Sunnyside of life: Church reaches out to younger believers with new pastor
by Rebecca Johnston
October 19, 2013 12:14 AM | 2722 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pastor Lance Turner of Sunnyside Church of God is working to serve the growing number of residents who are age 35 to 45 in the community with contemporary worship and music. <br> Special to the Tribune
Pastor Lance Turner of Sunnyside Church of God is working to serve the growing number of residents who are age 35 to 45 in the community with contemporary worship and music.
Special to the Tribune
slideshow
Pastor Lance Turner took over as pastor in April, after serving the local Church of God as worship leader.
Pastor Lance Turner took over as pastor in April, after serving the local Church of God as worship leader.
slideshow
An 80-year-old church has been revitalized with a new pastor and updated worship opportunities as it reaches out to serve a younger congregation.

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.



Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides