May 1, 1999 was a monumental day in my life. It was the day my husband and I moved to Cumming, Ga to start Mountain Lake Church. We had no idea what awaited us, but we rolled our sleeves up and got busy.
We knocked on doors to invite people to a tiny church in a primary school that smelled like pizza and corn.
We joined civic groups and mom’s clubs to meet others.
We wrote curriculum for our children’s ministry.
We developed security procedures for childcare.
We created a guest services team.
We decorated environments.
We wrote sermons.
We shared our vision with everyone we met.
We posted signs all over our community, mailed flyers, and rented a billboard.
We crafted budgets, devised a financial plan, hired team members.
We watched God work….time after time after time.
We baptized people. Over 2000 of them.
We witnessed people meet Jesus.
Marriages were rescued. Relationships were healed. Sin was overcome. Purpose was discovered.
We were blessed the most incredible team of talented, God-honoring pastors and staff that I’ve ever known.
We were blessed by hundreds of Christians who linked arms with us to accomplish the mission….to help people Belong in healthy relationships with God and others, to Become more like Jesus each day, and to Bless our world.
We were blessed with random notes of encouragement, offers to stay in vacation homes, prayers of spiritual warriors, unwavering support and loyalty, and the trust of thousands of people.
And, we were blessed with the opportunity to expand our ministry to thousands of pastors and ministry teams as we began mentoring others along the way.
I’d be lying if I said it was all unicorns and rainbows. It wasn’t. There were nights both my husband and I cried ourselves to sleep as we suffered a loss, experienced a defeat, felt the sting of betrayal, or bore the burden of the decisions before us. There were days I thought I had no more energy to put the next foot forward. There were moments I wondered how a need would be met. Yet, God allowed us to experience every thrill and each defeat, and we were drawn closer to Him as a result. I know God deeper and more intimately because of our time at Mountain Lake.
Now, the final countdown begins. We have 2 weeks left to pastor MLC before we launch Courage To Lead in an effort to mentor other pastors and ministry leaders. This weekend, MLC is blessing us with a housewarming reception to help us set up a new house. I absolutely cannot wait to hug necks, reminisce with friends, and celebrate all God has done over the last 16 years. Then, the next weekend we introduce the next lead pastor and his family to everyone as we pass the baton of leadership from the Lovejoy’s to…..well, you’ll have to be there to find out! Trust me, you’ll love them.
The final countdown is here. Two weeks to go before my next adventure begins. I’m relishing every bittersweet second. If you have a MLC story, a God-moment, or a memory that stands out, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to email me, leave a comment, or find me at the reception this weekend. I’ll be the one with tears in my eyes and a smile on my lips. Sending BIG love to you, Mountain Lake!