Christianity Today Article from June 15, 2021

By Taylor Berglund | Full Article

Matt Friend is a proud native of Charleston, West Virginia. But the lead pastor of Bible Center Church will admit that the city has changed.

“There’s definitely a lot less traffic now,” he said.

His home city has the dubious distinction of being the fastest-shrinking city in the United States, according to the US Census. In 1960, Charleston had a population of 85,796. The city has gotten smaller every decade since and now has fewer than 50,000 people. Matt Friend is a proud native of Charleston, West Virginia. But the lead pastor of Bible Center Church will admit that the city has changed…

Sometimes people will say, ‘There’s just no hope,’” Friend said. “And we have to remind one another that there are still 49,000 people here who need Jesus and need the church. Our mission hasn’t changed.

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