Welcome to our Circle of Influence article series!

As we recognize LifePoint’s 35th anniversary, we are celebrating the ripple effect of more than three decades of influence in and through the people of LifePoint. We’ve chosen several unique stories to share.

 

Part 1: David and Dawn Swann

In October of 1990, Dave and Dawn Swann attended LifePoint Church, at the time located at Liberty High School, for the first time.

Dawn remembers the timing specifically because their oldest child, Megan, was ten months old.  After several unsuccessful attempts to leave her in the nursery at other churches they had visited, LifePoint felt like the Swanns’ last resort to enjoy church as new parents.

“From that very first morning, one of the nursery workers was so wonderful in working with Megan,” Dawn recalls. Her name was Karen Mosier and week after week, Karen worked with Megan to make sure that the Swanns could get rooted at LifePoint.  They would soon learn that this kind of investment in other members at the church body was a common theme at LifePoint. 

And set down roots they did. 32 years later, there are five Swann children and seven Swann grandchildren (with one on the way!)  Those in the area still attend and serve at LifePoint. For them, church is a family, and the relationships formed there are what make the kind of longevity they’ve experienced at LifePoint possible.

“Even if the church changed, the people there that were our family didn’t,” says Dawn.  “That was enough to keep us rooted and to outlast whatever challenge we were facing.”

Family has always played a key role in the Swanns’ church experience. Dawn volunteered in the nursery when her children were young, while their son Josh recalls early Sunday mornings going along with Dave to assist with unloading the trailer as part of the church set-up team. The Swanns became involved in youth ministry as their children entered school age, and Dave discovered a heart for missionary work. 

While most people go on mission trips hoping to help those less fortunate, Dave quickly found that more is learned from the simple way of life in these countries than we can hope to teach. He notes how much easier it can be to see God working without the distractions of life found in our comfort zones. Many of Dave’s mission trips often focused on high school ministry and included his children.  Any parent can tell you the wonder of watching their child experience something new – from their first steps to the first day of school.  Dave experienced this by seeing his children serve in foreign countries.  He describes it as simply “amazing.”  The seeds planted in Josh Swann during his Costa Rica trip in high school grew.  For the past few years, he has served as the Rwanda Country Coordinator at LifePoint Church, leading trips so others can see God working without the distractions of a comfort zone.

During their years as small group leaders within the student ministry, the Swanns doors were always open.  “I love how there were always other adults willing to invest in our children at LifePoint, and we did the same,” says Dawn.  In particular, the teenage years can be difficult on parent-child relationships.  Having the Swanns home serve as neutral ground allowed many teenagers at LifePoint to remain connected to the church regardless of what was going on in their own homes.  The Swanns became surrogate parents to so many teens during those years that some of them even discovered a way to change their last names to ‘Swann’ on their Sunday name badges.  

For Nathan Combs, whose parents Ed and Alana Combs served as a mentor couple to Dave and Dawn in their early LifePoint years, it’s clear what drew his parents to the Swanns. “My mother deeply and authentically loved Jesus.  I never had to be taught to love Him – I saw how my mother loved Him and wanted that too.  Dave and Dawn had that same love, a patient and steadfast quality in their faith that allowed them to ride out whatever highs and lows came over the years.”

For Dave and Dawn, that steadfastness came from making LifePoint a focus of their lives. To put it simply: “We did life with LifePoint,” says Dawn.  “Youth groups, small groups, events, different ministries.  It was such a part of our family’s lives growing up that we never had to push our children to be involved or to serve.”  Growing up, the Swann children recall attending multiple services on Sunday morning – one to be nourished by the word, and another to nourish others by serving.   

Josh notes that “With five kids, it’s not the easiest task in the world to prioritize getting out of the house and showing up consistently, but as I look back now, the consistency has been instilled in my own life and it’s a value my wife and I would like to instill in our own children.”  Adds son Morgan, who currently serves in youth ministry at LifePoint with his wife Lauren, “My parents instilled in me the significance of what it means to be a part of a church family.  They showed up every week and led by example of how you continually show up, even when it’s hard or inconvenient, because Jesus calls us to treat our church like our family.”

When asked how their parents have influenced their faith, the Swann children summarize it by using phrases like “unwavering consistency” and “immeasurable generosity.” Dave and Dawn’s selfless example of giving of their time and resources to share God’s love have made an impact for generations of believers to come. 

Meeting Where They Are

Welcome to our Circle of Influence article series! As we recognize LifePoint's 35th anniversary, we are celebrating the ripple effect of more than three decades of influence in and through the people of LifePoint. We've chosen several unique stories to share.  ...

Teach What Is Good

Welcome to our Circle of Influence article series! As we recognize LifePoint's 35th anniversary, we are celebrating the ripple effect of more than three decades of influence in and through the people of LifePoint. We've chosen several unique stories to share.  ...

A Hallelujah Holiday

Keeping the Savior at the CenterWhen many of us think Easter, egg hunts and chocolate bunnies immediately come to mind. True, many of today’s Easter festivities focus more around the coming of spring than the resurrection of our Savior, but the heart of the holiday...