Crossbridge Christian Church
By Austin Lambert, Spring 2016
Crossbridge Christian Church is a relatively new church in Tallahassee that was founded on February 13, 2005. The special part about Crossbridge Christian is that it does not have a permanent location; it has been a mobile church since the beginning. This allows for a freer budget that can be put toward a higher involvement with the local and global community. Back in 2005, Crossbridge Christian had their first sermon at the Governor’s Square Mall movie theatre (now Regal Cinemas), located at 1501 Governors Square Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Once the church gained a following, they moved locations to the local Tallahassee YMCA, located at 2001 Apalachee Pkwy, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Once they outgrew the YMCA location, they finally moved to their current location in 2010, which is at the Challenger Learning Center, located at 200 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301. The current gatherings are held every Sunday inside of the Planetarium’s Digital Dome at 10:30 A.M. On their website, the weekly sermons of Pastor Shawn Grant are posted so that individuals not able to attend the live gatherings still have the ability to access the teachings online.
The mission of Crossbridge Christian Church is “Helping Disconnected People Connect to God.” The main belief of Crossbridge Christian is that God desires a relationship with all people, which helps them unite the community based off of their mission. The vision of Crossbridge is to Reach, Restore, and Reproduce, and those three entities are meant to be unified by three interlocking circles. When the three separate entities intersect, the mission of God can be found, which reconnects back to the church’s mission of helping those who are disconnected, connect back to God. Although some individuals may fit in only one circle, Crossbridge believes that as a whole, the community needs to understand all three to create a stronger unification. There are four ways in which Crossbridge accomplishes their mission and seven core beliefs that they follow, which parallel the teachings of Christianity. Worship gatherings that matter and make a difference, creating authentic relationships with those who attend the sermons, making an impact within the community, and reproducing within the church to gain new followers are the four methods used to accomplish the mission of “Helping Disconnected People Connect to God.” Crossbridge’s seven core beliefs are as follows: one God created all things and exists in three forms: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Old and New Testament exist without error, Jesus is both man and God, man is created by God, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, Jesus paid the price of his sins by death on the cross, and there is only one Church.
Crossbridge Christian is run by a team of individuals who devote their lives to God and the church. Shawn Grant is the Lead Pastor and the individual who offered his time to assist myself in the making of this project. Pastor Grant grew up in the church, as his father was also a Pastor, which led him to found Crossbridge Christian Church. He is fully committed to his faith and has a burning desire to make the community and the world a better place. Along with Shawn Grant are three other individuals who assist him in the weekly sermons: Elaine Wesley, Karen Weaver, and Jason Fudge. Together, they lead in helping those who attend the church connect to God. While there are sermons for adults, Crossbridge also offers two programs for younger individuals: Crossbridge Kids (newborns-4th grade) and Crossbridge Youth (5th-12th grade). The directors of these two programs are Rachel Cook and Ryan Capas, respectively. Through these two programs, Crossbridge teaches stories of the Christian faith based on religious texts, in hopes that those who participate will learn good character. These programs partner with families to strengthen the bonds between the parents and children who follow the religion of Christianity.
There are a number of religious and non-religious connections that Crossbridge has made over the years to other institutions, whether they be local, national, or global. Around the Tallahassee area, Crossbridge partners with the Kearney Center, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Community Impact Item, Christian Campus Fellowship at Florida State, Southwood community, and previously used to partner with Oakwood Elementary. Pastor Shawn Grant is extremely passionate about helping the community, and these partnerships help Crossbridge make an impact on the community. On a national level, Crossbridge is partnered with GoFoster! and Forge America to help foster children find families and spread the Christian faith across the country through mission trips. On a global perspective, Crossbridge Christian Church is partnered with Forge International, Stadia Church Planting, and Hope to Haiti. Missionaries at Crossbridge Christian take trips annually across the world and to locations where individuals are in need to teach Christianity and help establish churches so that the community can grow as a whole.
Throughout the year, Crossbridge holds and assists with important events within the community to strengthen the Christian faith. On occasion, Crossbridge will travel to different homes and hold weekly meetings in those homes for those who are feeling troubled or are unable to physically attend the Sunday service. According to Pastor Grant, Crossbridge holds GoFoster! events throughout the year to help children without parents find homes with families who believe in Christianity. The GoFoster! events are mobile, just like the church itself, which allows the church to travel throughout the community to help out different groups of children in need. On Christmas Eve, the church offers a candlelight service annually, as well as an extensive Easter service on Easter Sunday. Each year, the church assists in setting up the Springtime Tallahassee Fall Festival located at Cascades Park and volunteers are sent to help run the festival. Around the holidays, Crossbridge will hold a toy drive to collect presents for children whose parents are unable to afford presents themselves. The church will setup a market where parents can pick out gifts for their kids, at little to no cost.
Since Crossbridge Christian is a mobile church, they must take time to setup and break down the service weekly. It is a unique way to run a church, and Pastor Shawn Grant says that he has no plans to establish a permanent home for Crossbridge. The ability to be a mobile church with a larger budget allows for him and his church to give back and help strengthen the bonds within the community. One of Pastor Grant’s favorite mottos is that there are “No perfect people allowed,” at Crossbridge Christian Church.