New church with the slogan "Don't do life alone" launches in September
The saying has been popping up on t-shirts, bracelets or on the bumper sticker of a car driving on campus: “Don’t do life alone.” This is the slogan Neo Church has adopted. Neo is new to Cleveland and centers itself around community outreach and personal relationships.
Lead Pastors Dustin and Sarah Wilson have been in full-time ministry together for over 10 years. They are both graduates of Lee University—Dustin holding a degree in church leadership and administration, and Sarah holding a degree in graphic design and marketing.
Upon founding the church, the name Neo was carefully and prayerfully sought over. “Neo” comes from the Greek word meaning new, fresh and young, which coincides with their mission.
“To see those far from God do something new for God… our vision is ‘what new thing can God do through you?’” said Dustin.
Wilson explains that Isaiah 43:19, which talks about letting God do something new, became his “life verse” when he and his family were fighting excruciating battles. Amidst battles with cancer, fear and loneliness, the Wilsons clung to God and the belief that He was going to do something new through them.
Before moving to Tennessee, Dustin and Sarah lived in Sarasota, Florida, where Dustin was the lead pastor of a small church. While living there, Dustin and Sarah felt God lay a burden on their heart. They knew they were being called to plant a church, and that it was going to require them to move away from their comfortable, secure life.
Unsure of where exactly they were being called, they traveled to Cleveland to visit family. Dustin, Sarah and their daughter Riley, had no intentions of moving to Cleveland. God, it seems, had other plans for them.
As soon as the Wilson family arrived in Cleveland, doors began to open. They met others who shared their passion for God and for people. A love for the city and the people in it began to grow in their hearts. Despite the large number of churches already established, the Wilsons knew that Cleveland is where they were being called.
The proximity to Lee University played a large role in their choice to plant a church in Cleveland. Reaching out and establishing relationships with college students is extremely important to the Wilsons. This is evident in the Neo merchandise—the aim is to not allow any student to walk alone.
“So many people ask the question, ‘Does someone love me?’ and we want people to know that the answer is yes. Absolutely yes,” said the Wilsons.
To help combat this loneliness, Neo Church has just launched their first life groups. The goal of these groups is not to be an average Bible study but for students who are looking for like-minded people to do life with. Currently, Neo has four life groups in action—a Foodie life group for people who love to cook, a Coffee and Hang Out life group, a College Girls life group and a life group for Mothers. These are meant to initiate conversation and fellowship with like-minded people in the community.
To learn more about these life groups, or get plugged into one, visit Neo’s website or Instagram page.
Neo Church launches their first service on Sunday, September 15, at 10:30 a.m. at Arnold Memorial Elementary School.