Church of the Nazarene
It was a dream birthed in the hearts of Air Force Major Leo Willison and his wife Vi. Their dream was for there to be a new Nazarene church that would provide ministry and a place of worship for personnel serving the Carswell Air Force Base as well as the surrounding communities of River Oaks, Texas. The Willison’s held the first meeting in their home at 1620 Woodlawn Street on January 7, 1957. The very first service was conducted just four days later in the “upper room” at the local YMCA.
This quickly growing congregation was blessed with vision and foresight. In only the second month of the church’s existence, construction began on the first facility located at 5605 Black Oak Lane in River Oaks. Through the leadership of Mr. Elmer Trimble, the hard work of members of the congregation, the material donations of Mr. Raymond Teague, and the builder Mr. O.L. Barrett, the new church facility was ready for worship in just one month. On March 31, 1957, the church’s first pastor, Rev. Charles McCall delivered his first sermon from the book of Esther.
It was not long before the Lord called the congregation into action. In the flood of 1959, the River Oaks congregation fed, clothed, and provided shelter to the many flood victims. This was the first of numerous times this loving congregation rose to the occasion of need in the community.
The church was led by three pastors from 1960 to 1966. Rev. Dwight Bolton, Rev. Austin Moore, and Rev. Albert Neuschwanger served the church well and helped lead many people to Christ and service in the church.
During the pastorate of Rev. R.T. Bolerjack, the membership and attendance of the River Oaks Church was outgrowing the facility at 5605 Black Oak Lane. After much prayer and deliberation, the congregation made a transaction with the Assembly of God Church located just across the street. On a hot Texas Sunday in July of 1969, the members of these two congregations “traded churches” as they walked across the street and began services that very day. Parishioners were passing each other with armloads and wagonloads of their respective supplies. Someone said it looked like a colony of ants attacking a picnic. The fourth meeting place at 5620 Black Oak Lane became the new home for the River Oaks Church.
Although the new move brought on financial strains for the congregation, God showed His faithfulness and favor on the River Oaks Church. Rev. Wayne Hilburn began as pastor in 1975 and helped the church recover from their financial straits that would prepare them for a strong future.
To Move or to Stay
During the pastorate of Rev. Jim Southworth, the discussions of relocating the church began. After much prayer and searching for God’s direction, the decision was made to remain in River Oaks and make some capital improvements on the facility. Rev. Southworth led in the construction of a gymnasium, office space, and several new classrooms. Leo Willison and Leroy Heisey were two of the strong laymen that helped in the construction project. Many more people came to Christ and began attending the church during the pastorate of Rev. Southworth.
During the pastorate of Rev. Mark Stone, discussions continued regarding the location and the future of the church in River Oaks. Many members felt it would be more fruitful to be outside of River Oaks in a more expanding part of Fort Worth. The dreams of many of the members would be realized many years later.
Rev. Bill Childs assumed the pastorate in 1992. Rev. Childs served with the longest tenure of any pastor, over thirteen years. Under Rev. Childs’ leadership, the church continued to proclaim the good news of Christ and saw many people come to faith. As the demographic around the church continued to change, and with a strong majority of the church members commuting from outside of River Oaks, the discussions of relocation began to surface again.
In the last few years of Rev. Childs’ pastorate, a serious effort began in the researching of possible areas for relocation. Surveys were taken throughout the congregation and the general consensus was that the time was coming soon for a new look and location for the River Oaks Church.
A New Vision is Birthed
After the arrival of the church’s tenth pastor, Rev. Daniel Dyer in 2005, a concentrated effort of prayerful search began for God’s direction regarding relocation. Rev. Dyer organized a ReFocus Team that would begin prayerful work on a fresh new vision for the church.
In June of 2006, the West Texas District Church of the Nazarene, under the direction of District Superintendent Dr. Charles Jones, made an offer to the River Oaks Church to purchase the church facilities along with one of the three houses owned by the church. The idea behind the offer was to bring the congregation from the Templo Doulos Church of the Nazarene, a Hispanic congregation, to the River Oaks location. In addition to a Hispanic Nazarene Church, the River Oaks location would serve as a training center for Hispanic pastors and a headquarters for Hispanic outreach across the West Texas District.
On July 23, 2006, the members of the River Oaks Church voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer from the West Texas District. The closing date of June 1, 2007 would give the church less than one year to find a new location. The River Oaks Church took a giant step of faith, just as the patriarch Abraham was called out without an awareness of his destination.
On November 19, 2006, the board and ReFocus Team revealed the results of four months of prayer and searching the heart of God for His vision for the church. Brand new statements of vision and core values were shared with the congregation. The mission statement, “We exist to be a Catalyst for Change through Christ” was adopted. A new day had dawned for the River Oaks Church of the Nazarene.
In December of 2006, a contract was signed with the Eagle Mountain – Saginaw ISD to begin renting ministry space at a brand new school, Greenfield Elementary located at 6020 Ten Mile Bridge Road, beginning June 3, 2007. In February of 2007, a lease was signed for the church to take occupancy of a 2500 square foot office/ministry space located at 3527 NW Loop 820, beginning May 1, 2007.
Throughout the ReFocus process, the church had begun praying about their new name. Members of the congregation were encouraged to submit suggestions. After three months of prayer and deliberation, the ReFocus team settled on the name “CrossPoint Nazarene Church” to submit to the church board and congregation. On March 4, 2007, the new name was announced to the church, which resulted in a standing ovation, showing strong support for the work of the board and ReFocus Team.
Fifty Year Celebration
On March 11, 2007, The River Oaks Church celebrated its 50th year in ministry. Friends, family, and former pastors gathered for a final anniversary celebration at 5620 Black Oak Lane. This strong congregation that is founded on a rich heritage has committed to move into the future with vision and optimism, believing that God is going to continue the work He has begun through them.
On September 17, 2009, CrossPoint Church purchased ten acres of prime property on NW Loop 820 adjacent to Marine Creek Lake. A Vision Team was appointed to begin the process of design, fundraising, and construction of a new facility.
The final Sunday at Greenfield Elementary was held on July 25, 2010. CrossPoint celebrated the many new friends that joined the fellowship while in Greenfield. From August 1 to September 5, 2010, CrossPoint Church held services on Sunday evenings at The Church of the Living God located in the Marine Creek Business Park.
On September 12, 2010, CrossPoint began meeting in another brand new school. Willow Creek Elementary, located at 1100 McLeroy Boulevard in Saginaw provided more flexibility and room for potential growth.
The church is the body, not a building. While meeting in temporary locations, CrossPoint Church is committed to the task of reaching souls for the King of kings. There will be a day when a new facility is realized, the building of "the church" continues even now.