CUMMING, Ga. — Earlier this year, Pastors Monica and her husband Josh Mayo launched the Cross Church.
It’s not the typical definition of a church, as the congregation meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at South Forsyth County High School’s Performing Arts Center.
Starting their own church was something neither had expected to do, but on Jan. 26, they were glad they took the leap of faith.
“Four years ago this spring was when God began to awake us to this new journey and each step has been one of faith,” said Monica Mayo. “We’ve had the support of some of the greatest mentors, churches and friends out there, which has made this journey possible.”
The couple has two sons, Elijah and Judah, so they are thrilled to offer local families Cross Kid’s Ministry during service.
“The lessons and the crafts have been awesome,” Monica said. “Each week my boys come home excited about what they have learned.”
This Easter, children and families are invited to Cross Church to participate in a massive egg hunt and inflatables. There will be two community focused services, one at 9 a. m. and another at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 20.
Lead Pastor Josh Mayo, 34, a third generation minister, said the service theme for Easter is “Last Word,” based on people always wanting “to get in the last word.”
“The cross was Jesus Christ saying ‘I get the last word. It is finished,’” Josh said.
The church’s name was derived from Deuteronomy, but it’s also a reference to Jesus Christ.
“We believe that God wants us to cross from a place of brokenness into a place of life, from a place of hurt into a place of freedom in Him,” Josh said. “Cross Church is about crossing into new life in Him.”
Josh, who has published four books, has ministered for 17 years.
He left Arkansas with his wife, where they lived for nine years and had a ministry of 400 members.
“We felt like for whatever reason, we were supposed to start a church in Atlanta,” Josh said. “We were going to take a step of faith.”
About a year and a half ago, the family settled in Cumming and became associated with Victory World Church, out of Norcross.
“We felt like we were supposed to start a church in this area,” Josh said. “We wanted to build on local relationships.”
The Mayos partnered with Pastors Dennis and Colleen Rouse at Victory World Church because they loved how they care about the community.
Cross Church is not a campus or a satellite ministry, but shares a similar vision, Josh said.
“The thing we say is life is found in relationships,” he said. “We just want to find life through relationships. We are stronger when we do things together.”
In getting the word out about the non-denominational ministry, Josh compared it to a really good restaurant.
“Word of mouth is the best advertising,” Josh said. “It's not hard to get people to talk about something they really enjoy.
“A lot of people aren't ashamed of God,” Josh said, “but they are embarrassed of their church. We want to create a church, Cross Church, where people are not embarrassed to invite their friends.”
For more information, visit http://www.crossatlanta.com/
In leading up to Easter service, Cross Church is kicking off their “Love Because” campaign.
On April 17 - 19 the “Love Because” campaign will give $15,000 away through community service.
“Love because He first loved us,” said Lead Pastor Josh Mayo.
The Cross Church will give out catered lunches to families waiting at local hospital emergency rooms, lunches to about 420 school teachers and administrators and give gift cards to patrons at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and the AMC movie theater along Peachtree Parkway in Cumming.
“It's not that people are needy, but they have deep needs,” Josh said. “There's something more. Love them because Christ first loved us.”