Jenna's Story

I always considered myself a Christian. I grew up in church, sang in the Worship Band, played on the church softball team. I listened to the sermons and attended every Sunday. But I never really felt connected to the Church Body, or to God for that matter. I went through a drought, per-say. I was simply going through the motions, trying to live right. But what I didn't realize was that I was actually growing further away from God.

Just recently, within the last couple of months, I found myself being attacked from every corner with fear, panic, illness, anxiety, hopelessness, stress, you name it. I was at the lowest point of my life. I found myself searching for a quick fix, so I turned to medication, which did not agree with me at all. My system was thrown into complete shock, and those attackers grew stronger.

As I was lying in a hospital bed, the Holy Spirit lit me up. I prayed harder than I've ever prayed in my life. It was then I realized I didn't need medication, I needed to fix my relationship with my Father. The Almighty Father.

A week after being home, I was well enough to go to Church. Pastor Gunter's message was about the Holy Spirit. Once again, I found myself lit up with an overwhelming and amazing feeling. I stepped down to receive prayer and can finally say that for the first time, in a LONG time, I felt at peace.

For the first time in a LONG time, I yearn to talk to God. I yearn to learn more about Him through His Word. I yearn to grow in my relationship with Him. I FEEL it when I worship Him. I breathe easier knowing that I don't have to fight my battles alone, He surrounds me, and always will.

For the first time EVER, I feel at home in a Church Body.
The Dwelling showed me how to get back to God, and for that I'm forever grateful.

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Gunter Akridge
A New Home

“In 2017, God had placed it on my heart to move out of my home town in Jacksonville, Florida, and move to Savannah to help with a church plant. After a while of waiting and being patient God finally created a space for me to move! So, in February of 2018, I moved!

In Apr 2018, we finally launched our first service as a church. Shortly after in February of 2019 we received the news that our church will be closing its doors. The news was hard to take in. Immediately, I was filled with anger, frustration, and doubt on whether or not I heard from the Lord to move here. I was ultimately lost, without a church home. For the first time in my life I had to “church shop”. I had no idea what that meant, nor did I know how to look for a new church. I didn’t even know what I was looking for in a church, other than great worship, and a great message. I also had no idea what it was going to feel like when I did find that church. 

So, after my first attempt at one church, I kind of swore off looking for a new church because I was sure that God was going to move me out of Savannah really quickly. So why, if God was going to move me, would I try and become planted in a new church? Immediately God was like, ”Naw Girl. You Are Not About To Do That!” 
So, I attended The Dwelling Church with two of my best friends on April 14th. As soon as service was over I remember turning to them and saying, “If I didn’t visit another church in Savannah I would be ok.” 

From then on I haven’t really missed a Sunday. This church has brought me so much peace about moving to Savannah. It has made this city—that for about a year felt so foreign—feel like a new home. It may not be at the church that I thought God was calling me to, but I now believe it took that small step to bring me here. I feel that I now I have a spiritual family again and that God has me right where I need to be!” - Leah


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Gunter Akridge
Purpose in tragedy

“Everything happens for a reason. I joined The Dwelling launch team immediately when I heard that someone needed my help to create spaces for others. It so happened that by joining the church I think it was preparing me for a rough time in my life.

Two months before we opened the doors at the Dwelling, I lost my mother unexpectedly in a car accident. I believe that Christ put me at The Dwelling for that reason.

The Dwelling shares so many of the beliefs and qualities that my mother held. My brother and I struggled with Mom in how she always would go out alone to feed the homeless, deliver clothes, or just pray over them. Mom would dress like a clown and go to the children’s hospital to cheer up the kids. I think I only was able to see a glimpse of how passionate and caring she was.

It was not until joining The Dwelling and being a part of the connect groups did I understand what her purpose was. I now see that it was simply to make a difference in someone’s life. If you know me, you know my mom, except she would make me look like a slacker!

