IN 2007, A GROUP OF FIFTEEN “LAKELANDERS” FELT A NEED.

They wanted a great environment to meet with friends to explore questions about God without having to pretend they had it all together or wading through a bunch of religious lingo. They wanted to offer their friends an alternative that wouldn’t make assumptions about what they believed about God or knew about the Bible. They wanted to assure their friends that no one would single them out by asking, “Where are all the visitors?”

They wanted a great environment to meet with friends to explore questions about God without having to pretend they had it all together or wading through a bunch of religious lingo. They wanted to offer their friends an alternative that wouldn’t make assumptions about what they believed about God or knew about the Bible. They wanted to assure their friends that no one would single them out by asking, “Where are all the visitors?”

 

Access began as a Bible Study for college students in a rented room at the Lakeland Center, in downtown Lakeland. A few people actually showed up, intrigued by the promise of “great music, free coffee and real topics.”

In September of 2008, Access became a church. In the time since, Access has grown. The goal was never size; the goal always was, and continues to be, based upon the ideas of authentic community, honest conversation and exploring the question: Where is God taking us next?

TWO LOCATIONS, ONE CHURCH

In 2013, Access Church took a leap of faith and planted a new location in Brandon, Florida. Since the original launch, the church has moved to its current YMCA campus to accommodate the church growth.

 

Our church has changed significantly since starting as a group of fifteen people, but our mission hasn’t changed. Why? Because people matter to God. You matter to God.

WHERE IS ACCESS GOING?

Only God really knows. Our brief history has shown us that it’s a journey of creating something that hasn’t yet been seen, saying things that aren’t being said, and trusting God to do something truly meaningful in and through a bunch of imperfect people. We’ve seen that kind of faith and dependence effect people within our community, our city and, increasingly, our world.

 

We expect God to continue to lead us through hard decisions that challenge the status quo. We’ll do these things because we believe that God uses them to bring all of us into a thriving life of freedom. And we’re all about that.

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