Front Row: Glenna Smith, Leslie Smith, Eldred McClean, and Lauren McClean.
Back Row: Shelia Rollerson, Marsha Malone-Harris, Ramona Golden, Ruby Hayes, Margaret McGee, Beverly Bratwaite, Bessie Gray, Mamie Penny-Brookins, Fred Brookins, Georgiana Woodley, Filmore Woodley, Asarene Watts, and Larry Watts.
On September 12, 1989, North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship was founded as a non-denominational assembly of believers with a common vision for a different sort of church---a church centered on the exposition of the Word of God, a church where Spirit-filled worship could be freely expressed, a church where a lively music ministry would have a prominent, yet subservient place to the proclamation of the gospel, a church where the love of Christ could be tangibly manifested, a church that would be what God had called His church to be---a new community.
On September 18, 1990, we celebrated our first Founder’s Day in our new home at 1111 South Sherman in Richardson, Texas. In 1993, God led the church to acquire a five-acre tract of land at the corner of Greenville and Centennial. In 1994, the church that began with a handful of faithful believers celebrated its fifth anniversary with nearly 150 families on the rolls. By the end of the year, it was breaking ground at its new home at 302 Centennial. With unbridled enthusiasm, and in the midst of a fierce thunderstorm, the congregation braved the elements and moved into their new home in May 1995.
Throughout 1995 and 1996, God used the relationship between Trinity Fellowship and NDCBF to demonstrate to the community-at-large that Christians with different ethnicity and worship styles all belong to the same church -- the Church of Jesus Christ.
1996 brought explosive growth to the church which led to expansion in 1997 and 1998. The church also acquired an adjacent five-acre site to be used for future expansion. As 1997 ended, membership had grown to over 1400.
The year 2000 (dubbed Y2K) was a year that saw the church capacity completely “maxed out”, even with three worship services each Sunday morning. We further refined our vision, as we transitioned from a focus on building the A New Community to Becoming a 1st Century Church in a 21st Century World.
Having successfully come through the year 2000, God showed His faithfulness in 2001. An economic slide that began in the spring or 2000 continued unabated in 2001. Many of our constituency lost jobs and saw their lives decimated in other ways but God continued to grow this ministry. Our average attendance at the end of 2001 was just under 1300. Two things have remained constant: our love for the Lord and our love for each other. In 2002, to address the continuing growth, we successfully acquired two office buildings on Sherman Street and occupied the renovated facility at the end of the year.
2004 was a milestone year for us as we made good on our commitment to church planting by launching Northeast Bible Church in April, 2004. Today, NEBC is a healthy and growing church under the leadership of Pastor Bob Rice.
2005 and 2006 were adjustment years as we sought to train new leaders to replace those who became a part of the new church plant. In 2007, we made plans to sell our Centennial facility and acquire 20 acres in Plano. The sale of the Centennial property was accomplished in 2008.
In March, 2008, the entire NDCBF family met at Southfork Ranch to answer God’s call to become a World Changing Church. We had worked for nearly two years designing a new world class ministry platform that was expected to cost nearly 30 million dollars. We met to launch our Arise and Build campaign to fund the building effort. The campaign fell short of our expectations which stalled our progress. We thank God for slowing us down, for we had no idea that we were about to experience an economic collapse unlike anything seen since the Great Depression.
During the next year and a half we attempted to adjust our plans to meet the new economic reality but to no avail. With much prayer, deliberation and professional consultation, the leadership team made the decision to scrap the plans we had invested so much in and begin to develop a new master plan for our Plano property. That plan was completed at the end of 2009.
In 2010, NDCBF spent a great deal of time securing a new banking partner and working on the contractor selection process. In the midst of this focus on our construction project we continued to move toward becoming a world changing church. During 2010, we clarified our vision for becoming world changers. We replaced our long-term mission, which we called our 4-E Purpose – Exalt the Savior, Equip and Encourage the Saints, Evangelize the Sinner - with a concept called Simple Church. Simple Church is an ordered progression toward spiritual maturity by going through four basic steps: Connecting People to God, Connecting People to One Another, Connecting People to Ministry and Connecting People to the Lost.
We began 2011 full of hope and expectation by preparing our staff and congregation for the move to a new platform in Plano, Texas in 2012. Construction began in late summer and we moved into our new facility September 2012.
On December 31, 2014 our church has experienced yet another milestone. Our founding Pastor, Dr. Leslie Smith, preached his last message as Senior Pastor of NDCBF and has passed the baton to our new Senior Pastor, Dr. Terren Dames.
Over the last twenty-five years, there have been challenges, but God has been faithful. He has continued to sustain the church through the worst economic period in our history. We have more people involved in the ongoing study of God’s word than at any time in our church’s history. We are growing numerically and spiritually, and we are looking forward to a future that is bright with promise. To God be the glory!