The Gathering began October 6, 1994, in a small garage to give members of the Single Adult Ministry at Willow Ridge Church a wholesome atmosphere where they could dance and fellowship without tobacco, alcohol and drugs. In the beginning, we met only the first Friday in each month. The band consisted of the praise team from the church and was named "First Friday." Meeting in the garage with limited space meant we could not advertise or invite many people to join us. But as word spread about this dance in a garage, the crowd began to increase. We knew we needed a larger place to meet.
In August 1996, we moved to the Eagles Nest and immediately filled it up! We were averaging around seventy people from the very first night at the Eagles Nest. By April 1997, we were out of room again and God provided the opportunity for us to move to the Yellow Rock Hall. By this time our crowd had grown to an average of ninety people, but we were still meeting only the first Friday of the month.
In August 1997, we hired two disc jockeys and expanded The Gathering to include the third Friday. We alternated dances between the two disc jockeys.
In January 1998, we decided to use Bill Boyne exclusively and he was given the job permanently. Bill has been a wonderful addition and we thank God for sending him to us. God has used him to play a significant part in the success of The Gathering.
By July 1999, God was blessing our dance with large numbers of people and we expanded to include the fifth Friday. In April 2000, we again expanded to include the fourth Friday night as we were averaging 150-200 people on a regular basis.
The Gathering was a supporter of the Christian Singles Fellowship in Columbia, South Carolina. When they disbanded in January 2001, we chose to pick up the second Friday night and that gave us every Friday night in the month.
A few years ago, we began allowing married couples to be a part of The Gathering so they too will have a place to come dance in a wholesome environment. Of course, they are required to wear a married name tag and are only allowed to dance with their spouse other than line dance.
Bill Boyne did a great service for God's work at The Gathering for 19 1/2 years as our disc jockey. Bill retired on March 31, 2017. Bill, thanks for the memories and the great music!
Joe Hartley became our new disc jockey at The Gathering on April 7, 2017. We welcome Joe to The Gathering and look forward to what God has in store for us all.
The Gathering is endorsed by Willow Ridge Church in Lexington, South Carolina. It is an activity for dancing, fun and fellowship. More importantly, The Gathering is a ministry that was established to glorify God and to spread His word. Each Friday night at 10 p.m. we pause and have a 10-minute devotion. We have seen God work in wonderful ways. We give God all the glory and honor and praise his name for all he has done and continues to do through The Gathering.