The congregation at Grace Presbyterian celebrated Sunday as the newest church in the Cherokee Presbytery.
“It’s a very meaningful day in the life of a Presbyterian Church,” said member Gary Pichon.
Sunday’s service marked more than five years of preparations to become the first Presbyterian Church in Dawson County.
“In all but name we’ve been a church for five years,” Pichon said.
The charter now means the church can take part in the governance of other churches in the Cherokee Presbytery.
What started as a local Bible study group talking about a need for a Presbyterian Church in Dawsonville has now grown to a congregation of more than 100 members.
In the last few years, the church has been active in the community with contributions such as a free clinic for those without health insurance and a soup kitchen that provides a free meal twice a week.
Jay Sessions, a church elder, said the growth and service to the community are a direct result of the kind and compassionate leadership demonstrated by founding pastor the Rev. Dr. Mark Weaver.
Weaver passed away earlier this year, but his flock knew he was with them in spirit.
“The constitution of Grace was Mark’s vision and dream. We would have never been able to achieve this without his leadership and service to our church and community,” he said.