential for the fall, so we did our research to secure a few backup locations. However, in that searching, God affirmed that He would move mountains and “open doors no one could shut”, including at our Regal.
Two days after Regal’s announcement, we received confirmation that we were “on a short list of Regal churches” that would be allowed to keep meeting in their space through this season.
This was an unprecedented decision for Regal, and we were curious to learn how this had happened. It turns out that God had used our local General Manager, who was not a Jesus-follower. On the same day he learned he was losing his job, he went to bat for us with Regal and secured a way for us to continue meeting.
My wife and I were in tears as the GM shared the news with us. He didn’t just fight for New Community. Whether he knew it or not, he was fighting for the Kingdom of God. Because we are still meeting, we’ve welcomed hundreds of guest in our Regal. We’ve connected dozens of people who had been disconnected from God. We’ve celebrated 22 first-time decisions for Jesus. And we can’t wait to celebrate the day our GM surrenders his life to Christ!
God is so faithful. Even if He has to move mountains to fulfill the purpose He has for your life, God will do it. Even if he has to sway national corporations and keep theater doors open so that a new community of faith can be planted, God will do it.
“ When he opens a door, no one can close it.” – Revelation 3:7 (NCV)
Brandon and Hannah Baldwin have been married for 12 years, and have lived in Richmond, Virginia almost their entire lives. When Brandon sensed God’s call to pastoral ministry in 2003, the call was always to the city of Richmond. During his 15 years of serving in a local church on the southside, he was actively involved in city-wide efforts to unite the church and serve the city.
In his last year of graduate studies at Regent University, Brandon focused on the current state of spirituality in America and strategies for reaching the unchurched. God burdened his heart for the immense need for new churches, and the vision of New Community Church was birthed.
That same season, Hannah began to see the need for the women’s perspective on faith to be more activated in the church. God asked her to stand in the gap for His people, and in 2019 she received her pastoral credentials with the Assemblies of God in pursuit of that call.
Together they have three children: Jodie, Reagan and Shepherd.