A brief history of BCCC
Bible Covenant Community Church was formed in April of 1982 when a small group of four or five families began meeting under the leadership of Rev. Ronald Logan and his wife, Donna. Like so many new, independent churches, the group initially rented spaces to gather in York; first an uptown storefront and then the National Guard Armory. Within a year, they had grown and were able to purchase property where we currently reside at 1712 Lincoln Road. A sanctuary was built and dedicated in 1983. An article was published in the Yorkville Enquirer on September 15, 1983 citing the new church’s growth and establishment as a miracle. To read the article click here.
Another newspaper article was published a year later, indicating that Bible Covenant Community Church was preparing to “grow again”. To read the article click here. With the addition of the fellowship hall in 1985, the church building could now facilitate more ministries. Under Rev. Logan, the new church continued to grow and became more established in the community. BCCC held revivals, hosted crusades, and had successful Vacation Bible Schools in addition to their regular services and activities. And, seeing a need within the community, Noah’s Ark Daycare was opened and operated in the fellowship hall for a number of years.
But, more important than any foundation poured for a sanctuary or a fellowship hall to be built, a foundation was laid for who the church body of Bible Covenant Community Church would be. The beliefs that the newly formed church were to adhere to and use as their purpose and process, were typed up and securely bound. The words are informative, encouraging, and inspiring. They include expectations and exhortations for the church to be a Lighthouse in York, for the people to live God-fearing lives that would leave legacies of Christians for generations to come, and for the cross to be carried with grace as they moved forward. To read the complete set of beliefs click here.
After five years of leadership and ministry at Bible Covenant Community Church, the Logans felt they had fulfilled the purpose that God had intended for them in York. But, before leaving, Rev. Logan was instrumental in finding a denomination that the small, independent church could align with to become a part of something bigger. The Christian & Missionary Alliance was presented because of their sound doctrine, faithful missions work, and growing presence in the south. The congregation voted and chose to become affiliated with the C&MA in 1987.
Over the next thirty years, Bible Covenant only had two other pastors who preceded our current pastor; Rev. Jeff O’Rourke from 1987 to 2007, and Rev. Todd Bean from 2008 to 2016. Along with their wives and children, both pastors contributed greatly to who BCCC is today.
Rev. Jeff O’Rourke (Pastor Jeff) was the first C&MA pastor, and was therefore tasked with introducing and implementing the Christian & Missionary Alliance doctrine, philosophy, bi-laws, and missions emphasis. Under Pastor Jeff’s leadership, the church saw more growth and many changes. After studying biblical leadership, the Advisory Board transitioned to the biblical pattern of elders, deacons, deaconesses. The traditional choir transitioned into a Praise Team of several instrumentalists and vocalists. But, even though contemporary choruses and songs were introduced, hymns remained foundational in the Praise & Worship time. The already established ministries for men, women, singles, youth and children expanded. And, BCCC’s Vacation Bible Schools continued to be a big draw, attracting as many as 130 children for the weeklong event. The young people were highly successful in the C&MA Bible quizzing program for years, which lead to four of them placing in either 1st or 3rd place at International Competitions. Missions support became an integral ministry. BCCC began hosting annual conferences where missionaries would visit and share the work that God was doing in the world. Funds and supplies were collected and sent to help assist in the Great Commission work. Praying for the missionaries and their ministries was always on the prayer list. Relationships with several of the missionary families were built over time and still remain in tact today. Teaching the Bible book-by-book and verse-by-verse was implemented and is still practiced at BCCC. Discipleship and fellowship also became strong focuses under Pastor Jeff.
In the early 2000s, every ministry of Bible Covenant was flourishing, and the Sunday morning attendance had peaked at 100 plus. The small church was beginning to outgrow the facilities, and discussions for expansion began in 2005. During this time, we also saw direct fruits of discipleship. A young man who had grown up in the church graduated from a local Bible college and returned to BCCC to become part of the staff as Youth Pastor and Worship Leader. In 2005, we also initiated one of our favorite community outreach events. Our Fall Festiship was an evening of fun, food, and friends, ending with a hayride through the community. The church experienced great joy in serving God, the body, and the community as God continued to build His church at Bible Covenant. However, whatever God builds up for His glory, Satan will make every effort to tear down and destroy.
The great joy that Bible Covenant had been experiencing turned to great sorrow in 2007 as the church lost leadership and members as a result of sin that had crept in.
With a desire to continue the work that God was doing in and through Bible Covenant, by God’s grace and strength, the church looked forward. After nine months under the healing leadership of an interim pastor, BCCC began reviewing resumes for a new pastor.
Rev. Todd Bean (Pastor Todd) was offered and accepted the pastorate position at Bible Covenant Community Church in 2008. The church was still healing and adapting to the changes. Sadly, seeds of discourse continued to be sewn, and the membership continued to decline. However, under Pastor Todd’s leadership, we adopted our current purpose and process; Reaching Up, Reaching In, Reaching Out. As indicated throughout our website, it has become a pillar of who we are, what we believe, and why we exist. During our time with Pastor Todd, small groups were implemented as a means of “reaching in”, and outreach evangelism was emphasized so that we could learn to “reach out” more comfortably and effectively. We incorporated Trunk-Or-Treat into our Fall Festiship, and witnessed the highest community participation ever, as a result. Although we lost our Praise Team as we lost church members, we continued to “reach up” to God through sincere worship. We continued to study God’s word and pray; drawing near to Him, seeking Him, and trusting in Him. We had to depend on Him, like never before. Our faith was certainly being tested. But, we knew that whatever work God was doing, would ultimately be for our good and His glory. With Pastor Todd, we saw spiritual growth. We also saw our facilities transformed with some much needed renovations.
One of the songs that we learned at BCCC in the last ten years is “Through The Fire”. The chorus reminds us ..
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy,
And the hill would not be hard to climb.
He never offered victory without fighting,
But He said help would always come in time.
So, remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in;
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again.
Bible Covenant has certainly been through the fire. But, God has brought us through. We didn’t perish in the flames. What Satan could have used to destroy us, God used to strengthen and refine us. Yes, we have decreased in quantity as a result of the devastations that engulfed our small church. But, we have increased in quality, with the desire and determination to honor and glorify our Lord.
So, where are we now? In the summer of 2016, Pastor Todd moved his family north to minister to another church body, allowing him to be closer to his aging parents. At the time, our head elder, Brock Vosburgh, stepped up to teach God’s word in our services, just as he had been faithfully doing in the adult Sunday School class. Over the next few months we searched our hearts and sought God in regards to the future of BCCC. We felt compelled to hold on, as encouraged in the chorus above, - and to trust that God would show up and show us how to move forward. We would delight ourselves in Him and keep our eyes on Him, - and wait… and pray… that He would give us the desires of our heart to continue serving Him and our community, and to glorify His name.
In the summer of 2017, after retiring, brother Brock was ordained to become our official pastor. He is faithful to teach God’s word and minister to the body, as he continues to grow in grace and knowledge in his new role. As our shepherd, he always prays that we will be the fattest sheep around (from feeding on God’s word), - and that the flock would not be divided or devoured again. … As we move forward, we look to God and rely on Him for His presence, protection, and provision. And, we look forward to seeing how God will move.
Who Bible Covenant Community Church started as, is still who we are today. The names of the active members are not the same, - but, the heart and spirit of the founding church body has remained. In 1983. when the church building was dedicated, a plaque was secured with these words, "Because of heartfelt convictions, this congregation is dedicated to the giving of themselves that the word of God may live." Thirty five years later, those words are still true.