Chris and Cynthia Pritchett Testimony
Chris and I have both believed in God for most of our lives. We even both made verbal commitments to Christ during our teenage years. However, as the years progressed, it became evident by our lifestyles that true conversions had not taken place. Thankfully, God sovereignly placed mentors in both of our lives who shared the gospel with us.
We each eventually experienced an irresistible pull by the Holy Spirit to fully submit our lives to Christ. God saved me during one of the darkest points in my life. It was when I realized that I was likely going to be raising my two baby boys alone.
When I met Chris, my boys were one and three. His children were five, seven, and nine. Less than two years later, God graciously answered my prayers when Chris and I were married. He provided me a godly husband and three beautiful step-children. He also provided my boys with a daddy. Although they don’t share the same DNA, anyone who knows my family would agree that he loves them and treats them as his own.
On December 5th, 2008, God sent us another blessing as we brought our baby girl into the world. We chose to name her Annaleigh, which is a combination of both of our middle names. A little over a year ago I started thinking about how we should have named her Grace, as she was certainly a demonstration of grace to our blended family. I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to look up the meaning of Annaleigh shortly thereafter, and learned that her name means Favored Grace...Only God could have done that one!
Eleven days from now, truly by the grace of God, Chris and I will celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary.
I have lived thirty-five years of my life in Athens, TN. I have been blessed to work for the same company for the last fourteen years. The position that I hold within the company has required me to travel to Knoxville most days out of the last eight years. In due time, the two year journey of moving to Knoxville took flight.
In 2013 Dr. Samuel Olsen, a dear friend of mine, invited me to the “Conviction to Lead” men’s conference, which was held here at Cornerstone. Not only did the speakers do a fabulous job at preaching God’s word and challenging me, but I was in awe and tears as I sang the carefully chosen words of the Sovereign Grace worship music for the first time.
In 2014, thoughts and discussions of moving to Knoxville turned into a prayerful matter of following God’s pull on us to step out in faith. Feeling confident that God was calling us to move, we began searching for our future church home this past fall. We visited three churches in Knoxville, including Cornerstone. We could not resist the urge to continue visiting this church.
Shortly before Christmas, we began meeting with a community group in Athens. We witnessed this mature group of believers be the hands and feet of Christ to one another. The realness of the fellowship lined up with what we experienced at Cornerstone every week.
In January, we put our home in Athens on the market and had an outstanding offer just two days later. We purchased a home in West Knoxville the same day that we closed on our home in Athens. Our home in Knoxville is less than ten minutes from church, which makes participating and serving in the church much easier.
The reasons to be thankful that God led us to this church are too many to discuss during this me, but we would like to name a few.
The members purposefully and consistently engage in conversation with us. Many of them have taken steps to sincerely get to know our family. Acknowledging that we are new to Knoxville, women have brought us meals, invited my children and I into their homes, and one has even provided childcare on very short notice. As a family, we have been welcomed to visit a new community group led by Ryan Mefford. We were amazed to see the spiritual maturity in this group as well. It is apparent that Cornerstone is full of people who sincerely desire to bring glory to the Lord.
The churches’ zeal to pray for and support other churches is enlightening. The time spent in worship captures the fact that we serve a sovereign God who showers us with grace and mercy. Last, but certainly not least, we are thankful for the pastors here. Several of them have also made sincere efforts to get to know our family. It is evident that they love God and that they love the people that make up this church. They humbly stand before us each Sunday, and purely present God’s word with such richness and passion that challenges and motivates us to live redeemed, righteous, and sanctified lives.