About Circle Assembly

Circle Assembly of God was founded in 1982 By Pastor John Lawson and the Haynes family at a prayer meeting. Sitting atop a hill on Rutledge Pike in Knoxville Tennesse, worshipers gather on Sundays and throughout the week striving to get closer to God.

It's 10:45AM on Sunday morning. You walk through the front doors of Circle Assembly of God and are greeted by smiling faces that are genuinely happy to see you. You feel something's different about this church. You find yourself a seat as the announcements of upcoming events and needs of the church are read. Tennie, the pastor's wife, gets in front of the congregation to get everyone amped for praise and worship. The Praise Team gets started and then you feel it. The presence of the Holy Spirit moving across the church. People coming forward to be prayed for, being filled with the Holy Spirit. Once the Praise Team finishes their portion of the service, Pastor John Lawson delivers a message divinely inspired by God. A message you feel that God had meant just for you. You leave the service feeling recharged, refreshed and renewed. Ready to start the week and face any obstacle the Devil would put in your way.

Assemblies of God

Circle Assembly of God is a member of the Assemblies of God denomination. We are a full Gospel church where we believe and practice the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We contribute to and participate in missions and community outreach. We adhere to the tenets of the Assemblies of God and its mission.

The Four-Fold Mission of the Assemblies of God

1. Evangelize the lost
2. Worship God
3. Disciple believers
4. Show Compassion

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about relationships; Relationships with God and relationships with the people that God loves so much that He sent His Son to save. The Bible is full of stories of how God used the relationships of normal people to accomplish His divine purposes. He still desires to do that today in and through all of us in the family of God. The Bible places our relationship with God as first priority.

You can learn more by visiting the official Assemblies of God website by clicking here.

" And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

- 1 Corinthians 12:26-27

Our Leadership

Pastor John

John Lawson

Sr. Pastor

Pastor John Lawson is the founding pastor of Circle Assembly of God. He was saved at an early age and on June 6th, 1975, was filled with the Holy Ghost for the first time, leading him down a road to a lifetime of service to our Lord. Pastor John's faith-based style in preaching gives those who walk through our doors hope in their time of need. In the 40+ years of Circle Assembly of God, Pastor John has seen countless miracles, healings, and most importantly, lives saved.

Brian Pair

Brian Pair

Associate Pastor

When Pastor Brian Pair speaks, an abundance of knowledge flows forth from him. Pastor Brian came to Jesus at an early age. He began attending Circle Assembly of God in the early 1990s. Pastor Brian is an ordained in the Assemblies of God. His in-depth analysis of scriptures is unmatched and he regularly preaches on end-times and prophecy.

Youth Pastor

Youth Pastor

Youth Pastor

We are looking for a Youth Pastor to take on the responsibility of leading our Middle and High School aged teens in their walk with Jesus. We need someone who takes pride in mentoring youth to be our next Christian leaders. A task not to be taken lightly! If you are interested, please see Pastor John and Tennie.

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Julie Burris

Children's Church Director / Treasurer

Julie has been the Children's Church Director for the last 8 years. Julie was saved at an early age and was called to serve with children when she was a teenager. In 2014 she was asked to take on the responsibility of helping grow the next generation of Christians. Everyone loves Miss Julie and we are proud to have her on the team. Julie also serves as the church treasurer maintaining all the finances of the church.

Church Culture

The Deacon Board is composed of seven members. These men oversee the on-going business of the church. We have an amazing praise and worship team that plays a mix of contemporary Christian music as well as some old-time gospel. We have Sunday School classes for all ages including nursery. We are a busy church always in need of volunteers for helping as greeters, ushers, sound booth operators and more.

On Wednesday nights, we offer a Royal Rangers program and Girl's Ministries program. Tennie Lawson teaches a "Deeper Walk" Bible Study class. We are an avid supporter of missionaries in many countries. We have volunteers who help with nursing home visits, Angelic Ministries, Isaiah House and other outreach programs. If you are looking for a way to use your talents and gifts God gave you, we have something you can do!

Frequent Questions

Is there a dress code to come to your church?

Nope. God doesn't care about your appearance and neither do we. We just want you to come... just as you are.

I have little ones. Do you provide child care?

We provide nursery care during Sunday School and during morning and evening services. Children's church is offered for K-5th grade during morning and evening services.

I need healing, prayer, and a miracle of God...

Circle Assembly of God is the only church in our area with a Deliverance Team. We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and we practice them. Our Pastoral team and deacon board are amazing would gladly pray over you.

Can I speak with the Pastor if I need to?

Pastor John and Tennie try to go out of their way to make themselves available to everyone. Associate Pastor Brian Pair as well as any of our deacons are also available in the event Pastor John is unavailable.

How Did We Get Here?

August 2023

Circle purchased the adjacent residence with possible plans to turn the house into a space for Royal Rangers as well as classrooms.

March 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the church shuts the doors for several months. During this time, we begin live streaming our services to Facebook, which continues today.

September 2018

The current expansion is paid off and Circle Assembly becomes completely debt free. TN District Superintendent Reverend Terry Bailey attends Homecoming to celebrate the burning of the note.
Note Burning

September 2016

Circle Assembly's YouTube page is born. Sunday morning and evening services are video recorded and uploaded to the YouTube channel.
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The church has grown to a point where we need more space. Construction begins on a new expansion with a sanctuary that seats 700 people, a stage large enough for a full praise and worship band, and plenty of room for Pastor John to Preach and run.


The church outgrows its building and begins construction on an expansion that can seat around 300.


Cicle Assembly purchases land at our current location 8529 Rutledge Pike, TN and begins construction on a permanent church location.

March 1983

Cicle Assembly moves to its first location - a storefront location in Corryton, TN

November 1982

A tounges and interpretation delivered at a prayer meeting at the Haynes residence revealed that John Lawson was chosen to build a church in the East Knoxville area.

The Plan of Salvation

Circle Assembly's primary mission is to win the lost. The only way to do this is to tell people about Jesus. We want to make sure you have the opportunity here for salvation. The Roman Road to Salvation is a selection of Bible verses taken from the book of Romans that present the plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. You can memorize these verses and/or mark them in your Bible and use them when sharing your faith with family or friends. If you have not yet confessed and believed on Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please read and consider the meaning of each verse and act accordingly.

Romans 3:23 NKJV – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:10 NKJV – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 5:12 NKJV – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–

Romans 5:8 NKJV – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:13 NKJV – For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Romans 10:17 NKJV – So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.