More than 400 people worshipped last Sunday at the launch of a new church in Statesboro. Compassion Christian Church, currently meeting in Mill Creek Elementary School on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m., is the fifth location of Savannah Christian Church, a nondenominational church that began in 1964.
“We had our first service in February 1964, with about 150 members,” said Cam Huxford, Savannah Christian’s senior pastor for nearly 30 years.
Now, Savannah Christian is one of the largest, fastest-growing churches in America. Each weekend, more than 7,000 people worship at one of the four locations in Savannah or the new Statesboro campus.
“Our church is a place to explore faith and experience what a truly life-changing connection with Jesus Christ is all about,” said Harrison Huxford, pastor of Compassion Church and the son of Savannah Christian’s senior pastor. “Our church believes that loving God means giving him our best; leading a courageous life of full devotion to him; giving ourselves in service to others.”
“The leadership of our church was praying through where the Lord wanted us to go next, and we realized that our church was only 50 miles away from the second-largest university in the state,” said Harrison, discussing the opening of a campus in Statesboro. “We understand that some of the most important decisions a person will make happen during the college years, and for many students, this is a season of life where they disengage from the church. Our prayer is that we will challenge college students and families to move forward with greater significance that is only found through Jesus.
“What I love about Compassion Christian is that we are a church for people who have given up on church. Our hope is that people will begin to see that Jesus is real, and a relationship with him changes everything.”
In his message Sunday, Cam chose to speak on the compassion of Jesus, tying his sermon to the launch of the new church.
“Jesus said compassion is a precursor to action. When we read Scriptures from the Bible about Jesus, the word ‘compassion’ is usually followed by the word ‘and.’
“When we see them like Jesus does, we love them like Jesus does — and that should call us to action.”
Speaking of Savannah Christian Churches in general, the senior pastor added, “We encourage everyone to use their gifts and find joy in serving others here at church, across the community and around the world.”
Volunteers at Compassion are doing just that. On Sunday and throughout the week, members serve the church through ministries including the nursery, children’s, middle and high school teams; baptism team; traffic team; setup/breakdown team; greeting; guest services; and many other areas.
Though the Statesboro campus has only been meeting for a couple of months, members and volunteers have already served the community by working with Habitat for Humanity to build a home and to organize stock in Habitat’s thrift store. They’ve also worked to collect food and clothes to benefit the students of Mill Creek Elementary.
Globally, pastor Harrison Huxford recently returned from a two-week trip to India, where he was directly involved in showing people there the love of Christ.
Senior pastor Cam Huxford hopes that the fifth campus of Savannah Christian can, as the others, be a “compassion incubator.”
“Let’s bring ‘em in, build ‘em up, send ‘em out,” he said. “What would it look like if we all chose compassion more?”