I believe I am here for the purpose to serve and continue my mother’s passion to help others. To create spaces for people. I believe it all happened for a reason.” - Bobby

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Gunter Akridge
Free from the chains

Signing up for the Freedom connect group was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Before attending, I was battling many demons. The group and homework helped me work through my relationship with God and the demons I was harboring.

The first night of the conference was the game changer. The topic of divorce was brought up. And I found myself uncontrollably crying, not realizing the power that had over me. When I got up to pray about it, the person praying with me took on the voice of someone spiritually important to me. And I felt as if a weight had been lifted. I walked away relieved and smiling at the end of the prayer! Life hasn’t been the same since. I am now free from those chains that bound me! - Lesley

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Gunter Akridge
Hope after divorce

“I started attending The Dwelling in 2018. For months and months I followed every post my friend made on her Facebook about the Dwelling. It was almost like something was calling me to attend. Upon walking through the doors I already felt like I was home. I felt like everything I have been looking for was right here.

In 2016, I started my journey as a single parent after a 16-year marriage. I never planned on getting divorced, but I did. I was in a pretty low place realizing that I had closed myself off to the world. My pride had gotten the best of me. I was Lost. I was full of anger and resentment and filled with sadness. I tried to stay away from church. I never felt comfortable, always feeling judged. Not this time. Not at the Dwelling.

During that first service, I made a connection with Jesus and I cried my heart out. Each day since then my connection only grows stronger. I believe he sought me out relentlessly in my time of need, and he brought me back. God is so good.” - Lesley

Gunter Akridge
Healing from past abuse

“Freedom. Is there such a thing? I would have to say, yes, there is freedom. And with freedom, there is an inner peace.

I originally signed up for only the Men's Texting Connect Group. But my better half signed us up for the Spring Freedom Connect Group. I was not sure what we had gotten ourselves into, but as it turns out, Freedom was a great peace of mind. One of the scriptures that stuck with me was Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I have resisted God's work for a very long time, as part of the devil’s plan, without my knowledge or acceptance. Since attending The Dwelling, things have changed in my life drastically, and for the better. Then the Freedom Connect Group helped me open up to myself, to the group, to the church, and to God. I cannot continue to my life without devoting my life to God and his will.

The Freedom group and the conference helped me forgive all who have wronged me, and has helped me to release myself from my personal shame. All of the horrible things that a person could have go wrong with them, I could say I was about that a perfect example of wrong looks like.

 Since my reconnection with God and believing that Jesus is my savior and healer, I have been able to battle through my abandonment issues from both my mother and my ex-wife and kids. I’ve been able to experience God’s healing for my sodomization and rape from an unknown person when I was a young boy. I’ve also been able to let go of the adultery, addictions to the flesh, and the hurt, pain, and suffering I have caused others.

God in his own time and way has brought me closer to my wife and family through everything life has thrown at us. Walking with patience and seeking his guidance, I was directed to a job opportunity after being without employment for three long months. My financial obligations are slowly getting back under control. My faith in the Lord’s work has directed my life toward the exit of the valley in which I have been trapped in for a long time. Forgiving myself and my enemies have helped relieve the stressors in my life.

Trusting in God and his will is the best decision I have made for me and my family. I encourage anyone reading this to trust and walk with God, for he is a good Father and will steer you back to the path you were meant to be on.

Romans 12:17-21 says, “I do not repay evil for evil. I am careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on me, I will live at peace with everyone. I will not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath, because God has promised he will handle it. On the contrary: If my enemy is hungry, I will feed him; if he is thirsty, I will give him something to drink. I will not be overcome by evil, but I will overcome evil with good.” 

In order to live up to those words, one must show courage and the strength to believe God is good and to follow in God’s foot steps to the healing and goodness that he has to offer us.Freedom, is there such a thing? I would have to say, yes, there is a freedom. Freedom of inner peace within myself. I originally signed up for only the Men's Texting Connect Group but my better half, signed us up for the Spring Freedom Connect Group. I was not sure what we had gotten ourselves into but as it turns out, Freedom was a great piece of mind.

