New church to open in Sumter County
AMERICUS — Something new is happening in Americus. A new faith community called Sumter Chapel will soon formally open its doors to people and families of all ethnicities, ages, and demographics. The church seeks to unite people from all over Sumter County, and create opportunities for them to share faith and develop relationships with God and each other.
“Our desire is to see God use this new community to display unity and hope to those around us,” says Drew Anderson, pastor of Sumter Chapel. Anderson, his wife Sarah, and their two sons Cam (3 years) and Jax (3 months), now call Americus home after relocating from Cordele. Anderson says “God confirmed His plan for [us] to help start a new faith community in the place of a church that closed.” The church restart is quickly becoming an active participant in the community, providing aid and helping hands wherever they are needed. Prayers and assistance from financial partners, which include their sending organization and a handful of local churches, have helped form Sumter Chapel as God begins to bring together a community of people who feel called to join the mission of seeing people made new into the image of Jesus. Sumter Chapel’s mission is clear, and emphasizes their desire for people to be made new.
“We seek all people to gather at the table and band together so that we will see one more made new.” Sumter Chapel also boldly states its vision of “having 5,000 gospel conversations, making 500 disciples, and helping to start two more churches over the next five years.” Those goals may seem big, but efforts to achieve them have already begun before Sumter Chapel has even officially opened its doors.
The church property sits at 193 Southland Road, and has undergone renovations throughout the summer. Some new features include new flooring, upgraded audio/video equipment, new furnishings and signage and fresh paint. These renovations were all necessary to prepare the building to be used as the main gathering space at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. An official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, and then the church will celebrate its public opening at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Everyone is welcome at both events, and Anderson encourages all to attend.
Sundays at Sumter Chapel will look a little different from traditional church gatherings. “We desire for our gatherings to be relationship focused and have elements of a variety of styles of church communities,” says Anderson. Instead of sitting in rows, attendees will gather around tables and form relationships with those around them as they develop and grow their own faith. Anderson also explains that “we believe that the building does not make the church, and neither does the once-a-week large gathering experience.” He emphasizes that the relationships are what is important for people to get out of Sumter Chapel. “We seek to be a relational model of church that will multiply in small groups of believers all over the area; and to support the ways the community is already active and help those efforts to continue to prosper.”
While Drew and the Sumter Chapel community prepare for their public opening, they are excited for what they hope will be a church that represents unity and the development of meaningful, lasting relationships within the community. “We truly believe that all of us were made for a relationship with our Creator,” says Anderson, “to become like Jesus in how we love and live, and to be empowered by God’s presence as we struggle against the evils of this world.” He encourages everyone to come learn more about why the Sumter Chapel community believes “You’re made for this!”
— Submitted by Samantha Warkoski