A Yearning To Do Something More

Written by Bethany Jarmul

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.

THE BEGINNING

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.”

ON THE EDGE

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.

RESTORATION

“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.

MORE THAN THIS

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.

“I struggled with it for a while, but I realized that God was calling us to plant a church”– Andrew

He shared this news with his wife, but no one else at the time.

While at their district council meeting Andrew’s lead pastor approached him and said, “God told me, ‘Andrew is ready now..’” After Andrew shared his heart, his pastor confirmed that he would support Andrew in any way that he could.

FIRST STEPS TO PLANT

To get started on his church-planting journey, Andrew met with Ross Wiseman, the director of the Georgia Church Multiplication Network. After listening to Andrew’s story, Ross said, “I know the perfect group for you—CityReach Network. I think you’d be a great fit.” Both men felt that Andrew was called to plant in an urban, city environment, and so Andrew began to research and pray about CityReach Network.

“I was hesitant at first, because I’d never heard of CityReach before. But, I looked on their website and learned what they were all about. We prayed about it, and felt like this was what we were supposed to do,” Andrew says.

GETTING READY

Now Andrew is preparing to launch in College Park, Georgia in September. “It’s an area where me and my wife have a lot of strong ties,” he says. The area is mostly African American, and the culture is more “inner city,” despite being on the outer ring of Atlanta.

Andrew is still searching for a building, but he has big dreams for his church. He wants to have a vibrant ministry for those he calls “tweeners”- twenty to twenty-five year olds. “I’d love to have our young adult ministry burst wide open, and I want to have a dynamic children’s ministry and youth ministry,” he says. “I want it to be like Disney in the sense that people will be wowed by the excellence of our ministry for family.”

“I want to provide a high-quality experience, where kids can come in and learn about Jesus at their level.”– Andrew

To support or learn more about CityReach Church College Park::

CLICK HERE
2018-01-17T00:22:00+00:00 February 11th, 2016|Church Planting, Stories|