Bishop Tim and Pastor Stacy Needham, founders of Living Way Worship Center International, believe in miracles.
The events that led them to build the church at their current location at 4051 Highway 81 South, they feel, is nothing short of a miracle.
"God was leading me and my wife into a multicultural, non-denominational church where we could invite people from all ethic backgrounds and different denominations to come together as one," said Bishop Needham.
Since 2005, the small congregation led by the Needhams had held services in several different tenant locations in hopes of eventually purchasing land to establish a permanent location.
One day, Bishop Needham attended a leadership conference and left with a peaceful assurance that God would lead him to the right location and provide the resources to build.
The couple had purchased five acres of land in Mansfield to build their dream home but decided to sell the land and sow it into the ministry instead.
The prime piece of land sold within a week, and Bishop Needham looked at 15 acres that another church had for sale.
"The Lord spoke to me and told me what to offer for the land which was $125,000 less than what they were asking," said the Bishop." By that Friday, they accepted my offer. We had 50 to 60 people who had committed over $20,000 dollars for that next Sunday."
Another miracle happened when an elderly lady who had once visited the church called unexpectedly. She explained to Stacy that the Lord wanted her to donate $100,000 to the church.
Living Way Worship Center International, a Bible-based ministry, was able to move into their new location this past September. The Needhams acknowledged the United Bank of Covington and their staff for believing in the church’s vision.
The LWWCI now averages 125 to 150 attendees on Sunday mornings. The F.L.I.G.H.T. ("finding life in God’s house together") service is at 9:45 a.m. followed by worship at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., services include praise and worship, a youth service for ages 9 to 16 and children’s church for ages 4 to 8. In addition to the small groups that meet on the first and third Friday at 7:30 p.m., there is a youth service called Friday Night Fire.
The youth group is led by Youth Director Robert Thomas and is made up of an energetic group of young people who aren’t afraid to go in places where there is a need. The youth recently ministered to the homeless on the streets and under the bridges by delivering food, toiletries and blankets and Bibles over the holidays.
Other staff members include Shane and Mary Knight, who maintain the church records and the treasury, respectively, Dean Paulos, who oversees the properties, and Mike Schram, who serves as Sunday school superintendent.
A native of Conyers, Bishop Needham graduated from Heritage High School in 1984 and is employed as the general manager of Big 10 Tires. He was licensed at Honey Creek Baptist Church in Conyers in 1995 and ordained as a youth pastor in 1999. He has served as senior pastor to Walnut Grove Baptist Church in Loganville from 2000 to 2005.
Stacey graduated from Newton County High in 1989 and is employed as a part time parapro with the Rockdale County School System. As a pastor, she oversees the praise choir and youth dance and praise team, serves as secretary on the church board, coordinator of international ministry and travels, and conference coordinator, and has taught Sunday school and coordinated youth events.
On Sunday, Jan. 4, Builders None, a group signed with the Lamp Music Group, Pure Light Records, will be in concert at Living Way Worship Center International at 6 p.m. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information about Builders None, go to www.buildersnone.com.
The Needham children - Tyler, 16, is a self-taught drummer, Garrett, 13, who hopes to learn to play the bass, and dance team member Makayla, 10 - are very dedicated to the church and its growth.
"We are an on fire church," said Makayla as she extended a hearty invitation for everyone to attend LWWCI. "Try it out and you’ll have a great time."
For more information on Living Way Worship, contact Bishop Tim or Pastor Stacy Needham at (770) 364-8167 or www.lwwcga.com.