Our Story So Far
It’s been said that in order to know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you’ve been.
Crossroads has a rich history of faithfulness and impact on our community; the following is a timeline of that story...
Every great vision has deep roots
Our story is an incredible one that began in the Spring of 1846 when Uriah McQueen answered God’s call to travel over 80 miles from South-Central Indiana to establish a church just north of our current site. Eight people joined him in an 18’ x 20' log schoolhouse on Charles Harmon's farm that he called the Union Church of the Northern Indiana Association of Separate Baptists. Their names were:
- Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Baumgardner
- Charles & Elizabeth Harmon
- George Washington (“G.W.”) Baumgardner
- J. Catherine Brook (GW & J. Catherine were married in Oct. of 1846)
- Peter & Polly Kirkman
On August 12, 1846, the church was organized as the Union Church of the Northern Indiana Association of Separate Baptists with Jacob Baumgardner as their first pastor. Three years later, they crossed U.S. 31 to the present-day Randolph Cemetery and built an 18x20’ structure on a tract of land donated by Reasin Lackey. Many significant world events happened while this congregation worshipped there: the Civil War, the invention of the telephone, light bulb, and the automobile.
The little white church with a steeple
In 1895, the church moved 1 mile east where they built a small white church with a steeple in the village of Oakford along Ind. 26. They remained in that facility for over 80 years, surviving numerous national and world events and experiencing several revivals and moves of God along the way.
An addition was added in 1941 to accommodate a growing Sunday school. One interesting note: running water wasn't added until 1968!
Oakford Baptist Church
In 1975, the congregation of 50 people hired the Rev. Jeff Harlow when he was 19. Two years later, the growing church took a major step of faith and built a new building on the south side of Ind. 26, right across the highway from the little white church location. It was called Oakford Baptist Church at that time. The church trusted God to fill the new sanctuary, which seated in excess of 150 people. Small group in-home Bible studies were also started during that time, nourishing and knitting together some of today's current leadership. A Junior Church children's ministry was started in 1979.
It was a time of promise
As God blessed us, we grew to a congregation of about 200. In 1984, another major step of faith was taken to add a larger sanctuary onto the facility built in 1977. The round Oakford campus sanctuary was designed to seat 550 and have additional Sunday school space. God blessed the expanded facility, continuing to grow the church and the ministry. Associate pastors were hired to focus on Student Ministries, Christian education, Senior Adults, Creative Arts and Small Groups.
Along with the growth came testing. During one particularly tough period, the Lord gave Pastor Jeff some precious promises concerning the future, vision and purpose of this church. Jeff became increasingly aware that God had a special calling for Oakford: to go to the Crossroads (figuratively to meet people at their point of need and physically to be at the crossroads of U.S. 31 and Ind. 26).
It was a time of preparation
In 1995, the Family Center was added to facilitate Sunday school classes, Students Ministries, Children's Ministries and Fellowship. Growth continued and ministries were added, including Crossroads Café, Child Care Center, Divorce Care, Junior High, Young Married, a Twenties Ministry and Single Adults. To accommodate the growing crowds, additional worship services were added and the pews were replaced with chairs.
The Journey to the Crossroads
In November 2000, the church voted to purchase 114 acres at the corner of U.S. 31 and Ind. 26. As many sacrificed their time, energy and resources to step into God's vision for Howard and surrounding counties, the decision was made to change our name to Crossroads Community Church. This was to:
- Reflect our calling to our location at the crossroads of Ind. 26 and U.S. 31, the front door to the community
- Reflect our view of our responsibility to the community
- Remove possible denominational obstacles to our outreach
- Reflect our developing identity
A master plan for the new property was developed, construction plans were made and there was an official groundbreaking on Aug. 18, 2001.
Our first service in the new building at Crossroads was on December 3, 2003. The existing Oakford Campus was retained for administrative offices and student ministries. And in the ensuing four years, many exciting things took place including…
- the growth of our weekend services to an average of 1,700 people,
- a dramatic expansion of ministries and staff,
- the addition of a Servant Ministries warehouse,
- the beginning of an initiative to preserve marriages.
- the beginning of our family worship service Action Pact,
- and hundreds saved and baptized.
It was a busy, blessed year for Crossroads. We built marriage retreat facilities for Preserve Marriage Ministry in the woods on the CCC campus. We also expanded our children's ministry by building an additional 19,000 square feet on the east side of our facility. It was also turned out to be a tough year; We experienced the deep loss of a few key faithful leaders, economic hardships, and a fire at the Oakford Campus that claimed the original brick building built in 1977.
2009 through 2012 saw the hiring of additional staff for Guest Services, Student Ministries, Worship Ministries, website, and our Preserve Marriage Ministries. Also, two key events happened:
- In December 2009, we voted to hire Chris Duncan as our Pastor to Next Generation Families. This began a three-year leadership transition process from Jeff Harlow to Chris in the role of senior pastor. Along with leadership, speaking, evangelism, and encouragement gifts, Chris brought his incredible wife, Annette, and two daughters with him from Las Vegas, NV.
- Also, In February 2010, the people of Crossroads had a rock signing declaration of commitment to what we call becoming a “D6 Home.” Taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-8, this mindset focuses on what happens during the 167 hours a week outside of church services. We have come to believe that long-lasting generational change happens through helping parents lead their home throughout the week.
More than a milestone in our history, it has served to restructure our approach to ministry, programming, evaluation of success, and fundamental operation as a church. Interestingly, the completion of our children’s ministry expansion and marriage quads has lined up perfectly for facilitating this home-focused D6 approach. We have been blessed to experience true cultural change as a church, and renewed clarity to our vision of “Meeting people where they are and helping them take their next step with Christ.”
The final transition from Jeff’s leadership to Chris’s began in January when Jeff began preaching his final sermon series: “This Must Be a Place.” His final messages were on March 9 and 10, Crossroads celebrated Jeff and Becky Harlow’s ministry on March 16 and 17. Chris became the Senior Pastor at Crossroads on March 18.
From Uriah to Jeff to Chris and all the leaders and members from 1846 to today, each person has had a unique role to play here at Crossroads. God places each person in His Church body. You’re here because God led you here, and we want you to consider joining our story and history.