our story

We are a local community of Believers, part of the worldwide fellowship of those who have found eternal life in Jesus Christ. We accept God's Word as our all-sufficient rule for faith and life. We believe we're to enjoy life that is energized by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We believe that we are Christ's representatives in this fallen, broken world.




Christian Life had its beginnings in the 1930’s when several families began meeting in their homes. Soon this group of believers decided that a permanent place of worship was needed. Rev. Julius Rish was called to become pastor of this infant church. He served until 1938.


Rev. H. D. Ferrel succeeded Rev. Rish and under his ministry the church was well on its way to being established. A building program was begun and upon its completion, the small congregation adopted the name, Assembly of God Tabernacle. Rev. Ferrel served as pastor until 1941. Rev. V. L. Clark, whose ministry extended into 1945, succeeded Rev. Ferrel.


Beginning in 1945, Rev. J. C. Hunnicutt led the church for the next 31 years. He served in the honorary capacity of Pastor Emeritus until his death in 1992. While under his ministry, the congregation moved from the Olympia Mill area to facilities on Richland Street and adopted the name, First Assembly of God.


When Rev. Hunnicutt stepped down from his Senior Pastor position in 1976, Rev. Steven R. Brown stepped in. Rev. Brown served as pastor until 1994 when he resigned to become Superintendent for the South Carolina District of the Assemblies of God.


In 1978, approximately twelve acres of land was purchased on Bush River Road in the Woodland Hills area and a new building program was initiated. On September 11, 1979, the name of this assembly was changed from First Assembly of God to Christian Life Assembly. In the spring of 1980, the congregation moved to the Bush River property to begin enjoying a new 14,000-sq. ft. sanctuary and educational facility.


In the fall of 1984, a major Capital Stewardship drive was launched with hopes of raising slightly over one million dollars to pay for these facilities. Approximately $750,000 was raised over and above regular offerings. The entire Administrative Education Complex was completed and paid for with more than three-fourths of the 18,000-sq. ft. Family Life Center being completed at its dedication in 1985.


In October 1994, Rev. J. Stephen Chitty became our lead pastor and a new era of growth began. Under Pastor Stephen’s capable direction, the main sanctuary was expanded. The continued growth necessitated going to three worship services. On May 23, 2004, the church family gathered for a Celebration Sunday to kick off our Building To Touch Lives Campaign. Construction on a new auditorium and support facilities was begun in May 2005. In September 2006, we moved into our new worship facility.


Under the leadership of the pastoral staff, all areas of church ministry have experienced growth and development. Our services are marked by dynamic worship and relevant teaching. Union Youth and Young Adult ministry is a diverse blend of activity, meaningful messages, and tremendous worship. KIDZ Life is designed for the 21st century to equip children in their worship, relationship with Christ, and evangelism. South Carolina School of Leadership (formerly SC Master’s Commission) continues to train high school graduates—age 25. As students grow in their relationship with God, they better understand themselves and become more focused in their vocational pursuits.


Through strong, Godly leadership we continue to grow. Pastor Stephen desires that Columbia will be a hard place to go to Hell from! Our Mission’s Statement is to create environments in which people encounter God, resulting in purpose-filled lives based on biblical world view. Come join the journey!