Founded in August of 2009 by Pastors Bart and Sonja Williams, the Pavilion Church was formed as a covering without limitations for the many ministries of the body of Christ for such a time as this. Psalm 27:5 says, "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock."
Bart Robert Williams was raised in church. However, as with many pastors children, living in a pastor's home didn't guarantee that he had a personal relationship with God. It was in his early 20's that Bart had an encounter with Jesus Christ.
As Bart's hunger for God increased, he began attending a Pentecostal church to learn more about God and the Holy Spirit. This hunger led him to move to Lake Tahoe, California where he served at Grace Fellowship Church as Director over the food ministry. He spent two years serving there and handling all the duties of food pickup, handling, rotation and distribution. The food ministry became so blessed that Bart could send excess food to the local county food bank located in El Dorado, California.
It was in Lake Tahoe that Bart met and married his wife, Sonja, in 1989. There, they worked together in the food ministry feeding the hungry and poor for two years. Then, feeling called to Southern California, they moved to Los Angeles where they served at Holy Trinity Bible Church as youth pastors and worship leaders for three years. Pastor Sonja is an all-out worshipper. She has been a worship leader for many years while simultaneously working in the secular music industry. She truly understands the heart of a musician and what it means to be "in the world but not of it".
After living in Los Angeles for a few years, Bart attended and graduated Spirit Life Bible College, where he was ordained. Bart and Sonja were ordained together through Lionsgate Leadership and Missions Institute, (https://www.lionsgateinfo.org/).
In 1998 Bart and Sonja once again felt God leading them to relocate—this time to Nashville, Tennessee. Pastor Bart, as a former church administrator, together with Sonja as former children's pastors, have an extensive background of pastoral ministry experience, especially working with children, youth and young adults. They have a heart and a passion for children and the upcoming generations, as well as for the entire body of Christ. Their creative entrepreneurial spirit, along with their administrative gifts, have equipped them to establish the foundation for the Pavilion Church.
In addition to biblical leadership principles as they pertain to business, another one of Pastor Bart's personal passions is the study of science and the universe. He has developed the "Pastornaut" ® curriculum that targets pre-teens by encouraging them to see the fingerprints of the God of the universe, the Creator of Science, within creation itself. It’s not unusual for Pastor Bart to incorporate colorful examples from the world of science as a part of his sermon.
In addition to his ministry/serving roles, Pastor Bart also simultaneously worked in restaurant operations and upper management for 30 years. He has a keen understanding of the many challenges that Christian professionals face in today’s marketplace. In 2012 God closed the door on his restaurant career and called him to trust in His provision to go into full-time pastoral ministry. That became a faith-building opportunity for Pastor Bart and has developed in him what he calls "reckless faith!"
That "reckless faith" is what allowed Pastor Bart to announce to our church family in September 2016 that the lease was up on our current church location at the end of October; we had outgrown the space and we would be moving, but as of that date, we had no new location! Because of his "reckless faith" (and that of others who stood in faith with him), on Sunday, November 6th Pavilion Church held its first Sunday service at our new location in Due West Towers!! Pastor Bart had seen this location, the former site of Nashville Memorial Hospital, two years earlier and it fit the vision he had for P54, a non-profit outreach organization serving the community with multiple resources that would also happen to have a church located in it. A month before our move-out date, God responded to Pastor Bart’s "reckless faith" by making a divine connection for him with the new owner of the site and now, here we are!
P54 stands for Promise 54 (the 54 represents 54 million dollars), a sum to bring the entire vision into reality. It is inspired by Isaiah 54. To work toward that goal, Pastor Bart has asked for a weekly donation of 54 cents!! Another example of "reckless faith!"
In February 201,7 P54 formed the non-profit "Outreach Base Nashville" to serve the community needs of assistance with food, housing and household items. We look forward to an exciting future as this vision continues to flourish with new possibilities for serving the Nashville area communities and beyond!
