In November 2013, Pastor Schaeffer and his family relocated to Oregon to fulfill God's call on their hearts to serve as pastor of a church plant, and we began the prayerful search for a new lead pastor.
Central to BridgeWay's effectiveness was the consistent guidance of our Mission-Vision team and the continued 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. We continued strong into BridgeWay's next chapter.
Pastor Jeff Stark joined our pastoral team in August 2014 as lead pastor. In late 2015, we were approached by a small struggling church 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 continued to plant!
In the summer of 2018, we planted a church in Raleigh, NC. pastored by Christian Sapp, a BridgeWay church plant resident, and Reachway Church in Peoria pastored by Seth Major, also a 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 continues to move in and through BridgeWay Community Church in faithfulness and power!
In May 2019, Pastor Jeff followed his calling into the heart of downtown Chicago and Pastor Linsy Stockham, BridgeWay's Pekin Campus Pastor, stepped in to serve as our interim lead pastor.
God has made it clear from our beginning that He continues to be powerfully at work through BridgeWay Community Church! We welcomed Pastor Michael Downs, and his family, as our new lead pastor in August 2019, and welcomed Pastor Gabe Wickstrum, and his family, as our Executive and Worship Pastor.
We continue in awe, anticipation, and worship of God as He continues to unfold His further plans for BridgeWay Community Church.