1st Service in the Building

Photo Credit: Kristen Landon

After many long months of anticipation and delay, due to the virus, City Park Church officially opened its doors on June 21st, Father’s Day. Smiling faces greeted from the parking lot to the front door, while people filed inside, excited to be reunited inside the beautiful 105 year old building with stained glass windows and newly refinished hardwood floors. However it was not the building that brought excitement, rather the opportunity to be together as the body of Christ, worshiping collectively in a shared space, which we can now call “our church.” 

The service began with a video of children eagerly explaining why and how much they loved their dads, as many dads were wiping tears of joy. Many dads visited the church for the first time, celebrating Father’s day with their grown children. Not everyone could be in person for service, but those from home shared about their dads on the video as well. It was a sweet reflection of the dedication and love of so many fathers within the church and the fathers who have poured into the lives of those who attend. 

Worship began with “God is so Good” as voices echoed throughout the sanctuary and the congregation sang the line “God answers prayers,” a line that couldn’t have been a truer testimony of what God has done over the last year for City Park Church. Pastor Toby was overcome with emotion, as were many others, from hearing the beautiful sound of voices united in song, worshiping their savior. 

Pastor Toby continued his sermon series on the life of David “ A Shepherd to a King,” a series he had begun online during the stay at home order. He gave encouragement to the fathers in attendance as well as the rest of the church body, giving a challenge to remember our calling doesn’t outweigh our obedience to Christ. He gave examples from David’s life and his encounter with Saul in the text of 1 Samuel 24. Pastor Toby also reminded the congregation not to let our service within the church be what drives us, but rather the love we have for Christ. 

The worship band brought the service to close with the hymn, “There’s Something About That Name.” And Jesus was the sweet name that was given glory for the great day it was to be in worship together in the new building City Park Church could call home. Pastor Toby reflected on the day saying, “It was an exciting day. It was so nice to have everyone inside the building for the first time. It was bittersweet not to have every person there, due to the virus, but it was exciting to see how many were there and to hear their voices singing together in worship. It was an awesome first service.” 

Pastor Toby, Melissa and family ring the bell to start off the first service in the building.

City Park Church continues to meet at 10:45 AM on Sunday mornings in the Washington Park neighborhood. We would love for you to join us! Please thank God with us for the great things he has done!

Written by Melissa Pegram

May 17, 2020

After eight long weeks of being mandated to stay at home for worship, City Park Church was reunited on Sunday, May 17th. The church held an outdoor service on the lawn adjacent to the church. The atmosphere was overflowing with joy and excitement. Though six feet apart, people reunited in fellowship, prayer, worship and celebrated the church’s first baptism. It was a hot and sunny day, but no one minded.

Pastor Toby gave a lesson from his series, “Shepherd to a King,” a study of the life of David. He spoke about the friendship of David and Jonathan. He encouraged the congregation to see the parallels of Jonathan’s relationship with David as ours is with Christ. He explained, Jonathan sacrificed his own relationship with his father as well as his kingdom in order to serve his friend David, giving him his very best, and serving him in love, just as Christ did for us.

Following the sermon, the congregation witnessed their first baptism as City Park Church. Grayson Pegram, pastor Toby’s son, had accepted Christ as his Savior in February. He, along with a few others, had planned to be baptized on the church’s original launch date in April; however, due to the stay at home order, it was postponed. Grayson had anticipated his baptism everyday since, so when given the opportunity this first Sunday back together, pastor Toby made sure to make this happen. It was a sweet moment to watch our Pastor be able to baptize his own son. Tears flowed and the congregation rejoiced over the Lord’s goodness to witness Grayson’s public confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Toby reflected on the day, saying, “It was so great to see everyone together after two months of being separated. It was amazing to be able to baptize my son, and for it to be our first baptism as a church.”

It was a wonderful day for City Park Church to be reunited again in worship and fellowship. People left with joy in their hearts and anticipation for the future.

Coronavirus Update

City Park Family,

Over the last week, I have continued to monitor the situation across our country, state, and county. This has been a fluid situation where we are learning new things each day. At this time, after talking to the deacons, volunteers, and listening to the advisement of our government leaders we have decided that the best thing to do is to cancel service tomorrow night.

This was a very difficult decision to make but we have made this decision for a few reasons.

  1. As believers, we believe that the rulers have been placed there by the Lord. Our leaders are advising for groups of 100 to not gather. We don’t meet that level but many counties have come out and said groups of 50. With confirmed cases in Forsyth, we believe this a good standard for us. We want to listen and respect those that God has put in charge of us. I believe it would be a poor witness for us in our community if we just ignore it and proceed with the service.
  1. We want to be good neighbors! We want to make sure our neighbors know we care. We don’t want to potentially bring something into the neighborhood that could be prevented.
  1. As the leader, I have to think of not just myself but all of us. I’m almost 99% sure that nothing would happen if we met, but if something did happen, I would not be able to live with it. Your safety is a huge concern of mine and I want you to know that we value it! I’d rather be safe than sorry in a circumstance like this.

Our response is not to do nothing tomorrow but I am going to record a message tonight to send to you tomorrow. We will also include a prayer guide for you tomorrow. Tomorrow is a National Day of Prayer and we have plans to pray! We will give you a step by step guide to lead your family in prayer.

This has been an extremely weird and difficult few days of trying to figure out what the right thing to do is. We trust in the Lord and know He is in control.

As this week progresses we will gather more information and will give an updated status about next week.

I love you all and look forward to gathering again soon.

Pastor Toby