NorthStar Church, on Blue Springs Road in Kennesaw, celebrated its 25th anniversary during its morning services Jan. 9, welcoming back special guests and launching 25 Days of Giving.
NorthStar Church launched on Jan. 5, 1997, with the founding pastor, the Rev. Ike Reighard, and seven full-time staff members, including current Senior Pastor Mike Linch. For that first worship service, 365 people gathered at the Days Inn Conference Center off Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw (a venue that no longer exists). The congregation quickly outgrew the space, and was forced to find another location. The theater at North Cobb High School became the home for the church from February 1997 until November 2000 (with a short summer stint at Vaughan Elementary School, while the NCHS theater was refurbished). Today, the church remains a stone’s throw from North Cobb High School, a visible reminder of its early days.
“I never had a doubt that Mike would be anything but successful as a leader of NorthStar,” said Reighard, who serves as senior pastor at Piedmont Church in Marietta, as well as CEO of MUST Ministries. “When I see the everyday impacts of NorthStar, it thrills me, because that was what we wanted to do from the very beginning: to truly create a church that would not be the best church in our community, but would be the best church for our community.”
By supporting and partnering with schools, city and county governments, other nonprofit organizations, and even other churches, NorthStar continues to exemplify the same passion for reaching Acworth and Kennesaw that it had in the beginning.
“We are so grateful for the generosity given from the hearts of everyone at NorthStar Church during these past 25 years,” Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said. “NorthStar’s generosity has changed the lives of many children, families and organizations, and its kindness has been life-changing! Thank you to every member of NorthStar Church for helping transform Acworth into the most loving and caring community in America.”
“I am delighted to have NorthStar Church as a part of our community, leading, serving and helping people find their way home,” Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling said. “May God continue to bless NorthStar Church, and all they do in and for our community.”
Between Jan. 9 and Feb. 2, NorthStar Church embarked on a 25-day giving campaign. The church invested more than $120,000 to support other churches, schools, first responders, people who work in the service industry, college students and more.
“The cities of Acworth and Kennesaw have played a huge role in our journey,” Linch said. “I believe we live and serve in the greatest communities in the country. Mayor Allegood and Mayor Easterling are part of our NorthStar family, and we all are trying to make this the best place to live, work and play. I love this place! I moved here in the summer of 1991 to serve my first church, and I’ve never left.”
In addition to planned service events, members of the congregation participated in their own giving campaign, through acts of kindness, such as sending words of encouragement to the elderly, providing gift cards to postal and sanitation workers, and recognizing difference-makers in a variety of ways.
“I believe this is what Jesus has called us to do,” Linch said. “After we paid off nearly $7 million of debt in 2018, we made a promise to begin to use that money we had given the bank all of these years for a greater purpose. I can think of no better way to celebrate our 25th than by blessing others like we have been blessed.”