You can tell a lot about a church by their story. Past and present, ours is a story about faith and core beliefs. God’s faith in his people and faith of his people in God.
In early 1978, we are eleven Christ followers crowded in a small house. Each of us sharing God’s vision of spreading Christ’s message in southeast Grand Rapids. Pastor Joe Smith leads this growing group in 1980 as we build and meet at Alta Dale Drive. Pastor Jeff Manion, with new bride Chris, agrees to serve as the interim Senior Pastor in 1983.
God has gifted Pastor Jeff with a unique preaching style to teach the Bible in an approachable way. Through this, God grows our little church to over 100 people. We outgrow the meeting house on Alta Dale Drive. Believing that God is at work, in a leap of faith, our Elders sell the first location and buy a three-acre parcel on Ada Drive. God continues to bring more people while we meet at a local high school and build for over a year.
Our church becomes known for dynamic children’s ministry, foundational small groups and transformational teaching. Sunday mornings grow to three services including one meeting off-site at a nearby high school. Church attendance is around 900 men, women and children in 1998. And God faithfully pushes and provides. With little extra room, God leads our Elders to sell the Ada Drive building and, once again, we move into temporary space at a local high school. We purchase 61 acres on the corner of Cascade Road and Quiggle Avenue and build what is now called Cascade Campus.
Over 1500 men, women and children are regularly attending three services when the new building opens in 2000. But God has bigger plans for us. Numbers spike and expansion is again a necessity. We add children’s classrooms, office space and more video venues upstairs.
We find growth is a mixed blessing. Weekend services are packed. Children’s programs are at capacity. People find it hard to invite friends. But God provides a solution. Several in fact.
We said this is a story about faith. God consistently grows our church in size but he also provides the means to do so. Thanks to faithful giving, each new location is paid off in miraculous time. God grows and provides for our now-not-so-little church time and again. May we continue to see God’s faithfulness in the past, present, and future. May we continue being faithful to God in all that he entrusts us to do.
Part of our story is living by our four core values.
We want everyone who attends Ada Bible Church to draw people toward Christ. Jesus has an immense love for all people and as believers, we should be inviting others to experience this love. As Christians, we reflect the person of Christ, and therefore should do everything possible to reflect positively on Christ. Our responses in conversations or to questions about our faith, should be gracious.
To be able to share the love of Christ with others, we have to value everyone. We engender a culture of relational maturity, marked by loving relationships. Each of us who call ourselves Christians should always respond in a loving and gracious way to others. We should strive to reconcile fractured relationships and be quick to apologize for our personal actions that may have damaged the relationship.
At the heart of being a Christian is to humbly serve others. Loving and serving others is anchored in the reality that Christ loved and gave himself for us. As a church we want to be marked by generously giving of our time and energy for the wellbeing of others.
God is the owner and I am the manager. This stewardship is at the core a godly endeavor. God is the giver. He is generous. We can’t strive to be like Him and not strive to be wildly generous. Because every believer is a steward of God’s resources, Ada Bible disciples individuals in managing their money in a Christ honoring way that engenders a culture of radial generosity.
All of us believe in something or someone. Beliefs help us guide our lives and helps others understand who we are. Here is what We Believe.