Refuge center, pastor are proof that hope grows


Look around Williamson County and it’s hard not to notice it. One beautiful house after another. Immaculate properties. Perfect lives.

Follow the Joneses? It’s more like following the Kardashians.

Until you take a closer look.

And if you dare to take a closer look – as Amy Alexander and Jamie George did – you will most likely find what they saw almost 10 years ago, when, completely independent and totally oblivious to one of the ‘other, they decided to help people. suffer in silence.

Alexander, on the premise that living in great prosperity can have its drawbacks, co-founded a nonprofit organization in December 2005. George, who worked as an adjunct professor with a knack for dealing with teenagers, had moved to Franklin. and started a church a month earlier, with 14 people gathered in her living room.

While their missions are pretty much the same, Thursday night in The Factory at Franklin, their paths will officially cross. The Refuge Center for Counseling, Alexander’s fledgling healing center now serving approximately 2,000 clients, will present George, whose living room church is now the 1,200-person Journey Church, with the Hope Award.

“First of all, I am honored. It is a gracious gesture,” said George, senior pastor of the church. “But I just represent hundreds of others, a community of people around me. I am inspired by people and I believe that every story is marked by redemption. God has applied his grace to mankind. God redeems our failures. Over time, this thing that was bad may finally help us. “

While serving such a bountifully blessed region, the center and the church have experienced much heartbreak and despair.

“People come to the Refuge Center with a whole range of issues,” said Emily Carroll, director of development for the center. “We do a lot of trauma work for survivors of abuse. People are hurting, struggling and suffering, looking for hope. Having someone walk with you can be life changing, even life saving.”

Surviving as a nonprofit requires outside funding, and Thursday’s event, an annual fundraising dinner, seeks to accomplish much of that.

“With a silent auction, special entertainment and an awards show, Hope Grows is sure to be an amazing night,” said Alexander. “We anticipate the night to be a celebration of joy, happiness, and light. These are the true byproducts of hope and healing that take place at the Refuge Center.”

Carroll says that because George’s message of redemption is so aligned with the centre’s vision to recognize and encourage honesty and vulnerability, he was a natural fit for the price.

“Journey has been an incredible partner,” she said. “They gave a lot of volunteer hours.

Jamie George, founder and senior pastor of Journey Church, will be honored Thursday for his efforts to help heal and support people facing a wide range of personal crises.

George says that while he didn’t intend to be different, he recognizes that there is something special.

“Journey is made up of people whose lives are shattered, who feel stuck and need help,” he said. “Our hope is to have conversations about the whole person, not just about beliefs. We listen to the teachings of Jesus and follow to the best of our ability. We don’t focus on abstract doctrine.… We try to stretch the line. hand of grace rather than the hammer of righteousness. “

While this is a story of hope, there is a bit of irony that is hard to miss.

The church, which has had various meeting places in the past, has its Sunday services in Liberty Hall inside The Factory. Plus, it’s no secret that many of those who attend church are creative types – musicians, artists, etc.

The Factory, meanwhile, has changed owners and is gradually becoming a more art-centric place. To some, this may seem like an ideal scenario. To the others, well …

“The new owner has made it clear that we are not adjusting. He has not made the connection,” said George, who was told they had to be away by April.

But even though he realizes that his church could end up homeless, he knows they will never be hopeless.

The event is Thursday

Hope Grows, a fundraising dinner supporting the Refuge Center for Counseling, is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Factory Building 8 in Franklin at 230 Franklin Road. The event will feature renowned motivational and inspirational speaker Ken Davis.

Tickets cost $ 75 per person or $ 125 per couple. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About the church

Jamie George is the founder and senior pastor of Journey Church, which has services at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays inside Liberty Hall at The Factory in Franklin.

To learn more about the church’s mission, leadership, and offerings, visit

About the center

The Franklin-based Refuge Center seeks to provide professional and affordable counseling services to empower, educate and support those in need. It has a sliding scale fee structure that ranges from $ 15 to $ 90 per session, depending on an individual’s income level.

The center has 12 therapists, two advanced psychiatric nurses and several master’s and post-master’s level trainees. Each counselor has a different focus area, including domestic violence, adolescent behavior issues, substance abuse, grief and loss counseling, and family counseling.

To learn more, visit


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