Pastors Bart and Sonja have two daughters, Austin and Allee.
The Pavilion Church Tree Model
In a healthy tree, the top is a reflection, or mirror image, of the root system. The tree is only as strong as its foundational root system.
• The Pavilion Church operates from an "Upside Down Kingdom" model
• The strength and core of the church begins with having a healthy root system
• When the roots are strong, stable and secure, then the rest of the tree - the branches and leaves - will flourish and produce healthy fruit
• The Root System is the Pastors and core leadership, the deep foundations which promote health and strength for the church. Leadership is to continually seek God for wisdom, strategy and vision to maintain healthy roots.
• The Tree Trunk is the ministry leaders and their teams serving the body of the church in the spirit of unity in the various areas of internal ministries
• The Branches are the outreaches of Pavilion Church that serve the communities
• The Leaves and Fruit are the body of believers or individuals that make up the church
The fruit is representative of the different gifts and talents God has given to each person. As the body of believers are encouraged, equipped and allowed to move in their areas of gifting, in season, the fruit will flourish and bring life to all who partake of it
The Pavilion Church Name
"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock"
What Is a Pavilion?
1. An open building used for shelter, exhibits, celebrations, reunions, etc.
2. A covering in a beautiful garden
3. A structure that has no walls, allowing a breeze or fresh air to flow
4. A place to praise and worship openly
Building upon unconditional love and relationship as our foundation, this is a depiction of what church should be like:
• To be a place to celebrate God
• To operate in unity with all
• To be a structure with no walls (limitations) on the way God wants to move in our world
• To be a shelter for the lost and a covering for those needing protection and rest – a covering for everyone who is seeking God
The Pavilion Core Values
The distinguishing characteristics of the Pavilion Church are based on four foundational truths found in Jesus' prayer in John 17. Jesus breaks the prayer down into four integral categories:
• John 17: 1-5: RELATIONSHIP
God in Him, He in us—that we would know Him. Verse 5: "And now, oh Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
• John 17:6-10: LEADERSHIP
Jesus gave His leadership to His disciples through relationship. Verse 6: "They were Yours, You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word."
• John 17: 11-19: TRUTH
We are sanctified (consecrated, holy) by the truth (God's Word), as He shared it with the disciples.
Verse 17: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
• John 17: 20-26: LOVE
The world would believe, through the disciples' words and experience of walking with Jesus, the importance of the unity of love. Verses 23-25: "I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
We, as the Pavilion Church, believe that
• Love is the first foundation—learning to love unconditionally as God loves us
• Truth is specific in the Word of God, as Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
• Leadership starts with family, our jobs, schools and other areas of influence
• Relationship is the fulfillment of love, truth and leadership. Relationship is the ultimate purpose of life
The Pavilion Church Beliefs
About the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:16
• The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are God’s Holy Word and are the complete and divine revelation of God to man revealing God’s plan for His people and how to live out that plan and they contain all things necessary for salvation.
