One Year in Knoxville

We're kicking off this month's email with an update from Alyssa Antal. Her and her husband Hayden were the first team members to move to Knoxville from Columbia, and have now been here for just over a year.

We asked Alyssa to share some things from their first year in Knoxville.

It’s hard to believe Hayden and I have been in Knoxville for over a year now. When I think about everything the Lord has been doing through City Church over the past year, three words come to mind:

  • Friendship. One of the things I love so much about Knoxville is how connected the city is. Spend a day here and you will quickly learn one thing: Knoxvillians LOVE Knoxville. The city is really big on supporting small businesses, which I love, but what I love even more is that the businesses support each other. Because of that, Knoxville feels like one big family. It’s like that country song, “...everybody knows everybody, everybody calls you friend.” And it’s true. We have made friends at our jobs, at restaurants, and even at the dog park. Everywhere we turn, we run into people we know...which puts our job of spreading the gospel within a literal arms reach. Additionally, Jesus has been so good with growing friendships within the City Church core team. As more team members have moved up, Hayden and I have had the pleasure of getting to know people on the team who we weren’t as close with before moving. How sweet it is to finally have community again and share that with this new city.
  • Family. Our goal as a body of believers is to be a Jesus-centered family on mission–and I've been so thankful for how God has really grown us into that. Over the past year, I have seen so many set aside their preferences for the benefit of the team. People giving up entire Saturdays to help team members they might have never met move into their new homes. People volunteering their houses as a meeting space for City Church events. People being vulnerable, confessing and sharing hard news with the group and asking for prayer. And then an outpouring of love and gospel-centered encouragement in return. What a beautiful picture of family.
  • Faithfulness. What has stuck out to me the most over the past year is Jesus’ faithfulness through it all. If you’ve been following these updates, you know that we have consistently been asking for prayer for jobs and housing for the remaining team members. I have been in awe at how Jesus has been answering those prayers and providing exact needs. It seems like almost once a week a team member gets a job they needed or finds a house to live in. Would you rejoice in that with me?

Another thing we have been asking for you to pray is for the relationships and health of the team here in Knoxville. We have been amazed at how quickly our little church has been growing in numbers, but even more important than that is how we are maturing. Jesus has been so faithful working in the hearts of team members and growing them in gospel fluency as well as in love for each other.

We are so excited about everything the Lord has done so far and everything He will continue to do.


  • We hosted our first fall Family Meeting. As we mentioned previously, we'll host a Family Meeting each month this fall. At these Family Meetings, we spend some time teaching through a piece of our identity as a church, and then have a big cookout and pool party. If you're interested, you can listen to a recording of the teaching from September's Family Meeting here. Here's a photo from the teaching portion of the meeting:
  • Our City Kids team is up and running. For our Family Meetings, we formed a team of folks from our church family who are passionate about helping parents teach their kids about Jesus. So at the Family Meeting, while adults were downstairs learning about what it means to be Jesus-centered, our City Kids were upstairs teaching the kids that Jesus is the superhero we all need. Here's a photo:
  • Three more families are praying through moving to Knoxville to join City Church. We're excited that more families are excited about what we're up to and are considering joining our team.

How to Pray

  • Pray for the upcoming Family Meetings. We'll host these Family Meetings each month during the fall, as a way of casting vision for the type of church we want to be in Knoxville. Be praying that these meetings would lay helpful groundwork for the identity of City Church.
  • Pray for the families considering joining. We'd love to invite everyone to pray for clarity for those families considering joining City Church. We want them to be 100% clear about whether or not they should come, whatever outcome that leads to.