In 1984, a group of people who lived in North Little Rock were driving to west Little Rock every Sunday to attend Fellowship Bible Church. That group decided to plant a church north of the river so that we could bring people to a church in our own community. For several months, Robert Lewis (then the lead pastor at FBC) trained us and we became the first church plant by FBC. That June, Fellowship North held our first worship service in the Northside YMCA, where we would meet for the next 7 years.
We always knew we wanted to reach out to people who had given up on church, but none of us knew how to really run a church ourselves. Before long, we found Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and they were on a journey similar to ours. Willow helped us figure out what we were doing well, and what we could improve. Fellowship North continued to grow and become a place where the Bible is taught clearly (with lots of creativity and art) to adults and students in a casual and welcoming atmosphere.
Then we came to a turning point in 2006. Two important things happened: Harold Nash joined this team as one of our pastors, and later that year we were miraculously able to pay off a huge building debt. Both were a huge answer to prayer: our first African-American pastor, and freedom from a heavy financial burden.
All during that year, we had prayed – telling God that once we were debt-free, we would do whatever God called us to next as a church. That payoff happened more quickly than we ever thought possible, and then we were ready to see what He had for us next! The leadership team spent much of 2007 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 all people can find the grace and mercy that only God offers, and 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.