Canton church turns former library into worship center


     The past four and a half years have been an amazing journey for City On A Hill UMC in Woodstock, Georgia. The church began August 13, 2006, with a modest group of committed people, determined to be a light to the community from within the walls of a local elementary school.
      On Easter 2011, City On A Hill (COAH) officially opened the doors to its new worship and mission facility in a remarkable renovation of the former Woodstock Library at 7745 Main Street. The church has four worship experiences: 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:10, 9:35, and 11:15 a.m. Sunday. Approximately 450 people gathered during the preview on Palm Sunday. Atlanta-Marietta District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Jim Lowry, led the consecration of the new building.
     “What a joy it is to be here for this exciting initial worship service where three people shared their testimony and joined! It is so amazing to see how City On A Hill has transformed this rough space into a beautiful and wonderful tool to continue the Lord’s worship, witness, mission and ministry,” Lowry said, adding: “This doesn’t surprise me, though, because this church since inception has done everything well, especially making disciples for the transformation of the world throughout Woodstock and South Cherokee County.”   
      Lead Pastor Chris Bryant shared his hope “that the building not only would be a time of renewal and another fresh start in the life of City On A Hill UMC, but represent for each person in the church, a new stage in their spirituality, a chance for them from this point forward to be able to say their commitment to Christ and his church truly deepened when the congregation moved in.”
      The second daughter church of Hillside UMC, COAH constituted on Pentecost Sunday in 2010. The congregation prides itself in having the same number of people who have been involved in at least one mission as they do for their average worship attendance each year. While maintaining that goal might be more difficult with the new facility, COAH sees this as a positive challenge.
      More than 350 are members of the mission-oriented church, which has impacted thousands in the community. Internationally the impact has been just as great, with ministries reaching out to those in need after natural disasters and people suffering from hunger or disease. All this was achieved without a permanent facility or even an office from which to do ministry. Everything concerning church operations is done online and can be accessed anywhere. While the church will have offices in the new location, they’ll continue to operate under the belief that the church is not, nor has it ever been, a building. The theme for this year is “Don’t Go to Church, BE the Church.”
      “At COAH, the church is the people of God, followers of Jesus, those who have been empowered by His Holy Spirit to continue the work, mission and ministry He began,” said Bryant. 
City On A Hill UMC                                                                                                       
7745 Main Street
Woodstock, GA 30188                                                                                                                                             678-445-3480