Ernie grew up in the north-west metro Atlanta area. Born and raised in the melting pot of the suburbs, he graduated from Fellowship Christian high School in 2003. He then went on to pursue his passion for teaching the Word of God and graduated from Asbury University in the Spring of 2007 with a degree in Bible and Theology.
Shortly after, love sparked an interest when Ernie and Alex's paths crossed, they started dating in 2007 and on August 9th, 2008, they forever sealed the deal and joined their hearts and dreams in marriage. They now share their joy with their three year old son, Judson.
We affirm the truths found in the NICENE CREED.
We agree with the doctrine statement of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS.
We believe the Bible, consisting of 66 books in both the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed. It is the complete revelation of God's will for the salvation of men and women, and the supreme and final authority for all Christian faith and life.
We believe in one God who exists eternally in 3 persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence, but distinct in person and function, having the same nature and perfections. We believe that the Triune God is sovereign and that all things exist and come to pass by His sovereign will, and that all things will, in the end, result in the glory of God.
We believe in God the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him. He is an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He actively and mercifully intervenes in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, existing equal throughout eternity with the Father and Holy Spirit, by whom are all things and we exist through Him. He exists as the eternal Son of God, yet became a man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, he fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate.
We believe the Holy Spirit is fully God, existing equal throughout eternity with the Father and the Son. The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus by convicting non-Christians of their need for Christ; giving new birth to believing sinners; and indwelling, sanctifying, leading, teaching, and empowering believers for godly living and service.
(Rom 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12, 14)
We believe that all of the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible continue to be distributed by the Spirit today. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts and that particular spiritual gifts are not required for salvation, nor do they prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience. We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gifts and grace of God that is given to him; that these gifts are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry; and that these gifts are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. However, through Adam’s sin the race fell, every individual inherited a sinful nature, becoming alienated from God and hostile towards God. Man is not sinful because he sins, but because he has a sin nature. Apart from the Holy Spirit, men and women are spiritually dead and both unwilling and incapable of seeking God. We believe that those who confess and repent of their sin and place their hope for salvation in Jesus Christ, are spiritually born again to new life by the Holy Spirit.
We believe that salvation is the free gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. Only in the finished work of Christ’s death, burial, and bodily resurrection is provision made for man’s complete forgiveness of sins and full acceptance by God. As a result of faith, based upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, God justifies or declares righteous the one who believes. The idea of salvation originated in the heart of the father, was carried out by the obedience of the Son, and was accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus and His resurrection provide the only grounds for the forgiveness of sins for all who believe and that only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Spirit, become children of God, and are given eternal life.
We believe that the Church is composed of all people, throughout all of time, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ are united together in the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the head. A local church is an assembly of born-again, baptized believers who practice the ordinances, meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching, and who actively engage in the mission of God. The Church has been commissioned by Jesus to go into the entire world as a witness, making disciples of all peoples by preaching the Gospel and teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded. We believe that the Great Commission is most effectively accomplished through the local church. Throughout the week, the local church is scattered to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God's glory and their joy.
We believe the following three ordinances have been established by God as channels of His grace to us, provided we practice them in faith.
Baptism- We practice the baptism of believers. We give freedom for each church to choose which mode of baptism to practice- sprinkling (aspersion), pouring (affusion), or immersion- and we see both Biblical truth and imagery behind each mode. Sprinkling- Hebrews 10.22; Pouring- Acts 2.17; Immersion- Romans 6.3-4.
Communion- We believe communion is both a remembrance and a proclamation of the death of Jesus on behalf of humanity (Matthew 26.26-28, Luke 22.19-20, 1 Corinthians 11.23-26). There is freedom for each church to decide how to take communion (common cup, intinction, individual servings) and how often to do so.
Christian Marriage- Christian marriage is a loving, exclusive, and covenantal union between one man (born male) and one woman (born female) for life (Genesis 2.23-24 and Matthew 19.4-6). This union is the only appropriate context for sexual intimacy and all sexual activity outside of this union is sinful (Hebrews 13.4). We believe Christian marriage is a reflection of the union between Jesus and His Church (Ephesians 5.25-33).
We believe that the bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ is our future hope and has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. We believe in the bodily resurrection from the dead: of the believer to everlasting joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting separation from God.
Exalting Jesus through lives transformed by His Gospel.
As a community, we are Gospel Centered, Contemplative, Authentic, and Missional.
The gospel is the story of God reconciling and redeeming a broken creation and fallen creatures to Himself through the life, death, resurrection and future return of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is our desire to see Christians finding their identity in what was done for them through the work of Christ and not what they do or how our culture tells them to define themselves. We are justified, adopted, and loved by God, not by our own effort or merit, but by the sheer mercy and grace of the almighty God, demonstrated through Jesus Christ. It is through our faith in Jesus that rebellious humans are born again and are therefore blameless and holy in God’s eyes. The gospel defines us and the gospel gives us a new identity. By the Spirit of God, the transforming power of this truth enables us to live lives that reflect the character and nature of God as we live in authentic community with one another. Our hope and desire is that the gospel would stand at the center of all that we do.
We live in a culture that finds value and worth from what we do. We are more busy than ever, yet we are empty and frustrated. The Church of Jesus was never designed to follow in the ways of our ever changing culture, but to be set apart from our culture. Christians are not defined by what they can do for God, but what God has done for them in Jesus. How easy it is - even for Christians - to forget this and begin to believe that we are what we do! Because of Jesus, our value is found in the love of Christ. We are freed from striving to find our worth and value in what we do. We are invited by God to be human beings before we are human doings. Jesus affirms this and says, being with God is the "onething that is necessary (Luke 10:42)." To be contemplative means that as a community we value slowing down to be with God. We are convinced that we will not grow with Jesus on the run, our busyness will only suffocate our walk with Christ. Agreeing with James Bryan Smith, we believe that "the number one enemy of Christian spiritual formation today is exhaustion." We are seeking to help people slow down to cultivate their personal relationship with Christ and not live off other people’s spirituality.
To be authentic is to be honest with where you are, yet choose to allow the life of Jesus to prevent you from staying there. We are more broken than we could ever imagine, yet because of Jesus, we are more loved than we could ever imagine. We were never made to ‘have it all together’ and we believe that transformation comes from the inside out. If we are honest with where we are, then we will allow the work of Christ manifest into the deepest parts of who we are.
In the most famous excerpt in the scriptures on discipleship, Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus issues the Great Commission to the Church. As followers of Jesus, we are sent into the world, not to hide within the four walls of the church but to be disciple makers in a lost and fallen world. We want to see born-again believers grow in confidence of the power of the indwelling Spirit, the simplicity of the Gospel, and trusting in God’s part in causing growth in unbelievers.
In missional living God has established our feet in the areas that we live, work, and play. We are then called to live intentionally as missionaries within these spheres by building relationships and showing the love of Jesus with our lives, as well as sharing the truth of Jesus with our words.
In missional outreach we intentionally involve ourselves to reach out and love on those who are in need physically and spiritually, in local areas as well as internationally. We desire to see the gospel impact all kinds of people.
We believe that the power of the gospel is for both those who have attended church for years, and for those who would never dream of stepping into a church building. In both cases, we desire for the gospel to impact people from all walks of life, through disciples who are sent out because of their love for Jesus as missionaries into the places that they live, work and play.