Churches >Celebration Church
1202 County Rd 116, Georgetown, TX | Directions 7862630.584925 -97.680854
My experience there was so bad, that our company is producing a documentary about it to be entered into SXSW and other film festivals. After getting saved, I searched for a new church home. I started attending Celebration and all was well...for awhile. If all you do is attend on Sundays and give money, your life will be fine too. Then, I started getting involved by volunteering and attending home groups. That's when the trouble started. I saw an unusual amount of sexually related issues - the home group leaders tried to get us to invest in a pornography website, a pastor I served left after allegedly having an affair, one of his replacements left for allegedly the same reason. That's just part of it. But when I complained to pastoral care that my tithes were stolen by a person who lists on his Facebook page he is/was the Director of Communications for the church, that's when they decided I should go away. I was banned from home groups, men's groups, and everybody started ignoring my emails, phone calls, and finally wouldn't speak to me in person in the church. Contrary to Biblical principles, nobody confronted me and nobody told me why. I just had to be intentionally completely humiliated and embarrassed. I realized that I was persona non grata one Sunday. Imagine walking into a place where you think you are safe and loved only to be ignored like some middle school vendetta. Ok, fine. Let's just say there is no perfect church and because people are what they are, there will be problems in any church. I can live with that. And let's say they felt I was being too disruptive and wanted me to go away as quietly as possible. That's not a Biblical way to deal with issues, and that's not what I did, but let's just go with that too. I sent emails to most of my former "friends" and staff members apologizing for whatever I had done to offend them, promised not to return so they would relax, and asked them for their forgiveness. I only asked one thing in return. Forgive me. Send me a one line text, and email, a post card, a tweet - anything. Just forgive me. They all ignored me save one brave soul no longer there. So I send a Hallmark card to Joe with a letter stating that nobody responded to my request but would HE forgive me? (I have my sources, he got the card.) Totally ignored me. What kind of man, what kind of leader, what kind of pastor ignores a man humbling himself and asking for forgiveness? Jesus forgave the robber on the cross next to him, I guess Joe's cross was so high he couldn't hear me.
Our entertainment attorneys are still reviewing the script of our documentary and our ongoing collection of interviews and evidence. But I can tell you that I suffered heartbreaking humiliation. I felt degraded, embarrassed, demoralized, ostracized, unloved, and unforgiven. I love Jesus with all my heart and simply can't imagine how he feels about this church.
If you're hurting, in need of love & forgiveness, you may not find it there. Watch for the documentary titled "No Forgiveness Here".
Love this church ! Pastor Joe and Lori are awesome. They really changed my life. Coming to this church helped me find God. You guys rock ! And for all you haters, you have no idea what you are talking about.
I have attended Celebration Church for many years now. I can honestly say that Celebration has been a key part in my walk and relationship with the Lord. We have all probably experienced pain and unfortunately sometimes it is at the hand of key leadership in a church. I walked into Celebration with a chip on my shoulder, sat on the back row & didn't want to be noticed at all... Yet they saw me... they loved me just where I was and took the time to minister to me. I've never felt more alive than when I step into this church! Working in a negative corporate environment can take the wind out of your sail, but I would find joy, friendships, fulfillment and eventually call Celebration my home! If you're looking for a place to worship i would highly recommend Celebration Church!
I attended for many years and will try to be objective for those who are new to Celebration.
This church is not your parents southern Baptist, fire and brimstone church, it's an evangelical mega-church that wants to get even bigger. I personally don't like the size anymore and have been going elsewhere; any business can grow too fast and this one has for my needs (I'm very comfortable with my relationship with Christ so I don't need to attend a single church). If the holy spirit moves you to jump around and wave your hands then this is the place for you (hence the term "Celebration" Church). If your relationship with Jesus is more subdued then you might want to go elsewhere because the atmosphere has been known to offend some people.
It's definitely not for everyone and there are lots of aspects that annoyed me personally of which I'll list a few. The music was too loud for me, sermon's were too long and repetitive (what good is the 30 minute timer if you don't use it?), need to post who will be preaching that week on the website, stop asking for money to build the next "Joel Osteen-like" empire and the parking is atrocious. The warm and inviting environment went out the window after the Tebo event and the TV contract was signed, not to mention the snobbish attitudes that have gone with the events. I'm not even going to talk about how much Champion is paid but I would suggest the church put together a board of directors to keep this under control or at least to quiet the detractors. At the same time it's his church so you can vote by what you do or don't put in the offering plate. These are all small, humanistic issues so please don't use them to pass judgment on the church as a whole.
