The Christ Point, Milledgeville, GA
By: Pastor Jason McGarr
If I were to include all the miracles that have led us to the place of writing this article, time would fail. My wife and I, both originally Indiana Hoosiers, felt a stirring. We knew that God had something in store for our ministry together, but we had no idea to what extent it would unfold. Through travel, research, counseling with our pastor Reverend Paul Mooney, and several confirmations, we knew God was directing us to Milledgeville, Georgia.
It was about a two-year journey before God released us to go. After several yard sales and finding someone to rent our home, we loaded up the U-Haul and made the trek to middle Georgia. Our first apartment was quaint, rented sight unseen, and neither one of us could find a job for the first several months. However, Pastor Darrell Johns and the Georgia District took us in as their own and we received one invitation after another to minister around the state. The Lord brought the provision we needed.
We made many strong bonds and friendships during those early stages, trying to build relationships and host Bible studies. We personally moved three times in the first nine months and being bi-vocational had its challenges along the way. One afternoon during lunch with a neighboring North American Missions pastor, we drew on a restaurant napkin our vision of what we could do with a little store front we had found for $550 a month. After six weeks of long nights turning that warehouse into a sanctuary, we launched our first service on Easter Sunday 2016.
Those first two years required a lot of plowing, sewing, and watering, but it’s where we had our first first-time visitor, our first backslider refilled with the Holy Ghost on a Pentecost Sunday, hosted our first youth rally, and had our first commitments for baptism in Jesus’ name. During this time God would build us, and slowly send help our way. He would start to form, shape, and plant a people to establish what we affectionately call “The Christ Point.” After two and a half years of getting our bearings, and the essential support of Christmas for Christ, a foundation had been laid.
Going into our third year, God would then lead us to look elsewhere to congregate. We needed more room to grow, more parking, and better exposure. He would confirm the transition throughout a series of revival services and opened a door of favor with the landlord of a stand-alone office building that was three times our current size. It was also three times the rent. With CFC funds ending the following spring, it would be a step of faith. It was a great building at a prime intersection of town. We moved forward and entered into our second building renovation program. God continued to move over the next two years, providing as faithfully as before.
We were in a season of revival coming into 2020 and we had just started a group home Bible study in our neighboring city twice a month when everything came to a complete halt because of Covid-19. However, despite all of the setbacks and concerns, God has proven himself infinite. During the months of community shutdowns and social restrictions, contributions to the church were at their highest. We have been cautious, but God has been doing extraordinary things during this season. What has included tragedy and loss has also been a formidable season for the Church. What has looked like defeat is divine orchestration.
God began prompting me in July of 2020, “the time is now, get ready.” There was an urgency that I felt in my spirit to act and not wait, and to prepare for the vision that God had been drafting in our hearts over the last four years. So we solidified the vision and launched a capital campaign for our future ministry endeavors. This was the Sunday before our anniversary services and God was about to confirm His Word in a big way.
That week I discovered that a property and church building were available that had been on the market years ago. After inquiring with our realtor, we presented it to our congregation and held an emergency board meeting all within the same week of our anniversary services. It was a big undertaking and another giant leap of faith, especially for what it was listed at, and we knew we would need financing to complete the purchase. After a couple of dead ends, we reached out to the UPC Loan Fund and right away they started working overtime on our behalf.
We came out of the following weekend reassured and inspired, and four days after kicking off the campaign at that first anniversary service, we raised $17,000 cash in hand. From there we would market and launch our campaign publicly using social media. The news spread like wildfire; each and every week donations arrived. We needed a 20% down payment, closing costs and a cash reserve to the tune of $66,000, and we had nothing in savings. Since our launch in 2016 the price went from $375,000 to $295,000. Setting out to negotiate and with much prayer, they countered by listing it at $250,000. We continued campaigning and thanks to the partnership of many churches and pastors, friends and family, and a $25,000 Sheaves for Christ property grant, we exceeded our goal and raised over $79,000 in just four months!
After finally reaching an agreement, on November 24, 2020 we closed a week early on a 6,000 square foot church building on eight acres of land, assessed at $510,000 and appraised for $451,000. We have our beautiful facility and acreage for future development at the main intersection in the heart of our city for $200,000, and our payment is $367 less per month!
We owe a great debt to the body of Christ: UPCI, North American Missions, Ladies Ministries, Youth Ministries, the Georgia District, and the amazing saints of Christ Point. Additionally, thanks to the UPC Loan Fund, we can accomplish much needed renovations and completely update the facility. The blessings keep flowing as we continue to receive numerous donations of labor, material, resources, and even a sponsorship to cover our mortgage note for the first twelve months! We are planning to host our first church services in March 2021.
Learn more about The Christ Point by visiting their website or Facebook page.