Our Story

The idea was to start a different kind of church in Gainesville, A Church for the Rest of Us. Gainesville doesn’t need another church, it needs a different kind of church. Shift is a church that exists for the people that aren’t here yet, for the people ignored and overlooked.

We live this out by creating a welcoming environment that allows real people to engage and interact with each other. We empower people to live their everyday lives in a way that brings good fruit to those around them. We challenge people to ask better questions and we love those that are already asking them. We value unity over uniformity. We don’t all have to think the same things to be in relationship with one another.

We believe Jesus orients his work, purpose, and his very person in what he calls “The Kingdom of God”. He came to bring and grow the Kingdom of God through the commandments of loving God and loving others. He calls us to ‘be the hands and feet’ by standing up for the oppressed, feeding the hungry, and clothing the poor. We grow the Kingdom by spreading his love through attitude and action. Lastly, just as the Kingdom is welcoming, affirming, and inclusive of all people, we too, as a church, strive to be. We are open, affirming, and celebratory of all races, genders, and orientations. Our LGBTQ+ siblings are just as much a part of this Kingdom as anyone.

Shift Church represents a movement of people that want to see a change happen throughout the city of Gainesville. We invite you to join us, be part of the story, and help write the next chapter.



The vision of Shift Church is to be a home for the spiritually homeless. We believe that we are in a crucial moment in church history and that our role in this, is to provide a place for people that the system isn’t working.

We believe that establishing roots and living in the way of Jesus will produce good fruit in marriages, families, relationships and professions.  We are the church that will serve and embrace the culture of Gainesville and help people Shift toward connection with Jesus and community.


We Believe

To begin with, we’re a Jesus-centered community. We trust the Bible as it points us to Jesus, and we trust the Apostles’ Creed as a guiding interpretation of what it teaches. Outside of those essentials, you’ll probably find a diversity of perspectives within our community. (We actually think that diversity is a good thing.) If you’re wondering what our pastors believe on any number of questions, the best way to explore that is to listen to the teachings on our YouTube page. Or better yet, join us in person for a gathering!

Apostle’s Creed

We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Where does Shift stand on questions related to sexuality and gender identity?

Among the members of our leadership, staff, and community, you’ll find a wide spectrum of beliefs about questions related to human sexuality and gender identity, and we believe that agreement on these questions should not be the basis of our unity. We also believe that LGBTQ people have a right to know what they can expect from us in terms of belonging, involvement, leadership, and marriage. Our lead pastor, Joe Smith, addressed this in a teaching that you can hear on our YouTube page, Human Sexuality, and we strongly encourage you to listen to the teaching to understand our approach to this in a way that can’t be accomplished on an FAQ page. (During that teaching, Joe referred to a reading list for further learning, and you can find it on our Facebook Virtual Campus.) However, the bottom line is that no one at Shift will be excluded from belonging, involvement, and leadership on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity, and we have pastors available to perform weddings for same-sex couples.