A Brief History — The Early Days
In November of 1978, a group of young “baby-boomers” started meeting at a home in Tacoma for worship and teaching. Having become Christians during high school and early college, these young friends were looking for something different than the traditional churches of their day. Such was the beginning of Believers Fellowship, and in January of 1979 we were incorporated as a church.
Our name came from two churches in the Dallas area that we admired: Believers Chapel (known for its strong teaching ministry) and Fellowship Bible Church (known for its plurality of leadership structure). Our formative years were also greatly influenced by such pastor/teachers as Gene Getz and Ray Stedman.
In 1979 we had no denominational backing, no mission statement, no outside funding, no resources, no training in church planting, no leaders over the age of 26 and essentially no idea what we were doing! What we had was an earnest love for God and the dream of a simple church committed to following basic New Testament principles of body life and a small core of people highly dedicated to making the dream a reality.
A Period of Growth and Expansion
After a year or so of meeting in the Tacoma area the decision was made in 1980 to establish the church in Gig Harbor. (None of us lived in Gig Harbor at the time, and nobody can remember why we chose that location, but it turned out to be a good decision!)
Like many start-up ministries we met at various locations (Gig Harbor High School and Burton Park) and odd times (afternoons and evenings) until we bought property and spent two years constructing the first phase of our facility on Hunt Street NW. We moved into our “new building” in the fall of 1985. As we grew in numbers we added a larger worship space in 1997 and a children’s ministry and youth wing in 2004.
Looking back over nearly 30 years of ministry we are grateful to God who blessed our efforts in spite of our youth and ignorance, and who continues to draw together an incredible community of servant hearted people who love him and each other.
Today and Tomorrow
We still have no denominational ties but we do have a mission statement, a little more maturity (but not much) and a few more resources. It is a wonderful time to be a part of Believers Fellowship as the baby boom “echo” fills up our spaces (and their little “echoes” fill up our nursery!) and new generations flow into our midst with a heart for making a difference in the world for Christ. As faithful and good as God has been to us in the past we can’t wait to see what he has for our future!