According to its own website, “Rock Bridge Community Church was planted in 2002 by Matt Evans, his wife, Beth, and a core team of people who saw the need for a new kind of church. They dreamed of a church that would reach the lost, the broken, the de-churched, and the spiritually wounded people of the greater Dalton, GA area.” In 2002, there was no shortage of evangelical churches in Dalton. This has been the case for 100 years. Dalton, Georgia is smack in the middle of the Bible Belt. Dalton needed a “new kind” of church like it needed a new kind of carpet mill. When Rock Bridge says that Dalton needed a “new kind” of church, the implication is that the Bible-believing churches of Dalton had failed. People were broken, people were de-churched, people were spiritually wounded, and Dalton’s existing churches were ill-equipped to minister to such people. Not only that, the implication is that the existing churches were the very churches that wounded and de-churched these people in the first place. Rock Bridge is there to pick up the pieces.

Rock Bridge is a “new kind” of church. Think that over. If Dalton’s churches were full of people indwelled and gifted by the Holy Spirit and were operating in a biblically faithful manner, then a “new kind” of church was totally unnecessary. At whom exactly, then, is this new kind of church targeted? It’s targeted to people who reject Dalton’s existing churches, the “old kinds” of churches that have been doing it all wrong. The logic is pretty simple. If Dalton’s existing churches were faithful ones, then Rock Bridge wasn’t needed. If Dalton’s existing churches weren’t faithful, then a new church was needed, not in only in Dalton but in Calhoun, Chatsworth, Hixson, Cleveland, and Ringold, where Rock Bridge has opened campuses.

From the Montanists, to the Restoration Movement, to the Asuza Street Revival, to the New Apostolic Reformation, Church History is replete with “new kinds” of churches. Almost without fail, these churches have some kind of aberrant belief or practice. Rarely has the world needed a Martin Luther. Matt Evans is no Martin Luther. Instead he’s a man who has expanded his “new kind” of church model across Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. Again, this is the Bible Belt. These areas are among the most churched area in the world.

You won’t find a Rock Bridge campus in places like New Mexico or Utah, where churches are hard to fill. Rock Bridge was founded and franchised in a geographic and cultural area filled with people who want to go to church. In other words, Matt Evans isn’t selling soul food in SoCal. He operates where people want some kind of church, even if it’s a new kind.

The satellite church model is itself without biblical warrant. However, that may not be a concern for a “new kind” of church. That is not to say that Rock Bridge does not profess biblical orthodoxy. Its website contains a statement of faith that isn’t fundamentally different than those of the “old kind” of churches that Rock Bridge exists to reject. So, if Rock Bridge professes the same faith as the other evangelical churches in the area, what’s the difference? I think the answer to that question is “orientation”.

If you want to sit in a dimly lit room listening to a praise band perform Bethel, Hillsong, and Elevation Music behind LED lights and call it worship, Rock Bridge is oriented to you. If you want to hear a less-than-convicting sermon that doesn’t dive too deeply into scripture, then Rock Bridge is oriented to you. If you think the most important thing about church is that it appeals to youth and the de-churched, then Rock Bridge is oriented to you. If you value acceptance over personal and corporate holiness, then Rock Bridge is oriented to you. Dare I say, it’s marketed to you.

I submit to you that the ethos, model, and message of Rock Bridge does not line up with the the biblical standard. If you are willing to listen, I can demonstrate to you that Rock Bridge’s Sunday messages do not meet the biblical standard. Its founding pastor, Matt Evans, is not fit to shepherd a local flock of Christ’s people. We can tell by his preaching. Included on this website is an 8 episode series from my podcast, The Christian Commute, in which I provide a thorough review of an entire sermon series preached by Matt Evans at Rock Bridge Community Church. The name of the series is “Promise Keeper” and it can be found on the Rock Bridge website.

If you yourself attend Rock Bridge or have friends and family who do, please listen to these reviews with an open mind. The spritual life of you and your family is at stake. What could he more important? As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and someone who has worked in the Dalton area for nearly a decade, my heart is truly troubled by the expansive growth of Rock Bridge. If, after listening to the sermon reviews below, you’d like to talk to me more about Rock Bridge Community Church, please reach out to me on our contact page. If you’re local to Dalton, I would love to meet you for lunch and discuss “Why Rock Bridge” with you.