The Hall Family – “All In”
Elizabeth Hall attended church with her grandparents as she grew up, and she committed her life to Christ at a church camp when she was 12. Similarly, Rick Hall went to church with friends while growing up, putting his faith in Jesus at the age of 11, but neither went to church once they moved to Arkansas as teenagers. They met at their small high school, and their first date in 1986 ended with being crowned prom king and queen. They were married after attending separate colleges in Georgia, and they settled in Atlanta to start their family.
After the birth of their first child, Elizabeth wanted to find a church home. In 2010 friends invited them to Brown’s Bridge Church, a campus of North Point Community Church. “Every reason we thought was keeping us away from church no longer seemed to be an issue with this new church experience,” Rick said. “I’m a real introvert, but I felt comfortable doing the four things Andy Stanley recommends – giving, serving, joining small groups, and inviting.”
In 2016 Rick began looking for a new job in the Atlanta area. After a lot of job hunting, it seemed clear they would need to leave the area for Rick to find the right job. “We decided we could leave everything behind except for our church, so Rick applied for jobs in cities where there was a North Point partner church,” Elizabeth said.
Soon after, in August 2017, Rick and Elizabeth, along with their five children and three rescued cockapoos, moved to Jacksonville and started attending Access Church.
“All in” is a motto the Halls have used repeatedly when talking about Access. “With the move, I was able to be home more, and I wanted to be more involved with my church,” Elizabeth said. “Less than a month after first attending Access, Rick and I joined a small group, something I had never been able to do in Atlanta because of my crazy work hours. I’m so glad I did. Those folks are now my best friends! I have allowed myself to ask the hard questions and be completely forthcoming with them, and they still like me!”
Besides leading them into a small group, this “all in” motto has inspired the whole family to serve at Access—with a little extra inspiration from their oldest son, 18-year-old Derek. “As a 10th grader, Derek started leading a 6th-grade group in Transit at Browns Bridge Church, and he missed it a lot when we moved,” Elizabeth said. “The first time we attended Access, Derek sought out Justin (Access’s student ministry director), asking to volunteer in Transit. After that meeting, Derek was the happiest we’d seen him in months.”
Rick and Elizabeth volunteer in UpStreet, along with their 16-year-old son, Matthew, and their 14-year-old daughter, Katie. “Katie is an introvert, and she pushes herself way out of her comfort zone to lead in UpStreet with me,” Elizabeth said. “I’m so proud of her determination and courage.”
Besides serving as a family, and growing in a small group, the Halls feel one of the greatest blessings of being at Access is the support for parents. “We are so grateful to Access for partnering with us as parents, providing us with resources and reinforcing the same principles and values we are stressing at home,” Rick said. “It’s so important for the kids to have additional positive role models in their lives—people besides us who they can develop trust in and ask questions.”
Rick and Elizabeth’s 9-year-old son Zach has decided to be baptized at Access’s upcoming Beach Baptism event. We invite everyone to join us at Beach Baptism this Monday, September 23, at 7:00pm at Plantation Beach House (1111 Ponte Vedra Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082). We’ll celebrate with Zach and others as they share their stories and make their faith in Jesus public.