History Of Fellowship Dallas
Here is a summary of the first 38 years...
In the summer of 1977, Dr. Gene Getz led a group of people to begin another Fellowship Bible Church in the North Dallas/Park Cities area. Their vision was to bring a church with a contemporary and relational emphasis to this part of Dallas. After meeting as a Bible class, they held their first official church service on Sunday evening, October 9, 1977. The new church born from that was named Fellowship Bible Church Park Cities. Eventually Dr. Getz returned to the original Fellowship Bible Church and Al Barnett became Senior Pastor.
In the summer of 1980, Al Barnett left and Fellowship Park Cities moved to a newly constructed modest facility on Boedeker Street, south of NorthPark mall. This was a challenging season for the church. It was carrying significant debt as a result of acquiring property and building a facility and it found itself with neither a Senior Pastor nor a Worship Pastor. But, God proved faithful and provided for both in September 1980 when the church hired Bill Counts to be Senior Pastor and Sammy Davenport to lead worship for the then 120-person congregation.
The church’s emphasis on God’s grace, sound biblical teaching and authentic community, combined with a contemporary, informal format, led to continued growth in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Because of overcrowding and inadequate parking, the church was forced to pursue a new location. It eventually purchased an office complex at Meadow Lane and Central Expressway and renovated it into a church facility. The church moved there and changed its name to Fellowship Bible Church Dallas in August 1993.
The church continued to grow and move forward under God’s will and direction. In 2004, Bill Counts retired and current Lead Pastor, Gary Brandenburg, came on board to lead Fellowship into the next phase of its life. Also in 2004, the church purchased the former United Artists Plaza on Central at Park Lane. Renovations took place throughout 2005, and Fellowship Dallas began meeting in its new home in March 2006. Jason Jackson joined the team as new Worship Pastor in the summer of 2009.
After almost 40 years, and with approximately 3,000 people calling Fellowship Dallas their church home today, the commitments to God’s grace, sound biblical teaching and authentic community remain foundational. We are a church of small groups, called “Community Groups”, believing that they are the best environment for people to grow spiritually as they engage in learning biblical truth, connect to one another in authentic relationships, and live out their faith with a sense of mission and purpose. A new emphasis for Fellowship in recent years is our role in transforming the neighborhoods and community around us through outreach ministries such as our Bridging the Gap food ministry, our work with refugees in Vickery Meadow through the Melting Pot, and our work with Conrad High School in Vickery Meadow.
As always, the atmosphere at Fellowship beautifully attracts both Christians and those who are still seeking to know more about a relationship with Jesus Christ. We intentionally communicate the transforming power of grace and truth, which says that people can become the new creations God promises and our hearts crave. We are seeing more and more diversity among those who call Fellowship Dallas home, a blessing that thrills us as we better reflect the beauty and richness of the global Body of Christ. Though we’ve undergone significant change over the years with transitions to new locations, new leadership and new vision, something that has not changed is our deep desire to proclaim the Gospel of God’s amazing grace and to spread the love of Jesus to each other and into the surrounding neighborhoods, the city of Dallas, and beyond that to the world. We strive to be a church that would be greatly missed if we were not here.
Like many other established churches, we at Fellowship are living through what it means to be the Body of Christ in an increasingly complex, post-modern era and to an increasingly diverse, un-churched community and upcoming generation. It is an exciting and challenging time, much like it must have been back in 1977 when God was birthing something new. As was true then and throughout Fellowship’s blessed history, we find ourselves in complete dependence on God for wisdom, favor and guidance. Another constant is our commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment as we pursue our mission of leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, more than half way through the second decade of the 21st century, we are focusing our vision on being a midtown Dallas church of grace-filled people empowered for community transformation and new church formation so that the Gospel is faithfully transferred from person to person and generation to generation.