The Awaken Story

Awakening people far from Christ to new life in Christ.

The name “Awaken” comes from a verse that God gave to Pastor Kevin on a return trip from Clarksville, years before Awaken Church was born.

“ it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” - Romans 13:11


In the summer of 2009, a team of five (Pastor Kevin and his wife, Jenn, Pastor Nate and his wife, Jenn, and a friend, Denver) uprooted their lives from Albuquerque, NM, to plant Awaken Church. They began with some simple park outreaches with the goal of going to the people of Clarksville to serve. Those outreaches grew into a 6-week home Bible study, and eventually led them to Riverside Center. The team had been in Clarksville for less than 3 months when Awaken opened its doors on September 19, 2009, and one person accepted Christ on the very first night!

Awaken continued to meet for the next 7 months, but growth was slow. Between raising kids, balancing multiple jobs, and working hard to grow a church from nothing, the team was tired and stretched thin. Progress seemed slow and sometimes non-existent.  One Wednesday night, Pastor Kevin taught to a group of only a few women.

The church grew to about 25 adults in the first 8 months when a rainstorm hit in May 2010. 144 businesses on Riverside Drive were destroyed from flooding from that storm. Awaken was one of them. Wading through knee-deep muddy river water, Pastor Kevin salvaged speakers, a soundboard, and a few other miscellaneous objects. After the flood, Awaken owned less than when the moving trucks had first rolled into Clarksville.


Although the flood was devastating, God used it to provide for the church in unexpected ways. From coast to coast and from around the world, donations poured in to help Awaken rebuild. For two months, Awaken held church services in a downtown bank as people joined together to repaint, rebuild, and relaunch. On Sunday, July 11, 2010, Awaken Church became one of the first Riverside businesses to reopen. Nashville Channel 4 news came to do a story on the reopening, and the church began to rapidly grow.

Busting at the Seams

Only three months later, near the church’s first birthday, Awaken outgrew its newly renovated building. Since the flood had wiped out the entire shopping center, many businesses had relocated, leaving much of Riverside Center vacant and ready to be rebuilt. The landlord agreed to allow Awaken to customize the space, and even paid for the renovation!

On Christmas Eve 2010, Awaken opened a brand new building with a max-capacity crowd!

As the church continued to grow, Awaken Groups was born with the intent to keep the church connected through community.  Spiritual growth occurred within Awaken Groups and numerical growth continued as well. After six months in the new building, Awaken added a second Sunday service. Seven months later, in February 2012, Awaken added a third service. Just over a year later, while maxing out three Sunday services, Awaken added a Saturday night service.

Even with additional services, continued growth quickly created challenges where space was concerned. For months, the Awaken staff prayed that God would provide more space for growth. Provide He did--right next door in Riverside Center!

In November 2013, renovations began on the Kids Corner and Awaken’s South Venue. Opening the South Venue created a way to go back to two Sunday services while doubling the seating capacity at each.

The church was growing; people were being awakened to new life in Christ; and lives were being changed!

We Never Stop

One thing you’ll hear often at Awaken is “We Never Stop.” If Jesus hasn’t returned and our lungs still have breath in them, we refuse to sit back, slow down, or give up. We will keep going until every person has heard about Jesus.

Through outreach events like Good Friday, Easter, and The Uprising, Awaken has seen hundreds of people commit their lives to following Jesus.

In addition to Sunday services and outreach events, Awaken has also partnered with organizations both locally and globally, giving away tens of thousands of dollars. Over the years, Awaken has partnered with Hope Pregnancy Center, Manna Cafe, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Restoring the Warrior’s Heart, XXXchurch, Faith Comes By Hearing, Samaritan’s Purse, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, as well as other churches and church plants.

Only 6 years into ministry, Awaken celebrated 500 decisions for Christ, a global reach through online streaming, and the launch of Together We Build, our heart to renovate and expand, enabling us to reach hundreds more people with the Gospel!

It’s been an amazing journey, but we’re just getting warmed up!