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Robert McKinney


My parents adopted me when I was one day old, and took me to church soon thereafter. The joke around my church was that baby Robert was passed around the service more than the offering plate. My church was small, but it was filled with men and women who truly loved Jesus and invested deeply in me. My parents are both believers who did their best to teach me the gospel and make church a priority in our family's life. I can hardly remember a month when we weren't in church three times a week. We spent a lot of time at church, and this came at a cost—yet, I have no regrets. Jesus saved me at 8 years old in Midway Baptist Church in Pickens, SC during vacation bible school. Our lesson that day was John 13, the story of Jesus washing the disciple's feet. My teacher decided to wash all of our feet that day to illustrate the great sacrifice Jesus makes to wash us clean of sin. I was later baptized in the same church.

My formative years were spent sitting under the teaching of men and women who worked as mechanics, teachers, stay at home moms and utility workers. They cared deeply for me and worked hard to teach me the bible. Their faithfulness laid the groundwork of salvation and my eventual calling to ministry. These men and women prepared me well for the opportunity to sit under some incredible biblical scholars at NGU and later at The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The gospel I had learned as a child took on a new meaning for me when I started college at North Greenville University. At NGU I was introduced to the idea that the Bible is one story, often referred to as the “grand narrative.” This idea fundamentally changed my understanding of the gospel and God's work in the world. I look back on it as a seminal moment in my life as a follower of Jesus. Later at SEBTS, I saw firsthand what a healthy church looks like. God’s people can accomplish incredible things in the world when the Bible's teachings about the church are taken seriously. 

I have been at CFNW since the beginning. Not long after graduating seminary, God made it clear to my wife, Julie, and I that he was calling us back to SC to plant a church. In 2013, we were connected with what is now Christ Fellowship Cherrydale to complete a 2-year residency program that would culminate in being sent to plant a church in the Blue Ridge area. Since being sent out,think I have served in almost every position we have with the exception of the band. You should thank God for this. Currently, I am the teaching pastor and oversee member care and guest services. My family and I attend the Webster Missional Community and love those men and women like family. Christ Fellowship has served us in more ways that the word count will allow. This body has given me my first shot at pastoring, a sacrifice for which I'm convinced they all deserve a crown in heaven. They have put up with my preaching, sacrificed to support my family financially, invested in my boys, and humbly followed my and the other pastor's leadership. For those things and so much more, I am forever grateful.

Robert McKinney
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