The Next Step Update: Atlanta

Each month, we want to update everyone on The Next Step, our initiative to make internal and external investments in God's Kingdom. Read more about The Next Step

Dustin and Sheri Crawford of True North Community Church in Atlanta

From Dustin Crawford of True North Community Church in Atlanta:

Greetings Hulen Street family!

Over the past several months, we at True North Church have experienced and celebrated several evidences of God’s grace working in and through our church family. I wanted to write to you to share them with you and so you could celebrate and praise God with us for all he is doing!

Worship services with Dustin Crawford, Lead Pastor of True North Community Church in Atlanta.

WHAT GOD IS DOING

First, in order to gather on Sunday we needed a space to meet in. The Lord answered our prayers beyond our wildest dreams by providing The Perkerson Park Recreation Center, which just happens to be in our dream location in the heart of our neighborhood! The Lord provided us with this space just weeks before we had planned to have our first service! Even though the average facility rent in our neighborhood was $5,000 per month, God gave us this place for $700 per month! They even provide us with chairs, tables, and allow us to store all our things there, which makes set up and tear down a breeze.

True North Community Church in Atlanta, GA, meets in the Perkerson Park Recreation Center in their neighborhood.

Second, we gathered together as a church family for the first time to worship King Jesus! On Sunday, April 17th - just 10 months after moving to Atlanta - we had 30 people worshipping the King in the heart of our neighborhoods!

As a result of having services and continuing to be present in our neighborhoods, the Lord has given us incredible favor. We are widely known and widely loved.

KARA'S STORY

Five months ago, I met Kara (“Coach K”). She lives in our neighborhood with her two boys Kalveion and Caleb, and she runs the Perkerson Park Recreation Center, where we hold services. Over this time she has loved on our church, gone out of her way to help us, and shared her story with me. Kara said that has lived in Atlanta for over 20 years and has never been to church.

Two weeks ago, our church had the opportunity to love on her and her family, not just with our words, but with our actions. She is trying to raise money for her oldest son Kalveion to be able to study abroad for the summer. Our church wanted to show her how much we love her by supporting them, and we raised almost the entire amount in a few days. We took it to her and she absolutely lost it. Here are a few things she posted on Facebook:

  • God places you in the right place at the right time! I want to thank Pastor Crawford and his church! I’m in tears right now... man I keep telling y'all FAVOR AIN’T FAIR! Man God is good! I can’t even type anymore... Thank you Lord!!!

  • Sometimes people whom you just met have better intentions for you than people you’ve known a lifetime! It’s so much bigger... this act of kindness that I just received has left me speechless! Genuine love man...

Coach K and her sons are now a part of our church family and last Sunday Coach K got for the first time understood the love Jesus has for her. This is what she said after church service.

  • I got it now! You see I’ve always prayed for my children... I’ve asked that they be covered in your blood! And believe me they are blessed beyond measure…but today you told me I was beautiful... and well I want to live as such... you know Be Beautiful! Unbeknownst to me you were covering me too! I want peace and NO ONE or THING can give me that but you! I’m EXCITED! #word #truenorth

Praise God! She is now plugged in and telling everyone about Jesus and about True North Church. This is just one of several stories I could share. Be encouraged that God is answering your prayers and multiplying your giving to bring about the spread of his transforming grace in the inner city of Southwest Atlanta!

HOW YOU CAN BE PRAYING

1. Salvations: Pray God would bring many people into his family through our church family.

2. Favor: Pray that God would continue to give us favor with our neighbors. Pray for new relationships as well as for deepening relationships.

Some people from True North Community Church gathering in a home

3. Workers: We are praying as a church family for workers for the harvest, that is, for people to join our family to transform our neighborhoods with the gospel. Pray that God would raise up indigenous leaders from our neighborhoods!

One specific need we have is for a Pastor of Worship Arts. Join us in aksing God to provide us with the right person to fill this need for our church and for our neighborhood!

4. Provision: Continue to pray that God would continue to provide us with financial partners! On top of our monthly need, we are still in need of several one time purchases, such as, kids ministry supplies and a sound system.

One specific need we have is to raise money to bring on another full-time Pastor. We have the right guy for this spot, but need the funds to make it happen!

5. Our Church Family: Continue to pray for endurance, joy, and protection for our church family. Pray for God to provide houses in our neighborhood, to protect our marriages, to comfort those of us who are suffering, to provide us with jobs, to knit our hearts to Him and one another, for unity in our church, and that He would give us the affections and courage needed to share the gospel and our lives with others.

WHAT'S COMING AND OUR NEEDS

True North Community Church in Atlanta, GA, serving food to the surrounding community outdoors in a park.

  • We are super excited to have some of our Hulen Street family coming to visit with us July 23-August 1st. Our church family can’t stop talking about it!
  • August 7th we are having a our first big event. We are going to be having "Church in the Park" followed by a massive block party. This is going to be the event we are hoping that will kick off our church being fully birthed. August 14th we are hoping to have everything in place, thus having our true public launch of True North!
  • As I said, we are still in the process of giving full birth to our church. We are gathering on Sundays now, but we don't have a kids ministry. Our goal is to have a full-blown kids ministry by August 14th, the first Sunday after our "Church in the Park" event.
  • We are excited also to announce we are multiplying into two Community Groups at the end of May. And we are hoping to have a third group by the end of the summer! We will now have groups in 3 of our 5 target neighborhoods!

On behalf of True North Church we want to say thank you for being present with us in prayer, finances, and soon in person! We praise God for you and for Christ in you. Looking forward to seeing you face to face again soon.

Grace and Peace.