Published October 21, 2004
While pastor of the dynamic First Baptist Church of Snellville, James Merritt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, began to have a vision to reach the northern part of metro Atlanta by expanding the church and creating a second campus.
In the providence of God some dedicated businessmen were able to purchase 70 acres of prime real estate nestled between I-85 and Sugarloaf Parkway in Gwinnett County. They embraced the pastor's vision and presented the property to the church as a gift.
Launching a new church
It was ultimately determined that it would be best to use the property near the Gwinnett Center to begin a brand-new church and leave FBC Snellville in its current location.
On Sunday, May 4, 2003 the new church, Cross Pointe, was launched at Collins Hill High School with more than 500 in attendance. In July of the same year Cross Pointe moved its services to the new facilities of Peachtree Ridge High School, less than two miles from the present location at 1800 Satellite Boulevard.
The new property features three buildings totaling 350,000 square feet of space. The plans to renovate the buildings on the new campus were accelerated and the transformation produced a modern, innovative, attractive campus featuring a 1,500-seat worship center with state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, multi-media capabilities and theatrical lighting.
The grand opening of the new facilities on Sept. 12 attracted 1,552 to the worship services and small group studies. On that first Sunday in the new location Merritt pronounced, "You're looking at a dream come true."
Though the atmosphere is casual and the dress informal, Merritt's goal is to build a church where the faithful will be energized and the "unchurched" will be attracted and made to feel welcome.
The Cross Pointe pastor contends that within a few years construction will begin on a permanent worship center having space for 6,000 people and featuring a towering spire with a cross visible from nearby I-85.
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