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  • Andrew Avery

From Prayers to Planting: A Launch Story

“Why are you excited about the launch?”

It is a culmination of God faithfully guiding our family’s steps into his plan for us. 

It was the summer before the announcement of Port City Church, and my wife and I were living in Boston, MA, for an internship I had before my senior year of college. This time was especially difficult. Not only were we freshly married and thrown into a new environment, but we also had to make the tough decision of whether we wanted to move 15 hours away from our family and friends to Boston. After three months of prayer and hard conversations, we ended up agreeing that Boston was not the right move. However, that left us with no options to consider as I entered my senior year.

I distinctly remember one conversation from that summer though. It was about what kind of church we would want to attend once we inevitably moved from Greensboro. We both agreed that we wanted to be within a five-hour radius of our family. We wanted to be in a diverse area. We loved college ministry, so we wanted to be in a place with a strong college presence. Finally, we wanted to find a smaller church where the community would feel tight-knit. A few weeks after we returned to Greensboro, Port City Church was announced.

Upon researching Norfolk, we found it to be almost exactly five hours from my wife’s family and just three hours from my family. Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University’s sports and college presence radiate through the area. The population is incredibly diverse. Finally, what is more tight-knit than a start-up church?! 

It was as if the Lord was saying, “Here it is!” For that reason, we spent one evening talking about it, and we decided to go.

A year and a half later, we are two days away from launch. I said before in my answer that the launch is a culmination. That is because the goal is not for us to say that we did it but to point upward in recognition that this is a microcosm of God’s work. The launch is a continuation of God’s plan to use us to restore the world, Norfolk included. He is restoring while we encourage the discouraged person at work, while we make our appeal to atheists on a jog, while we are grabbing lunch with that apathetic neighbor in our complex. The launch announces to Norfolk that there are people ready to befriend them, serve them, and invite them into God’s family.


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