About God, Exodus 20:1-6
• There is one God who is the creator, sustainer and sovereign ruler of all things visible and invisible
• The Godhead/Triune God eternally exists in three persons, distinguishable, yet inseparable – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and are coequal and one God having the same nature and attributes
• In the Father is the unseen God; in the Son is God revealed, the form of God in man; in the Spirit is the indwelling God – God within us
• What God the Father has purposed, the Son has procured for us and which takes effect through the operation of the Holy Spirit
About Jesus Christ, John 1:1-3
• He is truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united
• He was born to a virgin woman, Mary, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
• By the shedding of His blood, He redeemed all who believe in Him, bearing all sin – past, present and future by His crucifixion on the cross
• He was buried and rose from the dead, being victorious over sin and death
• He is the only means for salvation, by faith believing that Jesus is the Son of God and that His death and resurrection provide the only means for forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and obtaining eternal life
• He is seated in Heaven as our Great High Priest, Advocate and Mediator who intercedes with God for us
• He will return to judge all humanity, claim His church and establish a new kingdom
About the Holy Spirit, John 14:15-17
• He is one in being with the Father and the Son
• He is the power of God dwelling in the human body and working in it what the Father and Son have for us
• He provides believers with the understanding of spiritual truths
• He guides believers spiritual growth into a deeper understanding of their identity in Christ, leading them to reach the fulfillment of God’s purpose for their lives
About Salvation, 1 Peter 1:3-5
• It is a gift from God and is received by grace through faith in the redeeming action of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
• It is obtained only through grace (also a gift of God), not by any action of self effort
• It requires repentance – a willful change of mind and genuine sorrow for and confession of sins which the believer is made aware of through the operation of the Holy Spirit
• Repentance leads to regeneration, being born again, a new creature in Christ
• Justification is being washed clean of all our sins, "just as if I had never sinned", bringing us into a relationship of peace and favor with God
• Sanctification is the ongoing process of being transformed toward spiritual maturity
About Water Baptism, Acts 2:38
• Baptism is administered by immersion in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
• It fulfills the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19
• It is an outward testimony of the washing away of sin and freedom from the power of sin
• It signifies the dying to self and the new birth in Jesus Christ
About Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Acts 19:2-6
• Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a real and distinct experience at, or subsequent to, salvation
• It can be evidenced by the speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives utterance
• It is the "promise of the Father" fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, which empowers believers to become effective witnesses for the risen Christ
• It opens the door for us to enter into God’s supernatural realm of signs, wonders and miracles
About Communion, Matthew 26:26-29
• Christ instituted Communion at the last supper He ate with His disciples
• The bread represents His body being broken and that in Him we are made whole
• The wine represents the blood He shed for the forgiveness of our sins, "the new covenant in My blood"
• It can be partaken by those who have faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior
• It represents the greatest expression of God’s love for His people
About the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1 Peter 4:10
• The nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as listed in 1 Cor. 12-14.
• The five leadership ministries as given in Eph. 4:11-13
These gifts are operational in the church today and are necessary to equip God's people for the work of the ministry
About Divine Healing, Isaiah 53:5
• Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement when Jesus took on all our sicknesses and diseases through His death on the cross
• In answer to believing prayer, the healing of the physical body and deliverance from demonic oppression by God's power in Jesus' name is as valid today as it was in the early church
About the Second Coming of Christ, Revelation 19:11-21, 20, 21:1-8
• The rapture of the church will be accomplished when Christ returns, fulfilling His words in John 14:3
• In that visible return, He will raise the dead, judge the world, separate the righteous from the wicked, bring peace to the nations and establish His millennial reign on earth and, eventually, His eternal kingdom
About Satan, Ezekiel 28:12-18, Isaiah 14:12-14, Revelation 12:3-9
• He was created by God as an angelic being, led by pride to rebel against God and was cast from heaven to earth with other angels (now demons) who rebelled with him
• He is the great adversary of God and humanity, working to oppose the will of God
• He is limited by the sovereign rule of God
• He will be vanquished at the end of time and be banished for eternity along with his demons into the Lake of Fire
About Eternal Life, John 3:36
• The soul exists for eternity, either in relationship with God or being separated from Him
• Eternal relationship with God is given through Jesus Christ
• Everlasting life in Heaven with God is granted to the redeemed and everlasting punishment for the unredeemed
About Marriage, Genesis 1:26-28
• God ordained marriage to be the union of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime
• It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His Church
• It provides the framework for the man and the woman for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards and the means for procreation of the human race
About the Church, Ephesians 1:22-23
• We are the church, an assembly of professed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is head over all things pertaining to it
• We, as the church, are called to serve Christ by reaching out to the lost, sharing the gospel/good news, meeting together in His name for baptism, communion, worship, praise, prayer, fellowship and discipleship
• As Christ came to serve, His church body exists to serve one another and the external communities in which they live and work