``How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?`` John 5:44
Spirit & Truth
We will emphasize the empowering freedom of the gospel of Jesus Christ, rest in knowing God’s love through Spiritual disciplines, and unifying worship of God as Father through expository preaching, prayer, praise, fellowship at the Lord’s table and baptism in his name.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn. 4:24 ESV)
Word & Deed
We will cultivate Bible reading and proclamation, prayerful wisdom in application through trials, mutual care across worldly boundaries, nurture of families, hospitality, one-on-one and small group discipleship.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:17 ESV)
Reconciliation and Justice
We will promote faithful presence in the community – repentance, forgiveness, and restored relationships – just and charitable stewardship of resources for the renewal of our city and God’s good creation in all areas of our lives and work
…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jer. 29:7 ESV)
Median Income: 33K
Median Age: 26
Hispanic or Latino0%
High School Graduates0%
Births to Unwed Mothers0%
Our Present Ministry
Since May (2016) we have embedded in fellowship and mission with Hill Chapel Baptist Church, a faithful and historically black church in West Athens. We have experienced exceptional welcome at Hill Chapel and vibrant spiritual nurture from our pastor, Rev. Benjamin E. V. Lett. I serve with the ministers of the church and was given an opportunity to preach in October. Nicole is involved with choir. Our kids (3 of 4) are in children’s choir. Other launch team members are getting involved.
Hill Chapel is less than a 1/2 mile from our house, but the cultural context feels worlds apart. When building bridges, we need strong foundations on both sides of the divide. It seems we have moved away and yet come home at the same time!
We host prayer and vision gatherings in our home with a diverse launch team. I have spoken in or helped facilitate eight different community reconciliation gatherings over the past two years in partnership with other ministries. We also serve as foster parents with team members supporting.
Parker and Nicole
Nicole and I (Parker) can trace many threads woven together into this expression of God’s call on our lives. We met at UGA (2000) and helped plant a local Hispanic Mission church in Athens during our courtship. We married in 2003, and during grad school (Covenant Seminary, and Nicole at Saint Louis Univ. for Medical Science) we served on the launch team for New City Fellowship in South St. Louis for 5 years, where I ministered primarily among Liberian refugees and Nicole served on the worship team. We returned to Athens in 2008, and I pastored The University Church (TUC) here for 8 years. With the support of TUC we were approved through Church Planter Assessment with Mission to North America (MNA). We are planting as a Mission Church of Georgia Foothills Presbytery, PCA and as members of the New City Network.
Solomon and Lora
Solomon Smothers is the husband of the beautiful Lora Smothers and father to radiant Ruby Smothers. He is honored to serve as the associate pastor with Parker James at Lord of Glory Fellowship, a PCA church plant that hopes to launch in early 2019 in Athens, GA. As an African American who has worshiped and served in both predominately black and predominately white churches in the South, Solomon is skilled in cross-cultural communication. As a son of God and student of the Bible he knows and teaches that people are drawn to Jesus when they see the gospel reconciling enemy peoples into one family. Solomon likes Atlanta sports franchises making music. He loves spending time with his family and praying.
Lora Smothers, formerly of Florence, AL, graduated with a Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology degree from Emory University. Later she completed her graduate degree in education at the University of Georgia. For 7 years she owned and operated the Freedom to Grow unSchool, a multi-generational, non-conventional learning center focusing on holistic education. She now teaches science and Bible classes at Athens Christian School in Athens, GA. Lora enjoys singing, dancing, lecturing, running, writing, and organizing. She also has a heart for hospitality and community building.
Can you help us build bridges of peace in Christ? This work requires a mobilization of the body. We will advance with the help of your prayers, material gifts, spiritual gifts, time, and talent.
Do you share our vision and hunger for spiritual renewal in the city of Athens? Do you know someone who does? Do you long to see new leaders of different backgrounds and ethnicity raised up with reconciled vision? This can only come about with the help of many. Please consider how you may be called to contribute.
They gave according to their means…and beyond their means, of their own accord… (2 Cor. 8:3-4a ESV)
Year 1 (2016-17): Move into full fellowship and partnership in mission with Hill Chapel Baptist. Network broadly while developing contextualized vision, building launch team, mobilizing prayer, and raising support. Continue search for African-American pastor or key ministry leader.
Year 2 (2017-18): Weekly services begin when God has gathered ~40 people in core group, likely beginning soft launch Sunday evenings. Expand small groups, cultivate body life, evangelism, and service.
Year 3 (2018-19): By now service shifts to Sunday AM. Cultivate leadership development, including third culture leaders and potential church planters. Deepen local and world mission partnerships.
Year 4 (2019-20): Formal officer candidacy and training, both deacon and elder track, with view to particularization. Continue to cultivate church planting movement and reconciliation.
Year 5 (2020-21): Particularize. Expand staff as needed. Initiate plans for daughter church. By now, identifying more permanent building.