Tears are running down my cheeks because I am much closer to God since I joined Echo. He is opening my heart and working daily to calm me and have me listen to his words as I navigate a new norm.
My first interaction with Echo was several years ago. I attended Operation Christmas Child in the warehouse. I had been before with my Sunday school class so thought it would be a good first event. I could tell by my interaction, that everyone was very close. I did not return to any events after that mostly because of distance and Covid. I was awkward and still feeling alone as I tried to fit in. God knew I still was not ready. Three years later after the passing of my mom I was so lost. Having spent so much time caring for her and my only child Kayla, who has special learning needs, my focus had never been myself. I also realize now although I was praying and going to church, I was not listening to God and his work in me for his purpose.
Since my first trip to Fall Creek Falls and the amazing love and support I received, I feel like God placed me where I needed to be in that exact moment. I remember my fear that day and the tears behind my eyes when I got a huge hug from Sandra. She made me feel like the most special human on the planet. The messages, prayers, beauty, and friendship that weekend were overwhelming, and I began a new spiritual journey after that trip.
I have attended many trips and 2 D and D groups now. I am moved by God at each interaction in this group. I am sharing things with people that I never ever share as it is a darker part of my past I like to keep far away from my present state. God knows I can not move forward in a healthy life without getting that junk out. He placed me in those D and D groups with the right questions and the right people as we shared, prayed, and supported each other each week. I am healthier spiritually than I have ever been, and I love it. I laugh all the time. (Some of my laughter, I must admit, are from the Rich Forbes stories, if I am truly honest.)
People at work say I look different. I recently gave a long presentation for work and had the most horrible time with the surveyors there reviewing our data. I have never been so calm. Two and a half hours of interrogation of my 80 slides, and I was in a state of complete confidence and ownership of the presentation. Several people later asked how I did that. “ How did you stay so calm, that was so intense” It was God, and a result of all the prayers headed at me from my D and D group. I knew it and I felt it!
Then out of the blue on a particularly hard day at work after losing a 45-year-old patient I received a call from Amy Wood. She had texted I was on her mind and asked if I was ok and could she pray with me. We met for dinner that week and have stayed connected since. How amazing is that. We met at Gulf shores and were bunk mates and then reunited on the 4th of July trip. This was Oct and we had not seen each other or spoken since. God again working to have me Be Still and take in what is truly happening here. I am blessed beyond measure. I have made unbelievable friends and feel as if I have a new family. I can’t wait to bring my Kayla to meet everyone at Thanksgiving.
I am closer to God and feel open and free, I feel safe, and I will be forever grateful to you, Will and Sandra for all you do for this ministry.
ECHO has changed my life and there is no turning back now….
- Liz (Lithia Springs)
When I joined Echo I was in a very unhappy place in life. I had left Catholicism in 2015 after accepting that I felt like a meaningless number. I was bitter to Catholicism due to no emotional engagement, and I was also bitter to Christianity due to feeling manipulated to "acknowledge my sin and accept Jesus" the several times I visited various churches. Mostly I was not happy with God for my lot in life. My life has largely been a despondent struggle to find my place, trying various avenues with no real confirmation or draw that would keep me any particular place. I was even in Catholic seminary from 2006 - 2010 studying to be a priest and left also due to not feeling the emotional connection I craved.
Echo popped up on my radar out of the blue when I did a search on Meetup early this year. The rest is history. I found a group of wonderful people with no pretentions, who really knew how to enjoy life. Very, very importantly, we were all linked with a common bond of being Christian. I've been in various singles/connection groups where people were nice and had no pretentions, but the common bond was not the challenging, or rewarding one, of Christ.
You spoke the simple message of Jesus without being pushy or demanding. I did not consider myself a Christian when I first joined you but knew I belonged in virtue of my belief in a loving God and my being on board with Christian morality. I have since made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, which is something that I am still unpacking and chewing on. This profession is a very nuanced thing that can come across as simple but is incredibly profound, and heavy, for me.
I love you all and am very grateful for where I am, today! The ministry you do is very special to me, and I consider myself blessed to have met so many wonderful people, who are so real and encouraging. Please know that you make a difference and have made a difference in my life.
God be praised!
- Paul (Alpharetta, Ga)
Echo Ministries is an answer to my prayers. I have tried connecting with small groups at churches and didn't feel like I fit in being a single woman with a heart after God. Most of my single friends have different interests. I also tried connecting with different singles groups and they are more interested in 'hooking up' which is not what I'm interested in. It's so refreshing to be around like-minded believers with a heart to serve God! Thank you!
- Debi (Atlanta, Ga)
The thing that impressed me the most about Echo was its mission of creating a community for the purpose of growing in Jesus Christ and with one another. That was exactly the kind of group I was looking for. The other singles groups that I had visited seemed to focus more on just meeting other singles and having fun. While it's nice to meet new friends, such groups seemed shallow. Echo was different than these other groups. The people at Echo Ministries were actually focused on growing in their relationships with God, building each other up in Christ, and doing Christ's work in the world. Whether the event was a Bible study, worship service, prayer meeting, service project, or hike, you could tell that the people there loved the Lord, and you could feel his Holy Spirit at work in the friendships that were forming and the lives that were growing.
