Our Story

How it all started...

In the summer of 1972, a group of believers began a new congregation of Christians in Snellville, Georgia.  After exploratory and organizational meetings were held, the first formal meeting was held on September 12, 1972.  By the end of October, all the arrangements for the first Sunday morning worship service were made and the first service of the new congregation was held on November 5, 1972.  The temporary place of worship was Britt Elementary School and Dr. Bill Bravard, then Dean of students at Atlanta Christian College, served as the temporary minister.  The attendance for that first service was 124, with 37 of those becoming "Charter Members" of Snellville Christian Church.
Also in November of 1972, the Property Committee was looking for suitable property for a permanent meeting place for Snellville Christian Church.  A parcel of land on Highway 124, south of downtown Snellville was located. In January 1973, the congregation agreed to purchase the 4.95 acres for the cost of $17,500.
In June of 1973, the congregation elected its first two-man board of elders.  In July, Ray Cheponis, a student at Atlanta Christian College was chosen as the first youth minister.  At that same time, an active search was underway for a full-time minister.  On August 19, 1972, the congregation accepted George Mendez as the first full-time minister.  The church grew under his direction and in February of 1974, detailed construction planning began for a church building to be built on the parcel of property on Highway 124.  Ground was broken on March 31, 1974 and an external shell was built at a cost of $80,000.  All the interior work was done by men of the church. 
On March 23, 1975, the congregation held its first service in the almost completed building.  On August 3, 1975, the building was dedicated.  In June of 1975, Ray Cheponis left Snellville Christian Church and the congregation called Greg Hoover, another ACC student to be the new youth minister.  He served here until March 20, 1979.  Also in 1975, George Mendez left as the full-time minister.  In February of 1976, George Carillet became the full-time minister.

Expanding the vision...

As the congregation continued to grow, the needs of the original building also grew.  In January 1976, a 24 x 75 foot west wing and the baptistery were added.  The estimated cost of these projects was $10,000.  In December 1979, James Gazaway became the youth minister.  He remained here until early 1983 at which time Mike Openshaw was hired to replace him.  In December of 1984, George Carillet and his family accepted a call to become missionaries in Papua, New Guinea.  Mike Openshaw served as the interim minister and in 1985 the congregation offered him the position of full-time minister which he accepted.  During 1985, the congregation grew from 67 to 88 families and the balcony was remodeled to accommodate this growth. 
In May of 1986, the congregation voted to expand again, adding 1,760 square feet to the main auditorium and an east wing of 1,800 square feet.  The estimated cost of this project was $315,000 and would be raised through the sale of church bonds to be secured by church property appraised at $456,000.  It took less than 48 hours to sell the bonds and on November 2, 1986, ground was broken for the enlarged sanctuary which was completed in the spring of 1987.
Mike Openshaw remained as the minister until December of 1989.  In January of 1990, Matt Fehl came to Snellville Christian Church as the youth minister.  Matt remained in that position until April 20, 1997.    Mike Portwood was called by the congregation in July of 1990 to serve as the full-time minister.  He began his service here on September 15, 1990. 
In late 1992 and early 1993, the leadership of the congregation decided that the time was right for developing a Youth Center or Family Life Center to better meet the needs of the growing congregation.  This building had actually been proposed as a second phase of the expansion planned in 1986 but was tabled due to cost of the total project.  The cost estimate for this Center was $520,000 which included $238,000 to retire the bond program remaining from the 1986 expansion.  The congregation approved plans on August 29, 1993 and the new center was dedicated a little less than a year later, on August 21, 1994.
An additional staff person was hired on June 2, 1996 to facilitate the music program at Snellville Christian Church.  Dean Lancaster was hired as the part-time minister of music.
With the departure of Matt Fehl in April of 1997, there was a need to hire another youth minister.  On August 10, 1997, Dwayne Klepal came on staff to fill that position.  Dwayne served as youth minister until April 1, 2000 at which time he became the preaching minister since Mike Portwood had decided to step down as full-time minister and be employed at Snellville Christian Church as a part-time associate minister.  Ben Radant was then hired in June of 2000 to fill the position of youth minister.
In the spring of 2001, Snellville Christian Church was the recipient of a generous gift; 14 acres of land adjacent to our current property donated by Mr. Jim Cowart of Jim Cowart, Inc.  A property development team was formed in the fall of 2001 to pursue possible uses of the donated land.  The architecture firm of Foreman, Seeley, Fountain was retained to develop a short term and long term plan for the property use.  We are currently pursuing the "short term" plan to incorporate increased parking and building renovations.  Estimated cost of this project is $1 million which also includes retiring the current indebtedness of $312,000 for the Family Life Center building.
In September of 2002, Ben Radant’s position to that of Children’s Minister.  Chris McClure was hired as Youth Minister in April 2004, coming from a church in Ohio.  Ben Radant submitted his letter of resignation in July of 2004, with his final date being September 12, 2004. 
In May of 2005, Rae C. Tyler was hired as Director of Children’s Ministries.  Rae resigned in March of 2007.

Where we are headed...

In August of 2011, Dwayne Klepal resigned as Preaching Minister.  Jonathon Dawson was hired as Senior Minister in June of 2012.  Chris McClure resigned as Associate Pastor in May of 2012.
In October of 2013, Gerardo Mancilla was hired as a part-time Youth Minister.
In April of 2014, Kathy Malone resigned as Secretary.  Cindy Blaine was hired as of May 1, 2014 to replace Kathy.
On June 1, 2014, Gerardo Mancilla left his position as part-time Youth Minister.  AJ Taylor was hired as a part-time summer Youth Intern effective June 1 – August 3, 2014.
On May 10, 2015, Aaron Moffo was hired as a full-time Family Minister.
Jonathon Dawson resigned as Senior Minister effective June 2, 2019.
Cindy Blaine resigned as part-time Office Manager at the end of June, 2019.
Gail Strayer started as part-time Office manager on September 9, 2019.
Dale Hutchins was elected as full time senior minister on October 27, 2019.
In 2021we had an Imagine Campaign and paid off our mortgage debt of $107,000 in June.
February of 2023 Aaron  Moffo resigned
September 17th 2023 Mitchell Thompson was hired as full time student minister.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:30 am and 11 am.