Helping plant a church in Atlanta, Georgia, was a homecoming for Blake Rogers, and that church has grown more than he could have ever anticipated.

Rogers, a graduate of both Boyce College (2011) and Southern Seminary (2016), returned to his home state to help plant a church, Christ Covenant, in the greater Atlanta area in 2017. At the time, he was working as a state director for a local adoption agency, but his role at the church gradually expanded. He was installed as an elder in early 2018, then added to the pastoral staff that May.

Within two years of its planting, the church has a membership of 248 and weekly attendance over 300.

“We have more people than we know what to do with,” he says facetiously. “Our heart is not to become a big church gathering. We really believe in the value of relational discipleship, and speaking into one of those lives and making sure people are plugged in and cared for.”

Rogers, who said he always intended to do ministry but didn’t know exactly where he would serve, learned the importance of these church functions during his time at Boyce and Southern. A basketball player as a Boyce student and the head basketball coach after his graduation in 2011, Rogers developed many close friendships through his involvement with Boyce athletics. He also served on the Boyce admissions team for a time, which helped develop the Boyce seminary track during his time there.

“The most important takeaway from my time at Boyce is the importance of the wholeness of a person.”

Rogers considers all those relationships — developed through Boyce athletics, admissions, and his time as a student — “one of the biggest blessings” about his time at Boyce College. They prepared him to deal with people as whole hearted human beings, made in the image of God and called for a special purpose.

“The most important takeaway from my time at Boyce is the importance of the wholeness of a person,” he said. “A lot of times, people think about college as the place where you’re going to be educated for the purpose of performing in a job or developing a career. But the truth is, you are a whole person with an integrated life. And that perspective touches everything in your life. That’s important for how you husband, how you father, and how you work, and how you see yourself under the Lordship of Christ.”

Rogers serves as associate pastor of Covenant Church under the senior pastor, Jason Dees. As an associate, Rogers’ roles include finances, team leadership, and community groups. The many different responsibilities have forced Rogers to adapt to pastoral ministry quickly, but at the heart of his ministry are skills he learned as a Boyce student, mentor, and coach.

“Boyce College helped prepare me for this, both because of the classroom experience and because of the personal investment that professors made in me,” Rogers said. “Boyce taught me a lot about the technical things of ministry. How to look at a text and determine its meaning, and then how to preach it. How to think holistically and theologically. But Boyce also taught me the art of leading, and that has probably been the most indelible mark of the institution on my life.”

Rogers is married to his wife, Abigail, and together they have two children: Canon and Ella Watts. He said that while he feels like there are never enough hours in the day to finish everything — between his responsibilities as pastor and husband and father— that is also one of the great callings of ministry. And it’s his job to be faithful.

“The work is never done,” he said.