Covenant is located in the old Woodlawn Baptist Church at 1645 Cartersville Highway. The service of dedication will be at 11 a.m. Sunday.
“We could not be more excited about this service,” long-time member and Ruling Elder Charles Walls said. “God has been very good to us, and we want to take this opportunity first and foremost to glorify him and then to also thank all those who have been so supportive of this new beginning.”
Covenant was formed at an organizational meeting on May 23 and formally received by the EPC on July 28.
“We have been meeting in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church, and they have bent over backward to make us feel at home,” explained Jack Foley the pastor of Covenant. “It’s been a blessing to have a fellow EPC church in the area. We had sort of a rough exit from our former denomination, but felt called to do what we did.
“The bottom line for us is that we could not live with many of the changes in the PC (USA),” Foley said. “The denomination has become far too progressive, and it came down to whether or not we were going to respect and uphold the authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation.
The elders of the Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, where Foley served for a decade, had requested that the church be dismissed from the PC (USA) and be allowed to leave with their property; however, a small minority group sought to remain and retain the historic church and property.
On May 22, Cherokee Presbytery (the regional governing body) voted to assume original jurisdiction and relieve the pastor and elders from their responsibilities.
“The very next day, in a quickly called meeting, the elders and a large majority of the members met in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian. We sensed that the Lord was calling us to do a new thing, to stand up for what we believed in, and to start a new church — even if it meant starting over from scratch,” Walls said. “We’ve taught the children of the church for many years that the church is not the building. The church is people. Well, now we are living proof of that truth. We left it all behind — everything — our building, our bank account, our choir robes, everything. Even though my wife and I had been members for more than 50 years, we knew it was the right thing to do to leave.”
Foley said the church has received eight new members in the transitional period and hopes to be back to 100 members in their first year.
“It won’t be easy. We’re a small church. But the challenge is for us to live up to our name as evangelical Presbyterians. We believe it is our primary calling as Christians to lead folks to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.”
Foley said the congregation at Woodlawn Baptist wanted to supports Covenant’s efforts.
The pastor and deacons said from the start that they wanted to bless us, and they certainly have. They built a beautiful new church and educational building a year or two ago on the same campus behind the old church and had been praying about what kind of ministry God might lead their way for the old facility. Then, we called. The congregation voted unanimously to allow us to meet there. We pray that it is a long-time partnership.” Foley said.
A reception will follow the worship service in the church’s new fellowship hall. Representatives of Presbytery of the Southeast will be present to welcome the new church into the fold. The other 24 churches in the presbytery have been invited to send a representative as well. “We hope to have a full house and raise the roof with our praises,” Walls exclaimed.
For more information, please call Foley at 770-548-0385 or visit the church’s website at www.CovenantRome.com.