by Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Truett-McConnell College faculty, staff and cabinet members participated in a historic service commemorating the purchase of the Cleveland Worship Center in order to expand their growing campus during an evening service, Sunday, August 30.

Marc Turner, Senior Pastor of the Cleveland Worship Center and Truett-McConnell alum, opened the service by sharing a brief history of the church: “The Cleveland Worship Center began its ministry in the late 1940’s as the Cleveland Congregational Holiness Church. The current church facility was dedicated on April 8, 1950 with Reverend Asa Dorsey as the first pastor of the church.”

Turner, who has been the Pastor for nearly seven years, continued by stating: “We, as a church, have had the desire to build a larger campus and a larger facility for a little over 20 years now.”

“As a church, we took a huge leap of faith and purchased a prime piece of property on Helen Highway. The sale of our current facility and property will launch us into the vision that God has given us and provide the initial means to begin our building program.”

Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett-McConnell College, took the platform and echoed Turner’s words: “God did some things at Truett-McConnell that no one can take credit for, except for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Just this semester, [which has only been a week] one of the students came to know the Lord Jesus in their dorm…and one of the students came to know the Lord Jesus at the cross.”

Caner shared with the congregants that as a young boy in the Muslim faith, he and his brothers came to know Christ through the efforts of a church in his hometown: “they never gave up on us and within a year all three Muslim boys became born again believers…”

“My hope is that the [Truett-McConnell] campus will transform to that very vision, where anyone is welcome and that all will come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Sharing his hope for the church sanctuary, Caner said, “These walls will be used for a recital hall where we will worship the Lord Jesus Christ together as Truett-McConnell family, just like it was as you are here…And these walls will be places, I pray, that people will come to know Jesus Christ, just like it was as you are here.”

While there are some contingencies still in place with the need of the loan to be officially closed, Caner echoed Truett-McConnell’s desire to honor God: “We have honored the Lord in every way and I think the Lord will honor us in the same way.”

Turner and Caner, along with the Cleveland Worship Center Deacons, were asked to come to the sanctuary’s front and sign the contract signifying the purchase of the church by Truett-McConnell.

“Truett-McConnell has experienced significant growth from 461 students in 2008 to over 1,880 in the fall of 2015,” said Gary Jarnagin, Director of Financial Development for Truett-McConnell.

“The purchase of the Cleveland Worship Center provides many things, including an expanse for growing divisions at the college: “We will be able to move our Education Division into the Cleveland Worship Center facility while doubling the space in our Nursing Division from the vacated space now being used for the Education Division.”

Adding that the purchase will not only benefit the involved parties, but the community, Jarnagin said “White County will benefit from new construction, an ever growing student population, and allow both the Cleveland Worship Center and Truett-McConnell to continue to build God’s Kingdom.”

“We have big faith in a big God to do big things,” Turner said with enthusiasm after the contract signing. “God is doing big things not only in the life of Truett-McConnell and that ministry but also in the life of the Cleveland Worship Center. God is blessing this church and blessing this ministry beyond measure.”


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for Truett-McConnell College.

Photo/Blake Bramblett

Blake is a junior Psychology and Missions major and freelance writer for TMC.

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