One of the scriptures that stuck with me was Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I have resisted God's work for a very long time as part of the devils plan without my knowledge or acceptance. Since attending the Dwelling, things have changed in my life drastically and for the better. Then the Freedom Connect group helped me open up to myself, the group, the church, and to God. I cannot continue to deny my life without devoting my life to God and his will. The Freedom group and the conference helped me forgive all that has wronged me and to release me from my personal shame. All the horrible things that a person could have go wrong with them, I could say I was about that a perfect expectation of wrong looks like. 

Since my reconnection with God and believing that Jesus is my savior and healer. I have been able to battle through my abandonment issues from both my mother and my ex-wife and kids, my sodomization and rape from unknown person when I was a young boy, adultery and my addictions to the flesh and the hurt, pain, and suffering I have caused others. God in his own time and way has brought me closer to my wife and family through everything life has thrown at us through me. Walking with patience and seeking his guidance, I was directed to a job opportunity after being without for three long months. My financial obligations are slowly getting back under control. My faith in the lords work has directed my life towards the exit of the valley in which I have been trapped in for a long time. Forgiving myself and my enemies have helped relieve the stressors in my life. Trusting in God and his will is the best decision I have made for me, and my family. I encourage you and anyone else to trust and walk with God, for he is a good father and will steer up back on the path you were meant to be on.
Romans 12:17-21 says, “I do not repay evil for evil. I am careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on me, I will live at peace with everyone. I will not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath, because God has promised he will handle it. On the contrary: If my enemy is hungry, I will feed him; if he is thirsty, I will give him something to drink. I will not be overcome by evil, but I will overcome evil with good.” 

In order to live up to those words, one must show courage and the strength to believe God is good and to follow in God’s footsteps to the healing and goodness that he has to offer us. There is greatness in my future. I surrendered my life to him, and look what he has done for me!” - Freedom Attendee

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Financial Provision for Surgery

“This latest testimony is like so many others in my life. Serving people is something important in my daily life. I recently helped a friend with a gift card meal to help during her recovery. The card seemed to not going through on the website, so I processed another one. Then I realized there was two charges when I called company. I thought this wonderful lady could use the extra help, so I just left the second one and prayed that recovery would be easier with this extra help.

The next day I was talking to my mother about my husband’s upcoming dental surgery being pricey and painful! She offered right away to send us enough money to help with the surgery. I never asked for the money. She also loves to help, especially her children!

My husband came to me today and said we were blessed because we paid it forward. This all happened by listening to that small voice that loves to touch each of us.” - Geory

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Gunter Akridge
The day I died to myself

“My whole life, I've known Jesus. He's been walking with me since I can remember. I remember feeling his tangible presence at a young age and church life was my childhood. As a teen going into my young adult years, my life strayed so far and so quick that I lost control. Life started becoming really hard to process and depression and anxiety settled in. It was very hard for me to talk about it and ultimately it got the best of me. Years passed and my first 2 children were born. Life happened, and I realized it was no longer about me. My two kids deserved more. I knew I couldn't physically and mentally do it without Jesus carrying me. So, I came to church, a mess and with two babies. During a worship song, I remember vividly God's arms around me telling me to let go and trust. In that moment it was full surrender.

I've held on to Jesus really tight since then because life hasn't been smooth sailing. But the Glory experienced, the security, goodness, and peace that has been released saved my life. The day I died to myself, God made Himself alive in me. I will forever be grateful for the Church for helping me make my way back home.” - Daisy

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Gunter Akridge
Freedom and Purpose

“I moved to Savannah a little over a year ago and for the longest time, I struggled with feeling settled here. It wasn’t until going through the FREEDOM Connect Group and conference that the Lord began opening my eyes to his reason for bringing me here. He also showed me what was distracting me from seeing my purpose were little lies which robbed me of my fullest potential in Christ. In Ephesians, Paul says to put on the shoes of readiness by the gospel of peace. The peace that was won from releasing all the leaches from the past is how I can be the most effective for his kingdom. To God be the glory!” - Jacob

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Wrist Healed

“As a believer of God, there aren't too many things that blow my mind. However, my mind is blown. 

