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Rising Hills Church

Spreading the Gospel, Serving Others, and Creating Family in the Midst of Change

By Ellen Samsell Salas


Driving on Hickory Flat Highway, one is struck by the changed landscape. Disappearing are the farms, rolling pastures, and woods that once characterized the area. Now, densely populated neighborhoods and new businesses testify to Cherokee County’s rapid growth. In the midst of this change, a sign reading “Future Home of RH Church” stands on an empty parcel and promises to help this evolving community encounter Christ, spread his word, and find family.

It is dedication to this community, set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, that inspired the Rising Hills name and expresses the church’s purpose: “I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth,” (Psalm 121:1-2).

Pastor George Anderson says that the church’s informal motto is “’Come as you are, but don’t stay as you are.’ Come and be embraced. Come hear the Gospel. Come open your hearts and accept Christ.”

Supporting Anderson are Greg King, community outreach pastor; Austin Perry, worship pastor; D’Lynn Wehunt, kids director; Alan Putnam, youth director; and the church’s approximately 200 dedicated members. Together, they welcome all who come to grow in faith, gather in worship and fellowship, spread the Gospel, and give themselves in service.

With the average lifespan of new churches being only 39 months, Rising Hills’ story testifies to the faith of its founders, faith that God works through his believers and creates positive change. Beginning with a meeting of 23 people eager to start a new church, Rising Hills held its first service on October 23, 2016. And, in spite of COVID-19 shutting down in-person worship and despite not having a permanent home, membership, enthusiasm, and dedication have thrived.

Both Anderson and King are quick to say that God has blessed Rising Hills.

“It has been remarkable,” said Anderson. At each step of their growth, he added, “the Holy Spirit has been at work.”

Dreaming of having their own facility but lacking funds or the longevity needed to secure a loan, members looked at the Hickory Flat property in 2016 but didn’t submit a bid. A year later, the listing agent encouraged them to make an offer. The seller, an out-of-state investor, not only accepted a significant cut in the asking price but also agreed to finance the loan and said that he would donate all interest paid to Mission India, generosity that allowed Rising Hills to support over 25 schools and other underserved groups.

Through the generosity of church members as well as anonymous donors, after three years, Rising Hills secured a loan and paid off their original benefactor. Other benefactors, some not even church members, have voluntarily paid hefty bills.

Thus, on November 27, Rising Hills celebrated a breaking ground service. Their hope is to put shovels in the dirt after the new year and be in their new home for the church’s seventh anniversary, October 23, 2023. The 8,000-square-foot structure will have everything Anderson says a church needs: a place to worship, a place for children, and bathrooms. Room to expand is also included in the plans.

Rising Hills is associated with Noonday Baptist Association and ascribes to the Baptist faith and Message 2000. “But we’re more ‘Baptistic’ than Baptist,” said Anderson. Rising Hills is Bible centered and professes that salvation is through Christ alone. “The only thing that really matters,” he said, “is being faithful to God.”

“We’re all called to be missionaries in our own ways,” King said about the willingness of church members to give themselves in service.

Each year, members meet with local chambers of commerce and fire departments, offering to help the community wherever needed. Partnering with local schools, the church sponsors drives, art projects for students, and provides special breakfasts and lunches for teachers and staff. In neighborhoods, they leave welcome gifts or gift bags as a way to let residents know that they are part of a community of friends.

“We want to become family,” said King. “We want all the new people in the area to feel they are connected. They are part of the family of the church.”

Anderson said Rising Hills is blessed to look forward to its new home, but added, “The building isn’t the church. The people are the church. The building represents us, but the church represents God.”


Rising Hills Church

Indian Knoll Elementary
3635 Univeter Road
Canton, GA 30114

Service Time: Sundays at 10:30am

Contact Information
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 4506
Canton, GA 30114