Andrew Dove used to be an alcoholic who almost took his own life, but today he is preparing to launch CityReach Church College Park in College Park, Georgia in September, 2016.
Andrew Dove grew up on the Southwest side of Atlanta. In 1988, Andrew graduated from high school and joined the military. That same year he married his high school sweetheart, Rhonda.
By 1996, Andrew was out of the military, he and Rhonda had two daughters and were living in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Andrew had developed a drinking problem from high school to early adulthood. Rhonda attended an Assemblies of God church in Fayetteville, North Carolina with their children.
Rhonda went to a revival in which the speaker prophesied that Andrew would come to Christ and would become a great leader. “Right after that all hell broke loose in our family life,” Andrew says. “My drinking got worse. We separated, and my wife and children moved to Atlanta.”
Eight months later, the couple was ready to divorce. “I was ready to kill myself,” Andrew says. “But, I heard Christ saying I didn’t have the right to take my life. At that point, I told God if he was real he had to show me, and instantly, I was sober and in my right mind.”
Andrew went to church the following Sunday and asked God to come into his life. From that point, Andrew remained sober and began the process of restoration in his life and his marriage. Soon, he moved to Atlanta with his wife and children.
“At first, my wife took me back just to pay me back,” Andrew says. But Andrew and Rhonda started attending Living Waters Assembly of God. The Christmas Eve after Andrew moved back in, their pastor prayed over their family and had communion with them, as he did for each family in the church. After the prayer time, Rhonda turned to Andrew and said three words that made all the difference, “I forgive you.” “Everything jelled like it was supposed to after that,” Andrew says.
Since his salvation and restoration, Andrew has served in a variety of ministry roles. “I’ve done everything except be a lead pastor or a women’s ministry leader,” he says. In 2014, Andrew was serving as a bi-vocational associate pastor. “I thought I was called to be a good associate pastor— to make sure everything went smoothly during the services. I was happy in that role,” he says.
But he began to feel a yearning to do something else.