Yesterday afternoon, my son wanted to get some batting practice in. While Shane was getting machine set up, I pitched to him to warm him up. Anyone who has ever watched him play ball knows he can slam that ball. I was comfortable pitching to him because he normally hits straight down 1st base line. Of course, he hits line drives every pitch. The first two, I was able to just duck as they weren't that hard hit due to him warming up. However, the 3rd line drive came hard and fast straight at my face. I instinctively put my arm up to protect my face and when I did, the ball hit my wrist bone on the side my pinky is on. The ball hit so hard on that bone that it busted the skin open over that bone. My wrist, pinky finger and ring finger immediately swelled. My hand and entire wrist immediately bruised. I knew it was either fractured or broken but also knew there was zero point in me going to urgent care or ER just to be told to see ortho. My husband finally got my rings off of my swollen fingers, we iced it and I decided to just hold my arm up (it throbbed all of the way through my fingers when I put it down) until morning when I would call and make an appointment to have it seen......but GOD!

As we said our nightly prayers, my husband and my sons prayed for healing over my wrist. I woke up this morning, reached for my phone to make an appointment and notify my office I wouldn't be in this morning. As I was googling the phone number to my doctor, I realized I was holding the phone and typing with my left hand and IT DIDN'T HURT!! I turned the light on and there was no bruising, no swelling and ZERO pain. The only evidence of my getting hit with a line drive is a little cut over my wrist bone.” - Amanda

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Obedience and Financial Miracles

“In 2017 we were struggling financially due to the extremely high cost of living in Pennsylvania. With three kids it was just overwhelming. After doing some Bible study I decided to completely commit to doing God’s word, which included tithing our first fruits. I told my wife, who immediately thought I was crazy, but she agreed to do it.

The following Sunday we tithed for the first time. At the time we were paying for groceries and diapers with credit cards which were almost maxed out. Without expecting anything we just faithfully tithed as God commanded.

Two weeks later the blessings started miraculously falling down from Heaven like rain! My wife had a car which at some point had a late or missed payment which had snowballed into $750 of late fees. After attempting to negotiate the late fees numerous times, she tried again. This time the debt was forgiven along with all the late fees!

I had a credit card which had a $10,000 balance and I was making no headway on it. Without a single phone call or anything on my part, I woke up one morning to find that the bank had suddenly forgiven over $4,600 in debt with no explanation! It could only be attributed to God’s mercy.

Next, we were so surprised when we received a $4,100 return on our taxes, which allowed us to pay off some of the credit card debt.

Finally, I had several oil and gas wells on some property in Louisiana which had not produced in years. On March 1, 2018, they started producing, and we received a check for $1,500, and they continue to produce to this day. To God be the glory!” - Shane

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Gunter Akridge
Cancer Free

“He knew that if we came to The Dwelling, there would be a safe place to go through that experience with people who loved us and prayed for us…”

Gunter Akridge
Baptism Story

“I was baptized as an infant, and that was a beautiful way for my parents and church to dedicate me to Christ. Getting baptized again as an adult was my own public profession of faith and was driven by the fact that I’m on fire for Jesus. Jesus wants relationship, and my baptism was symbolic of the relationship I choose to be in!” - Alex

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A welcoming house

"I am so grateful for our church! There are people that I’ve never felt comfortable inviting to church before, for fear of how they’d be treated at the door, or of how they’d perceive or enjoy the service. That's not a good excuse, but those were my hesitations. I’m now confidently working my way down my list of people I’ve felt burdened to reach! I feel so much freedom to invite people because I know they’ll feel loved from the parking lot to their seat, and I know our team does everything we can to usher in the presence of God and I just can’t say enough how special that is!" - Ashley

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Gunter Akridge
Words of Knowledge

“Yesterday, it had to have been more than some coincidence, as I experienced my first “God Moment” since I made the decision to follow and devote my life to Him two weeks ago. This actually started earlier this week, when my friend encouraged me to go down to the front and receive prayer after confiding in him that I had a very stressful and draining week. I’ll be honest, I always believed this time of the service was more for show than actually praying for the people requesting prayer. However, I told him that I would consider it.

