From the beginning, Bible Way has held the belief that God would bless our church if we were faithful to reach out beyond the walls of our Fellowship. Based on that conviction, we established a missionary outreach program and have consistently maintained a giving allotment of ten to twenty percent of all tithes and offerings received. We believe God has honored this ongoing commitment to missions allowing us to avoid any debt during the years, including the acquisition, maintenance and improvements on our property.
We are indebted to Hope House Ministry’s' Pastor Shawn Brown for his assistance, for Mike Taylor's alertness, and for Mike Johnson's and Mike Edwards' work on the details of our purchase. After nearly eight years "in the wilderness" we have finally found a home! Modest as it may be, it now allows us to give our full attention to the Great Commission that Christ has assigned to His Church.
In God's wisdom and grace, He providentially brought Bible Way Fellowship and Hope House Ministries together to solve both a financial burden for them and a location need for us. Bible Way Fellowship Church not only has a "home," but "owns" it with no mortgage debt! Only God could have made this possible.
After losing the classroom at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Harvey Johnson came to the rescue again by locating and obtaining agreement for Bible Way Fellowship to rent a meeting room from the Peninsula Baptist Association located on Cloverleaf Lane in Newport News. The building served as the corporate office for the Peninsula Baptist Association. We used the room on Sunday mornings. Our first meeting in the building was May 8, 2005. That arrangement served us well. At the end of January, 2006, Peninsula Baptist Association moved their offices to downtown Newport News and Bible Way Fellowship rented the entire building providing full time availability for regularly scheduled meetings, social functions, revival meetings and special programs.
Beginning March 6, 2011, Rev. E. A. Lockwood from Mathews, Virginia provided our Sunday messages. As a result of a medical crisis in August, on the advice of his doctor, he reluctantly left Bible Way Fellowship. Beginning August 21, 2011, Rev. Michael Edwards, also from Mathews, responded favorably to an invitation to fill Bible Way Fellowship's pulpit. Rev. Edwards again responded favorably to the request and invitation to assume full pastoral duties for Bible Way Fellowship effective January 1, 2012, and served as pastor until July 31, 2013. Currently, Mike Johnson, one of the founding members, is providing inspirational messages for our Sunday morning worship and our Wednesday evening prayer and praise services.
With Bible Way meeting away from his home, Rev. Roberts found it necessary for Rev. Erickson to assume full responsibility for all of the Sunday morning services. Rev. Erickson also conducted a five day revival using the Lutheran Church main sanctuary. He continued his ministry with Bible Way Fellowship until his health required him to resign. His last Sunday as Bible Way's pastor was Sunday, April 8, 2007. Beginning April 29, 2007, Bible Way's pulpit was filled by Rev. Lindsay Poteat, who at that time was the Director of the Peninsula Rescue Mission in Newport News. Except for occasional dates when he had schedule conflicts, Rev. Poteat faithfully provided inspiring messages until February 27, 2011.
As a result of losing the Cloverleaf location, most of our equipment went into storage and the Woman's Club of Newport News allowed us to meet in their building on Sunday mornings beginning August 30, 2008 and on other occasions as needed. When they were using their building for their activities we would meet in the Omni Hotel. So, while searching for a more arrangement we met at either the Woman's Club building or at the Omni. We are very grateful for the kindness shone to us by the Woman's Club during this time
SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012, WE CELEBRATED GOD'S PERFECT ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS!
Harvey Johnson solved that need by finding and renting a classroom at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Semple Farm Road in Hampton. The first service at the new location was Sunday, January 2, 2005. This meeting arrangement lasted only four months due to Emanuel Lutheran renting the classroom to Tidewater Community College on a seven day a week (full time) basis. Bible Way's last meeting there was May 1, 2005.
After a few Sundays, Rev. Bill Erickson from Danville, Virginia attended a service at the request of Harvey Johnson who had been converted under Rev. Erickson's ministry many years earlier. Because of Rev. Roberts' failing health, he and Rev. Erickson began to divide the speaking responsibility, each providing a message on alternate Sundays. As the number of attendees began to increase, and as tithes and offerings provided the means, it became apparent that more space was needed.
This is where it began, September 26, 2004.
In response to their request and after seeking God's will on the issue, Rev. Claude Roberts met with sixteen people in the family room of his home at 129 Cherry Avenue, Hampton, Virginia. This was the first service of what was to become Bible Way Fellowship Church. Mike Johnson opened the meeting with prayer, led the singing and received the first offering. Frances Stall played the old Hammond organ in the living room for the congregational singing and Rev. Roberts brought the message.
The Bible Way Fellowship Story
We are grateful to our congregation for their faithful and cheerful giving and God's faithfulness in making our (after church tithe) funds meet all of our needs
While meeting at the Woman's Club, we prayed and searched for a church home that would "truly be our own." On several occasions we tried but failed for various reasons to purchase a suitable property. But God was at work!
We worked on the Cloverleaf building to make it "our own" church, adding a steeple, raising the platform, adding a handicap ramp, nursery, painting, etc. We were and remain grateful for the Peninsula Baptist Association providing us the privilege of renting their building. It provided a period of stability and growth. But, in early 2008, the Association notified us they needed to move their offices back to their building. We were greatly disappointed that we had to give up "our" little church, but the Association graciously gave us until August 23, 2008 to vacate the building.