In 2006, Sunnyside Church of God moved from its location in Canton to East Cherokee Drive near Holly Springs. Now, under the leadership of Pastor Lance Turner, the church is reaching believers of all ages.
“We have done research, and Cherokee has a lot of people age 35 to 45 and that is our target audience,” Turner said.
Sunnyside is hosting a Tailgate Party today from 5 to 8 p.m. The party will include live music, raffle baskets, a cake contest, a chili cook-off, food and games. Family-oriented activities are part of the way the church is reaching out into the community.
“Our focus is that age group and they have children, and our children’s ministry is good,” Turner said. “We teach them Biblical truths in an enjoyable way, with a little bit of fun. We have a choir program. We will be doing a Christmas program.”
Turner stresses that while there are lots of young families with children, the church also continues to serve its traditional and senior members as well.
“We also have a senior ministry. All age groups are ministered to at our church,” said the pastor, a 42-year-old son of a preacher. “Our teenage ministry is very strong. We have a full-time youth minister. They meet on Wednesday nights and have their own service.”
The worship service offers contemporary music as well.
“We have modern songs, praise bands with electric and acoustical guitar, but we do mix in some hymns,” Turner said. “Our music is really good, and I would hope that people would enjoy the preaching, too.”
The church started in Canton on Scott Mill above Cloud Supply as a Church of God and continues to be Pentecostal, as it was at its old location, he said.
Turner was the worship leader in charge of the music until April when he took over as pastor. He said while he was not planning on the switch from music, it was something he had thought about.
“It was always in the back of my mind, but it was not on my radar,” Turner said. “I know for sure now that God had other plans for me.”
Turner said the congregation of about 200 does more than just come to church.
“We want to be known as a church that really wants to serve the community, to be known for loving and serving people,” Turner said.
The church is at 2510 East Cherokee Drive in the Hickory Flat community near Holly Springs.
For more information, visit the church Facebook page at Sunnyside COG.