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Cameron Brice’s goal is ‘to be in the community’


In a spacious and efficiently furnished office at Covenant Love Church, Lead Pastor Cameron Brice is wearing a jet-black, trim-fit shirt and slacks with dress shoes - and no socks, as today’s hip stylists would suggest.

Each Wednesday, he gathers with several regulars to write their own music that is featured at Sunday services. It’s not that they don’t like traditional gospel or church standards; they prefer to find their own voices.

The internet has boosted Brice’s online audience, which includes, among hundreds of others, a group of about eight who gather in Las Vegas to click in.

Brice is not your mama’s preacher.

After seven years as missionaries in Mexico and Nicaragua, Brice and his wife, Micaela, returned to Fayetteville in 2020 to take over leadership of the church his father founded in 1991.

Covenant Love, at 420 Dunn Road, brings in about 700 on a typical Sunday with another 800 viewers online.

But Brice’s goal is “to be in the community, not just filling seats on Sunday,” he says.
“Where are you Monday through Friday?” asks Brice, 31, adding that the church should be “addressing issues in the neighborhood” and giving people the resources to change lives in the face of poverty, prejudice or addiction.

“This is a way of life,” he says - following Jesus’ example. The Bible addresses polarizing issues such as immigration, abortion, race relations and homosexuality, and it’s important that people understand what it says and apply its lessons to contemporary life, he says.
In conversation, Brice makes frequent references to Bible verses.

Covenant Love has specific ministries that support mothers, veterans, teens and young men. “Discipleship courses” cover topics such as finances, marriage and faith.

The church also supports community nonprofit groups such as Operation Inasmuch, which aids the homeless and needy; Teen Challenge, for people in recovery; Love Life ministry, a pro-life organization; and agencies that help at-risk children.

Brice says scandals involving corruption, greed and other wrongs have led to cynicism about the faith community. Too many faith leaders have focused on “consumerism” and led with a business-minded approach.

The key is to seek solutions to the problems that people face in everyday life, Brice says. “What’s the alternative?” he asks. “How do we all grow?”

At Covenant Love, Brice sees strength in the diversity of its congregation. Multiple races, ethnicities and economic backgrounds are represented. “That resonates with me,” he says.
“We don’t have one kind of person coming here,” Brice says. “I want to engage with someone who doesn’t think like me. That’s when I need the kindness of God.

“Empathy is way more important than sympathy.”

His goal is to maintain and build “a church that looks like heaven.”

“The beauty of unity is not uniformity; it’s diversity.”

Solutions are “not a ‘left’ or ‘right’ thing,” Brice says.

Brice says he was inspired by the lessons his father taught him and is grateful to be the steward of the church his parents built. The elder Brice, who is 74, still leads one weekly class at Covenant Love, and the two consult during frequent lunches out. But Cameron Brice says his father steps back and tells his son to make the decisions that will guide the church forward.

The two have vastly different personalities - his father more good-old-boy outgoing, and Brice more soft-spoken. But it’s the things they share, including that commitment to community, that Brice treasures most.

He hopes to be equally motivating in leading members of his “church that looks like heaven” to get involved and reach out to those who need a helping hand.

“You can’t legislate generosity,” Brice says. “You have to be a cheerful giver.”

Cameron Brice, Covenant Love Church