The Ice Cream Truck Church
City Church Griffin’s ministry started with an ice cream truck. Technically, it was an old UPS truck, one that Pastor Josh Abernathy and his wife converted and drove all over the city, delivering free ice cream.
For Pastor Josh, launching a new church had to start with reaching out to a community most people knew as “beautiful, but broken.”
City Church Griffin, Georgia held a unique position as a new and unifying church in a city divided by socioeconomic status, race, and literal sides of a train track. And before they could ask people to try a new church, they opted for an easier question: would you like free ice cream?
The heart of the church was undeniable. Pastor Josh recalls driving through Griffin and, while praying, being hit with the words of Matthew 5:14:
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
And Jeremiah 29:7:
“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
Three years into their ministry, City Church Griffin was known as “The Ice Cream Truck Church,” a diverse group of people who cared about the city and wanted to see it thrive. But as the church grew, so did their opportunity to reach and care for more people. The city asked if they would consider taking over Movies in the Park for Griffin and later a city basketball league.
It was time to invest in branding and messaging that reflected City Church Griffin’s goal: being a part of the city of God for the city of Griffin.
It was no secret that the church cared for the community and wanted to dive into loving it. But with those incredible opportunities came a poignant reality: City Church Griffin was growing, and their existing branding needed an update.
But this church’s brand was well known throughout the city. Their logo—a bold and recognizable double “C” with a single connecting line—symbolized everything City Church Griffin hoped to be: a unified body bridging the gap between the two sides of the city. The heart of the church was rooted in loving your neighbor, no matter what limitations made that seem impossible.
Their outreach efforts cultivated internal growth. Pastor Josh realized they’d need to update their existing brand to make it more flexible and work across multiple platforms. The church’s brand needed to grow along with the church itself. That’s when they called ArtSpeak Creative.
A Brand that Highlights the Mission
The ArtSpeak team immediately connected with the vision of City Church Griffin and their desire to build on the brand their community knew. We implemented the 3-phase branding process, including discovery and messaging, visual identity, and an implementation strategy.
It started with in-depth discovery and strategic messaging. The team helped create a brand promise and tagline that encompassed their vision as a church: For God. For Griffin. For you.
Then, we had a mood board discussion to consider which direction to take the logo. Though ArtSpeak presented several options, Pastor Josh and the ArtSpeak team decided to update and refine the original logo. This strategy would keep the integrity of the initial brand but evolve it to fit City Church Griffin’s growing ministry.
We updated the build of the logo itself to address and correct previous technical limitations and hold a strong, recognizable look across multiple platforms. And, of course, we kept the signature line bridging the two C’s that highlighted the heart of the church’s mission.
We added to the colors City Church Griffin was already using, implementing more vibrant and saturated greens in their color scheme of off-black, beige, and brave red.
Additionally, we armed the brand with an abstract light leak texture effect on photos to mirror the church’s feel of transformation. And bringing together an “x” pattern originally born from the logo, we created a repeating image to use across social media, on merchandise, and elsewhere to forward the idea of crossing lines and reaching beyond the divide.
The Next Step in Reaching the City
Equipped with a brand that will grow along with them and a strategy furthering their mission to be a Jesus movement that awakens the soul and the city, City Church continues to thrive and grow in the heart of Griffin.
In December of 2021, they secured the purchase of a permanent building for their ministry—prime real estate in downtown Griffin, right across from where they host Movies in the Park.
Moving forward, they plan to expand their brand to additional internal ministries and events happening at their church. And they plan to keep showing up, caring for their city, and reaching the people of Griffin.
Want a look behind the scenes? See the mood board that inspired this brand.
“We had a great experience with ArtSpeak Creative. From our initial discussions to the delivery of our brand, we felt valued, cared for, heard, and well taken care of. Their process pushed and challenged us to stay laser focused on our mission, and their feedback and conversations encouraged us to think outside of the mindset we have been operating. We did not receive a ‘generic’ brand or content. They listened to us, did their homework on who we are, and welcomed our voice in the entire process. The finished product was well thought out, intentional, and professional. We are excited to reach more people!” Josh Abernathy Lead Pastor City Church Griffin