Our Story

How it all started...

The seed for New Community goes back to the mid 1980s, when a dynamic adult Sunday school class was created at First United Methodist Church in LaGrange. Using contemporary music, drama, and Bible teaching that was relevant to the lives of unchurched adults; the class grew from just a handful to 70 adults each Sunday morning. Nobody was more surprised or inspired by the response than the young leaders of the class. It was this inspiration from God that compelled them to offer this new style of church to all ages and races in the community.

Initially meeting in a founder’s home, they launched the diverse church with great optimism on January 5, 1992 with an initial turnout of 42 people, 28 adults and 14 children. The next month they moved into the LaGrange Movie Theater in downtown LaGrange, which would become their home for the next 8½ years. The small but motivated group persisted and people began to respond. After five years, average attendance grew to 250 people, and the staff grew from one to five. During that time the rented facilities were expanded five times, acquiring buildings on either side of the theater. Most of the facility expansion was to accommodate the rapidly growing children's and student ministry. Then, perhaps sooner than they expected, the LaGrange Theater and one of the adjacent buildings was sold in April, 1997 and the church was notified they would have to relocate.

Faced with no facilities in LaGrange large enough to rent that would hold the growing church, the highly motivated congregation rallied in June, 1998 to buy 18.1 acres of wooded land on South Davis Road. Groundbreaking for the initial 30,000 square foot facility was celebrated in May, 1999. Hundreds of families made substantial personal sacrifices towards the incredible goal of completing the $3.4 million land and building project debt free. A matching grant from the local Callaway Foundation helped make it a reality in November 2000. Later in 2001 the campus was expanded to 25.5 acres. In August 2004, the excited congregation celebrated the grand opening of their new two-story 22,500 sq.ft. expansion designed to house the growing children's and student's ministries. This project too was completed debt free, with the help of a matching grant from the Callaway Foundation.

Several ministries have been launched to serve spiritual, physical, and relational needs of the community. From the beginning, the founders' goal was not necessarily to become a big church, but to be the church to each other and the community and to create an environment where everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and love regardless of gender, race, or social status. Over the years, God has transformed hundreds of lives. When asked to reflect on the history of New Community Church, former lead pastor Lamar Hardwick stated, "Jesus is building his church, and we are excited to be a part of what he is doing in Lagrange and Troup County."