This is the second Reunion trip that we’ve taken. Reunion is about FBCGT youth ministry alumni coming together to change the world. Part of the fun is reconnecting with students who are off to college or out in the marketplace working. FBC Georgetown is looking to build some partnerships in Atlanta where our former pastor, Dr. Jim Haskell, serves as the Executive Director and Lead Strategist at Urban Atlanta Church Planting. What that means is that he has his hands right in the middle of any church planting effort that is happening through the North American Mission Board in and around Atlanta.
A group of eight met at FBC Georgetown at 4:45am in order to catch the cheapest flight we could find to Atlanta. Our trip to the Austin airport, to Atlanta, and to the rental car agency went off without a hitch (thank you Jesus!). After loading up in the 15 passenger van we rented in Atlanta we drove to Woodland Hills Baptist Church which is where we are staying this week.
WBHC has a fabulous story. The church was shrinking and they brought in church planter Rusty Couch to try to revitalize the aging church. The building is enormous, but there weren’t enough people to fill the building. At the same time, the heating in the church was totally out. The few people in attendance sat through services in the winter with coats and scarves on with their breath being seen as they sang each Sunday morning. Rusty proposed to the chruch leadership that after they fix the heater that they should turn the top floor of the building into a dorm setting in order to house mission groups for the city. The leadership agreed, but on the Sunday of the business meeting to make that decision official, the chairman of the deacons met Rusty before the vote and told him he had changed his mind and that he felt the agreed upon plan was not in the best interest of the church. To Rusty’s surprise, during the meeting the leadership suggested that the church suffer through one more winter without a heater in order to build the upstairs dorm rooms first so that they could help people reach their city for Jesus! Here is the best part of the story – while they were renovating the upstairs, a plumber who was donating his time towards the work found out about the broken furnace and made a few phone calls. Shortly thereafter, a brand new furnace was donated free of charge! We’re benefitting from that story today, because we are staying in those dorms!
After dropping our stuff off, we picked up Jim Haskell for lunch. We ate lunch at Flip Burger Boutique which is a gourmet hamburger place. The highlight for our students was the Krispy Kreme milkshake and the Nutella and Toasted Marshmallow milkshake! After lunch we spent a few hours on a tour around the city. Jim helped out team understand the culture of Atlanta and a lot about church planting.
We dropped Jim off and then headed to the Coca Cola Museum. The museum if very well done and we had a good time looking at exhibits and seeing the 4D movie. Everyone closes out their trip through the museum in the “Taste It Room.” In this room, there are more than 30 different Coke products from around the world and you can taste every one of them! Some were fun (like Watermelon), other tasted like carbonated battery acid.
We headed to Walmart to buy groceries and grabbed Subway for dinner to take back to Woodland Hills. After dinner and setting up our rooms, a couple of us made another trip to Walmart to get some fans for our rooms. By the time we got back at 9pm almost everyone was already asleep! It was a full day! So full that I’m not even going to proofread this before I post it and go to bed 🙂