In the spring of 1988 Pastor Dan Thompson founded what has today come to be known as Crossroads Church. It originally began under the name of Believers Fellowship. It all started as a group of devoted followers of Christ embraced whole-heartedly that loving God and loving each other was the most important thing we are called to do as Christians. They had no building to meet in, just a passion for God and for laying their lives down for each other.
Dan was so much more than a pastor, he was also their friend. Together he, and a small group of committed elders, gave their lives to serving this young church and carrying the vision that the Christian life and spiritual growth flows best through genuine, authentic relationship with one another. And so, the story began.
In those early days, services were held in a variety of rented buildings – from churches to office buildings, schools to fairgrounds. But through all the moving and changing they knew the church was not a building… it was the people. The people of this church were not only committed to God, they were committed to each other. They were a part of each others’ lives, helping whenever anyone needed a room painted or a roof re-shingled, and being there when a baby was born or tragedy struck. Because of this deep commitment, moving was never an issue. Changing buildings would not change them.
After years of moving around Pastor Dan and the elders were finally presented with the opportunity to buy 10 acres of land at 40th & Superior for an incredible price. It seemed as if the waiting was over and it was time to have their own place. However, after searching out many different options for building, it became evident that none of them seemed feasible at the time. So they did the only thing left for them to do – hold on to the land and pray.
After continuing to bounce around from location to location they eventually began to rent the cafeteria at Belmont Elementary School. Since they were extremely limited as to the times they could get into the school, they took advantage of an opportunity to buy a house across the street to use for church offices, smaller meetings and other events. After a little renovation, a few building projects and adding a small portable building to the property, that little house became exactly what they needed and they put it to a lot of good use. Then finally, in 2005, Believer’s Fellowship was able to borrow the money to build on the property they had been praying over for so long. It happened after selling the south 5 acres to a contractor who built the duplexes that are sitting on it now. And in 2006, on Easter morning, 18 years after this story began Pastor Dan Thompson held the first service as Crossroads Church on 40th & Superior in their brand new building. It was a long haul, but they finally had a place to call their own!
The people had faced many challenges along the way and had proven well-equipped to endure financial loss, constant moving, multiple building projects as well as the ups and downs of being a part of a church. But by far the greatest challenge was yet to come. In February of 2010, Pastor Dan Thompson, the man who was so instrumental in launching and leading this church was tragically killed in a car accident.
Nothing could have prepared them for this. It was devastating. Devastating in their hearts and in their souls, but not devastating to the church, because they did what he trained them to do all those years. They pulled together, they supported each other; they laid down their lives for each other; and every member continued to minister just like Dan had been teaching them from the beginning.
The church had been so strongly built on relationship. Which meant that for this group of believers, finding a new pastor was not as simple as posting a job opening. Whoever would replace Pastor Dan would have to be someone who understood and believed that this would be for the long haul, not a stepping stone. After a great deal of prayer and a lot of searching, the leadership found the right man for the job. Sean Swihart and his wife, Beth, were a perfect fit. They stepped into a church that had the same pastor for over 20 years, and began leading the people as if they had been there all their lives.
Since Pastor Sean and Beth began we have continued to grow and quickly outgrew our kids facilities. We found ourselves once again needing more space, but this time for our kids. So we banded together as we are accustomed to doing and found a way. So in the spring of 2014, after a lot of hard work and sacrifice, we opened up our Kids Crossing building.
For the next several years we continued to outgrow our original facility. We added a third service trying to accommodate our growing numbers. It was a season of all hands on deck. However, we knew God had new things in store for us. So after a lot of prayer, faith, and hard work God was gracious enough to allow us to build our new auditorium and remodel our old space into a lobby to make room for what God wanted to do in us and through us. Our people are strong, dependable, determined, and resilient. And God is faithful!
This story represents the foundation of everything we are about.
This is Crossroads Church. This is our story!