NORWAY - What's new on U.S. 2? That was the big question late in the summer of 1962 when a metal structure appeared, seemingly overnight, near the west city limits of Norway. Was it a beer distributorship? Were Oelke's putting in a new potato warehouse? Such were the rumors.
Metal churches were not traditional in 1962, but Community Bible Chapel was not a traditional church. This small group of believers had very little in the way of financial resources, but a huge store of faith and a vision for the future.
The congregation they envisioned was strictly non-denominational, which they saw as a need in the Dickinson County area. The new congregation prayed together for guidance in forming a church with scripture as its only guide for rule and practice.
"While recognizing and respecting creeds and theological trends of the past, they sought God to lead them into a future based on His Word alone," said a spokesperson.
From its inception, youth of the church were given high priority in planning and resource allocation. Programs such as Pioneer Girls, Boy's Brigade, Awana, CBC youth group, Bible Camp ministries, Bible Quizzing, and now Bible Bee have instilled the Word of God in young hearts with the result that several have gone into full-time Christian service while many others have become productive members of evangelical churches around the nation.
"Then, as now, the church focuses on honoring God through study of His Word, growth in personal holiness and obedience to the missionary imperative," she added.
The Chapel's motto "Rooted in Christ Reaching in Love" is emphasized in all avenues of service.
After 50 years of challenges and growth, members of Community Bible Chapel wish to celebrate God's grace while rededicating themselves to His purposes for the years ahead.
The Golden Anniversary Celebration will commence on Friday, Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m. with a nostalgic Singspiration involving past musicians and the songs that inspired in the early years.
Saturday, Aug. 4, at 3 p.m., a time of fellowship will be enjoyed with a look back at God's blessings, a season of sharing with friends, pastors and missionaries of the church, and a multi-media presentation.
Sunday School for all ages on the Lord's Day will be lead by missionaries supported by the Chapel, while the 10:30 a.m. worship service will feature gifted Bible expositor, Dr. Jeff VanGoethem, born in Norway and former pastor of Community Bible Chapel, now serving at Scofield Memorial Church in Dallas, Texas.
There will be activities for children on Saturday.and a nursery will be provided for each service.
Questions may be directed to the church at (906) 563-9300, or visit the website at www.cbchapel.com.