How We Started
It was during the funeral of a dear friend, Kurt Oakley, that Kevin Hosner, John Lee, and Ken Rutherford were challenged to step out and make a difference … no matter what the cost. They couldn’t help but be moved to dive in and allow God to make our dream a reality. The next Sunday, Ken and Carla Rutherford invited six families to join them for a worship celebration at their house. What was born that day was affectionately referred to as Kudzu Community Church. Credit is due to Eric Farr, one of our founding members, for this name. He too shared the dream of the “what if” church, even hanging the “Kudzu” name on it.
The “What If” Becomes A Reality
At this first meeting, we decided to continue to pursue the dream and to watch God make the “what if” a reality. We each assumed the various responsibilities and began to seek God’s direction in the establishment of by-laws and a Doctrinal Statement. The men of our new church spent countless hours fine-tuning the founding documents. It was clear that Biblical truth must precede spiritual health. After several weeks and several revisions of the documents, we were ready to appoint elders of the church and to begin formally meeting as a church (although we had been informally meeting since November). The church appointed Ken Rutherford, John Lee, and Kevin Hosner as its first elders.
In time, Kudzu Community Church, meeting weekly at Doug and Anna Dirrim’s home, was ready for a real name and a real home for the increasing amount of people who were being drawn by God. The founding members decided upon a church name: Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth. This name reflected our emphasis on the doctrines of grace as well as our desire to be fellowship of disciples who would seek to make disciples.
“God has moved in an incredible way to bless His church through a spirit of common passion and a clear understanding of biblical priorities.”
As we sought options for a meeting place, God came through in a big way. Kevin Hosner, in a casual conversation with Jonathan Arnold of Covenant Christian Academy, relayed to him that we were starting a new church. When Jonathan asked him where we were meeting, Kevin explained to him that we were meeting in a member’s home. At this, Jonathan offered us use of the school’s facilities — free of charge! From February to August 2004, Covenant Christian Academy graciously provided us a home on Sunday mornings, and forever we will be grateful for the generosity and hospitality shown to us by Covenant.
In April 2004, Grace Fellowship invited Dan Miller (who had helped us craft our founding documents) to provide leadership as our first vocational pastor. Dan began serving as a fellow Elder with the responsibilities of providing the bulk of the teaching as well as guiding the existing Elders in implementing a Biblical philosophy of ministry and to give direction to the organizational aspects of the church.
Grace Fellowship Finds A Home
In August 2004, Grace Fellowship moved into its current facilities in Cumming, Georgia, through another series of dramatic events that could only have been orchestrated by God’s hand. In such a short time, God has moved in an incredible way to bless His church through a spirit of common passion and a clear understanding of biblical priorities. May we always look to Him as the provider of all good gifts as we continue to build a heritage of faith at Grace Fellowship, and may we spread the fame of God in South Forsyth, in North Metro Atlanta, and among the nations!
The What If Dream
Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth began as an idea shared by a small group of individuals who shared one of those “what if” dreams.
The Whole Counsel of God
What if there was a Baptist church in North Fulton/South Forsyth that taught the entire counsel of God and embraced the Doctrines of Grace?
Contemporary, Relevant Culture
What if that church sought to be relevant to the culture through contemporary worship music that was God-centered and God-honoring?
Plurarity of Elders
What if that church discarded the Senior-Pastor-type church government model and opted for the more biblical concept of a plurality of elders who served the congregation as shepherds and as qualified teachers?
Philosophy of Discipleship
What if that church took seriously Jesus’ command to make disciples by implementing a discipleship philosophy in every area of ministry?