Our History

Bridgeway Church was birthed in 2014 by the merging of two churches, Mt. Zion Christian Fellowship and City Church. Many have said that church mergers are difficult if not impossible, but God was authoring a story. Bridgeway Church is not just a merger of two churches, but the blending of two families to become one. The impossible became possible when faithful leaders listened to what God was saying and obeyed. It was risky but love and obedience requires the courage to take risks.

The story of The Garden Greenville starts in living rooms. Jack and Amonda Hancock began a Bible study in their living room in 1974. People searching for the Word and the Holy Spirit came every week. On a Sunday morning in March 1979, the Bible study grew into a church, Mt. Zion Christian Fellowship. Multiple sites were outgrown, as more and more people came. Eventually, approximately 40 beautiful acres of land was purchased and a facility was built on Garlington Road in Greenville, SC.

In another living room, years later, in 1996, Steve and Becky Keyes gathered six families to talk about planting a church. They also listened and obeyed as Father led them to plant CrossRoads Community Church in Simpsonville, SC. People came searching for strong Biblical teaching. CrossRoads later became City Church in 2012, when leadership realized it was no longer a seeker sensitive church, but a church that valued both the Word and Holy Spirit.

In April 2014, Mt. Zion was without a Pastor and City Church had outgrown its facilities. Mt. Zion had become a small congregation of seasoned members whereas City Church has mostly younger members under the age of forty. What many advised would be impossible, became possible when Chad Norris, the lead pastor of City Church approached Jack Hancock, and asked for a meeting to discuss merging churches. God told Chad, "it would be like a hot knife through warm butter". From that initial meeting in April 2014, a series of meetings took place between the two elder boards. The transition was fast, and moved quickly into practical steps. When God gives you an assignment, He makes a way. The two elder boards merged, the City Church building was leased without any advertisement, and the steps to creating a new church began. On August 31, 2014, the people of City Church joined the people of Mt. Zion on their beautiful campus for the first service of two churches under one roof—Bridgeway Church.

The story of Bridgeway is an amazing story of God’s grace, faithfulness, and obedience. It is the story of many coming together with one heart who said “yes” to following in the ways of Jesus, honoring the Word and being Holy Spirit led. From the beginning, both churches had the desire to be a family church dedicated to the Word and the Spirit with the goal to fulfill the great commission of Jesus to make disciples who make disciples.

As Bridgeway Church, we walked with God, wrestled in paradox, the fear of the Lord, friendship, and dove deep in yada (intimate knowing).

Throughout 2021, our Senior Pastor (Chad Norris) received several prophetic words that God was changing the name of Bridgeway Church. Over the course of a few months and a lot of wrestling, it became obvious that our name was changing, but we didn’t know what it was changing to. Chad asked the Father, “What do you call us?”, and the Father replied, “The Garden”. As complicated of a process as changing the name of an organization is proving to be, it started as a simple act of obedience. Changing our name wasn’t our idea. It was God’s.