My Story

My story is still being written, but the journey that is most significant to write about is the one that led my husband and me to pioneer a church in Charlotte, NC. It has been an amazing journey, and I am excited by what I see around the next corner and off on the horizon.

I grew up in an ungodly home as did my husband, despite what some outward appearances may have looked like. We are not the sort of pastors who have a lineage of ministry. In fact, we are both the first on either side of our families. God has used the pain and drama that we both experienced growing up to allow us to help other people. God has truly turned our mess into a message and our tests into a testimony. We had both seen so much that one thing we knew we wanted was an amazing marriage and family. I am proud to say that an even greater accomplishment than pastoring an amazing church, is the fact that my marriage flat our rocks and my kids are completely amazing. What I am most proud of is that I am madly in love with my husband and my children.

We started out in ministry serving in Richmond, Va. We led everything from youth ministry to the food pantry at our church. Pretty much any area you could think of we were involved in. With only a word from God we packed up in the spring of 2002 and made Charlotte our new home. We knew no one. We had no jobs. We had no money to start with. We had no church planting team. What we did have was a vision, and that vision was to equip people to experience Christ’s freedom in their everyday lives. Yes, to live FREE from whatever might hold them back.

Every Sunday I see that vision being fulfilled. Thousands have come to know Jesus through Freedom House’s short history and this is just the beginning. Since our launch service we have grown incredibly and added multiple worship services. Let me just say what really matters to me isn’t the number of people or services though, it’s the authenticity of those people and the relationships we share. Freedom House is a healthy and vibrant community.

Our new church building is opening and we are so excited about that. Our church sits on nearly 30 prime acres of land right off of the 485 beltway. Our offices are also located on that property as well. We completed those towards the end of 2008, just 3 years after we purchased the land. What a beautiful place it is! We are also working on other campuses and plan on launching them in the near future.

It has been amazing to watch God move. It has been totally Him. Nobody can take credit for the growth of our church or the lives that have been changed. It has been a God thing and it still blows me away each and every Sunday. Hopefully, this story will inspire you in some small way to dream big in God and watch Him bring those dreams to pass. Just hang on; it’s going to be a wild ride.


12 Responses to “My Story”

  1. Missing you in Richmond Va. You two are the Greatest, Glad to hear of the great work God is doing through you. I often think of you guys. I enjoyed being under your leadership.

  2. If I lived in North Carolina, I think I’d want to check out your church. Authenticity matters…it’s the foundation of all truth.

  3. I just had to check out your place! By the way, I have never met a stranger either, and I love people who are making a message out of their mess.

  4. I think God for freedom house I’ve been attending there for about a year now, and I simply love it. My husband,grand-daughter and my self moved here a little over two years now, we are sure that this was a God move, every thing has not come full circle to us yet but we do know that ministry is the reason for us being here, like yourself we have a burden for souls and helping people and wanting two see lives changed and turned around for Christ.I am so glad that God lead us to freedom house and we are so glad that you are our pastors even though we have not joined yet.We feel that we are all ready members.

  5. Thanks for being authentic, Penny – it’s refreshing. Thank you also for counting me as a friend.

  6. Talk about hitting the nail on the head…!!!! BIG THANKS for sharing YOUR story. I’ve realized a while ago that my own stories are not just for my benefit to grow stronger and more reliant upon God, but for the benefit of others. My brother had often told me that I have some serious testimonies that someone needs to hear to encourage them as a living witness of God’s goodness, mercy and power. Your sermon reinforced that and also reminded of the song by Commissioned, ‘Let me tell it’. We all have soooo very much to ‘tell’ about God’s deliverance in what seemed like insurmountable circumstances. For me personally……it’s just overwhelming. OH but I’m so glad and can never thank Him enough. U Dig..???

  7. Hey Penny! You have been on my heart lately. And, it’s funny because so many of your posts are what I need to hear right now! I hope that someday we can sit down and chat about our journeys. Maybe you are planning on going to the 20 year reunion at Midlo? Hope so. There’s some kind of God connection here – he keeps leading me to you. Not sure why.

  8. Tracey, I am not sure if I will be at the reunion or not. I am still deciding on that one! We shall see!

    Glad that we are connecting on heart levels, it is so important for ministry people to stand together!

    Hope all is well with you, girl!

    Please keep in touch!

  9. Hey Penny! My name is Ceirra Dillard the daughter of Amy and Steve Dillard. I have been coming to freedom house church for 7 months now and I love it!!! And I love your clothes and your high heels!!! Thanks for being a great woman in all you do and thanks for running this awesome church with your husband Troy!! I love you all!!!

  10. Make sure you come and say hello on Sunday! 🙂 A girl has gotta love her fashion! He he! Thank you for your heart! We love serving God in the way we do! xoxo

  11. Hey Penny!! It’s Ceirra Dillard! I just wanted to say it was great seeing you on Sunday! And have a wonderful Christmas! May the Lord bless you through it too!! Love you so much!

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