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SIFT stands for Sanctuary International Fellowship Tabernacle, the full name of our church movement. We abbreviate it SIFT because we are more than just a church on the corner that everyone thinks they should attend. We are a transformation movement; a press to bring needed interest, purpose, and vision to the church, as a whole. We are SIFT because we are people who have been sifted and are continually being sifted; who have been sorted out, refined, changed, and made better by confronting the hard lumps which hit up against us in our lives. We have been sifted; what the enemy intended for evil, God used for good, that we might be here to serve and worship with others.

There are approximately five to seven different references about "sifting" in the Bible (depending on the translation you use). With the exception of the most common one, every one of them relates to God "sifting" or changing us, bringing us into a different place from where we start. The experience may not always feel great at the time, but we are able to see our change - and transformation - as we go through divine process to come out on the other side.

At Sanctuary, we abide by the principle of inclusivity. Inclusivity is a basic Gospel principle that is difficult to explain piece by piece. In a general sense, an inclusive church is one that is welcome and open to everybody. To us at Sanctuary, inclusion is simple: we make room for anyone (all are a “whosoever”) who desires to visit, attend, or join our churches. Everyone, from every walk of life, is welcome. We extend a special invitation for any and all who are different. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The LGBTQ+ community and their families

  • The neurodivergent community

  • Racial and social minorities

  • Indigenous communities

  • Immigrants and refugees

  • Those with difficult pasts (abuse, prison, addiction, etc.)

  • Those who are politically liberal as well as those who are politically conservative

  • Individuals with disabilities and their families

  • "Different families" (single parents, divorced, LGBTQ+, adoptive or foster families, relatives raising children)

  • Senior citizens

  • Single individuals (as well as those who are married or partnered)

  • Women

  • Those down on their luck

  • People with questions, ideas, or concepts that they are trying to sort out

In inclusion, it’s not our position to jump all over you, but to walk with you through our process. We are here to pray with and for you, to share and teach, to talk and, most of all, love you as a human being. We love to hear about your nerdy obsessions, quirky ideas, and thoughts as we go along.

If you have any questions about what you hear or see or would like more thorough information, just ask! If there is some way that we can enhance your participation with our church, let us know. We are here for you!

The term "sanctuary" has had many meanings throughout history. Its original meaning relates to the word "holy," meaning "set apart for a purpose." The original sanctuary was the "Holy of Holies," found in the portable and later structural temple found in the Old Testament. The sanctuary of old served as a place of sacrifice, worked by temple priests - and the temple priests alone.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, temple sacrifices were no longer needed. The Savior came, becoming a sanctuary within His body, and transforming us through his death, unto our lives.

Today, we recognize the idea of sanctuary as a holy place - a place where God is first. In making God first, we acknowledge the presence of God among our community. Sanctuary is a break from the ordinary; here, people can meet the extraordinary. We herald this place of safety, for others who too want to put God first - above worldly cares, politics, governmental leaders, ideas, traditions, exclusions, bigotries, and everything else that keeps us from God - and come just as they are to experience Him.

Sanctuary is about identifying and meeting genuine human need with spiritual answers. There is more than one to be in need, and there is more than one way to need spiritual intervention. As we pursue God before all things, we are about creating community for those in need of connection: whether because they don't know God, they do not have a welcoming family (for whatever the reason), they find themselves on the outskirts of society or traditional church, they are lonely, or they are not accepted anywhere else...we are here for them. We are community-minded, upholding spiritual consciousness first, and recognizing social consciousness secondarily, as we recognize there is more than one way to stand against the worldly systems that divide us. We seek to encourage, bless, and empower people, showing them God reaches out to us where we are to bring us everywhere we need to be.

Meeting times and locations

Whether gathering for a monthly service, a deep-dive Bible study, a media recording, one of our unique conferences, or a fellowship day, Sanctuary hosts a number of diverse events throughout the year that are open to anyone who might be interested. If you would like access to our calendar of events, join our Discord server.

Unless otherwise specified, we meet Sundays at 1 PM (EST) at the homes of our leaders throughout the Charlotte and Gastonia areas.

Monthly Service

We hold service the first Sunday of every month. Community-minded in nature, we welcome anyone to come out and worship with us as we receive God's Word in a spiritual setting.

We encourage you to attend as you feel comfortable (sometimes we dress up for photos, but that's not required). Our services start with Metanoia, our Sunday School program. We have a time for announcements and questions, praise and worship, a sermon or lesson, communion, an, and group prayer for anyone who desires prayer. There is no pressure and no one will be put on the spot.

Location: 505 Bessemer City Road, Gastonia, NC 28052

Deep-Dive Bible Studies

At Sanctuary, we don't believe in boring Bible study! Our discussions expound on themes present in the text and sometimes completely circle around them! No topic, no discussion is off limits! Our Bible studies are held in comfortable settings and consist of a study text, discussion, and group prayer. Sometimes, after our study, we will play a group game, watch a show or movie, or hang out and talk even more.

Second, Fourth and Fifth Sundays: 4401 Sharon Chase Dr., Apt H, Charlotte, NC 28215

Third Sundays: 6344 Windsor Gate Ln, Charlotte , NC 28215

Weekday Meetups

Coming soon!

Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. (Lilo and Stitch)

Join our Discord to stay connected, view our calendar, submit prayer requests, communicate with us, and have fun!