Our First Birthday
In 2012 when I was pastoring in Covington, Georgia, I met David Deeter at the 2012 Passion Conference. He talked to me that night about the need for a gospel-centered church focused on disciple making and being a true Christian community in Atlanta (Buckhead in particular). This began an occasional conversation with people like David, Jason Byars, Jim Haskell, and several others about the need for more gospel-centered churches in Atlanta. Meanwhile, there were others (that I didn’t know at the time) who were praying about a new church in Atlanta that would be committed to gospel centrality and to equipping Christians for the mission of Christ. All of this came together in 2016 when Johnson Ferry and the North American Mission Board partnered together to create resources for a new church in Buckhead. In June of 2016 Paige and I felt God’s clear call to come join this effort, and we moved our family over from Alabama in September of 2016. An idea had become a conversation; a conversation had become an action.
By December of 2016, 34 bold men and women had signed on to be the initial launch team of Christ Covenant. We started having regular pre-launch meetings in February of 2016, and our church officially launched on September 17, 2017, with 73 charter members. Since that time we have started many small groups, many ministries, and have begun a missional engagement with our city and the world. Through all of this people are coming to know the power of the gospel and lives are being transformed. Our church members are understanding the power of covenant community and living as ambassadors of Christ for our city and the world. Today, officially one year into our journey, that idea (that became a conversation that became an action) has become a church of more than 170 members who are faithfully equipping and encouraging one another for God’s eternal purpose and mission. This edition of the Covenant Quarterly is dedicated to celebrating all that God has done in our first year. Happy First Birthday, Christ Covenant! By God’s grace, here’s to many more!
The good news is, we’ve only just begun. This is all the very beginning of the story and by God’s grace this is going to be a long and great story. My prayer is that Christ Covenant would be a faithful gospel witness in our city until Jesus returns. Our concern is not only for ourselves, but for the generations that will come after us and for the countless souls that will be touched all over the world through our church. The question we must ask is, “What does it look like for us to be a faithful and healthy church today so that we will still be a faithful and healthy church in 100 years?” Over the next few months we are going to be asking that question with you as we present a plan for the next 2 years of our church’s life called Finding Atlanta. We are having a special dinner for you on either October 14th or 17th where we will be presenting this vision, and we will be talking about it during upcoming worship services. God is at work among us. I am honored to be a part, and to be covenanted with you, in this dear church.
Jason Edwin Dees