When you began listing things that God had laid on your heart, as well as The Dwelling Team, the first thing you said, was “back and neck pain.” I have scoliosis and have dealt with this kind of pain a lot recently, but it was the least of my worries. I was sitting in my seat, and said “Nice try, God. That’s not enough.” Later, you began listing names. I honestly started to phase out, but towards the end, you listed Jeffery followed by Linda, in order. Those are my parents’ names. Saturday night, I was up late praying to God, because I have been experiencing an immense case of homesickness, due to being away from home for the first time (my parents live several states away). I am very close to my parents, as I am an only child. I prayed very hard the night before for my parents and they were on my heart the majority of the service.

I immediately began tearing up and went down with my friend to pray. This was the first time I knowingly and willingly was okay with someone I barely knew praying for me.” - K.H.

A Place of His presence

“In the four Sundays that I have attended The Dwelling, this is how I would summarize The Dwelling:
The Dwelling creates a safe and welcoming space for others to make room and encounter God, in ways that seem unfathomable. It is a space of humility, hope, compassion, and kindness. It is a space of love, laughter, and hugs. It is a space of worship, teaching, praying, and growing. It is a space of support, accountability, and honesty. It is a space of healing, forgiveness, rest, and renewal. Most of all, it is a space that is illuminated by God’s presence and spirit from the moment you walk in.

The Dwelling church has vividly and radically changed my life. When I was first given the offer to come to The Dwelling, I was close to saying, "No", as I was exhausted of going through the motions and seeking but never finding God’s presence within the church. However, it was not long before I found Him in The Dwelling. I told my friend yesterday I have never experienced excitement to attend a church or would get butterflies when I thought about God. Church was never the highlight of my week. However, with The Dwelling, that is simply not the case. I think that's one of the best parts of my experience with The Dwelling. In addition, that hunger to learn and serve God, began to fill me too.

I would like to thank you and The Dwelling Team for creating an experience like this for other people. I am amazed to witness a church of individuals that create this environment for others to also encounter God, the way I have. Finally, thank you for demonstrating what it means to live your faith, rather than just to have faith. I have never seen a group of individuals do it so well, as I have with The Dwelling.” - Karlee

Family Turnaround

“I decided that I needed my life turned around and out of the turmoil. I have not been to a church since 1999. I stopped attending the many different variations when I was being judged for being me, for what I was wearing, and how I was as a person. My wife and I have had several hiccups in our marriage and it was time to take the leap of faith with my Father to lead not only myself but lead my family in the right direction. The Dwelling has opened my eyes better than any other place I have attended and it feels like a home away from home. I am still an introvert, but being a part of the Dwelling and attending the connect groups is helping me step out of my comfort zone a little more.” - Quinn

Optic Nerve Healed

“In May, I was told that the cause of my focal migraines (not the 2-3 milder seasonal migraines I get) was a misshapen optic nerve in my right eye. It was causing extreme pain. I was sent to a specialist and he said the optic nerve is like a donut and they like to see both openings about the same size and under a four. My left eye measured 3 and my right eye measured 6. Another specialist re-measured to make sure and she got 3 and 5.5. So they referred me to an optic nerve specialist. I went to church the following Sunday and several of you guys gathered around me and prayed. My husband and son have also been praying for me that I wouldn't have to take those glaucoma eyedrops for the rest of my life or have risky surgery. I went back for the follow up yesterday and she had to run the test twice because my right eye is down to a 3.5. Her words were, "I want to send you to the eye institute for two more tests because the optic nerve doesn't repair itself like that. I'm afraid I might have missed something.

And there you go!! Isn't that just like God!! And by the way, I haven't had a focal migraine since June!” - Kathi

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