We are often asked why FCC has experienced so much growth and momentum.  That of course is very difficult to explain other than saying, “How do you explain a move of God?”  However, we do know that there are factors which God uses to build his church.  The first, is a church focused on Christ and His good news.  Every church should have the same purpose.  However, every church goes about that in different and unique ways that work within their culture and community.  One of the primary factors in our growth has been our focus.  As we always say, “We are not focused on who we are trying to keep, but who we are trying to reach.”  Our vision is the way that we accomplish it.  It is very focused.  In fact, it is communicated with just 8 words:

KNOW God – FIND Freedom – DISCOVER Purpose – MAKE a Difference


This is our primary mission.  We exist to reach every man, woman, and child in our region.  We will use any means necessary to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ affectively.  Our message never changes, but our method does.  We welcome every walk of life and speak only of taking a “next step.”  This singular focus is critical because it speaks to any person wherever they are in their faith journey.  This evangelistic approach and scope is primarily accomplished through our weekend services. Join us for any one of our three identical Sunday services at 8:15, 10:00, and 11:45.


This is pastoral care through the process of relational living.  People are often stuck in their wounds and hurts of the past which often lead to addictions and trials today.  As we often say, “the majority of life change and next steps don’t happen at the altar on a Sunday but in a living room with other people just like you.”  Helping people find freedom is primarily accomplished through small groups. Anyone can join and you can find the right group for you by checking out our Community Group page.


Every single person who has ever lived has pondered this question; “What is my purpose here?”  We all desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and we fundamentally know that there is something more than just living.  The truth is that God has given all of us a unique purpose and an eternal destiny.  As a church, we desire to help every person discover the “why” behind their life.  We accomplish this through an intentional discovery process called Growth Track. Growth Track will start in 2018. 


When we understand the purpose of our life we are able to live a life that has true meaning and brings fulfillment.  In fact, that is the foundation of every person’s unique purpose; to make an impact in the world around them.  By serving others inside and outside the church, we all can make a real difference in the life of others.  This is accomplished through individuals serving on a Dream Team. Dream Teams will be launched in 2018.


Our vision has also given birth to 12 specific goals that we are currently working on to practically accomplish our dreams.  We call it VISION 2020. Vision 2020 is an aggressive 5 year campaign that will fulfill the scope and commission of Acts 1:8- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.


1. We will shift the focus of our staff from being ministers to coaches.  We will exist to equip and release the body of the church.

2. We will create a dynamic and intentional discipleship process of next steps.  Christian growth in our lives will no longer be accidental or casual.

3. We will create a system of leadership development that creates and releases world changers.  A healthy church must be a factory for producing leaders.

4. We will rest every effort of the church on a comprehensive and intentional prayer strategy.  Prayer must come first and before all that we do.

5. We will be a growth-oriented church focused on new life, reawakening, and authentic community.  A church that is not growing is dead.

6. We will build a new facility designed for our community and for the future.  This building will be a “ground-zero” platform for community and regional change.

7. We will be a congregation that is ON MISSION with God.  Rather than ask Him to bless what we are doing, we will focus on the things he is already blessing.

8. We will focus on the homes in our community through a comprehensive 3 tier vision of restoration.  This will include marriage building, crisis intervention, and divorce/single family ministry.

9. We will launch satellite campuses in surround counties and states.  We will be one church meeting in multiple locations.  We will target communities similar in demographic to Dyersburg.

10. We will reach our region, nation, and world through practical outreach and evangelism.  The church must shift to “being” the church rather than “going” to church.  Practical “hands on” community projects is the key.

11. We will be the best regional answer for crisis and addiction problems.  This will be accomplished through intervention, recovery, and education ministries.

12. We will be national innovators in ministry excellence and coaches for other church’s in our community.  We will unite churches in our common mission.


The Bible 

The Bible is the inspired word of God

and therefore completely true.

(2 Timothy 3:15-17,

1 Thessalonian 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21)  ​​​​​​​


The Trinity 

The one true God, creator of all that is, revealed Himself through the trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 

(Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10-11,

Matthew 28:19, Luke 3:22) ​​​​​​​


Jesus Christ 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins and rose from the dead. He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life and died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. Through His resurrection from the dead, we who believe now have hope and the promise of everlasting life.

(Matthew 1:21, Hebrews 7:26, 1 Cor.5:3,

Luke 24:39, I Cor. 15:4)



All of us have sinned and fall short of God’s hope for us. The forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life are available to anyone who believes in Christ and accepts His forgiveness through faith and trust in Him.

This gift is free and can not be earned.

(Gen.1:26-27, 3:6, Rom. 5:12-19, John 3:3,

Rom. 10:13-15, Eph. 2:8, Titus 3:5-7)



The Church

Christ followers are called to live their lives for God by being obedient to His Word, the Bible. The primary role of the church is to encourage and help people live this way.

(Ephesians 4:24, Titus 2:12, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Hebrews. 12:14,

Romans. 12:1-2, Matthew 28:19-20, Galatians 2:20) 


First Christian Church was first chartered in 1888 as part of the Disciples of Christ denomination which also included the Christian Church.  FCC has a rich heritage of many God-fearing pastors and leaders.  The most significant mark of our history began in the 1990’s.  Pastor Ed Bratton pastored during this decade until he left in 1997.  The church leadership board then hired Mike Gardner to fill in as interim pastor and in October, 1997 hired him as full-time Lead Pastor.  Under his direction and leadership, the church began to make a shift from a very traditional "Christian church” model to that of a more outreach focused and “contemporary” minded church.  This transition, as it often is, was very hard but proved successful.  This included hiring a worship pastor in 2001 to lead the church from traditional music to more contemporary style.  Around this time as the church grew, FCC did an internal financial campaign to raise money for building a new facility on the present land it had owned for several years. 

In October 2001, FCC moved into the building which now houses youth, children, and our offices.  The original sanctuary seating was approximately 300 and the church quickly outgrew that capacity and began having multiple services to accommodate the growth.  In 2006 it was determined that a new sanctuary was needed and the present one was constructed, which currently seats 775.  Systems and vision were not put in place to continue that growth however, and the church sat still for several years which stifled and then plateaued growth.  In 2010 Pastor Mike had a debilitating stroke and the associate pastor was moved into the interim lead for a year and a half.  In July 2012, Pastor Brian and Jen were brought in as the new Lead Pastor of FCC.

Due to the difficulty of the two years before, the church suffered a great deal.  The staff dwindled to only 2 individuals in 2012.  The church had also dropped significantly from their average attendance in 2006 of about 550 down to under 300 before he arrived.  Initially, Pastor Brian’s focus was to provide stability and begin casting a vision for the future.  As that process continued, the vision we sensed from God was far larger and more expansive than this community or region had ever dreamed of. 

Since that time our staff has grown to 18 and within the end of the year will likely be 21.  Our church has seen explosive growth over the last 5 years with an average weekly attendance of nearly 1,400.  Our challenges have been great due to the limitations that we have on space.  We have remodeled rooms to accommodate growth and remodeled them again.  To say that we are simply out of space and limiting our growth potential is a huge understatement.