I came to Encounter Church about 2 years ago, broken, scared, and did not know my purpose in life. I joined 2 small groups my first year. The more I studied, the more I felt stuck in a fog, confused, angry, and frustrated. The enemy attacked me daily. 

In small groups, I learn to recognize the devil's voice and how to shut him down. Many times, I came close to giving up but heard Pastor Phillip say, “The answers are in the book.” I felt inadequate and could not understand the verses or find the different books of the Bible.

That day I made the best decision of my life. I decided to fight the devil, but knew I couldn’t do it alone. Sundays are great, but I needed more, so I joined several small groups. The groups are tremendous gifts! I could relate to the words of a song "I don't know what love is but I know what it's not.” However, now I know God loves me so much that he crucified his only son to free me from all my sins. God sent wonderful fellowship with people that love and support me.

I learned God picked me and my life even before I was born. All the pain and disappointments my life carried were all to prepare for my purpose. I am no longer a victim. I am a good person, full of love, understanding, empathy, ready to serve God and others.

In our small groups, I could study Bible verses and adapt them to my life. I am accepted, safe to share, and comfortable knowing all the feedback and directives from my new friends are from God's teachings.

The other day a friend asked me how I could be so accepting. Things are still pretty challenging in my life. I don't have to control this life, in fact, I can't because God has it. He knows the plan. I need to let it unfold. My small group helps me by letting me know honestly when I try to revise God's plan.

If I can claim a purpose for my life today it would be to share the importance and miracles of small groups and their gift of fellowship, freedom, peace, acceptance, and lots and lots of love. All we must do is ask and step out of our comfort zone and receive the gift.   

(Janice is the one in yellow and black!)

lee & Fran

Small Groups intimidated me. I struggle with being able to quote scripture when I felt the need to. You know what; I did not memorize a bunch of scripture and I found the groups are not intimidating at all. I could not wait to get to my group.

They helped me learn how to recognize the devil's attack and grow as a Christian. Not only that, but my whole family has also grown. I love my new Christian Family. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says. We are pressed on every side, but we still have room to move (Grow). We are often in much trouble, but we never give up. People make it hard for us. But we are not left alone. We are knocked down, but we will never be destroyed.

Join A Small Group and you will never be alone. JESUS and my Small-Group families are always there for us.

Lee Lewis


I came to Encounter Church about 3 years ago broken, shattered, and a hopeless mess. At first, I wondered if there was hope for a person like me, but I kept coming back. I had nothing to lose. Chains began to break, and scales fell! Weeks turned into months, then I decided to try my first Small Group! At first, I went alone—but as time went by, my husband joined me. Our first group together was the FREEDOM group. What a start!

Covid hit yet we continued our groups through Zoom! What a change they brought to my life! This past semester, I was pushed out of my nest, wings flapping, and challenged to host my own Small Group! I have loved every moment! Long story short—my life was forever changed the day I walked into ENCOUNTER Church! JESUS brought me home!

Some of the blessings of Small Groups are wonderful and amazing fellowship, love shared all around, connection-intimate relationships, and family! Church is wonderful but Small Groups make the experience more meaningful! Strong friendships formed and even though the semester has ended, we still keep in touch.

BTW, I’m no longer a heartbroken mess! Jesus and my church family have forever changed my life! I found Life, Love, and Purpose in Small Groups! See you in group! I promise you will not be disappointed!

Fran Lewis