In February of 2008, Kevin and Jenn flew to Tennessee to narrow it down between Jackson, TN and Clarksville, TN. After spending time in each city, and lots of prayer, they decided that Clarksville was the place to go. They began praying about timing, and upon returning home to Albuquerque, decided that it wasn’t the right time quite yet. After about 6 months of waiting, they began praying a lot about moving. They knew there would always be a reason to stay where they were comfortable, and at some point, they’d have to get up and go. They made that decision on Saturday, October 16, 2008 – they were heading to Clarksville, TN in June of 2009 once their Albuquerque commitments were fulfilled.
In May of 2009, Kevin resigned as the middle school youth pastor at Calvary Albuquerque, one of the biggest churches in the nation. They spent the next couple of weeks packing, then set out in the middle of June on the adventure of church planting!
Awaken Church began with 8 consecutive outreaches to the city of Clarksville, called UNIGHT. They would gather at a different park each Saturday evening, grill burgers, hang out with people, and share the Gospel. That’s where the core of Awaken began – a few people even accepted Christ in parks across the city! Soon, Kevin began teaching a Wednesday Bible study in the living room of one of the couples that they had met at their very first park outreach. That Bible study ran about 6 weeks until Awaken Church officially opened its doors on Saturday, September 19, 2009 in a building on Riverside Dr. that they had just signed the lease papers on 11 days prior!
After only 7 months, the church was wiped out in the Flood that hit middle Tennessee on May 2, 2010. The only things they were able to save were some electronics and wall art – everything else had been destroyed. For many young church plants, that could have been the final blow, but not for Awaken! They continued weekly meetings on Wednesday and Saturday nights in the second flood of a bank just a couple blocks away. Thanks to God and many people’s financial and prayerful support, only 2 1/2 months after the flood, Awaken held its “Grand Re-Opening” in its Riverside building on Sunday, July 11, 2010, as they transitioned from a Saturday night weekend service to a Sunday morning service.
Awaken’s story is still being written and God is using the church to reach families, individuals, neighborhoods, and the city at large!
Find out more about Awaken Church on their website: awakenchurch.org.