Early in 1984, a group of people who lived in North Little Rock were making a weekly drive to west Little Rock to attend Fellowship Bible Church. They made the decision to plant a church north of the river so that they could invite people around them to a church in their own community. This group met all spring for training with Robert Lewis, who was then the lead pastor at the Little Rock church, eventually becoming the first church plant by FBC. On the first Sunday in June 1984, our first worship service was held in the Northside YMCA. We met at the Y, setting up and taking down chairs each week for seven years before we moved to our current location.
Our vision from day one was to be a church that reached out to people who had given up on church somewhere along the way. Because no one in the original group had ever started a church, we didn't have any idea what to expect. Early on, we were forced to think through our strategy for "doing church." Before long, we discovered a church in the Chicago area (Willow Creek Community Church
) that was on a journey similar to ours, but a few years further down the road. Willow helped us understand things that we were doing right (faithfulness to the scriptures, solid ministry to children and students, contemporary music, addressing relevant issues in our culture, etc.) and other things that we could do better (incorporate the arts more fully, be more seeker-friendly).
The year 2006 was a turning point for us. Two important things happened. One, Harold Nash
joined this team as one of our pastors. And two, we saw God's miracle as a huge building debt we had incurred was miraculously paid off.
One of our prayers during that year was that when we were debt-free, we would do whatever God called us to as a church. 2007 was the year we began to see what it is God is calling us to. The leadership team spent much of that year seeking God about our mission and vision. In January of 2008, we defined that with these words.
to make disciples of all people
to mobilize a racially-unified family of God,
called out as the presence of Jesus in our world,
to pursue His mission: all people reconciled to God.
We want to be a church where people, no matter where they are in their life's journey, can find the grace and mercy that only God offers and find hope and meaning for their lives. We also want to be a church that challenges people who have chosen to follow Jesus to settle for nothing less than being fully devoted to that adventure.
to listen to the message from our Anniversary Sunday, June 1, 2008: The vision of Fellowship North.