- Melissa (Gainesville, GA)
I was going through a very difficult divorce after being married for 20 years. I found myself fighting to merely survive... I realized how alone I was when most of the people I knew decided to abandon me and choose sides. It was in this time of loneliness that I found Echo in 2015. Echo Ministries was an answer to my prayers. I was hesitant at first to join the group, but I learned that it was a Christian group. They pray in each gathering, they care for one another, they help and celebrate each other. As soon as I joined, I immediately felt welcomed! It was so diverse with: teachers, professionals, entrepreneurs, missionaries, even people from different denominations and different nations! When I met Greg Ford, the founder and leader, I felt touched by his love for God and humble heart. You can tell he has a sincere desire to serve God -- and that has been an inspiration to so many people. Echo is a safe, loving, caring and servant led group that welcomes people who have gone through divorce. I know this because they welcomed me. If you are single and having a difficult time or just looking to meet good friends for prayer, fun and fellowship full of exciting activities, Echo is the group for you! Now, I am surrounded by so many loving friends that I know I can count on and it just keeps GROWING! There are very strict rules about respect, no alcohol, no married couples so I feel secure when joining my friends at an Echo event. God is a good father!
-Maria (Alpharetta, GA)
I have really enjoyed the fellowship and love of Christ in Echo. Greg is a hard working Christian leader that loves the Lord. Been part of this great group less than one year and made several friends in several activities. Love the camping and hiking out in God's creation! Come join us!
-Melody (Atlanta, GA)
I found myself a single mother; divorced, spiritually depleted, and feeling so much responsibility resting on my shoulders. I needed to find a way to reconnect with others that understood my circumstances and reconnect to my Heavenly Father. Someone mentioned the Echo group to me and I was intrigued. One of my very first events was a camping trip to South Carolina. I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to go even though I tried to find every excuse not to listen. ‘I don’t know anyone’, ‘I don’t have a tent’, ‘I don’t want to be alone in the woods with strange men’, etc. You name it, I thought it! Driving there, I found myself in tears, wondering what in the world I was thinking! I wanted to turn the car around and go back home because I was so afraid of the unknown. I’m so glad I didn’t go home because that weekend was unbelievable! So many friendships were formed and most importantly, I reconnected with Jesus in a way that I never could have orchestrated myself. We sang worship songs around the campfire, hiked, climbed waterfalls, prepared meals together, did devotionals, and had deep conversations. I didn’t even have to bring a tent! The men set up the tents for me and for the other ladies as well. It was refreshing to have the men's tents on one side of the campground and the ladies on the other, as well as having no alcohol allowed at any Echo events. Everyone I met was friendly and welcoming and I quickly realized that I was in a safe environment with excellent leadership. I returned home completely rejuvenated. I look forward to many more camping trips, hikes, and other fun events!
YOU were just what I needed when I needed it. Men experiencing divorce need what you have to offer... at least I DID...
I am forever grateful! ~ God Bless!
- Bill (Buford, GA)
I am so blessed to have Echo in my life. So many of single fulfillments are met continuously in friendships, fellowship, and spiritual growth at Biblical Standards. This ministry brings all kinds of people to one family in Christ under Greg Ford's leadership. Such a pleasure to be part of it.
-Joane (Cumming, Ga)
I couldn't stop praising God for the new friends, outdoors, devotions, small groups and the total package experience. The hikes were both challenging and breathtaking. Being with the group made me feel like I was in an early Corinthian church community.
- Lisa (Atlanta, GA)
I came to Echo sad, broken-hearted, and lonely. My husband had abandoned me with two children 10 years before. I had no real relationship with my natural family and no solid friendships. My quest for love, belonging, and significance had taken me from city to city, church to church, and I was getting nowhere when it came to finding a place to really fit in and to thrive spiritually and emotionally. Although I knew Jesus as my Savior, and He was always close by, there was still a feeling of emptiness and hunger for human relationships. Then I received an invitation to go camping with Echo ... I was nervous. I felt as though it was going to be another singles event where nobody would speak to me, and I would leave feeling lonelier than before. To my surprise, there was a true sense of love and fellowship of believers, people were friendly and accepting, and I left that camp with 35 new friends and a full tank of love. I had often read the scripture that God sets the lonely in families (Ps 68:6) and for the first time in 10 years, I felt that I had found my family.
- Kelly (Sandy Springs, GA)
Words cannot express my thankfulness for ECHO and all the opportunities presented within the organization. It is my hope and prayer God will continue to direct this ministry according to His will.
- Karen (Lilburn, GA)
Thank you, Echo, for being a ministry that embodies a Christian family environment where Christians can come together to minister to the hearts of one another and share the love of Christ. It is such a privilege to be a part of such a remarkable group of people!
