Over the eleven years I’ve been at Cumberland, we’ve learned so much. We’ve learned how to help people without hurting people. We’ve learned how to dig deep and serve our community in genuine, roll-up-your-sleeves ways. Becoming the hands and feet of Jesus is a real deal at Cumberland. We’ve served significantly with some 27 F.I.A. Sundays—where we didn’t just go to church, but we WERE the church. Campbell High School, Osborne High School, Campbell Middle School, Argyle, Brumby, Belmont Hills, LaBelle, and Norton Park Elementary schools are all recipients of our massive labors of love. Our serving has prompted us to construct ways to serve even more. Our dynamic Collective ministry is the fruit of such Kingdom promptings.
During my tenure at Cumberland, we’ve stayed doggedly focused on the Gospel. This has affected us in untold ways. We’ve trekked through books of the Bible, and this has marked us.
We’ve kept a strong culture of community of relationships within our walls of Cumberland. Our dependency upon each other is core DNA.
God has enabled us to value kids and teens and prayer and worship and global mission.
All of these reasons, and the years it’s taken us to begin grasping such lofty ideas, are why we must go. We are compelled not to only go 3 miles west, but to go into all of Cobb County with the power of the Gospel and the vision of how God is directing us to do church.
Jesus has always directed his followers to go. For Cumberland, Jesus has been gracious enough to prepare us in specific ways, and now we are simply being obedient. Such obedience is never easy, but the impact is always large. Jesus will be able to do immeasurably more than we are asking or imagining—according to his Spirit at work within us, and as we move and go for the fame of Jesus and the glory of His Church.
Simply put, our dinner table is being reimagined. We hope for a lavish feast for all who are messy and broken. The food will be nourishing. We’ll set up many tables to accommodate all who will come. People who once filled their hungry souls with unsatisfying food will find Gospel sustenance, bread that gives life, and the joy of aged Kingdom wine. May it be so.
The leadership of Cumberland is taking every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible. While this effort is on the forefront of our prayers, change is often difficult. Many have grown to love the current location of Cumberland, or even the aesthetics of the building. But God calls us to go.
As time progresses and we get closer to our move, we may have to pivot and things adjust according to the space in which we are moving. However, please know that the core values and vision are intended to remain intact.
Will you have to give up your favorite seat in the auditorium or the comfort of knowing the building like the back of your hand? Sure, this is inevitable. Still, God calls us to go. Its in most of our nature to resist change, but we know that change is always easier when we believe in why we are going. Why we are going puts our comfort in perspective. We ask you to join us in prayer that God would use this move as a way to Glorify himself through our obedience.
Many possibilities for Cumberland’s future have been on the table and prayed over for several years. This is not a quick and short-sighted decision. Should we stay and continue on with no change? Should we double-down on the current property and expand our ministry here? Should we move to a more affluent area of town?
As the Elders, Pastor Alan, and the Executive Leadership Team looked at and prayed through the many possibilities, they have stepped forward in the current direction. If/as new developments unfold, Cumberland likely will have to adjust accordingly. There is no set direction that we are heading in.
As God gives the Elders and Executive Leadership Team wisdom and faith to step forward, we must step forward in trust that the Living God is guiding us.
Cumberland will continue to honor the request of the purchaser of our current location that we do not disclose 1) who the purchaser is and 2) the purchase price until after
the sale is completed.
Due to the proximity to the Atlanta Braves, and because of the size of the property, Cumberland will be in a healthy financial position.
Debt: Cumberland’s current debt is approximately $1.8 million. With up to 6 months of operating cost in reserves, and when the property does close, it is projected that Cumberland will be able to purchase the new location and renovate without taking on more debt.
Purchase: Cumberland is acquiring the property on the corner of Church Rd/South Cobb Drive for its new home.
Renovation: Until all architectural results come in on the purchasing property, we can not say for certain what the projected cost of renovation will be. However, initial findings from the architects show the current structures on the property are all structurally in “good shape.” Most projected renovations will be room sizes & locations, making the property ADA compliant, and cosmetic.
First, and foremost, the Elders of Cumberland prayed through the will
of God for his church. After the Elders came to the decision to move, the following contributed to the council:
Executive Leadership Team: Ministry Directors make up this team, and they bring to the table the conversation on how this affects ministry. Beyond day-to-day operations, the Leadership Team looks at long-term vision for each of the departments, use and needs of future space, strategy and timelines, etc. The Leadership Team is most concerned with how this will propel or hinder effective ministry.
Transition Team: Led by Executive Director Fitz Johnson, this team is comprised of a well-represented slice of Cumberland. This incredibly diverse team of lay-leaders bring perspective from the congregation to the table. They are charged with examining all the ways in which this transition will affect them (the congregation) and give council of how to proceed as it pertains to the congregation.
Real Estate Agents and Legal Council: Beyond ministry effectiveness and affect on congregation, Cumberland is receiving council from the real estate agents and attorneys. They provide council on business decisions, contract negotiation, and zoning.