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History

 

Historical Photo: Pre-FireEast White Oak Bible Church began in 1892 when a small building was constructed on the same corner the present facility occupies. The farming families who founded the church were seeking to establish a gathering place for teaching God's Word and nurturing their large families in the Christian faith. Given the rural location, outreach was of course limited to those who lived near the church.

The earliest pastors were also farmers. The church belonged to the Mennonite denomination until the 1930's, when the church became independent and nondenominational, as it remains today.

As the years passed by, and times changed, so did the ministry of East White Oak. As the area grew more diverse and modern transportation was available, the church was able to attract a larger and broader congregation, from all around the Normal-Bloomington area. By the 1970's, the preponderance of large extended families in the congregation began to wane in favor of young couples, smaller families, singles, and students.

Youth outreach programs, new facilities, and modern church organization all came to East White Oak. By the mid-eighties a congregation of 300 existed and the missions and youth programs of the church were very exciting.

The 1990's brought even more explosive growth. Again, new facilities and ministries blossomed. By the end of the decade a congregation of 1000 had developed with multiple pastors and other staff workers.

Why such a success story? It is clear to those of us who worship here, that God intended to use the East White Oak ministry as a place where people could come to know Christ in an atmoshpere of Christian love. In fact this is our mission statement: to know Christ and make Him known. Our church is very conservative doctrinally, but we are not exclusive or separatistic.

Through all the changes, the East White Oak ministry continues to hold the authority of the Bible as God's inspired Word, to salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and to a belief in the Lord Jesus' soon return. With a focus on the spiritual need of people and families, the East White Oak ministry continues to make Christ known.

The warmth and love of the congregation for the Lord and each other is as evident today as it was in the farming congregation over a hundred years ago. People at every level of spiritual development and from all kinds of backgrounds feel welcomed here. In fact, a church survey indicated that people from over 40 different denominational backgrounds worship at East White Oak.

So if you are a seasoned believer looking for a place to worship and serve, or a person seeking answers to your spiritual questions, or somewhere in-between, you are welcome here. Our prayer is that you will join us in "knowing Christ and making Him known."