Christ's Church was founded in January of 2000. Bishop Hanchey and his wife were sent to Laurel, MS to build a grace preaching, multi-racial church. They left a great ministry in Kentucky for no other reason than the call of God to build the unique church God had placed on their hearts. They began meetings in homes that grew from a small few to dozens that was multi-racial almost from the very beginning.
The dozens made the move to a small building on Old Bay Springs Road. The small choir worshipped with such excellence that outside the building it sounded as if hundreds were inside that small building. Despite many who told him it was impossible to build a multi-racial church in south Mississippi, Bishop Hanchey held to the vision that God had given him very tightly. A newspaper article was written when the church was in that small building that was headlined “Heaven won’t be segregated” with pictures of a multi-racial church many said was impossible. Bishop Hanchey stated that a church should look like the city that it is in.
Great prayer meetings were held on Old Bay Springs Road where many were saved and changed. Out of those prayer meetings came the hunger for a larger building to accommodate the growth of the young church. A building that was previously Second Avenue Baptist Church became available and with prayer and hope the young congregation made a bid for the building.
During this intense time Bishop Hanchey attended a T.D. Jakes conference in Houston. A pastor from Washington State took the pulpit only to begin an offering, yet he paused and said “I must obey God. There is a preacher here that has bid $110,000 on a church building and you are anxious over it. God says to stop worrying and that your church will have that building.” Bishop Hanchey was amazed at the word from God because that was the exact amount of their first bid for the building! With great rejoicing the process was completed and Christ’s Church did get the building and moved from Old Bay to 2nd Avenue. The young church continued to grow in its new home and many children that had never been to church before began to come. Bishop Hanchey ensured they were loved and accepted!
After Hurricane Katrina did so much damage in South Mississippi Christ’s Church has remodeled most of the campus buildings and ministry now goes on every floor of the building. Rooms that were once storage because the young church was small are now filled with kids and adults being discipled and changed by Christ.
Rev. Charles Green met Bishop Hanchey at a conference after Katrina had destroyed his church in New Orleans. This seasoned man of God was born in Laurel and spoke with Bishop Hanchey. He said “There are a lot of churches in Laurel that focus on social standing and certain types of people. I hear God saying Reach for people that nobody wants and He is going to give you people that everybody wants.” Bishop Hanchey received that as a word from Heaven and we have found that when we reach for people that nobody wants, God changes them and turns them into people that everybody wants.