OUR STORY

We were planted in 2005 by Pastor Dale Schaeffer and a team from our parent church, Pekin First Church of the Nazarene (Pastor Greg Mason and District Superintendent Crawford Howell). BridgeWay Community Church was established with the vision to specifically "connect people to Jesus Christ, to each other, and to God's purposes for their lives." 

For the first seven years of BridgeWay's life, it was mobile--meeting in an auditorium and theater in Morton, Illinois, then a school in Tremont. In 2013, BridgeWay was relocated to Pekin on the second busiest intersection in Tazewell County. Throughout our first ten years, BridgeWay witnessed 806 professions of faith and 309 baptisms! In addition, the culture of BridgeWay encouragesd and empowered the church plant Second Chance Church in Fishers, Indiana.


In 2015, Pastor Jeff Stark joined the team to lead BridgeWay into our next chapter. Central to BridgeWay's effectiveness is the determined work of our pastoral staff, ministry leaders, volunteers, and the investments of both Pekin First Church of the Nazarene and the Northwest Illinois District Church of the Nazarene, and the consistent guiding power of our Mission, Vision, and Values.

 

In late 2015, a small struggling church approached BridgeWay about merging with us to impact the community of Marquette Heights. BridgeWay accepted the invitation and on January 6, 2016 we launched our Marquette Heights campus. 

 

And we continue to plant!

In the summer of 2018, we planted a church in Rahleigh, NC. pastored by Christian Sapp, a former BridgeWay church plant resident, and Reachway Church in Peoria, pastored by Seth Major, also a former BridgeWay church plant resident. Our current church plant resident, Kevin Gross, and his family are heart invested toward a Bridgeway church plant in Switzerland. God is on the move!

 

In the summer of 2019, Pastor Jeff followed his calling into the heart of downtown Chicago and Pastor Linsy Stockham, Pekin Campus Pastor, stepped in to serve as Interim Lead Pastor. God has made it clear from our beginning that He continues to be powerfully our work in BridgeWay Community Church!