Lead Pastor | church planter
Hello New Friends and M.A.P. (Mableton, Austell, & Powder Springs) Community! My Name is Will and I have the honor to serve and care for our unique family at Refuge Community Church! Refuge was planted in January of 2018 as a solution for a dying church that no longer reflected her community. As a result of this collision of calling and the unique circumstance around our birth, Refuge is a true picture of God's grace, unity, the power of resurrection, and what it means to make the most of second chances. We look forward to seeing you and serving you soon!
Our Road to Refuge
Dr. Will Gravely is a millennial scholar and leader who is the Founder and Lead Pastor of Refuge Community Church. Will received his call to ministry while attending Morehouse College on a full-tuition academic scholarship with additional awards for track and field and music. He continued to serve the local church through college and preached his initial sermon in 2005, which resulted in becoming a licensed minister. This is also the time that Will and Veronica met through a creative arts ministry and became friends.
Upon graduating from Morehouse with honors, Will continued his theological studies and went on to explore the intersection between creative arts, theology, and community engagement. Upon graduation from seminary, earning his Master of Divinity, he was ordained. After a short break, Will returned to Emory and earned his Doctorate in Church Leadership and Community Witness while focusing on racial unity, community transformation, and cross-cultural church planting in the American Church. Dr. Will earned the prestigious Director's Award given to the top student in both doctoral courses of study.
Refuge Community Church is a Christ-centered, Cross-Cultural, Community Driven, Connected and Creative family that serves the Mableton, Austell, and Powder Springs communities (affectionately known as The M.A.P.). By God’s grace, the church has experienced incredible vitality, growth, maturity, and community impact in just the first few years. To date, Refuge has served over 2,000 neighbors, given 13,000 of pounds of food and seen tremendous life transformation within the community and Refuge family alike.
Will and Veronica also founded The Stained Glass Project which is an organization that seeks to foster racial unity and reconciliation by planting multi-cultural churches that reflect their community. The Stained Glass Project, the culmination of Will’s doctoral research efforts, trains leaders for cross-cultural contexts and, as a network, establishes a pathway for planting intentionally multi-cultural churches that connect and reflect their community.
Refuge Community Church will be a national model for this unique cross-cultural community work by reframing the local church as a "Community Hub". The Community Hub educates, equips, and empowers the neighborhood to find their purpose and reach their potential! We have created a safe space to experience God's love every day, and we want to plant this model across the country and, eventually, the world. Will and Veronica have 4 small children and have dedicated their lives to their work in unifying the American Church by putting the 'community' back in 'church' and the Church back into the community.