It is fitting that we are situated in what used to be the largest orchard east of the Mississippi River. In 1985, this orchard, Barber’s Orchard was expansive, producing apples that made it all over the country. Today, we are located in that orchard.
In 1990, under the leadership of the first pastor, Tony Crisp, a group of Christ-followers came together to form and establish Rehoboth Baptist Church in Haywood County, gathering in what used to be The Fish House (now known as Maggie's Galley). After years of faithfully meeting in various locations, Pastor Jim Brackett and the congregation launched a campaign to construct a new building property in 2005 located on West Brook Drive in the heart of Barber's Orchard.
In the spring of 2014, Pastor Craig Connor and the leadership of Rehoboth Baptist Church made a pivotal decision to join Lake Hills Church in Candler, North Carolina as a satellite campus within Haywood County under the leadership of Senior Pastor James I. Walker. After approaching Pastor Walker about the desire to become part of their kingdom work, and also expressing a need to reach more young families in the community, Rehoboth Baptist Church officially became Lake Hills Church Haywood Campus in August 2014.
As the church continued to grow and mature, Pastor Walker and the leadership of Lake Hills Church recognized that the Haywood Campus had become significantly healthy and influential in its surrounding community, and that it was time for the church to become its own autonomous entity. As such, in August 2020, Lake Hills Church Haywood Campus was tasked to begin this process by choosing a new name for the church.
Under the leadership of Pastor Stephen Buys, a task force was created to determine a proposed new name for the church. The task force represented a cross-section of staff, church members, and marketing professionals, who all engaged in facilitated discussion and market research regarding the new name. After over six hours of collective meetings, the task force agreed on The Orchard Church as a potential new name, which was presented to and unanimously accepted by the church congregation on Sunday, October 4, 2020.
The Orchard Church is more than just a name for our collective body of people. We believe that our name represents Jesus Christ's intention for His bride, the church, as we are the branches extended from Him as the vine (John 15:5). We also believe our name honors the legacy and culture of our community, those who faithfully came together in 1989 as Rehoboth Baptist Church, and also the investment and fostering provided to us by those of Lake Hills Church. Our prayer is to continually move forward in sharing the Gospel faithfully and serving those in our local community, our nation, and our world.