Georgia pastors offer messages of hope, encouragement at Christmas Eve services


NEWNAN, Ga. — Christians crowded into churches across Georgia on Christmas Eve where they heard words of hope in a world that’s rife with turmoil.

Doug McCart, pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Newnan, preached to a congregation that has survived a series of tornadoes in recent years.

“We can’t save ourselves,” said McCart, who sheltered with his wife inside the church two years ago while a tornado ripped it to pieces around him. “We need a Savior.”

McCart heralded Jesus as the One without limitations.

"It's a funny thing how mothers think about their boys," he said. "Some mothers seem to think their boys could walk on water.  Mary’s boy could. And He did. Some mothers think their boys could do anything. Mary’s boy could. And he did."

Around the world, worshippers in need of the hope of Christ gathered for Christmas Eve services. Some were in war zones. Some were suffering through famines. Some were dealing with civil unrest. But whether in Ukraine or the U.S., church leaders said people have a common need for hope.

“Jesus cares for your well-being,” Pastor Rhys Stenner told his congregation at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville. “He knows all about your life. That thing you’re worried about during Christmas, does he know it? Of course, he does.”

At Midway Church in Villa Rica, Co-Pastor Kevin Rivers offered words of encouragement, telling members of his congregation that God is in control.

“He wants you to know that He loves you this Christmas,” Rivers said. “Jesus, the Prince of peace, He brings purpose, He brings peace to the pieces that we can’t sometimes make sense of.”

In north Georgia, Holly Creek Baptist Church Pastor Danny Cochran said it’s right for people to focus on Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem as long as they also consider His death at Calvary.

“The story of Jesus is much larger than a manger,” Cochran said. “My hope is not in Democrats or Republicans. It’s not in Washington. It’s not in the United Nations. My hope for the future is in the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

In southeast Georgia, Benjamin Smith, senior pastor at Central Baptist Church in Waycross, encouraged his congregation to trust in God.

“Even in the context of brokenness all around us, those of us who know Jesus should have, must have, ought to have, a vision, a perspective of hope, because of what God has done and what God is going to do,” he said.