Our History

The founders of Christ Sanctuary met at the Clay township community building in the spring of 1996 to discuss the possibility of creating a new "Non-denominational, Full Gospel, Community Church." The plan was to do this in the Rosemount area. The founding pastor, Jeffrey Smith, had a dream while still a pastor in Lancaster; in the dream he saw a new congregation somewhere around Portsmouth and the name he saw on the sign out front was "Christ Sanctuary." Just from "word of mouth" we had nearly 20 people in attendance at our first exploratory meeting. To the surprise of pastor Smith most of them were from the Wheelersburg and New Boston areas. We agreed to meet at least temporarily at the "Meeting Place" right there in Feurt Hill (Clay Twp.)

We only met for a few weeks there until someone told us of the availability of the little fellowship building beside the old Nazarene Church in Wheelersburg. Though it went against pastor Smith's original dream of planting this new church in the Rosemount area, this still seemed to be the right thing to do. After only a short time the little building was filled to capacity. After originally being told that it wasn't available, we were finally given the permission to rent the big old church building next door. It met our needs quite well and we were happy there, but the building was in a terrible condition.

Several people in the church were convinced that we needed to either build or buy a building of our own. Everyone was encouraged to begin looking around to see what was available. Several opportunities came our way, but none seemed to be the perfect fit. After nearly a year in the old Nazarene building we were told that the Church of Christ in Sciotoville was selling their church building. That same day a few of us contacted and met with the council of that local congregation. The building seemed small "after being in the large old Nazarene building" and it didn't have a stage area (they were a non-musical church). Usually church business moves slowly, but we all agreed that with the combination of a good building, nice property and a great price, we couldn't pass this up. We told the congregation about it and scheduled a time for everyone to see it for themselves. Everyone seemed excited and voted to purchase what is now Christ Sanctuary. We have been in this location since the summer of 1997.

In the summer of 2005, only eight years after moving into the building, we paid it off. A special all day service was had with a mortgage burning ceremony.

Since the move to Sciotoville Christ Sanctuary has been a thriving and growing part of the community. A strong and growing youth ministry continues today so much so that a once dying bus ministry has now grown so fast that an additional vehicle was purchased.

In early 2007 pastor Smith announced his retirement after many years in ministry in the Church of God organization and helping to found Christ Sanctuary. After many months of searching the Lord blessed us with a new pastor, Steve Phipps.

Under pastor Phipps' leadership Christ Sanctuary has continued to grow. For the first time in the congregation's history we became a "giving" church by deciding to take 10% of all of the tithes and offering taken in and to tithe that money as a church by giving to a number of missions. Christ Sanctuary also minister's to the local community by providing school supplies to needy local children and help to needy local families during Christmas time.

July 2009 brought another milestone to our congregation when we welcomed Rick Jenkins as our new praise and worship leader. While we have had some very talented and capable worship leaders during our history, Rick is the first to be put on the church payroll for this part time position.

In the fall of 2019 Pastor Phipps announced his retirement effective at the end of that year.   That began a search for a new pastor and after months of searching and vetting candidates it turned out that we didn't have to turn too far.  At the time serving as our youth pastor, Terry Longmire applied for the job and was selected in late January 2020 by the congregation to be only the third pastor in Christ Sanctuary's then 23 year history.

Since our beginning in 1996 we have been greatly blessed by the Lord and are anticipating the great things He has in store for our congregation and community in the future.