One Accord Community Church started with 7 people meeting in our home for prayer and guidance while considering the thought of planting a church. We met in our home in the months of June and July of 2004. We sent out prayer cards asking for prayer partners in June of 2004. We began vision casting to friends within the church community of Hamilton county in June and July of 2004. We soon grew too large to meet in our home and approached Mr. Tony Kennedy, owner of Wally’s Restaurants, about using space in his restaurants. We began to meet in a banquet room at Wally’s Restaurant in East Ridge, Tennessee in June of 2004. We were also graciously given space to use at Karl’s Restaurant in Hixson, Tennessee. In the course of three months we outgrew the space at the restaurants.
On November 5th 2004, we made contact with the North American Mission Board, to begin the formal process of planting a church. Also, in November of 2004 we met with Dr. David Meyers of the Hamilton County Baptist Association to garner his expertise and support from the local association. We had much to learn. The Hamilton County Baptist Association gave us the confidence to move forward with starting a new church. One Accord Community Church could not have been started without the help the Hamilton County Baptist Association.
Our core team consisting of: Founding Pastor Ray Williams, Tina Williams,Sponsoring Pastor Mitchell Reaves, Pastor Larry Hedrick, Alisa Hedrick, Pastor Randy and Lisa Roberson attended Church Planters Boot Camp in February of 2005 in Murferseboro, Tennessee. After boot camp we set about creating a proposal for financial assistance through the North American Mission Board and the Tennessee Baptist Convention. On April 5th, 2005 we were recognized as a church plant of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. We received start up funds and a commitment of monthly support for a period of two years.
The Lord moved on the heart of Sponsoring Pastor, Mitchell Reaves, of Northside Baptist Church in North Chattanooga, to provide us an unused wing at his church building. While at the Northside Baptist campus we were able to have Sunday School rooms. We also implemented AWANA, the anchor to our children’s ministry. Milestone markers at this location came as Piano player and Worship leader, Mr. & Mrs. Kelly Akins came on board. Ridgedale Baptist Church, Chattanooga – gave us a 15 passenger bus. Our bus ministry began at this location. Our church doubled in size while at the Northside campus. After knocking out a wall and expanding as much as possible we knew we were at our limits again.
God led us to a small church building on Pineville Road in North Chattanooga. We were renters at this location for one year before being able to purchase it. Milestone markers at this location came as we ordained Brother Jerry Elkins to the ministry of Deacon. We also ordained Core Team and Founding Member, Brother Larry Hedrick into Pastoral ministry. By years end we were at capacity and looking for ways to expand the building. We had many, outside of the church, to contribute toward making this location our church’s permanent home. Donations were given to install a new central heat and air unit. We tore out a wall and enlarged the sanctuary. We added to two new bathrooms. We were making plans to build new classrooms and move to a second worship service in order to accommodate all who were attending, but God had other plans…
Approximately two weeks after closing on the property on Pineville Road, God sent Pastor Richard Goble our way. (Pastor Goble was familiar with One Accord because of our association with the Hamilton County Baptist Association). His church, Crosspoint Community Church, was within three weeks of shutting their doors. Their membership had dwindled down to 25 adults. They could not meet the cost of maintaining the facility and paying the Pastor a small salary. Pastor Goble said that God showed him our vision to reach the community and he was obedient to the Lord.
On September 3, 2006, God performed a miracle. Crosspoint Community Church merged into One Accord Community Church with unanimous votes of both congregations to approve the merger. A new church family was birthed and a new vision for ministry to the community of Ridgecrest and greater Red Bank took shape. We made it known we were there to be a vital part of the community and would not exclude anyone for any reason. We retained 19 of the remaining members of Crosspoint Community Church. Another milestone marker at this location is the ordination of Brother Kelly Akins into the ministry of Deacon.
Our vision is to minister to the broken, the outcast and those that other churches shy away from. We began by prayer walking the neighborhood around the church immediately and had teams knocking on doors passing out the JESUS video. The community soon learned we were there to help. We were not going to condemn them but that we wanted to restore them. We have since taken part in every opportunity afforded to us by the City of Red Bank, Tennessee. We are known in the community of Red Bank as the “whatever” church. We are doing whatever is good and noble. We are doing “whatever” it takes to reach people. By June of 2007 we were again experiencing space issues. We were out of classroom space. The breakfast and food ministries of One Accord also exploded and we are in need of space for both of these ministries.
Late November 2006 our building on Pineville Road became home to a church plant called Solid Anchor Baptist Church. One Accord is sponsoring the church plant. Pastor Johnny Horne is the Founding Pastor. He planted Solid Anchor with the intent of ministering to the refugees of hurricane Katrina who have settled in the North Chattanooga area. He is also reaching out to the African American community in North Chattanooga. Solid Anchor is the first of many new births that we plan to be a part of.
October 8th 2007, One Accord Community Church was recognized as a “fully constituted” church by the Board of Trustees of the Hamilton County Baptist Association. We were introduced to the associational churches at the annual meeting on October 16th, 2007. On this night we were granted full membership into the Hamilton County Baptist Association.
The end of 2007 ushered in a growth period within our church. Our next project will be building a Family Life Center which will be available several nights a week to the people in the community for fun, fellowship, spiritual growth and learning about Christ.
As of November, 2008, our church is in yet another period of growth. We have had record baptisms and new members. Two new Sunday School classes have been formed. Our church board voted to begin the process of procuring a loan for the Family Life Center. The church membership also voted to pursue. We have purchased building plans and are submitting an application for funding. Even though we are in tough economic times we believe this building will be the next milestone in the ministry of One Accord and we are believing God to move on our behalf.
November 17, 2008 One Accord Community Church became the sponsor of Southside Bible Fellowship. Southside Baptist Fellowship is the second plant sponsored by One Accord. Pastor Jason Hart is the Founding Pastor. They are currently meeting at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The saying that was formed by our Core Team in 2004 is now more clearly understood. “Pray and Hold On”. Yes that is what we are doing we are praying and watching God move. We are holding fast on this journey and to the promise of His word.