Bart A. Lindsey felt quite content as executive family life pastor at Dothan First Assembly in Alabama. He and his wife, Lauren, relished being surrounded by longtime friends and family, serving people of his hometown.
But the Lord had a new path for them, and He began to stir their hearts to seek His direction.
Bart, 39, and Lauren, 37, met after her parents moved about 20 years ago when her father, Homer Moore, began pastoring First Assembly in Elba, Alabama. Lauren and her brother Ryan attended some events at Dothan First, about an hour away. Lauren and Bart began dating and married in 2003.
After their wedding, the Lindseys worked as youth and children’s pastors at First Assembly in Winter Garden, Florida, for four years, then as family life pastors at Stone Edge Church in Macon, Georgia. In 2013, they returned to serve at Dothan First. With the birth of their third daughter in 2017, the couple decided Lauren should look for an opportunity to work from home in order to be with their children more. This proved to be part of the Lord’s plan, allowing them the freedom to move more easily when the time came.
In early 2019, the Lord began to confirm in multiple ways that the couple would lead a church. One morning, Lauren shared with Bart that she had dreamed they would move to Missouri. He reminded her that he wanted to be in a warmer climate than the winters of the Show-Me State afforded. Still, in the weeks to come, he kept remembering her dream.
One sleepless night found Bart on the Church Multiplication Network website. He came across a list of the top 25 target cities for church planting, and number 15 — Missouri City, Texas — caught his eye. In a search, he discovered Missouri City to be part of the Houston metroplex.
Because Lauren’s family lived in San Antonio, the couple decided to take a Texas vacation. They took a few days to explore Missouri City while their three daughters stayed in San Antonio with relatives. Before the trip, Lauren dreamed that they were in an unfamiliar house, praying intently with a stranger. After a couple of days, they knew the growing city of 75,000 would become their new location, so they decided to look for a house while there. Sure enough, in the last house, the real estate agent asked the Lindseys if they would pray with her — just like in Lauren’s dream. As it turned out, they purchased that residence.
They moved to Missouri City in August 2019, with the intent of launching Brave Church in September 2020. COVID-19 and other delays caused the plan to be adjusted with the new launch date of September 2021. Lindsey says the community response has been receptive, especially on the heels of coronavirus restrictions, political unrest, and racial tension.
“We want to create a safe place for people to process their doubts, wrestle with their fear, and move to a place where they are brave enough to say yes to God’s invitation,” says Lindsey.
In March, the Lindseys were surprised to be called on stage at the annual CMN Conference, where they received a grant totaling $60,000 from Speed the Light, AG Women’s Ministries, Boys & Girls Missionary Challenge, and other AG organizations.
“Watching their reactions on stage was priceless,” says John Jay Wilson, CMN’s director of operations. “It was so cool to see this gift become the confirmation to them that they were supposed to continue moving forward to plant Brave Church.”
“God is going to ask each of us to do things that terrify us and that we feel we lack the ability to do,” Lindsey says. “However, obedient steps of faith will always be met by His faithfulness.”