Southside Church launched its first service on February 5, 2006 in the gymnasium of South Jackson Elementary School with 282 people and 19 salvation decisions! It was a powerful start to a God-size dream. They set-up the church in the gym and cafeteria weekly for nine months before assuming the lease on a building adjacent to the school. The church family renovated the 5,000 square-foot facility and was excited to have a space to call their own. That time was very difficult as Southside experienced several set-backs during the next year. The resolve of a small group of people was tested over and over again, but they refused to give up on the dream that God had given them.
A year later, the church began to regain momentum and started to grow. The growth led the leadership of Southside to begin praying for a larger space. God provided that very thing “right across the road” as Southside purchased their own facility of 10,000 square-feet and 10 acres in 2009. They again set out to renovate the space and take ownership of what God had given them. With the new-found permanent location in the community, the church exploded and went from one service to three services. The church staff and leadership began to aggressively seek additional land and expansion options, but plans came to a dead-end time and time again.
In 2014, Pastor Jeff reached out to Jackson County schools regarding the then-vacant South Jackson Elementary School—the place where the church began—about using the space in some capacity. Little did they know that God would open the door for the church to use the entire campus! The church family again accepted the challenge of renovation; but this time it was 72,000 square-feet and 28 acres! On March 29, 2015, Southside Church moved “across the road,” back to where it all began and brought life back to South Jackson Elementary. To see a school that was once filled with children learning, laughing, and playing come to life again with families filling the classrooms, hallways, and worship center (the old gymnasium) have brought tears to people’s eyes and joy to fill their hearts.
Today, Southside Church just recently launched a third worship service and continues to see people’s lives powerfully transformed by Jesus. Located on the south-corner of Jackson County, Southside Church exists to build REAL followers of Jesus. We believe that happens when Relationships Encourage Action that Leads to life-change. God is indeed changing people’s lives through the ministries of Southside Church. We invite you to come and see for yourself what makes this place so REAL.