Jeff Owens, founding pastor of MountainView Church, with his son Michael at the U.S. Naval Academy.

New church has new era

  • I’ve been told many times that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I’ve seen it myself too many times to count. The last 10-plus years, to be exact.
    It was more than 11 years ago that Marie Speigel of Culberson helped entice a young pastor from central Florida to uproot his family and move to the mountains to start a new church, one unlike any other in the tri-state area. Jeff Owens obeyed the call, and MountainView Community Church was born, at first meeting in the Murphy Middle School gymnasium before moving to the basement of the Mountain Vista Inn, and eventually our campus in Peachtree.
    That’s where I came in. Because less than a year later, Marie enticed me to talk with Owens and see if I would be a good fit for the new church’s contemporary Christian music ministry. More than a decade later, I’m still behind the drums, happy to set the beat of worship every Sunday. But Owens’ time with us has passed.
    It’s always difficult to see your preacher accept the call to another congregation, especially when he’s the church’s founding pastor. But for people of faith, it’s just another time for God to reveal His good work. We trusted Him before there even was a MountainView, and we’re not about to stop trusting Him now.
    The community also will miss Owens; his lovely wife, Donna, a former teacher of the year in Union County (Ga.) Schools; and their three boys, all who have outstanding character. Under his guidance, the church was active at local festivals, with our band Effigy often performing. We sponsored a live Nativity for several years, and adults and students alike have taken annual mission trips.
    We actually had the audacity to hold Sunday morning services at KOA Peace Valley Campground in Marble a few times a year, followed by lunch and baptisms in the Valley River. It’s been a fun ride, and I’ve been blessed to be a part of it.
    As the Owens family rides out into the sunset, a new church family in Tennessee will welcome them at sunrise. But they will always be a part of MountainView, and the local church will always be a part of their ministry as well. Their impact here will be felt for generations.