Pastor Charles Higgs desires for senior adults to continue seeking God’s truths, maturing in their faith, living for Christ and growing God’s Kingdom during the second half of life. This vision led him to plant Country Fellowship Church, a church focused on ministering to senior adults in the Bryan-College Station area.
“Our theme is ‘let’s finish well,’” said Higgs. “If you’re still alive, you can do something for the Lord. We might not know how much time we have left, but the time we do have we’re going to use glorifying Him.”
Higgs felt called to plant Country Fellowship after learning that many senior adults found it difficult to worship and serve in contemporary churches.
“I heard from many older folks that they felt disenfranchised from the church. They missed being able to sing hymns and actively serve,” said Higgs. “I immediately wanted to create a church where seniors could feel free and able to do these things.”
Ministering inside and outside church walls
Country Fellowship is dedicated to giving senior adults in Brazos County opportunities to get involved in ministry. The church wants to provide opportunities for members to reach both senior adults and people of all ages in its community.
Country Fellowship holds a variety of services and Bible studies across four different campuses in the Bryan-College Station area. Each service includes worship from hymnals. At Country Fellowship’s main campus, the Brazos Center, music is led by Worship Pastor Jeff Shaw and the Carter Creek Pickers.
“When we were getting started, Central Church in Bryan donated lots of hymnals, but we didn’t have anyone to lead,” said Higgs. “Then God broughtShaw to us. He’s a young man, so at first, he didn’t know any of the hymns, but he has done an outstanding job learning them and leading worship that resonates with our members.”
These services and Bible studies are targeted at helping members continue to seek God’s truth and mature their faith. Country Fellowship is also dedicated to seeing Biblical truths lived out to affect change in God’s Kingdom.
“We’ve had an amazing response from seniors in our area that are already believers, but we know that it’s bigger than that,” said Higgs. “We want to be reaching people who are lost, particularly since the older people get, the less time there is to make a decision for Christ. And we know that to reach lost people, we need to be different.”
One way that Country Fellowship connects with its community is through Loads of Love, a unique ministry where members show simple acts of love and share the Gospel with senior adults at local laundromats.
“We visit a couple of locations pretty consistently and have made some wonderful connections there,” said Higgs. “It’s been amazing to see how simply providing some much-needed detergent or paying for someone’s load of laundry can lead to a conversation about the Gospel.”
Higgs said the Loads of Love theme verse is Matthew 11:28.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” he quoted. “We’re lightening the physical burden of laundry for our neighbors while also sharing with them Christ’s power to lighten spiritual burdens.”
Country Fellowship is connecting with senior adults in many other ways. A booth at the Brazos County Senior Exposition provided information to over 500 people. The church also hosted the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, for a special night of worship and preaching. The event had 239 people in attendance, many of whom were visitors from the community.
Senior adults are not Country Fellowship’s only focus. It also intentionally blesses families and young people in the community.
Recently, the church began a door-to-door prayer ministry in local neighborhoods. Church members involved in this ministry pray over each home and leave door hangers asking the homeowner to contact them with specific prayer requests.
“We want to create ways that seniors can get actively involved in ministering not only to their peers but across generations,” said Higgs. “Many seniors feel like they’re never asked to serve or make a difference, so it’s important that we create opportunities for them.”
Recently, Country Fellowship began holding Sunday services and Wednesday evening activities at a new Holiday Inn event center in College Station.
“We’re looking forward to having more space to minister at this location. Eventually, our goal is to reach more than just senior adults. We’d like to have a ministry for younger adults and maybe even bring another pastor on board to lead them,” he said. “We believe that once a church is planted firmly, it should plant another church. So that is our goal - to plant another church inside our own church.”
Higgs planted Country Fellowship in partnership with Texas Baptists Church Starting, which is funded by organizational donations to the Cooperative Program and individual donations to the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation.
In the spring of 2019, Country Fellowship was sponsored by two Texas Baptists churches: Dallas County Cowboy Church in Balch Spring, TX, and Highland Country Fellowship Church in Dallas. These sponsorships, along with a start-up gift and other financial support from Texas Baptists, have helped the church continue to grow.
Country Fellowship is excited to continually partner with Texas Baptists and to give back to the organization that helped plant it.