On Sunday, April 30, Fountain City UMC hosted an Open House and Worship Service at the Dry Gap property. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon, and I had planned to arrive early to snap some photos for our website. But when I got there, over an hour before the worship service was scheduled to begin, the property was already crawling with people.
Our youth were already in the middle of a pick-up soccer game (I was cringing at all the bare feet kicking those soccer balls across the field – SHINGUARDS, YOU GUYS!), making good use of the ten-ish acres surrounding the church building. I pulled into the parking lot, nearly half full for the first time in months, and I couldn’t help but feel the humming energy. Interested FCUMC members were filing in and out of the building, peeking into empty classrooms, wandering the halls, and cheering on our kiddos. Volunteers were in the kitchen area at the front of the building, offering drinks, fruit, and cookies (which my six-year-old promptly took advantage of) as folks roamed the building. In a word: the Dry Gap property was buzzing.
At 7pm, the worship service began.
Our praise and worship band was made up of gifted musicians representing FCUMC’s Celebrate Recovery band, The Journey band, and our youth group. We were excited to see 150 people who regularly attend all four worship services currently offered at Fountain City UMC. In between Holy Spirit-led praise and worship songs, our pastors Randy, Amy, and John shared their hearts for this second campus opportunity, and what it could mean for Fountain City UMC, as well as the Dry Gap community at large.
Video segments helped put faces and real lives experiencing real change to the ministries at Fountain City UMC. Several members and attenders of different FCUMC outreach programs shared their stories about how our church fulfilled our mission statement in their personal lives: how our church’s programs helped make them disciples and change their lives.
It is no small thing to encounter Jesus Christ in such a way that it changes the course of your life. The worship service at Dry Gap testified to the sometimes radical, sometimes subtle ways God is constantly working and moving within and through our church ministries.
At the end of this service, attenders left with filled and fed spirits, the question burning in our chests: Do we believe God has called us to bring the ministries of Fountain City UMC to the heart of the Dry Gap community?