The name Watershed seemed only natural because of how deeply we value transformation – moments and relationships that change everything.
Watershed was birthed out of two things: deep relationship and justice. Our founders and co-pastors, Matt O’Neil and Scott Hofert, along with their wives Donna and Taryn, met in the late 90’s while working together for a Virginia-based international humanitarian organization. A friendship was formed while they traveled and served in poverty-stricken villages and cities, and they began dreaming together about returning to the US and serving those in need who don’t know God. After returning to the States and working in local churches for six years, in 2005 they decided that it was time to take the leap and plant a church together!
They decided to settled in Charlotte, which was an easy choice because of how quickly the city is growing, the lack of non-denominational and justice-driven churches in the uptown/urban areas, and all the northern transplants in a southern city! A generous local fellowship of church planters supported them and took them under their wing, helping them launch their first location uptown, Actor’s Theater. A core group of local Charlotteans began meeting weekly with the Hoferts and O’Neils to gather and pray for what was already becoming a transformational community: Watershed. In September 2005, our first Sunday gathering was held. Soon after we began meeting, longtime friends Matt and Rachael Shaughnessy, Scott and Kendra Miller, and Steve and Rachael Cook relocated to Charlotte to be part of our church-planting team and later become our staff and lead team members.
The name Watershed seemed only natural because of how deeply we value transformation…moments and relationships that change everything. We believe in transformational relationships because this church was born out of them. Relationships that molded us, sharpened us, and ultimately, led to this church. And the thread woven throughout all of our passions and interests and history is justice. So, it is only natural that God would allow our now thriving Watershed community to flourish based on Jesus-centric deep relationships and a heartbeat for justice.
So now, after celebrating 12 years as a church community, not only are we now meeting in Chantilly, a beatiful neighborhood within minutes of Uptown, but we’ve also experienced so much growth. Growth in numbers might be the most noticeable, especially when you walk the halls of Greenhouse, our kids and students wing on a Sunday. But as we look over the course of the past decade, our growth has felt humbling in other ways as well. Our relationships have grown deeper, we've made headway in embracing broken systems in our city to help bring about change, and we've witnessed spiritual cultivation and maturation within our micro-communities, justice initiatives, and community as a whole. All of this is truly what fuels us toward a future together.