Calvary Chapel Clayton—Church in the Square

Clayton Church in the square

No Distractions—Focusing on Jesus at Calvary Chapel Clayton

Story by Sean Labar
Photos by Jeffrey Anderson & Noah Looney

Calvary Chapel Clayton, NC, Hosts 4th of July Celebration with Jesus at Forefront

As Independence Day neared—with a bevy of issues creating division in the U.S. —Pastor Kevin Edwards of Calvary Chapel Clayton knew there was only one answer to unite the community.


“We knew in the midst of all this happening, Jesus had to be the focus,” Pastor Kevin said. “Not to sound harsh—but the pandemic, racial tensions, the face mask debate, and people not being able to sing in churches in California—our focus wasn’t on any of that.”

Police pray with Kevin

Senior Pastor Kevin Edwards prays over the local Clayton Police Department with two officers present.

Since reopening their doors on May 24, Calvary Chapel Clayton has had a strong online presence for both Sunday and Wednesday services. But there was a noticeable decline in the regular congregation showing up in-person while an unusual amount of new people began attending.

Due to all the tension that has developed in the country, Kevin and the leaders sensed the Lord leading the church to have an outside-the-box approach as the 4th of July holiday weekend neared, for the newcomers as well as the regulars. Kevin commented, “Our goal is to be salt and light to the community and to model turning to Christ during a time like this. The church wanted more than a traditional Independence Day cookout or fireworks display.”

Officer with microphone

Officer Lunger of the Clayton Police Department prays over the town.

Instead, Calvary Chapel Clayton planned a celebration centered around prayer and worship. With almost no promotion, more than 150 people—including new members of the congregation, new believers, Christians from other local churches, police officers, and casual bystanders—met for “Church in the Square.” At the gathering, one woman who had been following their online services but never attended in person, was saved, mentioned Assistant Pastor Jeffrey Anderson.

The event featured music, prayer, and speakers with messages focused on leaning on Christ always, but particularly in trying times.

People sitting in lawn

The crowd gathers in the Clayton Town Square under the trees for shade, as they listen to Pastor Kevin Edwards share an encouragement from the Word of God.

“The Bible says, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (Psalm 150:6),” Pastor Kevin said while addressing the group attending the event. “When we show up, we bring the joy of the Lord, we pray for situations, and we bring God to situations. We are the light of the world! A city on a hill, as Jesus says, cannot be hid. We have to let our light shine in these dark times.”

Pastor Jeffrey echoed Pastor Kevin’s sentiment about our proclamation of Jesus: “Jesus is the answer to anything, right? The Bible is all about Jesus and far too often, we make it about ourselves. It’s written for us, but it’s about Christ and I think we lose that sometimes.”


Pastor Kevin teaching

Pastor Kevin addresses the crowd with the Gospel and altar call.


Umbrella mask and prayer

Marsha Ramirez (holding the microphone) prays in English and then in Spanish. Her Daughter, Bianca Ramirez holds the umbrella for shade. Emilio Ramirez is pictured in the bottom right.


Girl with microphone

Charline Mora (2020 High School graduate) prays over the youth who are present.


Lady under Umbrella

Marsha Ramirez (holding the microphone) prays in English and then in Spanish. Her Daughter, Bianca Ramirez holds the umbrella for shade. Emilio Ramirez is pictured in the bottom right.


Pastor Kevin teaching

Pastor Kevin Edwards looks around to see if anyone raised their hands in response to the altar call.



All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.