In June, 2008, Jim and Jodi Clayton moved to Franklin with the vision to start a church for people who didn’t go to church and who didn’t have a relationship with Christ. Since they didn’t know anyone in the area, they began knocking on doors and asking unchurched people what they would look for in a church. They started a Bible study in their home with a handful of people and, eventually, they moved into an office space in downtown Franklin, where they continued hosting Bible studies and also held outreach events. In 2009, Journey began having monthly services to prepare for the public launch later that year. As many as 45 people worshipped together in the small worship space downtown. On September 27, 2009, we “went public” at Northwood Elementary School. Hundreds of people attended that first service, affirming the need for a church like Journey in Franklin. A few weeks later we moved to Franklin Community Middle School, where we met weekly for over four years, until we moved to Canary Creek Cinemas in February, 2014.
Over the last six years, we’ve seen God do amazing things.
- At least 181 people have put their faith in Christ for the first time!
- Over 290 people have renewed their commitment to Christ.
- 95 people have publicly declared their faith in Christ through baptism.
- 31 children have been dedicated to the Lord by 30 parents who committed themselves to raising their children God’s way.
- Over $160,000 in generosity has been distributed to feed the hungry in our community, provide fresh drinking water to people in Africa, help new church start-ups in other communities, and provide financial assistance to Journey attenders in need.
- In December, 2014, over 950 people attended our Christmas at the Movies outreach events, and we collected 2,828.5 pounds of food for the Interchurch Food Pantry.
- The Bible is being taught each week, and as a result people are becoming more like Christ, marriages are being strengthened, parents are becoming better parents, and we are learning together what it means to follow Christ.
God has done all this and more, without Journey having a permanent home. Imagine what God could do if we had a church home that was available for ministry 24/7/365!
As Journey begins its seventh year of helping people find and follow Christ, Pastor Jim and the members of the Next Steps Task Force believe it is time to start moving towards securing a home for Journey. It has always been believed that an existing building that could be modified for our needs would be more economical that buying land and building a facility from scratch. What we’ve learned over years of researching and evaluating both options is that either option will require us to have a significant amount of money up front, along with the finances to pay a mortgage. While we do have some money saved up, it is not nearly enough. The reality is, until we prepare ourselves financially, we will not be able to secure a permanent facility for Journey.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Our God-sized vision for this campaign is to go ALL IN to position ourselves to acquire a permanent facility for Journey, to be used to help more people find and follow Christ through additional opportunities for worship, classes, community outreach, special events, and a Christian daycare/preschool. Additionally, we want to continue our tradition of giving generously to other organizations that help people in the name of Christ, including the Interchurch Food Pantry and World Hope International. To fund these two initiatives, we have set a goal of raising $360,000 over three years, with 20% received up front in a First Fruit Offering. If we reach our goal, $36,000 (10%) will go to generosity, and $324,000 will go toward the building acquisition.
We have identified a 14,700 square foot building that is uniquely suited to our needs. The building is located at 3049 Hudson St. in Franklin, and the purchase would include the vacant lot to the north (the bottom of the picture below).
Several things about this building make it particularly interesting to us.
- The building is fully heated and air conditioned, which is unusual.
- The space which would be used as our main worship area is big enough to put in up to 400 seats, with no posts that would obstruct views.
- The building already has walls in place which, for the most part, could be used as-is, with only minor modifications. (See floorpan below.)
- The number of bathrooms already in the building would be sufficient to meet code requirements, which is also unusual.
- Depending on the sale price, this building could meet our needs for slightly more than half of what it would cost to build a similar facility from scratch.
Major expenses would be:
- Sprinkler system installation.
- Parking lot expansion.
Existing layout of 3049 Hudson St.
If order for us to purchase for this building, or any other building, we need to raise money to help with the up-front costs and the ongoing payments. The All In campaign will position us to purchase this building or, if it doesn’t work out, it will position us to be ready when the next opportunity arises.
How We Can Get There
It might seem like an impossible goal, but we can raise $360,000 over three years, if we’re All In. That means all of us are in, and all of us are All In. A typical three-year campaign like this can raise one to four times the church’s annual giving. $360,000 is approximately two times our annual giving. The chart below shows how we might get there.
Remember: This is about equal sacrifice, not equal amounts. Those who have more can give more, and those who have less give less, but the sacrifice is the same.
A Message from Pastor Jim and Jodi Clayton
Why a Permanent Facility?