Calvary Knoxville – The Church Journey

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04 February 2020  

   I had the privilege to visit Calvary Knoxville for the Wednesday evening bible study. This is a newer church that was established in the late 1990’s. I can relate to the stories on how new churches are planted when just a few people receive a calling from God to plant a church.  Church planting is a process that results in a new local Christian church being established. The following is a wonderful story of church planting that started Calvary Knoxville. Pastor Mark Kirk and his wife moved to Knoxville in June 1997, after hearing the call of God to come to Knoxville and plant a Bible teaching church that would minister to and love the people of this community. In the beginning, times were lean, as Mark waited tables to earn a living for his family, while teaching a weekly Bible study. Initially, the Bible study began in the clubhouse of a local apartment complex, but would later move into a residential home in an affluent area of Knoxville. After meeting in this home for a year and a half and having an average attendance of about 90 people, it was time for another move [1]

The Lord soon provided a local shopping center that, with a lot of work, would meet the needs of the church perfectly. After about six months of labor and $80,000, Calvary Knoxville had its first building. After the first year, the church had more than doubled in size and now had an average attendance of about 200 people. As time passed ministries began to be birthed and the church became increasingly established. Calvary Knoxville would stay at this location for 16 years, but in May 2013, the church would move to the present location. Calvary Knoxville now sits on 43 acres and occupies more than 22,000 square feet of space. God has been so faithful to provide every step of the way.[1]

     My journey began as I arrived an hour early for the Wednesday Bible Study titled; “Through The Bible”. The early arrival worked out well as it presented me the opportunity to meet the Pastor Mark Kirk, assistant pastors, staff members as well as several people attending the bible study. This also provided me with a few minutes for prayer and meditation before the service started.  

The bible study was held in the church sanctuary and started with music worship team leading the assembly in several songs.  “Through The Bible”, study led by Pastor Mark Kirk finished 2 Chronicles covering 2 Chronicles 35:1 through 36:23.  (In a short summary from 2 Chronicles, The kings were gone, the temple was destroyed, and the people were removed. God warned Judah about its sin and continually restored the people to his favor, only to have them turn away. The nation was stripped to its very foundation. But fortunately, there was a greater foundation— God himself).  The complete bible study is available at the following link. https://www.calvaryknoxville.org/media-center/   At Calvary Knoxville they teach the word of God, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. They strongly believe in the expositional teaching of God’s word and are compelled to teach the entire counsel of scripture.  For a Wednesday evening service conducted in the middle of the busy work week It was encouraging to see so many people in attendance.  I had a great time in music and bible study and hope to visit with them again in the near future.

Fellowship:

During my visit I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Mark Kirk, Travis Carroll Assistant Pastor, Jason Brown Assistant Pastor, Greg Hilt WIAM Radio Station Manager as well as several folks in attendance during the bible study. I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome I received during my visit.

Details:   

Church Website: https://www.calvaryknoxville.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/calvaryknox/?ref=tn_tnmn

Bible Study – “Through The Bible” https://www.calvaryknoxville.org/media-center/

Date Visited: 2020 January 29th

Location: 3330 W Gov John Sevier Hwy. Knoxville, TN.

One-way God nourishes our souls with his loving presence is through the beauty of nature.  Nature reveals to us God’s beauty, presence, creativity, and, most of all, his loving care.  The church sits on 43 acres of the most beautiful wooded land. The car drive from the church entrance takes you on a winding road bounded by large trees as the road ascends to the top of a hill where the church is located.  

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I went back the next day to take outside pictures during the daylight.  On the boundary of the parking lot a cross is erected with the backdrop of the surrounding woods. I found this an exceptional location to spend some time praying and meditating. Prayer is our direct connection to Jesus. You don’t need to pray in a church I encourage you to find a spot away from distractions where you can spend time in prayer. Prayer is a time to communicate honestly and sincerely with Jesus, while reflecting on what God has done for you.

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The front of the church has a welcoming entrance with mountain stone accenting the wooden entry.

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Once inside a hallway leads you into the sanctuary. The gleaming golden color floors with mountain stone supporting wood frames extending up to the wooden ceiling. The ceiling resembles the wooden beams of an inverted ship.

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Below the following 3 pictures show the inside the large sanctuary. With a modern touch of comfortable padded chairs instead of pews.

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Below: WIAM is a radio outreach ministry of Calvary Knoxville.

Final Thoughts:

     I can relate to stories on how churches are planted from God calling a few people to gather and establish a new church. The satisfaction of watching GOD provide what is needed to build a church. What a joyful time, and later the church dedication all the glory is to God. The church and everything related belongs to our Lord. The people our just the stewards. It is important that we use our resources wisely to make sure the church continues to serve the community for many years into the future long after we are gone.

     WIAM is a radio outreach ministry of Calvary Knoxville, Greg Hilt is the WIAM station manager.  I am an Amateur radio operator, Amateur radio is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, recreation, contesting, and emergency communication. I had a technical conversation with Greg on the subject of FM radio broadcasting. Greg shared with me the propagation challenges of running a low watt FM station in the hills, and mountains of East Tennessee.  As some locations a few miles away may have poor reception, while other location 30 miles away receive the station well.

     Over the last two weeks I have visited churches during scheduled activities. So far it has presented a better opportunity to meet church leaders as well as people attending. During conversation with individuals attending I just identify with my name, and that I am visiting.  I don’t share any details on the journey, because it’s not about me it’s about getting closer to our Lord. Although this journey is benefiting me in many ways by allowing me to grow spiritually closer to the Lord by spending time in prayer, mediation, and fellowship. Out of courtesy I do share the journey details with pastors and staff members, and have really appreciated meeting them as their passion in serving Christ is infectious and inspiring to me. In a world that we see more and more chaos in this nation It is very comforting to meet pastors, church leaders filled with the holy spirit passionately serving and sharing the gospel.

If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.

 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” – (Isaiah 40:31) NIV

May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.

Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.

May this find you well and happy, God Bless

References:

  1. Calvary Knoxville website, “History” (2020, February, 04) Retrieved from https://www.calvaryknoxville.org/history/

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