In 2007, Pastor Rodney felt God calling him to start a church. At the time he was on staff at Friendship Church in the Karns community where he had witnessed something incredible happen as a church with 19 people grew to nearly 200 in just a couple of years. Rodney, along with Friendship’s pastor Tim Addis, dreamed of one day seeing more churches like this in the Knoxville area – seeing churches where people far from God and far from the church could walk through the doors. From there, several other churches in the Knoxville area that shared this same vision joined together and began the process of planting this new church that Rodney would go on to pastor.
In 2008, the Powell community was identified as the location of where this church would start. Later that year the name “OneLife Church” was founded – with the idea that every one life could make a difference. In 2009, a launch team of 12 people was formed from the churches that were supporting this vision. And on September 13, 2009, OneLife Church began at Powell High School with 159 people in attendance.
In December of 2009, OneLife celebrated its first baptism service with 250 people in attendance. OneLife opened a second service in April of 2010 for its first Easter with over 350 people in attendance. And later that year in September, OneLife celebrated its one-year anniversary where 21 people were baptized and nearly 450 people attended the service!
Pastor Rodney would go on to meet Pastor Dan Grider, who was in the process of forming the Ignite Church Planting Network. Dan had pastored several churches over the last 25 years and had a passion for seeing new churches started. But more importantly than that, Dan’s bigger passion is seeing churches adopt a culture of making disciples like Jesus did. Dan and Rodney would go on to help OneLife identify this discipleship culture which would lay the foundation for not only the next wave of growth at OneLife, but for new church plants starting all over the country. Through this, OneLife would end up becoming the hub for the Ignite Church Network and within just a few years saw over 50 churches come to be a part of it and helped start 3 new churches in the Knoxville area.
In late 2011, OneLife would begin to see this next wave of growth and moved to the Jubilee Banquet Facility in Powell where within just 6 months nearly 650 people came and experienced its first Easter services there. In early 2012, OneLife was running out of room at the Jubilee facility and identified that nearly 100 people were coming from the Halls and Fountain City communities to attend church. So in August of 2012, OneLife opened its second location in a permanent facility in the Halls community. This allowed for more room at the Jubilee facility in Powell but also opened the doors for a whole new part of Knoxville to be a part of. The Halls campus quickly grew to nearly 200 people and on Easter of 2013 opened a second service.
In September of 2013, OneLife celebrated its 4-year anniversary and 200th service at the World’s Fair Park Amphitheater. During the service, Pastor Rodney announced that OneLife was in the process of pursuing a permanent facility for the Powell location. This began a 3-year vision campaign called Waking The Giant, where OneLife would raise $700,000 to renovate the old Food City building in Powell as well as expanding its Halls facility. In April of 2014 OneLife opened the new Powell facility and re-opened the Halls facility with nearly 1,100 people in attendance for the Easter services!
In 2016, God began refining OneLife’s vision for Knoxville and Knox County. It was during this time that OneLife’s Ministry Leadership Team began work on a North, South, East, West approach to campuses around the city. OneLife’s Powell campus would be renamed to OneLife’s North campus, and OneLife’s Halls campus would move to East Knoxville in the old Just For Feet building right beside Knoxville Center Mall. This would also be the year that OneLife would start forming a launch team for a OneLife West campus.
It has been Pastor Rodney’s and OneLife’s prayer since the very beginning to see God do something so big that only HE could get the credit for it. And we believe we have seen just that! But we also believe that the best is still yet to come, and that only GOD will get the credit.