January 24 Today in OPC History

Maryville, Tennessee



Sandy Springs OPC began as Covenant OPC, a group of four families advised by Jim Heemstra, RHM for the Presbytery of the South. Having enjoyed together several months of Bible study, and having experienced numerical growth from local advertising, the group began meeting for worship on Sunday, July 7, 1991, in the Robson family's basement. Later that year, the trustee of a defunct Bible Presbyterian congregation offered the use of its vacant building near Sandy Springs Park in Maryville, Tennessee (where the church still meets today).

Several families came and went in the early years. Robert Berry arrived in November 1992 to serve as an organizing pastor, and labored to build up the congregation until she was particularized on January 24, 1997. On that joyful occasion, Ken Barnes and Jim Shuler were installed as elders.

Later, Sandy Springs would be led by pastors Mark Marquis (1998-2002) and James Ganzevoort (2005-present) and the Lord raised up a series of elders and deacons. The congregation is specially indebted to men whom the Lord used to guide her through years of weakness and uncertainty: RHM Jim Heemstra (1991-1992, 1997-1998) and Covenant College professor William Dennison (2002-2005).

Picture: Top right to left: Bob and Myra Berry, Jim Heemstra, and the congregation in 1997.



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