Cabarrus

Church meets at Cox Mill school

There's a lot going on at Cox Mill Elementary School on weekdays. And on Saturdays, recreational sports teams play games all around the fields.

But on Sunday mornings, the school serves as a place of worship. Grace Fellowship Anglican Mission church meets there at 10:30 a.m. Sundays, including today, Easter Sunday.

Pastor Fred Hoffman described how it all came about.

"I am an evangelical Christian, and believe that it is imperative for Christians to continue to spread the faith as Jesus taught," he said. "I wanted to start a church from scratch that believed the Bible as the revealed word of God, and free from members who wanted to revise and reinterpret scripture," he said.

"I meet with every new member to ensure they know where I stand on issues and how I interpret the Bible," Hoffman said.

They first began meeting at Kannapolis Middle School in July 2010. Then in January 2011 Grace Fellowship moved to Cox Mill Elementary and has grown from 19 members to more than 60.

"Our worship is very similar to the Episcopal church," Hoffman said. "The primary distinctions are our essential focus on faithfulness to the scriptures, purposeful disciple-making ... with a small praise band.... I also play guitar in the band.

"We want to serve our community in a way that helps spread the faith of Jesus to those who do not yet believe," he said. "We are different from other churches because our worship has a little more ritual in it.... It's how the church has been worshiping for thousands of years (and) we believe our worship is relevant and accessible for folks today."

The church is looking for a youth pastor. Until then, Hoffman leads a youth program the first three Sundays of each month. It also has a children's program during Sunday sermons and a nursery.

"I tell visitors it takes a couple of Sundays to truly get a feel for who we are.... More members will better enable us to serve our community. And members' greater faith will be a faithful witness of the gospel.... "

For information visit www.gracefellowshipam.org. "We want others to know that we are more focused on our neighbors than on ourselves," Hoffman said.

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