Northlake’s History

Northlake’s History

L to R: Founding Pastors Dr. Ralph & Ellen Dale (served 1977-1984), Pastor Jeremy & Stephanie Faughn (2010-2019), Pastor Lee & Wilma Russell (served 1984-2010)

Spring of 1977
Pastor Ralph Dale came to Charlotte with his wife and son to plant a new Assembly of God church. The church was named Evangel Temple Assembly of God. The first meeting took place at a Holiday Inn on Sugar Creek Rd and the church used the hotel pool for baptisms.

Spring of 1978
The church moved to Tryon Mall and though it retained its name, it became known as “The church in the market place.” A prayer chapel was established and kept open for anyone who came to the mall that might want to stop by for prayer or share a concern.

From the mall, the church family moved to the McCrory YMCA on Beatties Ford Road. The YMCA would become a short term home as the church purchased 16 acres of land at its current location on Sunset Road.

Evangel Temple opened the doors to its new home, a 40 x 100, two level building which contained a chapel/multipurpose room, two offices, restrooms and a nursery. The lower level of the two story building was partially completed and would eventually house the Sunday school classrooms.

Pastor Dale stepped down as Sr. Pastor to accept a ministry position at the (then) thriving PTL ministry. Following Pastor Dale’s resignation, the church asked Rev. Lee Russell and his wife Wilma to accept the Pastorate of Evangel Temple.  The church completed the basement area and began Sunday school. The church experienced rapid growth and soon attendance was near 200. The building was crowded so children were placed in the education wing for children’s services. The need for a larger building was evident.  Barlowe Construction Company was hired to build a new Sanctuary that would seat 600 people. The church then began the long road of permits and delays.

October 1987
After a long process, the church moved into the new Sanctuary. A morning prayer service began and people from various churches in the city came at 6am to pray and seek God’s blessings.

Change is something that is constantly taking place in our lives, our community, the world, and the Church. Sunset Rd. for many years had been a rural area but that would suddenly change as Charlotte began its ever increasing sprawl. What was once farm land and pasture land was quickly purchased, and business and housing developments began to rise up everywhere.  With the building of the new Northlake Mall, the church began to study the effects that a name change might have. It was discovered that many in the fellowship agreed we needed a name that would give us regional identity. The name Northlake Assembly of God was presented and affirmed by the membership.

It was the dream of the membership to build additional facilities that would enable the church to expand her ministries within the community. In June of 2007, the church completed the construction of its family life center, which houses a gym, kitchen, foyer entrance, and new education wing.

April 2010
After 43 years pastoring, 26 years as Senior Pastor at Northlake Assembly of God, Pastor Lee Russell announced his retirement. He and his wife Wilma felt a strong calling to travel and minister to small congregations and their Pastors.  With the guidance of North Carolina AG Superintendent, Dr. Charles Kelly, the Northlake Board of Directors began a national search for the next Lead Pastor.

July 2010
Northlake invited Rev. Jeremy Faughn, his wife Stephanie, and their four children to become only the 3rd Senior Pastor in Northlake’s history. When Pastor Faughn arrived, Northlake’s attendance had experienced a slight downturn and was averaging around 65 people per week. Since that time, new ministries, leaders, programs, and changes have revived Northlake, and attendance now averages around 180 per week.