Our Story – Pathways Church

Our Story


Pastor Larry, Pastor Pat & Pastor Brent Freeman co-founded Pathways Church, and planning stages began.

July 14, 1996

Pathways Church made arrangements to meet at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Sevierville on Sunday mornings, and on July 14, 1996 held it’s Grand Opening Service. At that time, the Church averaged roughly 30 people each week.

October 1998

Pathways Church moved services from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to the brand-new Sevierville Civic Center. It was here that the church held services and grew for a period of 10 years, while seeking property for a permanent site.

April 20, 2003

Pathways Church announced it’s purchase first piece of property (10 acres), located off of Mechanics Way in Sevierville overlooking what would one day become Veterans Blvd. It was here that the church broke ground and erected a large white tent under which a service was held. However, no building was ever constructed here.

October 2003

Pastor Brent became Lead Pastor of Pathways Church.


Pathways Church sold 5 Acres of the original 10 purchased, to downsize the property debt in hopes of building it’s first building.

May 21, 2006

Pathways agreed to swap the remaining 5 acres of land on the original site for 3.5 acres on what would one day become Veterans blvd. With that move, the Church now had 3.5 acres debt-free with 980 ft of road frontage. Because of this purchase, which was later sold for $1.3 million Pathways Church had the funds to purchase the land and build the original Sevierville campus building.


After holding services in multiple rental locations, and multiple property deals, Pathways Church began construction on the Sevierville Campus.

May 11, 2008

Pathways Church celebrated it’s grand opening of it’s first site in Sevierville, TN. At the time, this consisted of a single story metal building and a custom built double-wide trailer used primarily for the youth ministry at the time.

November 2008

As attendance grew on Sunday mornings, a Second Sunday morning service was added to make more room.

May 10, 2009

Pathways Church celebrated the first Anniversary of the Sevierville Campus (only location at that time) with one unified service at the Miracle Theater (now the Smoky Mtn Opry). During that service Pastor Brent shared at the end of the month, Pathways would start a Saturday Night Service.

May 31, 2009

First Saturday night service was held (identical option to Sunday). This truly made Pathways a church with “options” for people to come to church.

May 3, 2010

The time came when not only was the services full but the double-wide trailer that was being utilized for the youth, children, young adult and other ministries was proving to be too small to handle the amount of teens and children attending Pathways. So on May 3, 2010 after that morning’s church services, the trailer was emptied and then removed from the site. The construction process for the Hangar, a space bigger than our main building was started.

October 29, 2010

At the end of October, the church held it’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for “the Hangar” (now “the landing”). A family-life center building to house the children & youth ministries of the church.

March 30, 2011

Pathways Church was running out of space once again during the three weekly services, so an identical Wednesday night service was added to the weekly schedule once again giving people in Sevier county another opportunity to come to church.

May 8, 2011

Pathways Church celebrated the third Anniversary of the Sevierville Campus (only location at that time) with one unified service at the Palace Theater in Governor’s Crossing. During that service Pastor Brent shared that God was leading the Church to open a second location.

October 30, 2011

While the addition of the Wednesday night service opened up new opportunities for the church to grow, Sunday mornings were STILL full, so in an effort to add more seating, the auditorium was renovated. On the same afternoon as our annual “candy bash”, the auditorium was completely cleared following the morning services and work began on a new balcony. Before the following Wednesday, the gym floor of the Hangar was converted and equipped with audio, lighting & video equipment to house our normal services.

Nov. 19, 2011

Following a Wednesday night service on Nov 16th, everything was removed from the Hangar and moved back into the main building. That following Saturday (Nov 19th), Services were once again held in the main auditorium with the addition of the balcony seating.

March 14, 2012

Pastor Brent announced that Pathways Church was in negotiations to open a second campus in South Knoxville, making Pathways Church One Church, with Two Locations.

Dec. 26, 2012

Pathways Church closed the contract on the South Knoxville Campus.

