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Ministry Impact Story: Cokesbury United Methodist Church, Knoxville, TN

Meredith Mahon Morris April 29, 2014

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Cokesbury Church, South Campus

Cokesbury Church, South Campus

Cokesbury in Action

Located in Knoxville, TN, this megachurch is known throughout the community as a church in action. Each week, between 3,500 and 4,000 people gather to participate in the numerous services, activities, and events at Cokesbury. But, that’s only the beginning. The mission at Cokesbury extends beyond reaching the people in the pews each week. The staff and members are passionate about reaching out to the people in their community. Whether it’s through volunteer work, food drives, or recovery programs, the people of Cokesbury have the same motto: “Love people into a relationship with Jesus Christ to change the world.” They do this by reaching out to the least, the lost, and the last.

“Loving the Least, the Lost, and the Last”

In 2000, Cokesbury began a program called “Celebrate Recovery” in order to better reach “the least, the lost, and the last” in their community. Today, between 500 and 800 people in the Knoxville area participate in the program each week. But again, Cokesbury hasn’t stopped there. The staff has helped other churches start their own recovery programs, which in turn, have reached hundreds of hurting people in their own communities.

Cokesbury in Action

Cokesbury in Action

 The City in Action

Cokesbury began using The City only 3 years ago, but today, over 80 percent of the churchgoers are active users. Engagement is at its highest, and staff and members have found that The City has become the normal way of staying connected and informed.

But this outreach-driven church doesn’t just use The City to keep their members and attendees connected. They use The City to gather volunteers for community work. Over 350 people are active volunteers at Cokesbury, and that number is growing quickly. The City helps not only helps existing volunteers find opportunities, but it also allows people interested in helping to find areas that best suit their skills.

For example, Cokesbury in Action is a group of 250-300 volunteers who reach out to the community by helping with food drives, doing yard work, picking up trash, etc. They find their projects on The City, sign up, and go!

Connecting Campuses

Sometimes, having multiple church campuses can divide a congregation, but that’s not the case at Cokesbury. This megachurch expands across three campuses in the Knoxville area. And while it’s important to staff and churchgoers to stay connected with each other across campuses, they also want to focus on reaching out to visitors and bringing in people. The City brings everyone together, whether they’re members or first time guests.

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