By Ashley Perham
Baptist and Reflector intern
KNOXVILLE — Hope Fellowship, Knoxville, started in 2016 as a church plant from Shoreline Church, Knoxville, with a vision to be a Christ-centered, multi-ethnic and generational church, saved by Jesus and changed by Jesus, according to Dominique Lee, pastor of Hope Fellowship.
At the same time, Centerpointe Church, Knoxville, was making the difficult decision to “die with dignity,” said pastor Jim Millirons.
“One of the ways, I believe, many churches can die with dignity is to go ahead and transfer their property and their assets to a young, vibrant church that can come in and really fulfill the Great Commission,” Millirons said.
For Centerpointe, that young church was Hope Fellowship.
Centerpointe sold its 40,000-square-foot building worth $4 million to Hope Fellowship for only one dollar, said Lee in an interview with KnoxTNToday.com.
Lee is excited about the permanent location for the church.
“This location is sitting right off of downtown. … If you go north, you’re right in the more affluent area. You go south, you’re in a more impoverished area, so we sit right in the middle of that,” he said. “We’re excited about being able to love and encourage those from both walks of life, to see them know Christ.”
Since its inception, Hope Fellowship has been helped by the church planting support from the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
“We’ve been supported in numerous ways. We’ve been prayed for. They’re always a phone call away for advice, for a counselor, for wisdom, and also, to say, ‘Hey, we need help with a project,’ and they’re there for us, 100 percent,” said Lee, who shared the church’s story in a new Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions video. “That partnership has been really a stabilizing partnership for us, for sure.”
“Over the next three to five years, we’re hoping to see our congregation grow in diversity, to become truly a multi-ethnic and cultural church,” said Lee. “We’ll hopefully see students getting baptized and saved here, as well as families getting baptized and saved here.”
“(For) Tennessee Baptists, giving through the Golden Offering is the primary way that we support church planting across Tennessee,” said Lewis McMullen, church planting specialist at the TBMB. “It is the way that all Tennessee Baptists can be a part of seeing new churches become part of our fellowship and be planted where people are lost and need to be reached.”
“Through the Golden Offering, we can plant more churches, and through that more people can come to know Christ,” said Lee. B&R