January 1, 2013

Pathways Church began renovating an old Goody’s retail space which would later become the South Knoxville Campus of Pathways Church.

March 31, 2013

Pathways Church celebrated the Grand Opening of the South Knoxville Campus on Easter Sunday with two identical services. We saw over 500 people join us for worship in South Knoxville alone!

May 4, 2014

Pathways Church held a Unified Service at the Sevierville Convention Center, where both campuses came together. A special offering & campaign was started that day called “Drive to Greater Expectations”. This offering paid for five projects and to reduce the debt of the church.

Sept. 3, 2014

After a major renovation, which required the closing of the the lobby & office area of the Sevierville Campus, an expanded second floor office area, larger lobby space & new outdoor playground were opened.

March 5, 2015

Pathways Church added an identical service to the South Knoxville Campus on Wednesday nights. This gave the people living in Knox County a mid-week option to come to church.

March 5, 2015

Pathways Church added an identical service to the South Knoxville Campus on Wednesday nights. This gave the people living in Knox County a mid-week option to come to church.

March 27, 2016

Pathways Church came together under one roof on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection & what God has done in the life of the Church. 4,781 people came to Church & 238 people accepted Jesus Christ!

July 2017

Pathways was contacted by Grove Community Church in Greensboro, NC. The elders of the church requested to meet with Pastor Brent, with the intent of possibly becoming a partner-church with Pathways. Equipment was quickly installed and on August 20, 2017, Grove Church joined Pathways Church for the kick-off of the “Soul-Shine” sermon series.

December 2017

After a few months of partnering together, Grove Community Church was beginning to see growth and excitement building within the church body. A church vote was taken on a Sunday following the close of a service. During this session, Grove Church unanimously voted to become more than a partner, but the third campus of Pathways Church.

February 4, 2018

Pastor Brent announced that the Church’s initial loan amount had dropped below $1 million dollars. Pastor Brent encouraged the church to take up the challenge and commit to a one-year campaign (“Ten for Ten”) to pay down the remaining debt.

April 1, 2018

All three locations of the Pathways Church family came together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus under one-roof at the Sevierville Convention Center! 5,046 people attended the service, and 52 came forward to accept Jesus as their savior!

July 2018

Renovations began of the Greensboro Campus. The renovation process was to include the worship space would be flipped (creating a larger stage and more practical entry/ exit into the worship space), installation of new technology infrastructure, drastic changes the building’s floorpan and create a welcoming space for community, additional restrooms, and a secure children’s ministry area.

August 12, 2018

Pastor Brent announced that in 2019 the Sevierville Campus would open a new teen center adjacent to the current property, which would be called “the Hangar” (the existing building, will change names). The new Hangar building, located across from Sevier County High School, will be open to the community, after school in the afternoons.

December 2, 2018

Pastor Brent announced after the “Ten for Ten” campaign, and a one-time offering on November 14-18th, Pathways Church had successfully met it’s goal and paid off the remaining bank loan, paying off $1 million dollars debt in one year!

January 13, 2019

Pastor Brent shared a brief interview with Smart Bank CEO Billy Carroll, followed by a debt burning at all locations following the services.

February 3, 2019

After delays and unexpected surprises, the renovation of the Greensboro Campus was complete and the grand-opening service was held.

October 19, 2019

The new “Hangar” teen center, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and celebrated it’s public opening.

March 16, 2020

During the early stages of a global pandemic (COVID-19), the decision was made to close the physical doors at all campuses, for an unknown period of time. The following day, Pathways held an impromptu praise and worship break online during the lunch hour. This led to other changes in the weekly service schedule. All services moved online only, Easter 2020 was celebrated real-time by over 4000 people in houses around the world and a new online campus was born!


From humble beginnings, God has seen Pathways Church grow to a weekly average attendance of 2,500+ people. We believe greater days are ahead as we continue to influence Tennessee, North Carolina and beyond.