I wasnít raised attending church every Sunday.† We did go, just very sporadically.† My Daddy worked very hard to provide for us and on Saturdayís he played golf.† [AND every afternoon that he didnít have baseball/football/basketball practice with my brother]†
Sundayís were for 2 things; us all going to the town he was raised in to help his Daddy and Mother [some of my VERY favorite memories] and taking us on ìSunday Adventuresî where we explored woods and took walks in Nature went on ‘let’s just drive and see what we find’ trips and had picnics.† We always believed in God, had prayer before meals and knew the Bible.† We just didnít go each week. My Mother was one of the most spiritual people I ever met.
As I got older I visited several churches in my area.† They all seemed to just not fit with my idea of church.† I didnít dislike them, I just didnít fall in love with them.† I am a huge dis-liker of “Let’s be good on Sundays but the other days don’t matter” kind of person.
Fast forward several† years.† Keilee and I visited churches from time to time but didnít find one we loved.† I read her Bible stories, we prayed, we talked about God and Jesus.† Then one day I got a flyer on the door about a new church.† It said, ìNo Perfect Peopleî allowed.† Well there you goÖthat was ME!
When we started going to Epic there were about 30-40 people.† Now there are over 1500.† We have 5 services each Sunday plus our iCampus that people from all over the world watch.† Seriously, they announce every service who is tuned it and it is not only everywhere in the US, but Africa, Germany, China and more!†
Our church is an amazing place and it has made a huge difference in our lives.† We have an incredible preacher.† He keeps things very real.† He never wears shoes when he preaches, he loves football and is a true Southerner through and through.† He and his wife Bene’ have changed Keilee and Iís life.† Bene’ is the best person I have ever known.† One of those “REALLY GOOD and not just talking the talk” kinda people.
Another thing we loved about Epic was all the community service we do.† I have always loved volunteering and wanted Keilee to experience that at an early age.† She has done SO much volunteering at a very young age.
Keilee was baptized in this church.† When she got baptized over 4 years ago there were about 8 people that got baptized with her.† The last time we had baptism [which we do every 3 months] there were over 100!
One thing I love about Epic is we live by 2 ëRulesí.† Love Jesus above all things and Love people.† And love on people we do!† Epicís campus is a little metal building.† Our kids buildings are trailers that have† been totally pimped out.† We spend money on our community.† They are always doing something.† ALWAYS.
We have done:
Donate toys to families at Christmas
Free Gift Wrapping at Christmas
Serve and deliver Thanksgiving meals to 1500 people and serve over 500 inmates.
Epic volunteers at EVERY event that happens in our city.
We delivered fresh baked goods and conversation to the worst parts of our city.
We gave land to Lexi House which is an organization for unwed Mothers.
We sent people and supplies to Joplin, Missouri after their devasting tornadoes.
After the horrible April 27th tornadoes our church was everywhere!† We cleaned up, took people tons of food, loved on people, paid bills, found tents for immediate needs, bought trailers for families, opened a Store with donated items for anyone who needed it and so much more.
We have a ministry at Tent City, the place where many homeless people live.† It is amazing!†
And so much more!!!!
This week is LOVE Week.† We have it every year the week of Easter.†
Monday was ìTeachers Appreciationî Day.† We delivered over 3000 candy bars and handwritten ìThank Youî notes to the schools.† [Keilee told me she would buy me a Butterfinger ;)]
Tuesday was ëPay it Forwardí day.† Where you went to a fast food place and paid for the personís order behind you.
Wednesday was ëEpic Gives Gasí.† We swarmed some local gas stations with gas cards and gave them gas.† We didnít only pay for it, we pumped it!
Thursday morning we delivered 1500 chicken and biscuits from Chic Fil A to local firefighters and police officers.
Friday will be ëCook Your Neighborî a meal day.
Saturday is our City Wide Easter Egg Hunt.† We will hide over 15,000 Easter Eggs for the kids of our city to find.† Also we have 75 brand new bikes to give away.
I am so thankful for Epic.† It has made us kinder, and more giving.† Our lives are enriched so much.† So many wonderful things have happened since I have let God take control.
The thing that is so ìGod is in Controlî about all of this is we started going to Epic in January of 2008.† In February of 2008 my Mother got sick and died in May.† I know that God knew I was going to need something more than I had.
So today, on this day before Good Friday, I am thankful for Epic.†
Happily linking with Theresa at ìThankful Thursdaysî.
†Epic iCampus† Click on ìiCampusî ñ Join us some Sunday.† Services are at 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 4:00 and 6:00.† Central Time.† If you watch the 9:00 service, look for Keilee and I.† We always sit front and center. 😉
I love this quote and this is what our church tries to do every day.î
I think if the church did what they were supposed to do we wouldnít have anyone sleeping on the streetsî. ñ Michael W. Smith