What this church has that most don't is energy, which very much appeals to a younger audience. The sermons are rarely boring unless someone besides Champion is doing them (hence the need to know ahead of time who is preaching but I'm afraid if they publicized this no one would come). You will meet some of the nicest people in the world here and likely make some good friends. I would still be very careful about how involved you get in terms of volunteering since the church staff will expect more out of you than most people can or will be able to commit to. This is where you enter the "kool-aid drinking" or cult level that other people have mentioned in their reviews. There are definitely people that worship at the altar of the pastor and are very aggressive in wanting to please him and the family through their giving of time and money, and also with yours. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but just be aware.
Just like the people that run them there's no perfect church but my guess is that if you're under the age of 40 you'll find a home here. I would suggest attending a few times and then asking the Holy Spirit in prayer as to whether you're in the right place. He'll let you know.
My new church home – I have been attending services at Celebration Church for almost a year now. I have gained so much strength from Pastor Joe's words, and for the first time ever am always so excited to go to church. I hate to miss something Pastor Joe might say. Even though they archive services online, it's a great group to worship with.
He's not boring (he's actually really funny) and he tells it like it is. So many pastors today shy away from leading their congregation to the truth, unable to make their sermons about what they should know in their heart is right, simply because they're afraid of losing members. They're afraid that if they tell people that they should flee from sin and run to Jesus, people won't want to listen to them and they'll quit going. Pastor Joe cares too much about his congregation and knows that the world needs something better than that. So no, if you're wanting to conduct your life in a way the Bible warns against and then attend church without being told you're doing anything wrong, you probably will not like this church. I like that he is a pastor that will tell me what is right and wrong, because it's in my best interest, and it's his JOB. He doesn't do this with a condemning attitude. He just wants you to run the right direction.
I, too, am not sure where the 1-star comments come from. I work in commercial property tax and can tell you that some appraisal districts notoriously over-value property, so you can't assume market value based solely on the appraisal roll. In fact, it's very common for them to appraise residential areas by block or neighborhood, as it would take too much time for them to individually value each house.
Home – I have been attending Celebration Church for many years and know many of the people who started the church. It is my home church and my kids and I love it there. I read several of the comments on here, frankly I don't know exactly where they are coming from. I felt compelled to tell anyone who reads them, to come to a service, keep an open mind and heart and see where that takes you. I think you will be pleasantly surprised what you find.
Dishonest... – I like Celebration Church, except for Pastor Joe. It is sad, but until he is no longer associated with the church, I will be attending another one. I like to congregation, the music, and the atmosphere, but I know first hand that Pastor Joe speaks words of hatred when he is not in front of a crowd. He is extremely homophobic, but if you have attended Celebration long enough, you probably already know that. I am not gay and may not understand peoples choices, but I do know that it is NOT my place judge anyone. Apparently Pastor Joe does not know that. And if you are Muslim, or any religion other than Christian, be very careful. There is a hatred that is brewing in that family, and I pray that it does not turn in to violence one day. I can't be a part of anything that he leads, because he can not be trusted. What he teaches his family and those close to him, is not what he preaches at Church.
Dissapointed.... – We have been going to Celebration Church for several years. We joined the church shortly after we started going there. Like one other reviewer said, we were not told about how the church believes that everyone should speak in tongues until after we joined the church. My husband made it to the meeting where this was revealed, but I did not make it to that meeting. He told me about it but since they really didn't preach it, we decided to stay. Through the years, however, my husband has really struggled with some of the teaching done by Joe. Easter Sunday was kind of the last straw for us as he invited everyone to take of communion, believer or not. We both believe that the Bible is very clear that communion is only for believers. He told the unbelievers that they could "toast" Jesus if they were not saved. To us, that was heresy, so we will be looking for another church. I am very sad to leave as they do have great kids programs, cater to needs of families with special circumstances. I am a volunteer and will truly miss the people I work with.
The things that others have mentioned about Joe and Lori regarding their salary is really not of concern; their house was given to them by an Advocare big shot that wanted to bless them. The person that mentioned the Al Franken meeting was not really correct. He mentioned that he sat next to him on a plane ride to Minnesota and said that he got to speak to Senator Franken about what he would be sharing with the people he was speaking to that weekend. He then said to pray for him because he is unsaved. Joe Champion is more of a leader, not so much of a teacher. We are ready for teaching.
Getting kicked out for having sin! – A friend was asked to not return to the church after years of service and dedication to learning and griwing for having sin in her life.
Great Church but would like to see better leadership – I enjoy this Church and the people in it- there's a great group of believers here on fire for God.
I would like to ask Joe if he felt convicted today though by Robert Morris. Pastor Morris said he doesn't need a mansion because he'll have one in the next life and has given away his cars, savings, everything in the name of God. Lead the way Joe and put that mansion of yours or that Escalade (or both) toward the Beyond campaign! It would be me over the top to see the man asking for sacrifice to set the tone with his own.
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