In case you missed it, Awaken recently made the news here in Clarksville. There was a big highlight on the top of the front page and a picture of me painting and our story in the Community section of the paper! It was a very well-written article, and in case you didn’t get a chance to read it, I figured I’d share it with you here. We’re really hoping that it got some people’s attention – the timing was great since we’ll be reopening THIS SUNDAY, July 11 at 10am!

For the record, the picture of me was not posed. I really painted for 2 hours that day, although I know it’s not convincing because I have no paint on me. Oh well. You’ll just have to take my word for it.


July 3, 2010

Awaken Church recovers from flooding to reopen July 11

Ann Wallace, 245-0287
Schools/religion reporter

Awaken Church is set for a second start at 10 a.m. July 11 when the small non-denominational church opens its doors again for worship.

One year ago Kevin and Jennifer Miller moved their family from New Mexico to start a new church in Clarksville.

Coming from desert country, the young couple never expected a flood would almost cost them their faith and dream.

The Millers established Awaken Church at 581 Riverside Drive in the Riverside Center strip mall with their first worship service Sept. 19, 2009.

About six months later, the rains started.

May 2 brought devastating 500-year flooding along Riverside Drive and other pockets across Montgomery County – Awaken Church fell victim as did most of the Riverside Drive community.

Kevin works part time as a graphic designer for Lasaters at its main office. He was asked to go down to the Riverside location the morning of May 3 to offer assistance.

“We had had service that weekend and the river was high, but I never imagined the water would reach as far as it did,” he said.

He had to park a few blocks away from the Lasaters location and walked the railroad tracks.

Water was everywhere including Lasaters and Awaken Church situated nearby.

“It was so overwhelming. I started crying when I realized my church had four feet of water in it.”

Miller and a few church members were able to save some of the electronics: “But, we lost almost everything else. Anything with the kid’s ministry was gone – cribs, high chairs, toys, curriculum, supplies – all gone.”

“It was hard wading through all of our stuff.”

FEMA Disaster Relief only provides for property owners – Awaken Church was leasing the location.

“And we didn’t have flood insurance,” Miller said.

But, God provided through the generosity of donors from across the country.

“We are affiliated with Calvary Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but they don’t budget us. They have helped with some things along the way, like buying chairs for the sanctuary, but we are not supported by a larger church like most plant churches are,” said Miller who emphasized the donations have “kept us from having to close our doors.”

Miller is 26 and spent five years as a middle school pastor at Calvary Church before he uprooted his family to move to the Volunteer State.

When he and Jennifer prayed about starting a church “based on Bible teaching” in Tennessee, Jennifer’s parents had recently moved to Paris, Tenn.

Ironically, when the young couple decided on Clarksville “because it is a college town and close to Fort Campbell – both of which have a lot of young people” – Jennifer’s father had just accepted a job in Colorado.

The Millers came anyway and they have steadily been growing a congregation with a large component of military families.

“Half of congregation is in Afghanistan right now,” Miller said.

People can expect a laid-back casual atmosphere with a contemporary Christian music format at Awaken Church.

“Basically, Awaken Church is all about our effort to wake people up to how relevant God’s word is for them,” Miller said.

“I believe I was called out here by the Lord. He has always provided and he just keeps providing,” he added.