Stuart Valzonis moved to Charlotte for the party scene and vibrant nightlife, but he found Life Church instead.

Stuart Valzonis moved to Charlotte for the party scene and vibrant nightlife, but he found Life Church instead.

After hitting bottom from a lifestyle he describes as the “epitome of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll,” Valzonis came to know Christ through the witness of a friend. Shortly thereafter, Valzonis walked from his apartment across the street to Life Church, and his life has never been the same.

“I found Life Church through my living room window,” Valzonis said. “I can see the church through my living room window. When I got saved, I really didn’t know what to do. I just knew Christian people were supposed to go to church. I could see a church, Googled it, saw they started at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, and just walked across the street.”

Valzonis was baptized, discipled and encouraged to share the gospel with people he knew who were “near to you, but far from God.” Valzonis began witnessing to his lifelong friend and fellow Charlotte resident Will Hibbard.

“He asked me some deep and convicting questions,” Hibbard said.

Hibbard eventually trusted Christ and was baptized. He invited coworker Thomas Moore to their life group Bible study. A few months later, Moore trusted Christ. 

Valzonis also shared his testimony with Brooke Bezdek and invited her to a service at Life Church. She attended and soon found Christ as well.

“When you have somebody get saved and they’re saved out of the harvest, they’re going to bring their friends and their group,” said Ben Davey, lead pastor of Life Church. “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t brought by Stewart and Will and Brooke. All of these guys and girls that are getting saved, they’re bringing people.”

The testimonies of Valzonis, Hibbard, Moore and Bezdek reflect Davey’s vision for Life Church.

“My vision for our church is that we would see people come to Christ, we would disciple them, we would make them disciple-makers, we would train them up and then we would send them out as a stream,” Davey said.

And after once partying together, Valzonis, Hibbard, Moore and Bezdek are among the members of Life Church who are seeking to reach other young professionals like themselves in Charlotte’s trendy South End neighborhood that is known for its restaurants, pubs, breweries and bars.

“We want to see the gospel turn this city on its head,” Moore said.