Cottonwood church in Tennessee has become one of the most popular congregations in the country.
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(Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee)The Cottonwood Church of Christ has been serving a small, mostly Hispanic congregation for more than 30 years.
This Sunday, the church is hosting a “celebration of faith” to honor the 400th anniversary of the institution’s founding.
The story begins in a dusty, Victorian house on the outskirts of Memphis, Tenn.
It’s a small house in a small town and one of only five in the entire United States.
But Cottonwood has become something of a Mecca for the denomination’s 400,000 members, thanks in part to its proximity to the United Methodist Church, which boasts a similar, but smaller, congregation.
The Cottonwoods were born in 1856.
A few years later, the denomination had more than 400,00 members.
The denomination’s official website describes the Cottonwoods as “the only true, faithful church in America.”
And when a young man from Kansas, George Davis, was ordained a pastor, he set about moving Cottonwood to a new, larger building on the city’s outskirts.
But it wasn’t until 1885, when the UMC began expanding, that the Cottonwood began growing into the denomination it is today.
That expansion was spurred by the Great Migration, when tens of thousands of white workers moved to the West to work in the cotton industry.
The Cottonwoods’ founders, James and Lillian Cottonwood, moved to Tennessee in 1885 to begin growing cotton and cattle, according to the Cotton Woods’ website.
In 1890, the first Cottonwood members were born.
Today, the CottonWood Church of God is the largest and oldest of the churches in the denomination.
But the CottonWOOD congregation has remained faithful to its original mission of “making disciples of God,” said Rev. Robert G. McCarty, Cottonwood’s pastor and the congregation’s general president.
“It’s been a wonderful story of our faith,” he said.
“We’ve been blessed to live in such a small and diverse community and yet we’ve always maintained that we want to be a small church, and that we don’t want to have a lot of people in our small church.
We want to grow as a church.
And we’re going to keep growing.”
The church’s mission has been to serve as a community leader in the United States, McCarty said.
That’s a lot to do, but it’s also been a way to help people who are marginalized in the world.
“We’ve always been trying to be good stewards of the land, but we also want to serve people who might not have the opportunity to serve,” he added.
“For many people, their faith has a real impact on how they relate to the world,” he continued.
“And they’ve found that in our church, they feel a sense of belonging, they have a sense that they have hope.”
It’s not just a community of faith.
The church has also grown in popularity, with more than 4,000 people attending services there each week, said McCarty.
And while the church’s largest gathering is when the church celebrates the 400 year anniversary of its founding, the congregation does have a smaller gathering at other times, and McCarty and the other ministers also regularly hold Bible study.
The church has a number of social media platforms, including its Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as a Vine channel that is regularly uploaded.
The congregation has grown from a single building to several churches in recent years, but McCarty doesn’t anticipate changing that anytime soon.
“I think our congregations will always be small,” he told USA TODAY Network-Tennessean.
“It’s our mission to be the church that’s the smallest, the most intimate, the closest to people.
We’re trying to grow and keep growing and keep doing what we do.”
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