In a sense, Desiring God Community Church began in November, 2001, when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced that they were relocating from Minneapolis to Charlotte. A couple of months later, John Piper preached a sermon on church planting at Bethlehem Baptist Church. The following day, two members of the church emailed Pastor John, telling him that a number of members would be relocating to Charlotte, and asking if his vision for church planting extended that far.
The elders pondered the idea – along with many others that came out of that sermon. In June, the church contacted Coty Pinckney – who was about to complete missionary service in Cameroon, West Africa – asking him to pray about being involved in a Charlotte church plant.
In September, 2002, Coty and his family traveled to Charlotte. After helpful meetings with a number of local pastors, church planters, and informed residents, the Pinckneys decided that God indeed was calling them to Charlotte to plant this church.
Coty began a Wednesday night Bible study in December, 2002. The first Sunday morning service took place at the University City Hilton on March 9, 2003, with David Livingston, an Associate Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist, preaching. After meeting in the Pinckneys’ home and the Lava Java Coffee Shop for several months, the church began meeting at UNC Charlotte in July, 2003. The first public service took place September 28.