Our Story

How We Started

Parkside is not a new dream for me; it’s theculmination of my story.

Growing up, I never saw or experienced value in church community. I didn’t see how what appeared to me as simply another institution could inspire meaningful life-change. However, I began struggling internally with deep questions and doubts in my teenage years. Not knowing where to turn, a few vibrant Christian friends loved me and supported me like I had not experienced before. They never looked to gain anything from me, expected anything of me, or judged my decisions; instead, these friends believed in me, accepted me, and influenced me to become a better version of myself. It was the first time I ever experienced unconditional love. They walked with me amidst my doubts, my questions, my pain, and my antagonism for their beliefs. No matter what I said or did, they continued showing up and walking with me. It was during their otherworldly pursuit of me that I encountered God. For the first time, I knew that God loved me and wanted to have a relationship with me. This sounded crazy to me, but I knew it was true. My fears, doubts, and defiance began to be replaced with a love, peace and purpose I never experienced before.

Through this transformation, I began to explore the pages of the Bible.

In reading the Bible for myself, I was captivated by the love of Jesus for each human being. I was also arrested by this beautiful vision of God’s family, the church. I always associated the church with a building, but the Bible defines it as a family – a family that gathers regularly, cares for one another deeply, and works together for the good of others. This vision has never left me; it has only intensified.

We want to create opportunities for dialogue and connection so people can interact with our vision...

In March of 2015, my wife, Kimmie, and I explored the city of Atlanta.

I had just finished graduate school and we were looking for a place to plant our lives and our family. We instantly fell in love with the Eastside neighborhoods. The unprecedented combination of energy, diversity, creativity, ingenuity, and neighborhood pride stole our hearts.

With a dream to plant our lives long term on the Eastside, my family, along with some of our friends, packed up our things in Raleigh and moved to the city.

My family moved to the Eastside neighborhood of Glenwood Park in January 2017, and began forming relationships with our neighbors who have become family. Now, with the support of many of our Eastside neighbors, we are launching Parkside Church on September 16, 2018. In the next few months leading up to launch, we want to create opportunities for dialogue and connection so people can interact with our vision, help us shape it, and join us in a desire to live for the good of others.

In the same way that the church became real to me through my Christian friends, we hope to be a church where people feel safe to be who they really are, a place to explore real doubts and questions, and a place where people are met with real grace. We want you to join us in making this a reality!

— Christian White, Lead Pastor