First Christian Chuch of Tallahassee
By Stephen D. Smith, Fall 2015
The First Christian Church of Tallahassee has been around for about 90 years. It has been at its current location on High Road for the last 40 years. The current location that it is at now use to be the old post office. It is a relatively small church but is looking to expand. They are also soon changing their name to A Church on the Hillside to give it a more modern sounding name. They usually expect between 40-60 people each week for their Sunday service. The Church’s current pastor, Mike Shockey, has been their pastor only since June. The Church was undergoing some difficulties but is now trying to rebuild and expand. A year ago the average age of the members of the church was around 65 and now that number has been reduced to the lower to mid-40’s. They are also looking to reach out to the college community. They offer an open forum on Christianity for anyone who has questions or is just interested in learning about their beliefs. They do not try to force any beliefs onto anyone, they believe in trying to help people and if you do not have similar beliefs as them then they feel that is perfectly fine. They have the basic Sunday services as well as a free dinner and discussion on Wednesday nights. There is only one service at 11 o’clock on Sundays due to fact that there is not a large group of members. This consists of contemporary worship as well as music. The discussion is open to anyone on Wednesday and they do not have any specific topic to speak on.
Christianity in itself started around 2000 years ago in Judea, which is present day Israel. It started through Jesus Christ, who was Jewish, and his disciples. He traveled from city to city and taught in the synagogues and helped heal those who were suffering. He challenge the religious authorities to help people realize that the Kingdom of God is rooted of service and love. A faithful group of men began to follow him and called Jesus their teacher, they later became known as his disciples. He helped people realize that mankind is bound with pain as a result from sin. Jesus himself would die for the sins of humanity by being crucified on the Roman cross. Three days later his rose from his death and gave many hopeless people hope. After he arose from the dead they felt that God had imparted upon them and they began to spread these teachings. From a small group of normal men in small town of Judea, the Christian Faith was spread and the Christian Church was created. Within the first few centuries of Christianity the people of it faced a large deal of religious persecution, mainly by Rome. The Church began to grow in numbers and become stronger in power. Under the control of Theodosius Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and the term Roman and Christian became interchangeable. The Church began to gain a great deal of power and this is when it became corrupt. It was more about the money and power then it was the actual religious teachings. As a result of the theological, political and human right abuses within the church, the Protestant Reformation came about. This was mainly led by Martin Luther who took the stand against the church and its corruption. Today the two sides of this have settled their differences and Christianity is recognized all throughout the world today. Christianity is the most common religion within the United States and is seen in every other country around the world.
They try to be involved in the community in many ways. They are working with several other churches that are in the local area. These include Wildwood Church, Four Oaks Church, City Church and Element 3. They also do other work within the community such as a constant canned and baked goods food drive. The Church is also very involved with the women pregnancy center and do a lot of volunteer with them. They help struggling pregnant mothers and help them through guidance and sometimes even financially. They also spend time at the prison weekly to help people in need. Sometimes it is just for someone to talk to, sometimes counseling and even some just want to learn about God.
The First Christian Church of Tallahassee believes in discussing the Lord and things within life not just reciting verses from The Bible. They feel that no one is better than anyone and just look to help people not to talk down on anything they have done. They believe in one God, who is the creator of all things and who infinitely perfect. They believe through his limitless knowledge and power he will redeem the people to make things new for his own glory. Through the words of human authors they believe that God has spoken both the New and Old Testament. It is the ultimate authority in which every human should be judge. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, a person with two natures: fully God and fully man. They believe that he lived a sinless life and was crucified but later arose from the dead and ascended to heaven. The Church feels that baptism is important but only if one truly repents for the sins they have done and places their trust with Jesus for salvation.
One of their main goals right now is to reach out to the college students. Since there are so many students right around the corner it would be a good way to expand their size and spread the word of God. They want to do this through setting up tables and events on campus to draw students that would be interested in this church. They also offer a variety of different ministries within their church. They have one for children, for middle and high school, a college section and the main service room for adults. They are really looking to expand being that they have the room to do so and the strong will to spread knowledge of God.