Why a Church?

  • The local church is the primary means by which the gospel advances.

  • The local church is God’s representation of himself on earth. Jesus always desires more faithful representations of himself.

  • Jesus commanded it, Acts assumes it, and the earliest Christians practiced it.

  • Churches committed to Jesus, each other, and their city make their city better.

  • Motivates, encourages, and assists other existing churches in the city.

Why in the South?

  • The South pulls in the highest amount of domestic migrants of any region of the U.S.

  • In net domestic migration, the South claimed 6 out of the top 8 states last year. (Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia)

  • The trends indicate the South will continue to grow as the most populated region of the country. 

  • Over the next 40 years, 14.4 million non-Christians will be added to the South’s current non-Christian population (67.4 million), totaling 81.7 million non-Christians in the South by the year of 2050.

  • We need to plant 5,700 churches every year (109 per week, 15.6 per day) for the next forty years to reach the projected total population non-Christians in the South by 2050. … 7000 churches close every year (134 per week, 19.2 per day).

All data taken from “How the South Will Rise to Power Again,” Forbes Magazine, January 31, 2013.

Why Knoxville?

  • Most of the church-going population is located in rural America, as the percentage of church goers drops drastically in the cities.

  • 92.5% of metropolitan areas in South are increasing in total population.

  • CNN Money named Knoxville the #8 fastest growing city in the nation from 2000-2010 based on percentage population growth. 

  • Knoxville is the home to the state’s flagship university with enrollment of over 28,000 students. Statistically, only 4% of 15-30 year olds in the U.S. are following Jesus.

  • 40% of people in the Knoxville area are unaffiliated with religious organizations of any kind.

  • Because of the location, Knoxville is a hub for new businesses, new ventures, and a very natural sending outpost.