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Church looking to be Catalyst in City of Champions

Nolan Frederick, lead pastor of Catalyst Church in Artesia said baptizing his middle son and father have been some of the highlights of his ministry in his hometown. (Mike Smith Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — “It’s been a fun journey.”

That’s what Nolan Frederick, lead pastor of Catalyst Church said recently about his time at the young congregation located at 13th Street and Hermosa Drive.

He was born in Roswell and grew up in Artesia. He graduated from Artesia High School in 2000.

“Went to school at Texas Tech University, had every intent on becoming a physical therapist and really enjoyed sports medicine,” he said.

Then during his sophomore year, came a change of plans.

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“I just kind of felt that I was supposed to be doing something different and started getting involved with my home church here in Artesia, First Baptist Church, they offered me an internship with the student ministry and I did that over the summer’s,” he said.

While still attending school, he changed his major to sociology, he eventually graduated from the Lubbock school and then took a part-time job with a church in the Hub City.

“That eventually moved to full-time,” he said. “My wife Chelsea is from Artesia as well she graduated a couple of years behind me and came to Texas Tech and got married in 2004.”

Frederick said his wife got a degree from Texas Tech and then she attended on-line classes through Liberty Baptist University.

The Frederick’s left Lubbock and moved to Rio Rancho in 2010 and took a job at First Baptist Church.

Nolan Frederick spent nearly five years there and then they moved back to Artesia in June of 2015.

“Having grown up here, we always wanted to come home,” he said.

He added that his family knew that they wanted to serve God and be in the ministry.

“Just didn’t know what it looked like, (his family) always hoped that something would be available.” he said.

Frederick said that he and his wife started praying for guidance, “the more we prayed the more we realized, perhaps God hadn’t opened a door at a church, because we’re supposed to start one.”

“That seemed really crazy to me at the time too,” he added. “I know people look and say there’s a lot of churches in the area, in a community like Artesia, so it seemed crazy at first.”

The more the Frederick’s prayed, the more they realized that the road was wide open for them to return home.

“Went through a process with the Southern Baptist Convention (which included) assessments and interviews, all kinds of things that we had to do to submit to them in order to receive funding and so we sought approval for that,” he said.

Frederick said the former Hermosa Church of Christ building opened up for what is now Catalyst Church.

“They ran into a problem with their title, they didn’t realize when they went to sell the building it could only be used as a church,” he said.

Years ago, that church vacated their former location for a new location at 2512 W. Bush, near Walmart.

“That covenant can only be changed every ten years,” he said. “It worked out well for us to have this space, because we’re a church and we satisfy that requirement.”

Frederick said Catalyst had their first service nearly two years ago.

Chelsea Frederick found employment with her brother at Harcrow Surveying in Artesia. She also works with the children’s ministry at Catalyst.

The past church’s where Frederick worked were well established. What’s it like working at a church that is trying to find and establish an identity in the community?

“Unlike anything I had ever done before, there’s the logistic side of it, first you don’t have a building, we didn’t have any type of income, we didn’t have any other staff besides myself,” he said.

“So there was the challenge of trying to figure out how are we going to get people to give to this, and casting the vision of here’s what we’re trying to do (and) how are we going to get someone to come and lead worship for us because that wasn’t an ability that I had.”

Frederick added it was hard to convince people Catalyst was on the up-and-up.

Having been a native, served to his advantage.

“It was a unique challenge, I guess some aspects of it are like starting a business, you’re trying to reach people and also there’s part of it that you’re trying to let people know that you’re also a legitimate church,” he said.

“The benefit we had was we are brand new, there’s no tradition and you get a chance to be part of something from the ground up. It was incredibly challenging, (but) it was pretty cool to see things coming together,” Frederick said.

Catalyst has one Sunday morning service at 10 a.m. However, that will change come Jan. 14.

“We are moving to two services, so that’s the change that’s coming up,” he said.

The new service times will start at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Frederick said Catalyst has been growing, especially on the children’s side. “Our sanctuary has been about 75-percent full and are children’s classes are getting big, we have weeks where we have 14 or 15 kids in one class for one worker, that’s a lot to have to handle.”

Regarding today’s youth of Artesia versus his youth, Frederick said it is important for church’s like his to reach the youth, especially with all the diversions they have today.

“I’m really passionate about teenagers, they make so many decisions that they don’t realize are going to affect the rest of their life,” he said.

Frederick said the foundation of most teenager’s will be challenged once they turn 18 and leave the comforts of home.

“If they haven’t built a firm foundation, then it’s going to be rattled, they could wind up making some decisions that may impact the rest of their life, “ he said.

Frederick said there’s a small window during the developmental years and that’s where opportunities need to be provided for them, “to meet Christ.”

In the future, Frederick said Catalyst would like to venture into the foreign mission field, do more outreaching to the community and have more full-time staff.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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