North Point Community Church
|North Point Community Church|
|Location||Alpharetta, GA based with various physical campuses and strategic partners|
|Denomination||Non-Denominational, Evangelical Christian|
North Point Community Church is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian megachurch located in Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. North Point currently averages more than 33,000 people in attendance between its six campuses each week, making it the largest church in Metro Atlanta and according to Outreach Magazine, the largest church in the United States. Andy Stanley is the senior pastor.
North Point Community Church is the namesake and flagship of North Point Ministries, which serves as the parent organization for four other churches in the Atlanta area--Buckhead Church, Browns Bridge Church, Watermarke Church, Gwinnett Church, Decatur City Church North Point Resources. Several other churches are associated with North Point as Strategic Partners. Members and attendees are encouraged to develop intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.
In November 1995, Andy Stanley stood in front of a gathering of believers at a North Atlanta convention center and cast the vision for a new church. He said, "Atlanta does not need another church. What Atlanta does need is a safe environment where the unchurched can come and hear the life-changing truth that Jesus Christ cares for them and died for their sin." So began North Point Community Church.
For the first three years of its existence, the congregation of North Point met every other Sunday night in rented facilities. When the Olympics came to town, the church was unable to meet for nine weeks.
In December 1996, North Point purchased an 83-acre site in the middle of Alpharetta, a small town fifteen miles north of Atlanta. Six months later, construction began on what was to be the first of three building phases. The first phase of construction included a 2,700-seat auditorium, along with a small theater, offices, and education space for preschoolers and children. On September 27, 1998, the congregation of North Point Community Church moved into its new home. That first Sunday, over 2,000 adults attended two morning worship services. By Christmas, attendance had grown to 3,000. By the end of the first year, North Point was averaging over 4,000 in worship. Plans were started for a second phase of construction. By spring of 2001, the second phase of construction was completed. A second auditorium stood directly behind the original one. With the additional seating, North Point is able to accommodate over 5,000 worshipers at one time.
A group of people in the Buckhead area wanted a relevant church similar to NPCC, where they could bring their friends who did not go to church. In the spring of 2001, they began meeting every other Sunday night in rented facilities, much like the early days of North Point. Andy Stanley and the leadership team encouraged and advised Buckhead Fellowship, and in August 2001 asked them to become the first satellite campus of North Point Ministries. Buckhead Fellowship became Buckhead Church. They continued meeting every other Sunday night until they moved into a renovated grocery store on Roswell Road on Easter Sunday of 2003. The same NPCC Sunday morning environments are at Buckhead Church, with live worship, drama, and announcements. The messages are now simulcast to each campus. Buckhead Church moved to a permanent facility at Tower Place in the heart of Buckhead in May 2007.
A third campus, Browns Bridge Community Church, opened on October 8, 2006. This campus was fully programmed and showed NPCC prerecorded messages with the same technology used at Buckhead Church. Browns Bridge has grown from approximately 1,500 adults on Sunday morning to over 3,500 and from two services to three in just two years. And the messages are now simulcast every Sunday.
The 4th and 5th campuses of North Point were opened in 2011. Gwinnett Church was launched in Gwinnett County and Watermarke Church was transitioned from a Strategic Partner Church to a full Campus.
Also in 2011, Andy Stanley transitioned into an advisory role over all campuses with Joel Thomas becoming the Lead/Campus Pastor for the original North Point Campus until January 2015.
On October 20, 2014, Andy Stanley announced the launching of the sixth metro Atlanta campus, Decatur City Church, which is initially meeting at Tucker High School on Sunday evenings.
- "Andy Stanley's North Point Ministries Named the Largest Church in America". Chrstianpost.com. Retrieved 2014-10-21.
- "Brief History of North Point Community Church". Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Collide Magazine: Church Spotlight: North Point Community Church -- interviews with three staff members about creative elements and communications technologies