Pastor Troy, Where Have You Been & What Have You Been Doing In Ministry Lately?
Actually for the last 8 months, I have been in prayer about what my next steps in ministry would look like. I then started this questioning process of what’s next surrounded by voices of wisdom who confirmed that this is the will of God.
A few months ago, I gathered together those that I consider to be my spiritual support circle and wise counsel to prayerfully consider what was the will of God for me.
Are you planting a new church in the Atlanta Area?
Yes, I am currently doing strategic planning for 12 months with a core group of people to plant a new church in the Metro Atlanta area. While many people have been asking, praying, even requesting a new church plant, I could not allow those things to be my motivation. I had to be sure that it was the right time (God’s time) and the right move.
What made you decide to plant a new church now?
I know that I was called to pastor since a young child. I have been in licensed ministry since February 1993. Now, with over 22 years of licensed ministry and over 25 years of total ministry, I feel that I have adequately prepared myself both spiritually and formally to answer this call to plant a church. My life has naturally made room and I see this as the appropriate time to begin to make preparations. I also believe in the wisdom that comes from spiritual counsel that has watched my maturation process over the last several years.
What makes this church different from the others?
First, I have committed to building a solid infrastructure for a new church plant. As a result, I have committed to take 1 year (12 calendar months) to meet with a core group of gifted women and men once a month to intentionally plan and build a structure that is solid theologically, applicable socially/politically, and compatible with the needs of those I feel called to serve.
Secondly, I feel called to create a team approach to ministry that focuses on “handling people properly”. Not from a place of pain, ego, or out of some need for existential validation but out of a place of honoring them as the gift of God and creations formed in the image of God. As a result, I want to create a Pastor’s Council that would provide spiritual leadership to a congregation of believers (not lead by one personality). This Pastor’s team would consist of a Senior Pastor, A Licensed Therapist, A Womanist Theologian, and a Representative from the Congregation.
Lastly, I wanted to intentionally build a foundation with a group a people in a communal approach where those called to build with me would have a voice in who we are, what we believe, how we live out our mission/vision, in what ways we (myself included) still need growth and development, etc.
I am happy to report that group is currently functioning and doing so quite well.
What’s the name of the new church and what does it mean?
The name of the church is Rehoboth Fellowship of Atlanta, Inc. The name comes from Genesis 26:22 in the story of Isaac’s successful feat at digging a well. He declared he would call the name of that place “Rehoboth” meaning (1) God has made room for us (thus the makeroom4me campaign name) and (2) we will flourish.
Pastor Troy, what national organization are you credentialed through (licensed/ordained) and who will you (and the church) be spiritually accountable to?
I am currently a licensed and ordained minister (in good standing) with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, under the regional leadership of Bishop Alex A. Byrd and the national covering of Bishop Yvette A. Flunder, presiding Bishop. As Episcopal Liaison for the Atlanta Cluster of Churches, I hold a National Office in our movement. I am spiritually accountable to Bishop Yvette A. Flunder in both ministry and sonship.
I am also in good standing as a “Privilege of Call” minister in the Southeast Conference of The United Church of Christ, Inc. under our conference minister, Rev. June Boutwell. I also serve our Conference as a member of the Member In Discernment Committee.
What Denomination will this church be and what does Inclusive really mean?
Rehoboth Fellowship of Atlanta is currently in conversations with the Southeast Conference of The UCC as well as The Fellowship with every intention of being dually affiliated with both organizations.
When we say we are inclusive we are saying that “No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith” and are welcome at Rehoboth Fellowship of Atlanta (taken directly from The United Church of Christ “What We Believe”)
What are the mission, vision, & purpose of this new church?
As a diverse, welcoming community of faith, we seek to LOVE GOD as we worship freely, LOVE OURSELVES as we seek personal growth & development, and LOVE PEOPLE as we show genuine kindness, and to actively do the work of social justice as we all embody the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ.
To read the full version of our Mission, Vision, and 7-fold purpose, please visit us online at http://www.makeroom4me.com
What area of Atlanta will the church be located and when we will start regular worship services?
While we know many people are eager for us to start right away, I believe in the patience that can only be produced through process. As a result, I am FULLY committed to completing my 12-month strategic planning phase. Keep in mind, we have 6 more months of planning to do, so we are aiming to begin services in the late Fall of 2015. We have commissioned a team to study area feasibility in the metro Atlanta area. While we have not decided on a particular location, we know that Rehoboth will be easily accessible by all forms of public transportation and located somewhere within the metro Atlanta area.
What are you and the core team of the church doing NOW until regular worship services begin?
We are intentionally “Making Room For You”. We are planning, evaluating, praying, laboring, and getting clarity around how we will be a community of faith and how we provide God’s people with the best of spiritual and theological pastoral care.
How can I get involved, stay connected, or even become a member now?
We have currently launched our social media presence so that you can stay connected to us as we continue this process of building a work for God. Feel free to visit us at http://www.makeroom4me.com, like us on FaceBook at Makeroom4me, follow us on twitter at makeroom4meatl, or follow us on instragram at makeroom4me.
Until we begin our weekly services, I will be posting weekly short inspirational messages on FaceBook, Twitter, Instragram, and YouTube. So don’t forget to sign up today.
How can I offer my gifts and abilities to help build infrastructure during your Strategic Planning Phase?
If you feel led to lend your gift to the cause of building this work in any way, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online form.
Pastor Troy, how can I financially support what you are doing?
If you feel so inclined to support what we are doing by sowing a financial seed, click on donate link now. We are currently able to receive your electronic, tax deductible gifts immediately.