Since its founding as “Oak Leaf Church” in 2005, Crosspoint City Church has grown to become one the largest and most well-known evangelical churches in Northwest Georgia. During its initial service, 280 people gathered at the Cartersville location of Carmike cinemas. Crosspoint now owns its own facility, the former site of the Cartersville Church of God, where hundreds attend each Sunday. From that main campus, CrossPoint has expanded its footprint by opening satellite campuses in Adairsville and Rome. Its website lists over thirty staff members serving across its various locations. It continues to grow. Some would credit God for such rapid growth. Others would credit advertising, branding, and crowds of people hungry for a church experience much different from that of their youths.
In 2005, Cartersville was not short of evangelical churches. There were then, as there are now, roughly 30 member churches in the local Baptist association. Nevertheless Michael Lukaszewski founded Oak Leaf Church. He was, at the time, associated with the West Ridge School of Church planting out of nearby Dallas, Georgia. In order to grow Oak Leaf, Lukaszewski set about to create and promote the Oak Leaf brand. According to a blog article Lukaszewski wrote about the importance of branding, “The name didn’t have any significant meaning – it was actually inspired by the name of a subdivision in another state. But I had the domain and it sounded different from all the other churches. I personally created the logo and later hired a friend to redo it. The red leaf was easy to recognize and we used that mark everywhere.”
Another way Oak Leaf tried to be different than other local churches was through its salacious advertising. Oak Bridge was well-known during its early days for sending out direct mail advertissments promoting messages about sex, the type of talk which was taboo at other churches. If his sermons about sex were indeed biblical, Lukaszewski didn’t heed them. After a two-year affair with his secretary was exposed to the public, Lukaszewski was out and his brand was ruined. Oak Leaf was rebranded, taken over, and turned into a campus of West Ridge Church. Eventually, West Ridge installed James Griffin as the Cartersville campus pastor. From there, the church was again rebranded and relaunched as Crosspoint City Church.
While the name and branding have changed, the philosophy remains the same. Crosspoint intentionally differentiates itself from the other churches in Cartersville, some of which are over 100 years old. Unlike other local churches, Crosspoint does not have voting membership. In other words, members of what the church refers to as the “church family” have no official say in the operations of the church. Any “voting” must be done with the feet or with the pocketbook. Attendees are attracted and bound not by covenant but presentation and atmosphere.
A variety of theatrical lighting techniques are used during the playing of popular Christian radio songs (by bands such as Bethel, Elevation, and Hillsong).
For each new sermon series, a new lighted set is designed and installed on the preaching platform.
There is even a coffee bar with baristas serving up coffee-house-style beverages. Dress is not only casual among the congregation but the preachers as well. Crosspoint sets itself apart by being attractional to adults and kids alike. It is perhaps best described by one of its former staff pastors, Tim Samples, who called Crosspoint a “marketing machine”. It’s not a slogan you’ll find plastered on the website but “Crosspoint City: Not the church your mom and dad made you go to” pretty much sums it up.
I submit to you that the ethos, model, and message of Crosspoint City Church does not line up with the the biblical standard. If you are willing to listen, I can demonstrate to you that Crosspoint ’s Sunday messages are intended more to manipulate you than sharpen you. I do not believe its current pastor, James Griffin, is fit to shepherd a local flock of Christ’s people. We can tell by his preaching. Included on this webpage is an ongoing episode series from my podcast, The Christian Commute, in which I provide a thorough review of an entire sermon series preached by James Griffin at Crosspoint City Church. The name of the series is “For Us” and it can be found on the Crosspoint website.
If you yourself attend Crosspoint or have friends and family who do, please listen to these reviews with an open mind. The spritual life of you and your family is at stake. What could he more important? As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and someone who has lived in Cartersville for over two decades, my heart is truly troubled by the expansive growth of Crosspoint. If, after listing to the sermon reviews below, you’d like to talk to me more about Crosspoint City Church, please reach out to me at [email protected]. If you’re local to Cartersville, I would love to meet you for lunch and discuss “Why Crosspoint ” with you.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.