Pastor Dr. William Burnham had a vision. After a couple of years of materializing that vision and anticipating the right moment to present it, Burnham founded Point of Grace Church, where he saw the congregation triple in size over the next two years.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Burnham received his education at Liberty University in Virginia, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Louisiana Baptist University. He later pastored in Decatur for 14 years before he found his calling in Covington.
"About three years before I left Decatur, God laid upon my heart an opportunity in Covington," said Burnham. "He gave me the vision for the church, allowing me to develop all the material needed to lay the foundation.
"But God told me it wasn't the right time and the material was placed on a shelf for the next three years. Soon, people began to ask about the church and the ball began rolling."
Burnham held a "come and see" meeting, inviting a select number of individuals. Burnham presented the crowd of 20 the vision of the church and gave them the option to accept or decline. Everyone who attended the meeting chose to accept, and on Nov. 20, 2009, Point of Grace began to sprout its legs.
After trying out two other locations, the church finally found its footing at the Industrial Boulevard location. Soon, the congregation tripled in size and moved forward to create three ministries, including an afterschool program, the Arts and Athletics program and The Master's Institute.
The afterschool program offers tutoring lessons given by Oxford Emory students. The Arts and Athletics program is mostly aimed for homeschooled children seeking high school experiences, giving them opportunities to study music, drama or sports. The Master's Institute offers adult an education in basic Christian disciplines. Graduates from The Master's Institute will receive a certificate for each of the six classes they complete, culminating in a diploma for Christian Disciplines at the end of the program. Burnham hopes the program will eventually grow to become a legitimate Christian college.
"Our mission statement and vision of the church are virtually the same," said Burnham. "It's to transform faithful followers of Jesus Christ."
Burnham explained that a faithful follower can be transformed by establishing relationships in three different ways: first, with Jesus Christ; secondly, with people around them; and third, with the world they live in.
"I don't preach at people, I'm a teaching pastor," said Burnham. "We're teaching the Word and helping people grow with it and apply it to their daily lives."
The non-denominational church has participated in number of community events, including the Back 2 School Block Party. They will be a presence at the upcoming Fuzz Run, where they will be manning a water station.
With the Point of Grace growing steadily and its presence becoming known in the county, Burnham hopes to see the church settle on a larger area that will accommodate the needs of the community, by incorporating baseball fields, a walking trail and picnic areas.
"We are a ‘come as you are' church," said Burnham. "We're a non-denominational church; instead, we're a doctrinally-driven church, not from a tradition. This is about us growing in grace with God."