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Our Story

It all started with a bunch of Gators.

In 1996, ten Christian graduates of the University of Florida dreamed about starting a campus ministry and a campus church that would help connect college students to Jesus Christ. And so, in 1997, we moved to Jacksonville and launched a student group on the campus of the University of North Florida (UNF) called Jacksonville Christian Life (JCL). Our initial efforts were raw and clumsy, but God blessed us with some amazing students and volunteers who were willing to invest a portion of their lives to reaching college students.



With a vision.


investing in students.

Ten years later, in 2006, our pastors and leadership team began dreaming again. This time, our vision was to launch a next-generational church that would focus on reaching young singles, young families, and the young-at-heart in the broader Jacksonville community. Our experience with students and young people at UNF taught us that young people feel disconnected from the church. Our hope and burden was to build a community that would help bridge the gap between young people and the church.

That burden spawned AwakenChurch, which launched in September of 2008. Since the launch of Awaken, our passion remains fixed on effectively mobilizing young people and the young-at-heart to God-driven action and empower them to live mature and missional lives. That ongoing vision, passion, and burden is why we exist.

Our hope is that you will share that burden and this mission with us.