“Our God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home.”
“Under the shadow of your throne your saints have dwelt secure. Sufficient is your arm alone, and our defense is sure.”
Our God Our Help in Ages Past – from Isaac Watts’ setting of Psalm 90, 1719.
Back in the late 1990’s, a great Reformation began in the mountains of Georgia. In an area where Arminianism and Revivalistic teaching abounds, God began to unveil the eyes of many to the shallowness and man-centeredness of those doctrines and God was causing them to see the glories of the Doctrines of Grace. Who would have ever thought it? Can you believe that a church like Redeemer came into being in an area where virtually no one knew of the Doctrines of Grace (i.e. Calvinism)?
Under different circumstances, God was working in the hearts of many and a vision for a Reformed Baptist church in the mountains was born. God did this! My friend Jeff Robinson came to see the Doctrines of Grace through Tom Nettles’ book, By His Grace and for His Glory. God moved Daryl and Rachel Allison to Dahlonega where they attended a church that taught the Doctrines of Grace. Both Rachel and Daryl and Jeff Robinson helped lead me to solid biblical teachers that helped me understand Calvinism. My wife then soon followed. For several years then I began to teach the Doctrines of Grace in the context of an Arminian church.
There were others becoming reformed. They were: Doug and Rebecca Collins, Jeremy Smith, Jim and Melissa Smith, Jim and Ginny Smith. While I was away in seminary, the core group of RBC was being formed. Long story short, RBC has met every Lord’s Day since late August of 2009 (except for a few snow days!).
Early in 2010, the Lord brought Wally and Jeanne Roderick and Michael and Jen Roderick to us. God used Grace Redeemer Fellowship to connect many people to Redeemer Baptist. Michael was hired shortly thereafter to lead music for us. All along the way the Lord continued to grow us. Several began to come from Cherokee County, Towns County, and Fannin County. To date, we have 31 members and 8 regular attenders!
Planting a reformed Baptist church has not been an easy task but God has blessed us in so many ways. And God has done great things through us in five years. Let me just mention a few: God used us to build an addition to Jim and Melissa’s home for their son. We also were able to purchase a van for them. We have participated financially in many mission trips as well as contributed to the Lottie Moon fund. We are reaching many through WeCare, our caregiver ministry. Our connection with the Notla River Association has opened many doors for us to minister in the community. RBC is known as a faithful contributor and participant in our local association. We have consistently supported the Gideon ministry. We presently support Pastor Greg Matthei in South Africa. It has also been wonderful to see children being born to us, both physically and spiritually. God provided miraculously for us through Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville in July of 2012. Yes, God has been our help in ages past and I know He will be our help for years to come!
I am so thankful to witness our harmony and love one for another. I am so thankful for the hunger that RBC has for the Word of God. I love to see your hospitality in having people over to your homes and in preparing meals for those that need them. If I have neglected to mention anything or anyone from the early stages, please forgive me. You are all special to me. Let us continue in fervent prayer and let us not give up the fight for our desire to see a reformed Baptist church flourish in this area. God is not done with us yet!
Praising our faithful God,