12Stone Church, northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, is the flagship church of The Wesleyan Church, and I was glad for the opportunity to be a part of worship there on Easter. Many visitors would no doubt go to the massive gatherings at the Central Campus of the eight different venues of the multi-site church. I instead went to Buford, a two-year-old newly planted venue, meeting in a high school auditorium. The campus pastor, Sean Myers, is following his calling and is helping to reach the Buford community, especially new Christians, with the transforming hope of Jesus Christ.
It was a simple, beautiful Easter worship service, although it was no doubt somewhat lower key than the Central Campus in Lawrenceville. The main message was brought through video by lead pastor Kevin Myers (everyone calls him “PK” for Pastor Kevin). I was surprised by how much I was drawn in to the video by the clearly anointed message. Any barrier came down, and the Holy Spirit used that preaching. Several men came forward seeking salvation at the end of the service.
I found out afterwards that there were 39 Easter services in the eight locations from Friday night through Sunday that weekend! On a typical weekend, attendance is about 17,000 at 12Stone. This Easter, the attendance was 32,314 and there were 657 salvations recorded, and they said that it was somewhat unusual that most of them were men.
Throughout the area, 12Stone has a reputation as the church that “gives itself away.” In the weeks before Easter they collected and donated six large trucks full of bicycles, 1,619 bikes, to a local ministry. The ministry, “Bearings,” uses the bicycles in a shop that ministers to young people, teaches them skills and values, and has changed many lives.
In Buford, there are sixty volunteers from 12Stone giving their time, energy, and skills in a partnership with “Path Project,” where they tutor underprivileged kids who need to learn English or are struggling in school or need other help. And with parents’ permission, they also share not only the love, but the truth of the Gospel with those families.
The church’s tagline is: “You matter to God. You matter to us.” Over and over again, the closer you look, you see that the members of 12Stone are really doing a lot to show that is really true.