I first visited All Souls 12 years ago shortly after moving to Knoxville. I was interested in a church near downtown. I had some friends suggest I visit, and I read about All Souls on the internet as a downtown church. I was invited to a pot luck meal the first night I visited, and I sensed genuine hospitality that night. I felt God’s welcoming presence at the services which was comforting as I was moving into a new city and job. All Souls is unique in that it does not divide or segregate people into groups by age, gender, or marital status. I have enjoyed being involved with community groups and church teams with people who have different Christian backgrounds and are in various stages of their faith walk. It is easy to get involved with the All Souls community from the first times visiting, and the church body encourages new members to get engaged in the body right away.
I have appreciated All Souls helping to integrate my faith into my daily work and interests outside of the church and helping me to see Christ in all those around me, especially outside of the church walls. I work in the health care field in my neighborhood, and my walk with God and All Souls has helped me to become more patient and humble in my work and helped me to avoid burnout. I have been able to be a part of community small groups, Bible studies, a medical fund team, church hiking trips, a justice prayer team, and also time on the church leadership team called the Shepherding team. I live in a neighborhood near downtown, and being part of All Souls has helped me feel a part of that neighborhood.
Ten years ago with some other All Souls members, I began participating in a big brother type mentoring program called Amachi with a young man who lived in my neighborhood. I became friends with his extended family over time which has lead to many neighborhood connections. My little brother and I are still friends and talk regularly to support each. I think All Souls is a place to find Christian community and a group of believers who are willing to grow, support, and pray for each other through the struggles and joys of life.