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Circling the Square

Our Church's 8th Anniversary

Posted by Bill Lovell on

Christ Church Carrollton first met on Sunday, July 18, 2010. We were legally organized a few days earlier, on Tuesday, July 13, as a non-profit corporation. We were incorporated under the name of Christ Church Northeast Texas, because on the day we filed our papers with the Texas Secretary of State we didn't know for sure where God was calling us. 

We quickly focused on Downtown Carrollton, mainly because there were no other churches on the Square. The Plaza Arts Center welcomed us and made meeting space available at an affordable rate. Our church Nursery was placed upstairs in the old projection room, and our Sunday school met downstairs in old dressing rooms. 

My first sermon at Christ Church was on Luke 9:21-26 where Jesus told his first disciples to take up their crosses and follow him. It seemed appropriate! My pulpit was a rickety old speaker's lectern that, as I recall, was covered with some kind of weird shag carpet. It was hot that July morning, so we had large fans whirring through the whole service. 

We had a large attendance for our first Sunday, with friends and supporters coming out to show support. Of course, numbers fell off, as the reality of life in shared space sank in. I remember many Sunday mornings showing up at the Plaza and having to clear away the beer bottles and cigarette butts from the event the night before!

God has brought us a long way since those early days. We've had some interesting adventures and our share of sadnesses, but God has been unwaveringly faithful every step of the way. Thanks to him, we've never been unable to pay a bill on time and in full, and, after the initial shock, our attendance and budget have grown slowly but steadily. 

More than anything, I am grateful for the pioneering leaders God gave us. Rob Guzak, Rick Carruth, and Will Grover all signed our church's original Certificate of Formation, and they are still here today. Each has worked literally hundreds of hours in support of the church. No job has been beneath them--from setting up chairs to cleaning the toilets. 

Heather Myers and Denise Carruth were also intrepid leaders. In 2010, when the church first started, they were both young moms, with very young children, but, as soon as we launched the church, they loaded up Bibles and diapers and made sure that the children of Christ Church Carrollton never missed a single Sunday of Sunday school. 

I have to acknowledge my wife Leslie's unique role. In July 2010, when we left our old church, our family finances took a big hit. My pay went down substantially, and we lost our health insurance. Leslie somehow continued to home school our kids while getting a full-time job, with health insurance. She also ran Christ Church's special needs Nursery, single-handedly, every Sunday for years. 

I am so grateful to God for all these Jesus-loving partners. There would be no Christ Church Carrollton today were it not for all that God did through them. I'm also grateful for many others who served selflessly, setting up, tearing down, organizing, reorganizing, and re-reorganizing, pitching in whenever and wherever it was needed. 

Today, on our eighth anniversary, we at Christ Church celebrate all that God has done among us. Please join us in praying this special litany, thanking God for his faithfulness and asking for his continued mercies today and in the future. We are nothing without him, and with him, we have absolutely everything! 

Litany on the Anniversary of Christ Church Carrollton

Leader: Almighty God, we thank you for your faithfulness to Christ Church Carrollton over the past eight years,

People: For your direction, provision, correction, encouragement, and loving care, in good times and in difficult times.

Leader: We acknowledge our dependence on you and our desperate need for you,

People: For, apart from you, we are nothing.  

Leader: We pray for your continued mercy upon our fellowship in the time ahead,

People: For your gift of courage and gospel boldness,

Leader: That we may be faithful witnesses to your Son Jesus Christ,

People: And that through us, many may come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Leader: Give us love towards those who hate us

People: And hearts of compassion towards those who do not know you.

Leader: As you have been patient and gracious towards us, O merciful Father,

People: May we be patient and gracious towards others.

Leader: Bless us and keep us, O merciful Lord,

People: And make your face to shine upon us,

Leader: For Jesus Christ’s sake.

All: Amen.