âStart where you are, use what you have and do what you canâ is a phrase often heard when walking through the halls of Christ Chapel Community Church in Zebulon.
This is exactly what Pastor Billy Smith and his family did when they started the church in their Pike County home. Over 80 people attended this first service, which took place on October 5, 2003, on the back porch of Smith’s home.
Smith previously served as a youth pastor in two churches in Thomaston and Macon, and he said he knew he had to obey the unmistakable voice of God and found a church in Zebulon.
Smith’s wife, Tina, is from Pike County.
âWe knew God was bringing us back to the area. It was a natural fit for us, âsaid Smith.
After meeting for several months at his home, Smith said the church bought its first building in Zebulon. A few years later the church moved to its present location on Old Zebulon Road across from Pike County High School.
Since the church began in 2003, Smith said its membership has grown to around 2,000. An original Sunday service has grown to three Sunday services.
The Christ Chapel Community Church has also seen an increase in number and participation in its life groups. While the groups focus on a Biblical perspective, each group focuses on a particular topic, including hiking, homeschooling, crafts, camping, and activities for the elderly.
Smith said there are 1,326 people currently attending one of the 47 life groups this semester at church.
âThat’s a pretty high number, probably the biggest on record,â Smith said. âThe members of the Life group do a lot of things together. “
Christ Chapel Community Church also has a thriving youth ministry. Smith said about 400 children ranging from infants to fifth grade attend church on Sunday. Over 300 students in grades 6 to 12 attend Church Wednesday night services for teens.
The church has also developed its ministry of worship and music.
âWorship brings great energy to our services. It’s been a phenomenal recovery for us, âsaid Smith.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on international missions, the church continues its missionary ministry because it is central to one of the church’s beliefs that “saved people save people.”
Locally, the church is involved in the Pike County Pantry and the Pike County Backpack for Kids program.
As the church grows, Smith said there are many new plans underway.
The church is adding an additional 40,000 square feet, which will include a new auditorium that can accommodate 1,800 people. The existing auditorium will be used by college and high school students of the church.
The expansion will also include rooms that will be used by church life groups.
A paddling pool on the property of the church is also under construction as well as an outdoor pavilion. Other plans include an indoor play area for toddlers and a new entrance and exit for the church property.
âIt’s exciting,â Smith said of the upcoming plans.
Christ Chapel has some events planned for this Easter weekend.
A 100,000-egg helicopter egg drop, what Smith said is central Georgia’s largest egg drop, begins at 6 p.m. Friday on church property. Sections will be separated by age (toddlers through fifth grade), and a special needs area will also be provided.
The church will be holding five Easter services over the weekend. Saturday services are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday services will be at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Normal hours of service at the Chapel of Christ are Sunday at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
For more information about Christ Chapel Community Church, call the church at 770-561-1141, or visit the church’s website at christchapelga.com.