Generation Changers currently has a campus in Lebanon on Leeville Pike that operates a preschool and holds church services. The congregation has outgrown the current facility and was given the opportunity to buy a building at 533 Wildcat Way from a church called the Rock of Nashville.
“We were double parking, parking on the grass, in the ditch, wherever we could find a place [at the Leeville Pike location]. When this came available, it was right on time,” said lead Pastor Barry Smith.
When Smith saw the land and building were available for purchase, the church did not have the funds for the down payment. As a step of faith, Smith made his 1966 Mustang available for sale.
“The Lord put it on my heart to give it to the church, to sell it and give the money to the church. When that happened, people started not only giving large amounts of money, they started bringing things. We ended up with a fire truck, a 2013 pontoon, a boat, a Harley-Davidson, Rolex watches, so we had a huge auction at the Wilson County Fairgrounds and raised $100,000 in one day.”
During the process, someone came in and bought Smith’s 1966 Mustang. He didn’t have to give it up though, because the person gave him the car back after making the purchase.
“When we step out, God steps up. If we’re willing to do what He wants, He’ll show us what He’s capable of, and He really has,” Smith said.
Generation Changers raised $300,000 in two months for the purchase of the building and about 12 acres of land.
The initial Generation Changers campus in Donelson began ministry Sept. 1, 2003 and has a membership of about 1,200 people. Smith currently drives back and forth to preach Saturdays and Sundays.
The church in Lebanon is intended to be a satellite church, with live worship, greetings and the word delivered via internet connection.
Generation Changers is active in the Lebanon community with its Back to School Day event that gives away 1,000 backpacks with school supplies, a dental lab, haircuts and other things to prepare children for school each fall. The church has the event at Don Fox Community Park, but now plans to hold the event at the new church campus.
The church is a non-denominational congregation, and Smith said it’s made up of every brand and no brand.
“It really is a church for people who don’t like church, who’ve had a turn off from the judgmental beat-down that they would get, and it’s just a church where people feel loved and accepted, yet they’re challenged, and they grow. I can’t say enough good about God,” Smith said.
The campus pastor for the Lebanon location is Scott Davis. He lives in Mt. Juliet, and the church hopes to hire him full time in the near future.
“I love this church. I love the people, and I love this county,” Davis said. “We just want to come out here and love the community. We want to love the churches and we want to team up with other churches, reach out to families to let them know that they’re loved and cared for, show them grace and mercy, and that’s it.”
The church will hold a weekend event Saturday at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the new location. The event will include a food truck and festivities for children. A service will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the sanctuary.
On Sunday, services start at 10 a.m. and a picnic is planned afterward.