King’s Cross Church and Second Baptist Church have joined together as one local church! 


Jesus Christ has only one church. 

There is, and forever will be, only one church in heaven. 

His church is made of all true believers from every nation on earth. Likewise, there is only one kingdom of God because there is only one true King. Unity is God’s ideal for His people! 

If you remain at all unconvinced I invite you to reflect on Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-26 or Paul’s plea for unity in Ephesians 4:1-16. The Lord Jesus desires His people on earth to reflect the realities of His people in heaven. 


These glorious truths are foundational to what makes what has happened between King’s Cross Church and Second Baptist Church possible. After nearly a year of prayer and conversations among leaders and church members, both congregations have made the official decision to throw in together as one congregation. Both churches voted in the overwhelming affirmative to merge into one church.

We have determined that we are better together as one unified expression of Christ’s church, and neither congregation has made compromises in doctrinal nor missional commitment. 

Marriage math is also merger math.  1+1=1. 

There is no more “us” and “them” between King’s Cross Church and Second Baptist. Now there is just, “us.” 


Certainly, this raises questions for those who attend the church and for the Defiance community.

Q: Where did this merger idea originate? 

A: Sam Andres and Max Begley were in a Defiance area pastor’s prayer meeting in October 2021 at Second Baptist Church. As Max shared about a difficulty at Second Baptist, the Lord stirred in Sam’s heart to pray with the KCC elders and approach Max to discuss joining the churches together. Another pastor in town encouraged Sam to do so, which seemed to be a confirmation. Max was discussing the idea with his wife, Lou Ann, before Sam even brought it up to him. Both pastors remember a discussion about seven years ago when Sam and Max discussed merging congregations when Max retires.  

Q: Why are we merging together? 

A: As the leaders of both churches met to discuss and pray about this idea, it became abundantly clear that our doctrine is aligned and that the Lord has already united our hearts in love for one another. We believe that we are better together and can reach out to the community more effectively as we combine our gifts, wisdom, and assets. We are excited to see a greater degree of multi-generational diversity in the combined congregation. Additionally, there are two very practical benefits: Second Baptist needed a pastor and KCC sees the benefit in having a building for Sunday worship, classes, offices, counseling, and other discipleship purposes.

Q: What is meant by “merger”? 

A: The congregations formerly known as “King’s Cross Church” and “Second Baptist Church” are joining together as one congregation (aka “local church”) under the name “King’s Cross Church.” Synonyms for merger are “joining or uniting.” We are using KCC’s Statement of Faith and Constitution as our governing documents. The idea to use KCC’s name and documents was first suggested by the leaders of Second Baptist and it was found to be a strategic option for many practical reasons. 

Q: Where will the church gather on Sundays? 

A: The long-term goal is to meet in the Second Street building (1945 E 2nd St, Defiance, OH 43512) that the Second Baptist people are bringing into the newly united church. A Building Task Force (of people from KCC and Second Baptist) is working together to develop and implement a plan to renovate the building that allows us all to meet together on Sundays. In the short-term, the united church will continue to gather for worship on Sundays at 10:00am at the Defiance YMCA Youth Center (1599 Palmer Dr #3419, Defiance, OH 43512). 

Q: Who will serve as leaders? 

A: Sam Andres (full-time staff lead pastor), Matthew Parks (full-time staff associate pastor), and Max Begley (part-time staff pastor of care) will serve as staff pastors. Garrett Atkins (part-time staff) will serve as a staff deacon. Volunteer leaders will be integrated per their gifts and calling – some immediately and some over time. The current KCC deacons (Tim & Bert Shiarla, Jeff & Barbara Leatherman, Beth Baus, Phil & Robin Nofziger, Burdette & Jean Meyer, Garrett Atkins, Seth & Keri Nofziger) will continue to serve, and Dave Gerken will serve as a deacon of facilities and Marty and Katye Katterheinrich will serve as deacons of all-church meals. The current KCC Council of Elders  (Dean Andres, Chad Baus, Sam Andres, Matt Verhoff, Matthew Parks, and Jeremy Rupp) will continue to lead in that capacity, and over time Max, and perhaps others, may join this team.

Q: What will be our partner affiliations? 

A: The combined church will be members of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches and the Acts 29 church planting network.

Q:  What is the plan for the future of Fellowship Church in Antwerp?  

A: Fellowship Church (FC) was started in 2011 as a satellite campus of SBC with a heart to reach out to lost people in the Antwerp area. FC has always met Sunday evenings with much in common with SBC, including shared preaching, shared music leadership, and shared finances with SBC.  In eyes of the Southern Baptist Convention, FC is considered an autonomous church. Going forward, the combined church (KCC and SBC) has the long term goal of seeing FC thrive as an autonomous church with its own pastoral leadership, not a satellite campus. In the short term, the leaders of the combined church are happy to serve FC in pastoral leadership. The goal of both churches is to reach Antwerp with the gospel.  

This is a time for rejoicing! Praise be to God for answered prayers for direction and unity!