On a September day in 2005 Pastors Dan and Melanie Haby, feeling God’s leading, moved a small congregation to Johnson County. The first stop was the old vet supply building near Old Town Burleson. Our congregation worked for days to convert that little building into a place where we could worship and have fellowship. This new place did have its trying times. One of the biggest obstacles we had to get used to was that the railroad tracks were no more than 10 feet from the side of the building. Several times, during the day the train would travel by at a high speed, shaking the building and blowing a horn that would deafen most people. Unfortunately for our church, it seemed that this train would always come by during the Sunday morning service. We soon began to understand this and started to add humor to it. As the train would approach, Pastor Dan would have the congregation prepare for the onslaught. With smiles on their faces, they would hold onto anything that could fall off the walls, and the whole service would come to a stop until the train had passed by. This small congregation learned early how to laugh at hard times. This would be a lesson that we would be able to carry on throughout the history of this church.
After several more moves and building and cleaning existing buildings, and then outgrowing those buildings, our small band of travelers finally reached our Promised Land. In May, 2007 with the help of our mother church, First Baptist Burleson, we were able to purchase 11.8 acres on Interstate 35 West. With limited funds, the church banned together and purchased a 6000-square-foot blue and white tent. In the coming days, volunteers prepared the ground for the coming of the tent. As the day grew closer, the excitement grew, until that day when it was dropped off. Finally the day came; the tent was unloaded, and with sprits soaring high, we lifted the tent up and tied it down. We sang and praised God for giving us a place to call home. Each day found us working to get the tent ready for the first Sunday on our new land. Wood shavings were put down on the ground, and generators were brought in to give us power to run the sound and lights. Port-a-potties with sinks lined the back of the church, for there was no water, sewer, power, etc. On July 1, 2007 we had our first Sunday in our new tent. What a glorious day that was! With the chairs set up and the sides rolled up, you could sit there and just look out over the land and see what a beautiful world our Lord has made. During the sermon, the people in the congregation saw a group of white birds landing and taking off out in the field. With the gentle breeze and all the beauty that God has made, we were convinced that we were sitting in the prettiest sanctuary in the world. With the sound of the generators running in the background, our first Sunday was so great! It wasn’t long after this that we suffered our first setback when someone came while we were away and stole the generators and industrial fans. For most this would have dampened their resolve or even been a setback, but for this group of people it wasn’t even a bump in the road. Other generators were found, and fans were purchased, and the church kept going on.
In the Fall, we suffered our second setback when some straight-line winds blew through the night and flattened the tent, drenching everything inside. A call went out that morning, and before noon people had gathered to help start pulling things out from under the tent. In a day or so, the tent was back up, and that Sunday we were singing praises to the Lord. Winter was just around the corner, so we prepared for what all was going to happen. We began to build walls and patch holes. With propane heaters brought in, and the shavings swept up we were ready for Old Man Winter to come and show off. Oh, and that he did! During that winter, temperatures would drop down into the teens, seemingly always on Sundays. With the propane heaters blasting, and with members bringing blankets and coats, some even bringing their own heating devices, all the services still went on. On one Sunday with the heaters putting out a lot of heat, unbeknownst to the congregation, and especially the pastors, the condensation that had frozen to the tent during the night started to melt. Within a moment, a rain shower erupted inside the tent, one that would have brought relief to any drought- stricken land. As everyone ran outside to try to stay dry, you could hear the laughter amongst the people. No matter what came against us, we stood on the Solid Rock, who is our Jesus.
Spring finally arrived, and with this the third setback. It began with the plagues of Egypt. From the wet summer and wet winter came the frogs, flies, mice, and grasshoppers. They come in hordes. On any given Sunday, the people were counted and so were the frogs; and then, in April, an F1 tornado came through. That Wednesday night a small group of believers gathered in the tent, praying and asking God to shake this place. Little did we know that at 3:30 that morning, the tornado would destroy the tent and almost everything in it. Pastors Dan and Melanie received a call at 3:45 that morning from Shawn Williams who said that the tent was down and that it didn’t look good. With headlights on the tent, waiting for the first rays of light, the scene took on a terrible sight. As we walked out across it, members and friends of the church began to arrive and help salvage what was left. For the next couple of weeks this brave group of believers met in the open field where the tent had been, determined to continue on with the vision that the Lord Jesus had given us. After meeting in the field for two weeks, Larry Poole graciously allowed the church to meet in his Bingo Hall on Sunday mornings.
During this time, Pastor Dan was awakened one morning, and the Lord told him that it was time to build. So on the place where the tent was destroyed, construction began. A new 6000-square-foot building lined in cedar was being put up to show that no matter what storm comes, there’s always light that breaks through for the new day. With members working seven days a week, many working their own jobs during the day and then at the church at night, we toiled long hours to build the House of the Lord. On February 1, 2009, Super Bowl Sunday, though the building wasn’t finished, the congregation moved in, and throughout the next year we continued to work on the main building. As years have passed, the Lord has blessed this small group of people and has added many to our number; so much so that now expansion is in the air, and the future for this little band of believers is looking very bright. Throughout the church, all know that the reason we have been blessed is all because of Jesus and not any thing that we have done. So, from here on, a new story will be told, a new chapter will be written. To God be the glory, great things He has done!