In 2009, while Jason and Shelley Egly were in the process of adopting their two youngest girls from Ethiopia, God began opening their eyes to His Bigger Story. Seeing the desperate faces of helpless, orphaned children helped them understand more fully the extent of brokenness that exists in our world. They became more keenly aware of the incredible need to take the healing love of Christ to broken people.
Soon afterward, Jason began having a series of conversations related to the purpose and future of the church with some friends who, like Jason, were serving on staff at a large suburban mega-church north of Nashville. They were feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit that there must be more the church could be doing for hurting people, and thus, the Kingdom.
Jason felt the Lord giving him an increasing but equal passion for several things – Healthy Community, Missional Church, Making Disciples, and the church’s response to Social Justice issues. He was ready to give his life away to one of those causes, but could not discern which one. His friend, David Walley, asked a simple, but life-changing question: “Could there be a common thread connecting each of those passions?”
While on a mission trip, praying and thinking about the answer to that question, God called him to plant a church.
That was it. That was the common thread. God had already designed the local church, when healthy, to be the tool that addresses each of those areas of passion in the context of carrying out the Great Commission. In June of 2010, five families began the process of planting Ekklesia. God was also orchestrating a series of circumstances that would make it clear that Ekklesia was to be planted in Nashville. God began showing them the great needs of the people in their very own city. They began selling houses, quitting jobs, and moving their families to the West End area of Nashville. Very literally, they were starting new lives among people who need New Life.
In January of 2011, a Core Team of 13 families came together and began worshiping privately in a downtown warehouse. Eventually Ekklesia moved into the Vanderbilt BCM building and ultimately into the Sevier Park Community Center in Nashville’s 12South neighborhood. During this time, Ekklesia grew in number and in living out the Core Values of Truth, Awe, Belonging, Transformation, Compassion, and Sacrifice.
After a season of over 4 years, in January of 2015, the leadership of Ekklesia decided unanimously to join forces with our parent church, Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood in support of two new expressions: The Fellowship South Nashville church, which will assume the Sevier Park Community Center location at the end of January 2015, and a more organic house-church expression forming later in the Spring semester of 2015. We are grateful for what God has done through the community of believers known as Ekklesia Nashville.