- Joel (Lawrenceville, GA)
ECHO has an anointing on it, and it IS a beacon of love, hope, safety, and holiness -- no doubt about it. Keep on keeping on.... and do not tire of doing good. God will lift you up on wings of Eagles as you continue to seek His will and follow His lead for your life. You're efforts are a BIG IMPACT on my life! Love and God bless you for your faithfulness and willingness to do the Lord's work in such an awesome way!
- Sylvia (Alpharetta, GA)
God provided Echo at a time in my life where I was between circles of friends. My life primarily consisted of partying, drinking and doing drugs, and once my relationship with Jesus Christ got rekindled -- I immediately wanted to surround myself with Christ centered friendships.... only one problem... I didn't have any. Praise God for bringing Echo into my life! Now I feel part of a community, and have tons of events to go to that all focus on our Lord and Savior.
- William (Cumming, GA)
Echo is surely doing great things for Christian Single Adults in the Western Metro Atlanta area. I am so happy that Woodstock Baptist recognized a need for a strong Single Adults Ministry and agreed to support Echo. Blessings!
- Diana (Gwinnett, GA)
I have been so blessed by Echo. May we continue to allow God to work through us as we glorify Him in all we do (whether an outreach or an outing). Praying for Kingdom Connections for Echo!!
- Tonya (Flowery Branch, GA)
I love the spiritual food and fellowship I am blessed with in the Bible Study/discussion on Monday nights. The hikes are awesome too!
- Cynthia (Cumming, GA)
I was met with open arms by the people in the group and instantly felt a camaraderie. The Lord has used Echo to make metro Atlanta become home for me. So thankful for your ministry in my life.
-Terry (Marietta, Ga)
My very first event was a 3-day camping/hiking trip to the Great Smokey Mountains. I met an amazing leader on this trip, Greg Ford, who has a real heart for singles and a love for the Lord. There were so many people there and Greg made you feel like you were part of the group right away. It is hard to describe what Echo has meant to me this past year. My life changed in so many exciting ways: I met other Christian singles with hearts for Jesus, there were service events to get involved with (something I loved), fun events to go to like Pizza & Prayers, movie nights, Star gazing and so much more. I met wonderful girls who became my girlfriends. Echo Ministries is a place to grow your faith, experience great outdoor events like camping/hiking in a safe Christian environment, share your resources and time with some great people in local service events like the Atlanta Dream Center and so much more... Watch out, because Echo ministries might just bring out the best in you... because that is what it did for me! Few church's have tried to lead a singles ministry, but Echo Ministries has done it with a heart and with success! I am praying for generous financial support for this organization, that will allow Echo Ministries to continue to grow and offer these opportunities for adult singles.
- Judy (Atlanta, GA)
I've had the opportunity to meet new friends that I otherwise would not have had the chance to do without Echo Ministries. It seems that all I do is go to work and then come home, go to work and then come home. You guys have given me other things to do (plus meeting new people) with your ministry, and for this I am very grateful.
- Scott (Gainesville, GA)
I was so amazed by the genuine hospitality given to me and to my friend Linda! We had wondered whether we should join the event for an autumn hike since we had never been before, and we were pleasantly surprised! The love of Christ was shown to us that day in many, many ways! And we have since been back! Thank you for showing the love of Christ!! Echo is so encouraging, and anyone can be blessed!!
- Susan (Decatur, GA)
Echo is such a different kind of group. I was immediately made to feel welcome and included. It is truly a Christian family where the focus is on enjoying God and His creation while growing more mature in their own individual walk with Him through Bible studies and prayer meetings as well as having fun and growing closer as a group through social events. The feeling of being loved and accepted for who you are just flows through the group naturally because of the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit present in the believers. I would encourage anyone looking to get connected with a group of Christian singles to give Echo a try. It has truly changed me in just a very short period of time.
- Heather (Cartersville)
The opportunity to fellowship with wonderful people who love the Lord, absolutely watered my soul. It's such a blessing to be in the presence of Kingdom seekers. Addtionally, the hiking, waterfalls, leadership, and kindness were heartwarming. If you are seeking an opportunity to truly fellowship with a group of believers, stretch, learn, grow, and truly connect... I encourage you to consider echo! You'll be glad you did!
- Kim (Atlanta, GA)
Living as a single Christian is very challenging; I came across ‘Echo Ministry’ as I was searching for a ministry to be involved in separately from my church and with people with similar commonalities. I was blown away with the members of this ministry; the first time I had the opportunity to meet them was through a camping trip; it took less than 5 minutes to feel like I have known them forever. I immediately felt at home with all of its members. This ministry provides a safe and healthy place for singles. Through this ministry I find that we are all divinely connected; we encourage each other, as we are all walking in the same shoes, each time we meet is a powerful gathering as it offers a place to worship and Glorify the Father in Heaven. I always come away refreshed in my faith in Jesus Christ. Greg is the pastor & founder of this ministry; he is a man who knows God’s Word; Thank you for the incredible ministry, and your dedication to teaching devotions to God and His word in a non judgmental & an encouraging environment, ensuring that we are all equipped with skills needed to live our life in obedience with Christ.
-Hanan (Atlanta, GA)